Chuck Todd: Why Not Ask a Court to Say Cruz Eligible to Run?

Betraying his ignorance of the Constitution, MSNBC's Chuck Todd today essentially asked Cruz campaign senior communications advisor Alice Stewart why her boss doesn't just waltz up the marble staircase of a federal courthouse to get a federal judge, any federal judge, to rule from the bench that the Texas senator is a natural-born citizen and hence eligible to serve as president if elected.

The Trump campaign said they "will do [the debate] as soon as you guys get a [sic] approval from a court that you're eligible to run for president," Todd reminded Stewart, asking, "Do you consider that a real counter-offer?"

When Stewart dismissed the birther nontroversy, Todd shot back, "Why not take him up? Call his bluff? Get the judgment and say, OK, let's go?"

But in the words of the Geico commercial one-liner that's since become a meme, "That's not how this works. That's not how ANY of this works."

Simply put, the Constitution's "case or controversy clause" only allows actual disputes to work through the federal judiciary, basically lawsuits pitting one party against another over an actual dispute between said parties.

Here's the relevant transcript:

MSNBC
MTP Daily
January 28, 2016; 5:08 p.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: I know that your campaign is, the senator issued a debate challenge to Donald Trump, a one-on-one debate challenge. They have responded in saying they will do it as soon as you guys get a [sic] approval from a court that you're eligible to run for president. Do you consider that a real counter-offer?

ALICE STEWART: That issue has been put to bed a long time ago. The voters out there understand completely that Ted Cruz is a natural-born citizen, he is completely, 100 percent eligible to run for president.

TODD: Why not take him up? Call his bluff? Get the judgment and say, OK, let's go?

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.