Illinois judge dismisses Cruz eligibility complaint

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz reacts to the Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting. (Reuters)

An Illinois voter's lawsuit challenging Ted Cruz's eligibility to run for president of the United States because he was born in Canada was dismissed on a technicality on Tuesday by a state judge.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Maureen Ward Kirby in Chicago ruled that she did not have jurisdiction in the lawsuit - which had sought to have Cruz removed from the state's primary election ballot - because it had not been properly served on the state Board of Elections.

She found that the plaintiff, Lawrence Joyce, had not properly filed his petition for judicial review.

Joyce, a lawyer and a pharmacist from the Chicago suburb of Poplar Grove who supports Cruz rival Ben Carson, initially filed a complaint in January with the elections board. When the board rejected the complaint, he filed the lawsuit seeking judicial review in Cook County.

Kirby's ruling came as voters in 12 other states were taking part in the Super Tuesday Republican and Democratic nominating contests, a milestone in the selection of candidates for the Nov. 8 election.

Illinois' primary is on March 15, but early voting has already begun.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned Cruz's eligibility because of his Canadian birth.

Joyce's lawsuit argued that Cruz cannot run for president under the U.S. Constitution because the U.S. senator from Texas is not a "natural-born" citizen. Cruz gained citizenship at birth because his mother was an American citizen, but Joyce contends that was a form of naturalization. Cruz's father is from Cuba.

Cruz, himself an attorney, has maintained he is a natural-born American due to his mother's citizenship.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46