The two New Jersey Obama eligibility challengers won an emergency appeal. But they must argue their case by telephone, not in public.
Obama eligibility arguments
Republican Nick Purpura of Wall Township, and Democrat Ted Moran of Toms River, contend that Barack H. Obama cannot run for President in a New Jersey primary. They argue two main points:
The birth certificate document that Obama released on April 27, 2011, is dubious at best, an outright fraud at worst. Therefore, Obama has never shown that he was born in the United States.
Even if he were born in the United States, his father was a British colonial subject. Therefore he is not a natural born citizen within the meaning of Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the Constitution of the United States
But Administrative Law Judge Jeff S. Masin rejected their Obama eligibility challenge on April 10, 2012. He ruled that Obama need not even show that he is eligible, and that he is a natural born citizen.
Obama eligibility: appeal
Mario Apuzzo walks toward the Office of Administrative Law with his two clients. Photo: CNAV.
Purpura and Moran appealed on Friday, May 11. Yesterday (May 14), Judge Philip S. Carchman, a “senior judge” of the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, granted the appeal. He also accelerated the appeal, and acted sua sponte, meaning on the court’s own initiative.
The three judges who will hear the case are Carchman, Clarkson S. Fisher, and Linda G. Baxter. (Of interest is that Judge Fisher has a Federal building named after him in Trenton.)
Purpura and Moran must brief the court on their argument by May 18. According to their lawyer, Mario Apuzzo, they will argue that ALJ Masin and Secretary of State Kim Guadagno made four mistakes in listing Obama on the ballot:
Even though Obama need not consent to a ballot listing, he still must show that he is qualified for the office.
The phrase natural born citizen means more than a child born in-country “and subject to the jurisdiction.” Amendment XIV says that such a person is a citizen, but does not deem him a natural born citizen. (Emmerich de Vattel, in The Law of Nations,said that a natural born citizen is born in-country to two citizen parents.)
Obama has not shown reliably that he was born in Hawaii, so the ALJ and the SOS should not assume that.
Obama cannot be a natural born citizen if his birthplace is in question.
Obama has until May 25 to brief the court in response.
Argument over the telephone?
The last part of the order is the most astounding: oral argument will take place by tele-conference on May 30. at 1:00 p.m.
The Rules of the New Jersey Courts provide for telephonic oral arguments on appeal. Any court may order oral argument by telephone, but must furnish a public transcript.
ALJ Masin heard the initial case in public, and allowed CNAV, and activist Dan Haggerty of The Baer-Haggerty Offensive, to record the proceedings on video. Judge Carchman seems to be afraid to do this. Instead he and his colleagues will hear this case behind worse than closed doors, out of the view or even the hearing of the public. All that the public will ever see is a dry transcript that few will bother to read.
Purpura declined comment, citing his role as plaintiff-appellant. Moran, Apuzzo, and Haggerty could not be reached for comment.
Carchman’s order is one of the most disturbing in any Obama eligibility case. Administrative Law Judges have heard Obama eligibility cases in full public view, and even (in Georgia) allowed streaming video from court. Now an appellate court will hear argument by telephone. This case raises no question of force, violence, or disrespect. It does raise the most serious Constitutional challenge since the Vice-Presidential candidacy of Chester A. Arthur in 1881. A case like this deserves a full public hearing. Thanks to Judge Carchman, it will not get one.