A Republican voter had filed a lawsuit alleging that two US senators could not run in the 2016 presidential election because neither of them were American citizens. The plaintiff, Michael Voeltz, maintained that senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were not natural born citizens of the United States, as the Constitution requires, and therefore could not be placed on the ballot in Florida’s March 15 presidential primary.
The lawsuit noted that Rubio had been born in Miami in 1971 to Cuban immigrant parents who later became American citizens. Cruz’ birthplace was Canada, to an American mother and a Cuban-born father. When he was four, he moved to Texas with his parents.
Following legal tradition, lawyers for Cruz and Rubio argued that the term “natural born citizen” applied to anyone who was a citizen at birth. The Naturalization Act of 1790 held that the status also applied to persons born to US citizens outside the country. Voeltz asserted the phrase covered only persons born in the US whose parents were citizens.
Dismissing the case, Judge Bowman told Voeltz he lacked standing, that is, the capacity to file a lawsuit in that jurisdiction. The primary election went on as planned.