New Jersey’s secretary of state rejected a challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president, issuing a brief ruling Wednesday that said she accepted the reasoning of one of her judges that because of his birth to an American mother, he meets the criterion.
Kimberly M. Guadagno’s decision is the latest to back Mr. Cruz, who has yet to lose at any level.
His critics say that since he was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father, he does not meet the requirement that all presidential candidates be “natural born” citizens.
“The place of the senator’s birth is undisputed, as is the fact that Senator Cruz’s mother was a United States citizen at the time she gave birth to the senator,” Ms. Guadagno said in her ruling.
She based her ruling on the findings of state Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin, who earlier this week issued an in-depth opinion finding that Victor K. Williams, a lawyer who’s filed to run as a write-in candidate in New Jersey’s GOP primary, did have standing to challenge Mr. Cruz’s eligibility.
But Judge Masin went on to review the history of the Constitution and concluded that its authors had intended that someone born to American parents, no matter where the location, was a “natural born” citizen.
“As such I conclude that Senator Cruz meets the Article II, Section I qualifications and is eligible to be nominated for president. His name may therefore appear on the New Jersey Republican primary ballot,” Judge Masin said.
“Shame on Secretary of State Guadagno,” Mr. Williams said in a post on his website.
He vowed to appeal to “an actual judge this time.”
Ms. Guadagno also serves as lieutenant governor, on the same ticket as Gov. Chris Christie, who was himself a former presidential candidate. Mr. Christie has since endorsed Donald Trump, Mr. Cruz’s chief competitor, in the GOP primary.