Obama eligibility: NJ ALJ ducks issues

The Obama birth certificate. Why is this still accepted as valid? The Birther movement still matters, for the precedent.
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In the latest Obama eligibility challenge, an Administrative Law Judge cleared Obama for the New Jersey Democratic Primary today. The two men who objected to Obama’s nominating petition vowed to appeal.

Obama eligibility issues

Nick Purpura of Wall Township, NJ, and Ted Moran of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection Thursday with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Lawyer Mario Apuzzo of Jamesberg, NJ, delivered the brief and spoke directly to Robert Giles, Director of Elections. Apuzzo argued Purpura and Moran’s case today (Tuesday, April 10) at the Office of Administrative Law in Mercerville. The Elections Division notified the Obama campaign at once, and they sent their own lawyer, Alexandra Hill, to appear. Administrative Law Judge (and Associate Director of the OAL) Jeff Masin presided.

Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two grounds:

  1. No one knows exactly who Barack H. Obama is, because he has had three different names in life. Furthermore, he has never furnished a true copy of his birth certificate to the Secretary of State. So no one can be sure that Obama was born in the United States.
  2. Obama’s father was a British colonial subject. He not only was not a naturalized citizen on the alleged date of Obama’s birth, but indeed never sought naturalization. Therefore Obama could never be a natural-born citizen no matter where he was born.

Ms. Hill offered no evidence, but spent her time objecting to the entire case, to every witness whom Apuzzo called, and every document he tried to introduce. In every specific case, she said that the documents were neither originals nor certified copies. More generally, she said repeatedly that New Jersey law did not obligate Obama in any way to prove that he was eligible to the office of President. The only grounds for challenging a nominating petition, said Hill, were whether the petitions were in the proper form, all who signed were registered voters, no voter signed more than one petition, whether the campaign gathered enough signatures, etc.

Apuzzo countered that the New Jersey Constitution and at least one case on point (Strother, 6 NJ @ 565), obliged the Secretary of State to find affirmatively whether a given candidate was qualified for the office he or she sought, or not.

A surprise admission

Mario Apuzzo, arguing the latest Obama eligibility challenge

Mario Apuzzo walks toward the Office of Administrative Law with his two clients. Photo: CNAV.

About two-thirds of the way through the hearing, Hill admitted in open court something that no lawyer for the Obama campaign has ever admitted. Obama never furnished a true copy of his birth certificate to the New Jersey Secretary of State. Furthermore, the PDF file that the White House has served to the Internet since April 27, 2012, is not relevant to the case in any way.

Hill conceded this point after Apuzzo tried to call Brian Wilcox, an expert document analyst. He was ready to show that no one could rely on the PDF file as a substitute for a hard-copy long-form birth certificate. But Judge Masin said at once that neither he nor Secretary of State Kim Guadagno had ever seen a birth certificate, whether on paper, as a PDF file, or on the Internet. He told Apuzzo that calling Wilcox would be “premature.”

Then Masin turned to Hill and asked her directly:

Is it your legal position that the document on the Internet is irrelevant to this case?

Hill replied, “Yes.” Masin then asked:

And indeed you concede that Mr. Obama has not produced an alleged birth certificate to the Secretary of State.

Hill at first said, “It has been released nationally,” but then admitted that she did not know personally that Obama had given any such document to the Secretary of State, nor did she intend giving such a document to the court today. But she also argued, after Judge Masin asked her repeatedly, that Obama need not produce any evidence at all.

Apuzzo told CNAV during a recess in the hearing that this was the most stunning thing that any lawyer for Obama had ever admitted, in an Obama eligibility case or in any other case. When the hearing finally adjourned at 12:30 p.m., Apuzzo was confident of prevailing on this point. He observed that Hill, after objecting to everything that Apuzzo tried to introduce into evidence, offered no evidence on her own behalf and even admitted that the infamous PDF document was legally worthless.

A shocking turnabout

Judge Jeff Masin heard the Obama eligibility case in New Jersey

The Hon. Jeff Masin presides at the latest Obama eligibility hearing. Photo: CNAV

But the judge shocked Apuzzo when, at 6:26 p.m., Apuzzo opened his e-mail to find a message from Masin saying that the Obama campaign had prevailed on both points. Said the judge, in so many words:

As far as I’m concerned, Obama was born in Hawaii.

Apuzzo could not explain how Judge Masin could rule that way, after observing in open court that neither Obama nor his surrogates had shown that he was born in Hawaii.

Within two hours, according to a deadline that Masin gave him, Apuzzo filed an exception to Masin’s ruling. Apuzzo took exception to the following:

  1. Judge Masin ruled that Obama was born in Hawaii with no evidence on record, after acknowledging that fact during the hearing.
  2. Judge Masin ruled that Obama need not comply with statute to show that he is eligible, solely because he need not “consent” to someone circulating a nominating petition for him.
  3. The judge suggested that Obama might have to show eligibility later. He laid no basis for such a ruling.
  4. The judge misread the precedents and gave short shrift to the historical evidence that the Framers of the Constitution defined “natural-born citizen” as one born in-country to two citizen parents. Apuzzo devoted half of his 30-page exception to this analysis alone.

Apuzzo plans to appeal directly to the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. He earlier told CNAV that he was ready to argue before the State and even United States Supreme Courts if he had to.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

62 Responses to Obama eligibility: NJ ALJ ducks issues

  1. JT says:

    As much as you’d like it to be, there is no conspiracy. It’s a simple fact that – as in Georgia – the birthers have no case to offer. This applies to both the country of birth and the natural born citizen stuff.

    Adults would accept the court’s ruling and move on. Sadly it seems as if all the birthers can do is slate the justice system (which would, of course, be a WONDERFUL system if it found in their favour).

    It’s time to face reality – birtherism is dead. It always was dead. It’s time to move on. Maybe by focusing on some real issues for once.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Except for one thing: there is only one way that anyone can really lose to an empty chair, and that’s if the system is rigged.

      Challenges will crop up all across the land. In the meantime, this case is headed for the Appellate Division of the NJ Superior Court.

      • jefftavolieri says:

        Yes, it’s rigged, but that’s the point. We want this man to be our president, Terry. I don’t care if he was born on the moon. Obama is what is best for this country at the time and the courts agree unanimously. It’s people like you who spur the will of the people (and the courts) who make me sick. If the best man to lead this country out of the mess conservatives got us into isn’t a “natural born citizen”, who in their right mind would care? Only a bigoted racist, that’s who.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          I appreciate your candor. Really, I do. So refreshing. I do so respect brass more than hypocrisy.

  2. […] Administrative Law Judge Jeff S. Masin ruled that Barack Obama eligible to appear on the Democratic primary ballot, according to a report on Conservative News and Views. […]

  3. rpeh says:

    Terry, even one of your fellow birthers realised this case was doomed from the start. Read this post from “Give Us Liberty”: http://giveusliberty1776.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/message-from-dwight-kehoe.html

    That post identifies two key problems with your friends’ suit:

    1) There’s no requirement in New Jersey law for anyone to prove who they are. You might not like his birth certificate, but Obama could have submitted a piece of paper with “birf cirtifikut” written on it in crayon and it wouldn’t matter.

    2) Obama isn’t standing for election in New Jersey – you’re electing delegates.

    In other words, appeal all you like but it isn’t going anywhere.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      The delegates shall be bound to vote for a specific person whose name appears on the ballot. If the delegates were running under their own names, you would have an argument.

      The other author ignores the Strothers case. As did the judge. That’s what Purpura and Moran will bring up on appeal.

  4. […] challenge, an Administrative Law Judge privileged Obama for a New Jersey Democratic Primary yesterday. The dual group who objected to Obama’s nominating petition vowed to […]

  5. […] Soetoro’s attorney made a very important admission: […]

  6. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  7. tonyscott317 says:

    I like this site since I see both sides being presented – some very polarized, but nonetheless different. I used to be on the side that didn’t pay much attention to the BC issue until such a blatant fraud was coughed up and seriously put out there as the real deal. I very experience with Adobe, although I wouldn’t call myself an expert. Even so, it was obvious within the first 30 seconds that this was bogus not even counting the other amateurish missteps in the document.

    What I find troubling is everything else here. I couldn’t care less if someone wears a blue jacket or a red one since that’s just a distraction that have been given to us to kick around while the real issues play out behind the curtain. What I DO care about is adherence to the US Constitution and the rule of law. I had big problems with that under Bush, but now I have ENORMOUS issues on steroids.

    When any of you look at the staggering debt accumulated since 2006, the downgrading of our national credit rating, the explosive growth in the federal government (which only has 14 enumerated powers), the dismissal of the checks and balances we’ve had for over two centuries, the federal take-over of banks, car companies, insurance companies, and on and on and on – don’t you get just a little concerned? Don’t you see the bigger picture?

    If you’re not a paid anti-blogger, time to connect some dots here.

  8. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  9. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    Apuzzo’s claim that Stothers v. Martini, 6 N.J. 560 (N.J. S. Ct. 1951), “obliged the Secretary of State to find affirmatively whether a given candidate was qualified for the office he or she sought, or not” is breathtakingly wrong. I don’t think either of you read the case. At all.

    In Stothers, the clerk of the city of Passaic refused to accept petitions for nomination of Stothers (not Strothers) because he didn’t qualify for office according to the express language of the relevant statute: “Each member (of the commission) shall have been a citizen and resident of the municipality for at least two years immediately preceding his election, or shall have voted in such municipality at the two general elections immediately preceding his election.”

    The plaintiffs argued that the clerk’s refusal to accept their petitions violated their constitutional right to nominate whoever they wanted. Though it’s immaterial, it’s unclear which constitution they’re talking about, as the case was decided with reference to the New Jersey constitution. The New Jersey Supreme Court’s task was to decide “the constitutionality of R.S. 40:72-1, as amended, N.J.S.A. and in resolving this issue we need only decide whether the Legislature may prescribe reasonable qualifications for elective municipal offices and, if so, whether the requirements of the statute in question are reasonable.” Thus, the court was only deciding whether the NJ constitution permitted a municipality to enact a statute that expressly set qualifications for office where the constitution was silent on such qualifications: it did. The court did not decide, nor was the issue even presented, whether a candidate nevertheless has some independent obligation to prove he is qualified for office where the operative statute clearly doesn’t say he does. In other words, the court disagreed that the NJ Constitution, which said nothing about qualifications for commissioner, trumped the municipal statute, which did.

  10. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  11. […] Two NJ Objections Filed Against Obama’s Ballot Eligibility […]

  12. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  13. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  14. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be  allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due  to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  15. […] […]

  16. […] in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. In what may turn out to be one of the biggest scandals in the history of the United States, the […]

  17. […] […]

  18. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  19. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  20. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  21. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be  allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due  to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  22. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed…. […]

  23. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  24. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  25. […] This article used this article as the basis for their post – […]

  26. […] in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed, however, to its being tossed as necessary to show for eligibility […]

  27. […] in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed, however, to its being tossed as necessary to show for eligibility […]

  28. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  29. […] Obama eligibility: NJ ALJ ducks issues […]

  30. […] Obama eligibility: NJ ALJ ducks issues […]

  31. […] in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed, however, to its being tossed as necessary to show for eligibility […]

  32. […] Obama eligibility: NJ ALJ ducks issues […]

  33. […] Obama eligibility: NJ ALJ ducks issues […]

  34. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  35. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  36. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  37. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  38. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  39. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  40. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  41. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  42. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  43. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  44. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  45. […] Obama eligibility: NJ ALJ ducks issues […]

  46. […] Obama is now basically asserting that only a legitimate document should be allowed as evidence in this case and therefore this one should be thrown out due to the fact that it’s not real. The Judge agreed. […]

  47. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  48. […] a stay of the ballot because they’ve been printed already.  When we argued the Obama case [in 2012], there was no issue about a stay; you accelerate the case because there’s no time.  This […]

  49. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  50. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  51. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  52. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  53. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  54. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

  55. […] of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two […]

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