Standing is essentially the right to be heard in court. The Latin legal term is locus standi; and it is described as “the federal law doctrine that focuses on whether a prospective plaintiff can show that some personal legal interest has been invaded by the defendant. It is not enough that a person is merely interested as a member of the general public in the resolution of the dispute. The person must have a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy.” [According to legal-dictionary.freedictionary.com]
Question: Does a voting citizen of the United States…or better yet, does any voting citizen in the United States…have a “personal stake” in whether a candidate for President is constitutionally eligible to serve in the office to which he/she would be sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” under which that voter will be governed?
Isn’t an even better question, how can a voting citizen of the United States NOT have a personal stake in whether a candidate for the office of President of the United States is eligible to serve in the office whose sworn duty it would be to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution?
It would stand to reason that citizens of the United States, who have the constitutional right to petition their government to address grievances, are therefore likewise vested with the right to petition the government from breaching the same contract that has vested them with the right to petition it.
Such may not be the case however, with regard to something as basic as the constitutional eligibility requirements for the presidency. An individual citizen of the United States with reason to dispute whether a given candidate for the American presidency meets the age or residence requirements as delineated in Article II of the Constitution of the United States, would have nowhere in the federal judicial system. At least that is the effect of the decisions of federal courts which have denied ‘standing’ to citizens who have challenged the constitutional eligibility of candidates for the presidency.
There is a legitimate and judicially unresolved question as to whether a foreign born individual—one with dual Canadian and United States citizenship from birth well into adulthood—is a natural born citizen of the United States, which is an Article II constitutional requirement. While such an individual—U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)—is campaigning for President; this issue has not been resolved.
It is a legitimate issue and a real question because there is a discernible constitutional distinction between the citizenship at birth status that Mr. Cruz has, and the citizenship at birth status of an individual who was born in the United States and under its jurisdiction.
The distinction is that the citizenship at birth status that Mr. Cruz has—which results from his mother’s U.S. citizenship—is entirely owing to and dependent upon U.S. immigration and naturalization law at the time of his birth, which conferred citizenship at birth status on certain individuals born abroad to U.S. citizens; whereas the citizenship at birth status of an individual who is born in the United States and under its jurisdiction is not at all owing to, and is independent of, any U.S. law, much less independent of U.S. immigration and naturalization law.
The citizenship at birth status that Mr. Cruz has is totally at the pleasure of Congress and the legislative process; in that Congress can at any time, pursuant to its Article 1 Section 8 authority (to make immigration and naturalization rules), decide to no longer confer citizenship status upon individuals born under the same circumstances as was Mr. Cruz; whereas the citizenship at birth status that those born in the United States (and/or under its jurisdiction) have is irrespective of anything that Congress can do, simply because the citizenship at birth status of individuals born in the United States or under its jurisdiction results organically or naturally from the fact of their birth—and is expressly enshrined in the Constitution.
So, since there is an undeniable, discernible distinction between a legal born citizen, whose citizenship at birth results from statute, and a natural born citizen, whose citizenship at birth results from the fact of his/her birth—independent and irrespective of statute—then one is not necessarily the other; and thus there is at least a legitimate and unresolved constitutional question if they are the same.
But how can an individual American citizen qualify for standing with regard to a legitimate, relevant, and officially unresolved constitutional issue? Put another way, why shouldn’t any citizen of the United States, whose liberties are guaranteed by its Constitution, be eligible to question the government of the United States as to whether its executive branch is about to be administered by someone who is constitutionally ineligible to do so?