POLITICS

Judge tosses suit challenging Ted Cruz's eligibility for Illinois ballot

  • Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tx., speaks to media during a rally at Liberty Plaza in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Kevin Liles)

    Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tx., speaks to media during a rally at Liberty Plaza in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Kevin Liles)

  • AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 4:  U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks on stage during the victory party for Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott on November 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

    AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 4: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks on stage during the victory party for Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott on November 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)  (2014 Getty Images)

A Chicago judge threw out a lawsuit against GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz that tried to remove him from the state ballot.

Cook County Circuit Judge Maureen Ward Kirby tossed a suit challenging Cruz’s eligibility for the Illinois ballot because he was born in Canada. Kirby ruled that the plaintiff, Chicago attorney Lawrence Joyce, did not properly file the petition to remove Cruz from the ballot.

Kirby said Joyce failed to give a copy of the petition to Cruz or state electoral board members, as required by Illinois law. Instead, Joyce served only lawyers representing Cruz and the board.

There's no issue here. It's very clear that Senator Cruz is a natural-born citizen.

- Sharee Langenstein, lawyer representing Ted Cruz

"I recognize that election decisions are of great importance to the public," the judge said. "But it's a matter of strict compliance."

Joyce says the Texas senator can't be president because he wasn't born in the U.S. Cruz and some legal experts say he's eligible because his mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born.

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Joyce backs Ben Carson but says he acted on his own.

According to Reuters, Sharee Langenstein, a lawyer representing Cruz in court, calling the suit "a misguided attempt to distract the voters away from the most qualified candidate we have for president, and that's Senator Ted Cruz."

"There's no issue here," she said. "It's very clear that Senator Cruz is a natural-born citizen."

Illinois' primary is March 15 although early voting has started. Joyce says he'll decide whether to appeal after seeing how Cruz fares in Super Tuesday primaries.

Includes reporting by The Associated Press.

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