I suppose it was inevitable that one of the original Obama eligibility litigants would prove consistent and bring a lawsuit against Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio on the same grounds that they sued to have Obama barred from the ballot, namely that they aren’t constitutionally eligible to run. Michael Voeltz, three-time loser with his Obama cases, has filed against Cruz and Rubio in Broward County, Florida. The case number is CACE15022044. Voeltz filed pro se.
- Republican Party of Florida Executive Committee
- Secretary of State of Florida Ken Detzner
- Senator Marco Rubio
- Senator Ted Cruz
In his “Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunction,” Mr. Voeltz says:
Plaintiff asserts that these two candidates are naturalized citizens, or at the very least, simply fail to comply with the common law Supreme Court established definition of natural born citizen. …
Plaintiff’s right to vote will be diluted, debased and desecrated by the presence of Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio on the Florida ballot.
What follows are my observations on the complaint, and not an attempt at an adequate summary of the lengthy brief.
Voeltz argues a scenario where Cruz or Rubio is ruled ineligible, resulting in the loss of the vote for everyone who voted for one of them—but presumably Mr. Voeltz will not be among that number, even though he is the one bring the legal action. Nowhere does Voeltz explain how his personal right to vote is threatened.
Voeltz rejects the enforcement of presidential eligibility being a political question by saying “There is no demonstrable textual assignment within the Constitution of the task of vetting eligibility of presidential candidates solely to a branch of government,” rejecting the argument that the 20th Amendment does just this. Voeltz says that it is a judicial question. (Of course the 20th Amendment deals with the “President elect,” not presidential candidates.)
On the main point, the argument that Cruz and Rubio are not eligible, Voeltz hits Cruz with this:
If Ted Cruz would not have been considered a US citizen at birth in 1933 [prior to 1934 citizenship was only passed by fathers to persons born overseas], if born under the same circumstance, he certainly cannot be a natural born citizen today.
Voeltz argues that Cruz is a US citizen by a naturalization act. Where Voeltz goes markedly off track is when he shifts the naturalization argument to Marco Rubio, born in the United States, making a fictional claim that the Supreme Court in “Afronym (sic)v. Rusk” called persons born in the US to alien parents “naturalized.” Clearly Voeltz does not understand the Supreme Court decision in US v. Wong, which determined that natural born citizenship under the Constitution was conferred by the common law, which only relied on place of birth and not the citizenship of parents.
Rather than the English Common Law, Voeltz says that the “law of nations” defined citizenship under the Constitution. He makes a good start, but then comes to a gap too broad to argue, so he leaps the chasm with an appeal to obvious truth:
The science of the relationship between nations certainly encompasses citizenship laws, a subject of treaties and friction between nations.
Then Voeltz tries to use Vattel’s “Law of Nations” as the codification of “natural law, or the law of nations.” He also brings up the apocryphal rejection of the “Hamilton draft.”
I can think of some better things that Michael Voeltz could have done with the $401 filing fee, but it’s his money.
To follow the case online, visit the Clerk of Court web site, and click the Search button on case CACE15022044.