A veteran law enforcement officer and director of criminal justice courses says the 2008 election results ultimately could come down to a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which issued a ruling eight years ago that helped put George W. Bush in the White House.
The assessment comes from James H. Hafeman, a veteran of decades in law enforcement who supervised an armed security force, taught criminal justice and directed criminal justice programs in Michigan.
Hafeman said his argument is based mostly on the U.S. Constitution, which outlines the requirements for eligibility for president, including that the candidate be a “natural-born” citizen.
A growing number of complaints raise questions about the citizenship of Democratic President-elect Barack Obama, with a number of legal challenges already making their way through the court system, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
The complaints contend that Obama may not have been born in Hawaii as his campaign has stated, raising questions about his U.S. citizenship.
In one case, according to Hafeman, Obama needs to respond to the Supreme Court by Dec. 1 “and present true and accurate documentation that he is a natural-born citizen of the United States.”
“The controversy has evolved from statements by individuals who were witnesses of his birth. Evidently, Barack Obama was born in Kenya because his mother was unable to fly so late in her pregnancy. Upon arrival in Hawaii, Mrs. Obama went to a women’s service agency to obtain a Certificate of Live Birth,” Hafeman wrote.
WND editor and founder Joseph Farah today launched a petition drive, and tens of thousands of voters already have signed the request for verification of Obama’s birth place.
It calls on all controlling legal authorities to take seriously the matter of where and when and to whom Obama was born and whether he qualifies as a “natural-born American citizen,” according to Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution.
To participate, sign the petition here.
However, shifting the focus of the dispute beyond the actual birth location, which is “in the court system for determination,” Hafeman notes the replacement of a president-elect who is found to be ineligible isn’t quite so simple.
“While many have speculated that an official declaration of Obama’s
ineligibility may lead to the appointment of Joe Biden as president, the
speculation is inaccurate. Since it was up to the respective political
party to properly vet their candidate before a primary election, they may
not qualify to be rewarded for their lack of integrity. Additionally there
is no separate balloting for president and vice-president; they share the
same slot. Obama’s ineligibility would effectively void the entire
Obama-Biden ticket,” he said.
Therefore, he said, other provisions likely would come into play.
“We already know that if two candidates have an equal number of Electoral
College votes, the members of the House of Representatives will collectively
choose the president. Many citizens have been led to believe that it is the
responsibility of the House is to decide the winner by majority vote, but
that is incorrect. Members of the House of Representatives from each state
would meet in a state-caucus type of meeting and vote with all congressional
members from their respective state. The majority of the state’s delegation
would only have only one vote. Out of the 50 votes allotted among the House
of Representative members, 25 plus a minimum of one vote would be required
to elect the president,” he wrote.
William Ball, a political science professor at Northern Michigan University, has said, “The results of
the Electoral College are sent to the president of the Senate, but if there
is no winner, then the House of Representatives, not the whole Congress,
decides who will be president. But, in this process the State of Vermont or
Wyoming with their one vote each would have as much power as California or
Hafeman said the Constitution demands the same process for a situation in which a seated president becomes ineligible, but Obama won’t be inaugurated until Jan. 20.
“This may be the first known case
where a presidential candidate intentionally attempted to side step the
specific requirements of the Constitution in order to run for the office of
president,” Hafeman said. “The 12th Amendment is quite clear. If the president is found
ineligible, the vice-president shall become the president. However, the key
is the ‘president,’ not the president-elect. In other words, if Mr. Obama
is found ineligible to hold the office prior to his January 20, 2009,
inauguration, the 12th Amendment would not necessarily be the guiding
instrument for the Supreme Court.
“The Justices would be free to make their
own determination regarding the specifics of the general election,” Hafeman wrote.
So, Hafeman concluded, the high court may have to make some decisions.
If the worse fears about Obama’s birthplace prove true, Hafeman said, the court will have to decide the consequences for providing inaccurate assurances of eligibility.
“Second, what process will be used to designate someone who will assume the office?” he wrote.
“Since all the secretaries of state will be forced to nullify the
Obama-Biden ticket, the Electoral College votes would go to the next highest
contender. The principle would award McCain-Palin with the total possible
Electoral College votes – all 538 electors,” he suggested.
“In the national-interest scenario, the question that might be asked by
the Democrats may focus on the question as to whether or not they could hold
an emergency national convention in order for the party to re-nominate a
president and/or another vice-president candidate. If the Supreme Court
declares the entire election invalid, then that may be a possibility, but it
is highly unlikely since every other presidential team on the ticket were
legitimate,” he wrote.
“The Supreme Court may decide a new election is in order and would have
to waive the two-term limitations of George W. Bush so that he can remain in
office until the conclusion of the election. The continuation of his term
is a viable course of action, but it may not be an action favored by the
Supreme Court. Instead, the justices may simply view the anomaly as a
political race with an illegitimate and disqualified opponent, which would
result in a win for the McCain-Palin ticket.”