- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Democratic member of the U.S. House vowed Thursday to file a lawsuit challenging Sen. Ted Cruz’s Constitutional eligibility to become president.

Rep. Alan Grayson, Florida Democrat, said the issue is not political but Constitutional and that he will file a suit “if and when he becomes the nominee and tries to qualify for the ballot” in November.

Mr. Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban father and an American mother — facts that have never been in dispute. The Constitution requires that the president be a “natural-born citizen” and Mr. Grayson noted that nobody would dispute the ineligibility of Austrian-born former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s an open question, Mr. Grayson said in an interview with The Hill, “whether Ted Cruz falls on that side of the (eligibility) line or the other side of the line. It’s a matter for the courts to determine and there are legitimate arguments” either way.

The Constitution does not define the term “natural-born citizen,” but under common law it meant someone born in a country or someone born abroad to at least one citizen parent temporarily out of the U.S. — the latter situation applying in Mr. Cruz’s case.

Republican rival Donald Trump has broached the issue of Mr. Cruz’s birth and Constitutional eligibility in recent days and when The Hill interviewer brought up to Mr. Grayson the possibility of a bipartisan lawsuit, he dismissed that as “guilt by association.”

Mr. Cruz dismissed Mr. Trump’s insinuations on Twitter with a clip from “Happy Days” showing the Fonz “jump the shark,” playing on the later meaning of the term to imply Mr. Trump had become a repetitive self-parody.

Questions about then-Sen. Barack Obama’s (in)eligibility on similar grounds began to bubble up in Democratic circles during the 2008 presidential primary. The issue was taken up by some fringe Republicans, which led Democrats to call any such questions racist and demeaning.

Like Mr. Cruz, Mr. Obama was born to a foreign father and an American mother, but in Hawaii in his case, notwithstanding some unsubstantiated suggestions to the contrary. Mr. Obama, in response to pressure from Mr. Trump and others, released his birth certificate to quiet the whispers.

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