Election 2020

Alan Grayson Explains Why He'll Sue Ted Cruz Over Presidential Eligibility

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

The congressman who infamously said during the Obamacare debate that Republicans wanted sick people to “die quickly” and said Planned Parenthood defunding proponents will shepherd in a wave of deaths said he will sue over Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) eligibility to be president.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) is running for the Senate seat Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is vacating to run for president.

Grayson is challenging Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat. Murphy defeated incumbent Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) in 2012.

On the GOP side, Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly are eyeing Rubio’s seat.

Grayson told MSNBC that he’ll sue over Canadian-born Cruz’s natural-born citizen status if the senator is the GOP nominee.

“Because the Constitution means what it says and says what it means. That’s why. I don’t agree with you that there’s any sort of consensus about this at all. Larry Tribe seems to be on my side of the argument,” he explained.

Tribe was one of Cruz’s professors at Harvard Law. Donald Trump has been citing Tribe’s skepticism over Cruz’s eligibility, saying it’s not a settled matter in case law.

“Look, there’s a legal argument which you just addressed and a factual argument. Let’s start with the legal argument. You seem to think that natural-born citizen means somebody born to an American parent, right?” said Grayson, who also graduated from Harvard Law and clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“There is not much legal authority to support that and the Supreme Court has, in fact, never addressed that. A better argument can be made that it means you’re simply born in the United States. One of the words connote natural-born citizen, may be somebody born in the United States. Certainly, no reason to think it for sure means anything other than that,” the congressman continued.

“Now, with regard to the facts, there’s another problem that he has, which is that his mother was a registered voter, he relies upon his mother for his American citizenship. His mother was a registered voter in Canada. That just came out this week,” Grayson added. “If she was a registered voter in Canada, safe to say she was a citizen of Canada, like his father was. And if both parents were Canadian citizens, how can he claim American citizenship?”

On his standing to sue, Grayson said it simply would be his responsibility.

“Say the Republican Party nominated an elephant for president and the Democrats nominated a donkey — do you really think that nobody could raise an issue about that, that we’d just basically have to choose between the elephant and donkey? Of course, we wouldn’t,” he said.

Grayson denied his lawsuit would be like birthers claiming President Obama was born in Kenya.

“That case is about someone who was born in the United States. This is about someone who was born in Canada. I’m not going to get into legal strategies here. I’m pretty confident that the standing is not a problem,” he said. “And, by the way, the whole standing document comes from our friend Justice Scalia, who I worked with for a year. So I know a thing or two about standing.”

“That’s exactly what makes America so great. Anybody can sue anybody for anything… if the Republicans are foolish enough to nominate somebody who’s ineligible for the job, that’s really not my problem.”