Ted Cruz Facing 'Birther' Challenges to Appear on Primary Ballots

At least seven states have filed lawsuits.

February 19, 2016, 4:20 PM

— -- Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is facing challenges to his appearance on primary ballots in at least seven states, as some are questioning whether he is a "natural-born citizen."

So-called "birther" challengers have filed federal lawsuits in Alabama, Utah and Texas and have filed lawsuits in state court in Vermont and Illinois, where a judge today ordered a hearing for March 1, two weeks before the Illinois primary. The filing dates vary with each lawsuit.

A challenge had been filed in the state election division of Indiana that was denied today.

And in court papers filed by two voters in New York state court this week, a complaint argues that Cruz should be struck from that state’s primary ballot because he “is not a natural born citizen of the United States.”

The plaintiffs, Barry Korman, 81, of Manhattan and William Gallo, 85, of Long Island, channel an argument made on the campaign trail by Donald Trump, who said as recently as Monday that Cruz “doesn’t have the right to serve as president, or even run as president. He was born in Canada.”

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and has repeatedly maintained that he is a "natural-born citizen" as is required by the Constitution to run for president.

Trump has threatened to sue Cruz over his eligibility to be commander-in-chief. "He is welcome to file whatever lawsuit he wants," Cruz said in a CNN Town Hall Wednesday night.

The Cruz campaign did not respond to the latest lawsuit, but said at the Town Hall that his "mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a natural-born citizen. I was born in Canada."

Most legal experts contacted by ABC News say that Cruz would almost certainly meet the definition of a natural-born citizen and therefore would be eligible for the presidency. But the matter has not been decided with finality by the courts.

The lawsuit in New York does not target Cruz directly but rather seeks an order from the court that the New York State Board of Elections not designate Cruz a candidate.

In the Vermont suit, a man named Brooke Paige said Cruz does not meet the “natural born Citizen qualification set forth in the U.S. Constitution.”

In Utah, the challenge comes from a voter named Walter Wagner who argued “Having an unqualified candidate compete with the numerous qualified candidates potentially skews the results.”

The plaintiff in the Texas lawsuit says he supports Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

ABC News has reached out to the Cruz campaign for comment.