Judge Strikes Intervention in Suit Challenging Cruz's Eligibility

Judge Strikes Intervention in Suit Challenging Cruz's Eligibility Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

A Houston federal judge signed an order Feb. 17 that strikes a candidate’s intervention in a lawsuit challenging Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president or vice president.

Terry Wayne Wheelock of Fort Worth, an independent candidate for president, filed the motion for intervention.

In the order, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller of the Southern District of Texas found that when Wheelock filed his motion to intervene, he did not include a pleading required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24 (c). That rule provides that a motion to intervene needs to “state the grounds for intervention and be accompanied by a pleading that sets out the claim or defense for which intervention is sought,” Gray wrote.

Wheelock filed a complaint in intervention Feb. 1 in a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment on Cruz’s eligibility to run. Wheelock seeks a “declaratory judgment, a ruling and order setting a precedent affecting his campaign for the presidency of the United States.”

He said he will refile to comply with the rule.

On Jan. 14, Houston trial lawyer Newton B. Schwartz filed the complaint against Cruz. In Schwartz v. Cruz, Schwartz alleges that Cruz, who was born in Canada in 1970, is neither a native-born or natural-born citizen.

Cruz has not filed an answer to Schwartz’s suit, but in a Feb. 8 notice of consent to Schwartz filing a second amended complaint, Cruz alleged he would file a motion to dismiss.

The issue of Cruz’s eligibility to run for president moved to the forefront of the Republican primary race Feb. 15 when Donald Trump threatened to file a suit against Cruz challenging his eligibility.

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