Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Those who raised questions about his vague history before the election largely drew scorn from the mainstream media, which cited an online image from Obama’s campaign that purportedly proved his U.S. citizenship with a Hawaiian “Certification of Live Birth.”
Fifty-three percent nationwide, and majorities in 45 states individually, say “yes” when asked if there is “any merit” to the controversy surrounding his citizenship. Even in Obama’s own state, Illinois, the opinion is split 47-47 percent on the issue.
WND has reported on nearly 20 lawsuits filed in various courts around the nation, including several that have reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
They all in various ways allege Obama does not meet the “natural born citizen” clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, which reads, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
Some of the legal challenges have alleged Obama was not born in Hawaii, as he insists, but in Kenya. Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges also have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. Such cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Several details of Obama’s past have added twists to the question of his eligibility and citizenship, including his family’s move to Indonesia when he was a child, on what nation’s passport did he travel to Pakistan in the ’80s and conflicting reports from Obama’s family about his place of birth.
His campaign posted the image of a “Certification of Live Birth” online when the questions first arose, but critics have dismissed that as irrelevant, since at the time Hawaii granted such documents to parents whose children were born outside the state.
The America Online poll shows in South Dakota and Wyoming the opinion runs 65-40 that Obama’s eligibility needs to be investigated, but those figures are topped in Mississippi, where fully two-thirds believe the truths need to be revealed.
Of the more than 102,000 votes nationwide, the split is 53 percent believing there is an issue to investigate, 41 percent saying no and six percent undecided.
Even left-leaning Washington state came in at 53-42-5 saying there’s merit to the issue, and in California it was 50-45-5. In North Dakota and Texas 61 percent said there’s an issue to review.
The only states where majorities believed there was no issue were Connecticut (42-50-7), Vermont (44-46-10), Rhode Island (42-52-6) and New York (45-49-6). Participants from the rarified air of the District of Columbia agreed with the minority 29-68-3. However, that was down from 71 percent in D.C. who believed, only days earlier, that there was no merit.
Among the comments posted on the America Online poll site was this warning: “If Mr. Obama were to become president, yet not respect the Constitution and customs of this country, then he is not my president. Without legitimacy, his rule will be resisted, damaged and impaired. This can only cause harm to this country.”
The poll linked to a commentary that said, “There is virtually no chance that the USSC actually wants to look at this case for real. The best case scenario for the plaintiffs here is that Obama was born out of the country and is somehow covering it up. But even in that case, what you’ll find is that the key stipulated fact is that Obama’s mother is an American citizen.
“IF he was born out of country and IF some court wants to make an issue of it, then it might just simply enable the fastest constitutional amendment in American history. There is no chance the election will be overturned over it. Again, mom was a citizen,” said the commentary.
Critics, however, say that Obama’s mother was too young to automatically pass citizenship to her son at his birth.
Another commenter at the poll site said, “In his oath of office, the president must swear ‘to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.’ How can Mr. Obama satisfy this requirement, yet violate the ‘Natural Born’ requirement?”
Said another, “All of this controversy would go away if Obama would just produce a birth certificate. He is fueling this by refusing to do so, and by fighting the issue in court. That refusal alone should make people suspicious.”
On a similar note, a recent WND poll asked readers, “Are you satisfied Obama is constitutionally eligible to assume the presidency?” A full 97 percent of nearly 7,200 voters said “no.”
The top three answers were:
No, if I can’t get a driver’s license without an original birth certificate, how can Obama become president without one?
No, and Americans should continue to dog him about it through his term
No, there’s a reason why he’s unwilling to disclose his original birth certificate
The next hearing before the justices at the U.S. Supreme Court on the dispute is scheduled Jan. 9, when a conference will be held on a case raised by attorney Philip Berg.
“I am determined, on behalf of the 320 million citizens in the United States, to see that ‘our U.S. Constitution’ is followed. Specifically, in the case of Soetoro a/k/a Obama, does he meet the constitutional qualifications for president?” Berg said in a statement on his website.
“I am appalled that the main stream media continues to ignore this issue as we are headed to a ‘Constitutional Crisis.’ There is nothing more important than our U.S. Constitution and it must be enforced,” he said.
A partial listing and status update for several of the cases surrounding Obama’s eligibility to serve as president is below:
Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania Democrat, demanded that the courts verify Obama’s original birth certificate and other documents proving his American citizenship. Supreme Court conferences on the case and its motions are scheduled Jan. 9 and 16.
Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.
Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut’s secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.
Chicago’s Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama’s vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.
Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama’s eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama’s citizenship. His case was denied.
In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.
In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama’s citizenship. The case was denied.
In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama’s birth certificate. His request for an injuction against Georgia’s secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.
California attorney Orly Taitz also has brought a complaint alleging Obama is not a “natural born” citizen and has written an open letter to the Supreme Court asking for the issue to be resolved.
Pennsylvania attorney James D. Schneller is suing Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, Pedro A. Cortes., to prevent transmittal of the certified electoral vote, claiming severe moral consequences and infringement upon even freedom of religion if Obama’s eligibility is not established. His case is active before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
In Washington state, attorney Stephen Pidgeon is representing 12 plaintiffs in a case that claims to have standing under a unique Washington statute that allows any registered voter to challenge the election of someone who, at the time of the election, was ineligible to hold the office. The suit intends to include a subpoena of Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate. The case is scheduled for argument before the Washington Supreme Court on Jan. 8.
“Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void,” argues the Alan Keyes case pending in California, “Americans will suffer irreparable harm in that (a) usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal.”
The biggest question was why, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists as his campaign has stated, Obama hasn’t simply ordered it made available to settle the rumors
The governor’s office in Hawaii said there is a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin: Does the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicate a Hawaii birth or was it generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii?