Many politicians misrepresent their policy positions, and many more misstate their relevant experience while inflating their abilities. Such politician deceit is now expected. Little wonder why so many Americans are looking to authentic, outsider candidates like Bernie Sanders.
Consider how Ted Cruz now attempts to rebrand himself as a mainstream moderate to appeal to Republican Party bosses.
All voters should be reminded of Ted Cruz's past extremist positions on a host of social and policy issues.
Don't be distracted by the annoyance of his sanctimonious tone, focus instead on the shockingly extreme substance of his message. Ted Cruz filibustered to shut down the government. Ted Cruz wanted the United States of America to default on its public debt payments.
Recent endorser Lindsey Graham should remember Mr. Cruz's extreme anti-choice positions: Ted Cruz would force female victims of rape and incest to carry a resulting pregnancy to term.
Ted Cruz is no mainstream moderate. And unfortunately, there is no legal remedy for a candidate's fraudulent policy misrepresentations.
Scholars Agree that Ted Cruz is Not Constitutionally Eligible
But what if a candidate misrepresents his basic eligibility for ballot access. Is there legal remedy for that fraud? Again, Ted Cruz provides best evidence.
Democrat and Republican partisans alike have agreed that the Canadian-born Cruz is not a "natural born" American citizen as textually required by Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, Mr. Cruz held onto his resulting Canadian citizenship from the time of his birth until May 2014.
Not eligible for the presidency, the vice-presidency is also verboten. If Ted Cruz is chosen for the GOP ticket -- "playing top or bottom" -- the debate over his constitutional ineligibility will go nuclear. House Democrat Alan Grayson pledges to initiate lawsuits: "I'm waiting for the moment that he gets the nomination."
Because Cruz was not "natural born"--not born in the United States--he is ineligible for the presidency.... To naturalize ... is to confer citizenship status but not to somehow convert him to having been born in America; similarly, to confer citizenship by statute to someone born abroad to an American parent is not the same thing as retroactively making that person born in this country--making him natural born--which would be impossible.
Other top academics concur. Legal historian Mary Brigid McManamon's presents the most comprehensive analysis. Harvard Law Professor Einer R. Elhauge's recent work, taking the form of a 2016 amicus brief, proves beyond doubt that Mr. Cruz is not eligible -- for the presidency or vice-presidency.
"Competitor Candidate Standing"
While several recent "voter-plaintiff" lawsuits against Cruz's eligibility have been summarily dismissed for lack of procedural "standing," scholars and judges agree that a "competitor candidate" would have sufficient particularized injury for standing: "A candidate or his political party has standing to challenge the inclusion of an allegedly ineligible rival on the ballot." Hollander v. McCain, 566 F.Supp.2d 63, 68 (D.N.H. 2008).
It is telling that not one of Mr. Cruz's 14 Republican competitors, who have now left the field, had the political courage or personal initiative to bring such litigation on their way to the sidelines.
A 2016 "HUGE" Electoral Disruption: Low-Cost "Write-In" Campaign for Competitor Standing?
What would prevent a new candidate from entering the race with a low-cost "write-in" campaign -- thus establishing competitor standing to sue. As Bernie Sanders would say, the opportunity for electoral disruption in 2016 is "HUGE." First, a campaign website would be launched.
Many states require formal "write-in" candidate filing processes including reasonable fling deadlines and notarized declarations. But the resulting candidacy is both legitimate and state-recognized.
Judges insist that "write-in" candidates have to be treated as "real" candidates because they sometimes actually win elections (think Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski). The Florida Supreme Court ruled just last month that a "write-in" candidacy is "genuine opposition" regardless of any actual registry of support for the candidate. Brinkmann v. Francois (Florida Supreme Court No. SC14-1899, Feb. 4, 2016).
A New GOP Entrant Charges Ted Cruz with Ballot Fraud in Nine Primary States : California, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin
In mid-March, as a new project for my www.DisruptiveJustice.org civic engagement effort, I entered the GOP race for the presidency as a "write-in" candidate.
My campaign met the filing deadlines and declaration requirements in eight later-primary states. Actual ballot placement is sought for South Dakota which does not allow "write-ins."
And on March 25, 2016, my campaign lodged formal ballot challenges against Ted Cruz's eligibility in each of those nine states.
New Jersey presents the most interesting opportunity. The deadline for New Jersey signature petitions is April 4 and all challenges are due three days later. Thus a formal challenge waits for Mr. Cruz when he files his New Jersey petitions -- each one of which falsely attests that he is constitutionally qualified for the office.
The nine challenges each gave litigation notice in the event Mr. Cruz is not disqualified by the state's Secretary of State. Lawsuits may be filed ex ante or ex post the primary elections with state-based lawsuits facing lower standing requirements than federal court.
The most direct litigation path would be intervention in ongoing lawsuits. My campaign made just such an intervention attempt last week in a "voter" lawsuit against Cruz's eligibility now on an emergency-fast-track in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Cleveland Convention Fight: Contest the Seating of Cruz-Pledged Delegates
If administrative ballot challenges are not successful and if state-based litigation is not fruitful, the fight will then move into the Cleveland GOP Convention. There is a rich history of entire slates of delegates being rejected for illegal or questionable primary elections.
But no concern if these (admittedly amateur) disruptive efforts fail and Mr. Cruz finds a place on the GOP ticket - "playing top or bottom."
Rest assured that Harvard Law-trained Alan Grayson will be waiting outside Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena on July 21st ready to personally serve Ted "Canadian" Cruz a bundle of summons for 50 state lawsuits.
Victor Williams is an attorney in Washington D.C. and clinical assistant professor at Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Victor Williams founded the American Institute for Disruptive Innovation in Law and Politics -- DisruptiveJustice.org.