Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
Attorney Philip J. Berg
President-elect Barack Obama and the Democratic National Convention have let a Dec. 1 deadline slip by without responding to Pennsylvania attorney Philip J. Berg’s petition for writ of certiorari demanding Obama produce a legitimate birth certificate to document his eligibility for office.
While the Federal Election Commission waived its right to respond to the complaint on Nov. 18, the solicitor general’s office is refusing to say whether the waiver was also filed on behalf of Obama and the DNC.
Berg filed his petition on Oct. 30, and according to procedure, a response from the defendants was due today. But when WND contacted the U.S. Supreme Court and the solicitor general’s office, officials referenced the FEC’s waiver and dodged any questions about Barack Obama and the DNC filing separate responses.
America’s Right blogger and legal writer Jeff Schreiber has followed the case closely.
“There are a number of reasons why the respondents here would choose not to respond,” Schreiber speculated. “First, because the court only grants between 70 and 120 of the 8,000 or so petitions it receives every year, perhaps they just liked their odds of Berg’s petition getting denied. Second, because they have made arguments as to Berg’s lack of standing several times at the district court level and beyond, perhaps they felt as though any arguments had already been made and were available on the record. Or, perhaps the waiver shows that the FEC and other respondents do not take seriously the allegations put forth by Berg, and did not wish to legitimize the claims with a response.”
But one thing that is not clear is whether the FEC is filing for itself or on behalf of all respondents, he added.
FEC attorney Gregory G. Garre is listed as the only name under “Attorneys for Respondents.” There are no additional attorneys listed for Obama or the DNC – and the waiver was filed by “respondents Federal Election Commission, et. al,” suggesting the response was on behalf of other defendants as well.
“As it were, the FEC’s attorney, Gregory Garre, is with the Solicitor General’s office, and does not represent Obama or the DNC,” Schreiber wrote. “While attorneys acting on behalf of a group of defendants or respondents is not necessarily rare, the difference here is the involvement of the Solicitor General’s office, a federal office.”
Court documents show the Federal Election Commission waived its right to respond on Nov. 18.
Berg told America’s Right he was taken aback when he learned that the FEC – a federal regulatory agency – had filed the waiver.
“I’m surprised because I think they should take the position that the Supreme Court should grant standing to us,” he said. “I think they have a responsibility not only to Phil Berg, but to all citizens of this country, to put forth a sense of balance which otherwise doesn’t seem to exist.
“However, if this was filed by the FEC on behalf of the DNC and Barack Obama too, it reeks of collusion,” he said, noting that the attorney from the solicitor general’s office should be representing federal respondents and not the DNC or Obama.