Obama eligibility challenges go forward
The Obama eligibility issue never went away, as many lawyers raised challenges in several State courts. Now several cases in Georgia will go forward, after a judge refused to dismiss them. Other challenges are pending in New Hampshire, Arizona, Alabama, Tennessee, Hawaii, and other States. If any of them succeed, this could change the dynamic of the election and the health care reform bill debate.
Obama eligibility issues: Georgia
At least three groups of people sued in Georgia to say that the Secretary of State should not place Barack H. Obama on any primary or other ballot. Nor should the Secretary of State certify an election of Presidential electors who have pledged to vote for Obama in the Electoral College. The reason: Barack H. Obama is not eligible to the office of President. If he is not eligible, then any Presidential Elector who votes for him would violate the Constitution. That document says in relevant part:
No person, except a natural-born citizen…shall be eligible to the office of President.
The law in Georgia says that any candidate, before he appear on a ballot, must qualify, under the Constitution, for the office he seeks. This is the heart of the Obama eligibility argument, and the reason for the challenges.
According to WND, the three different Obama eligibility plaintiff groups are:
- David Farrar, Leah Lax, Cody Judy, Thomas Malaren and Laurie Roth. Attorney Orly Taitz represents them.
- David Weldon. Attorney Van R. Irion of the Liberty Legal Foundation represents him.
- Carl Swensson and Kevin Richard Powell. Attorney J. Mark Hatfield represents them.
Of the three, Orly Taitz is the most famous. She has repeatedly filed motions in the courts in Hawaii, seeking to enjoin the health department to release a long-form birth certificate. Several courts in other States have fined Taitz for, as they held, filing frivolous motions. But a ruling yesterday by Judge Michael M. Malihi of the Georgia state Office of State Administrative Hearings suggests otherwise.
Judge Malihi found, and ruled, that:
- Barack H. Obama must be Constitutionally eligible to be listed on a Presidential primary ballot. That his election is a federal election does not matter. (Under the Constitution, State legislatures set the “time, place and manner” of elections of Senators and Representatives, and also have direct and sole power to “direct” the choice of Presidential Electors.)
- The Georgia Department of State, and any voting citizen and lawful resident of Georgia, have standing to challenge the eligibility of any candidate.
Statutory provisions must be read as they are written, and this court finds that the cases cited by [Obama] are not controlling. When the court construes a constitutional or statutory provision, the first step … is to examine the plain statutory language. Section 21-2-1(a) states that ‘every candidate for federal and state office’ must meet the qualifications for holding that particular office, and this court has seen no case law limiting this provision, nor found any language that contains an exception for the office of president or stating that the provision does not apply to the presidential preference primary.
Attorney Irion issued this press release after Judge Malihi’s ruling came down. Irion was the only one to file an opposition brief. That might be why his client’s case will be the first that the court will hear, on January 26, 2012. The court will then hear the Swensson-Powell case, and will hear the case by Taitz’ plaintiffs last of all.
The Georgia court has removed every procedural obstacle to the three Obama eligibility cases and will now judge them on their merits. The various cases raise two kinds of issue:
- Whether Obama was born in the United States, or outside it. Taitz, in particular, is not satisfied with the Obama birth certificate that the White House released last April.
- Whether, regardless of where Obama was born, he can qualify as a natural-born citizen, given that his father was a British colonial subject. This is Irion’s argument, and it matches exactly the argument by Nick Purpura and Don Laster of New Jersey, in their comprehensive case against the health care reform bill (Purpura v. Sebelius, Docket No. 11-7275).
Last fall, Craig Andresen offered the case of Minor v. Happersett (1875). The Supreme Court then ruled that:
The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also.
Obama’s father was never a citizen of the United States. Emmerich de Vattel, in The Law of Nations, said that no person not born in-country of a citizen father could be called a natural-born citizen. Purpura and Laster cited the Minor case and two others (Venus in 1812, and Perkins v. Elg) to support their view that the Supreme Court agreed with Vattel (and in fact cited Vattel in those two other cases). Andresen reminded his readers again two days ago that the Minor case would be significant in the case of Weldon v. Obama that the Georgia court will hear three weeks from today.
Purpura told CNAV yesterday that he was watching the Weldon and other Georgia cases closely and looked forward to using a favorable ruling to show that his own Obama eligibility challenge is valid.
Obama eligibility in other States
Obama eligibility cases and arguments are pending in other States:
- Liberty Legal Foundation has cases pending in Tennessee and Arizona.
- Yesterday, three New Hampshire legislatures delivered an affidavit to the New Hampshire Attorney General giving their reasons for an Obama eligibility challenge.
- A resident of Alabama has raised an Obama eligibility challenge in his State.
- Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, opened his own Obama eligibility investigation as a “cold case.” The Obama administration has raised a trumped-up charge of racial discrimination in response. Furthermore, a habitual activist is trying to have Arpaio recalled from office. But a recent anti-Arpaio rally drew only 12 to 15 participants, and the event organizer was not among them.
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