Illinois judge dismisses Ted Cruz's eligibility complaint

US Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks after winning at his Iowa caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, on Feb 1, 2016.
US Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks after winning at his Iowa caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, on Feb 1, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An Illinois judge on Tuesday (March 1) threw out a lawsuit that sought to have Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz removed from the state’s primary election ballot on a technicality, saying it had not been properly served on the Board of Elections. 

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Maureen Ward Kirby in Chicago found that she did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the case because the plaintiff, Lawrence Joyce, did not properly file his petition for judicial review. 

Joyce, a lawyer and a pharmacist from the distant Chicago suburb of Poplar Grove, initially filed a complaint in January with the state Board of Elections.

When the board rejected the complaint, he filed the lawsuit seeking judicial review in Cook County. 

Kirby ruled that Joyce should have served the complaint directly to Cruz and the members of the election board, not to their lawyers.  In his lawsuit, Joyce argued Cruz cannot run for president under the US Constitution because the senator from Texas is not a “natural-born” citizen.

Cruz gained citizenship at birth because his mother is an American citizen, but Joyce contends that was a form of naturalisation.  Illinois’ primary is on March 15, but early voting has already begun.