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 ↑
WASHINGTON – A conference is scheduled Friday at the U.S. Supreme Court during which justices will consider behind closed doors – again – taking up a case that could put to rest the questions about whether President-elect Barack Obama qualifies to occupy the Oval Office under the Constitution’s requirement that he be a “natural born” citizen.
Twice before the justices have heard the questions, and twice before they’ve decided to ignore them.
The lingering questions continue to leave a cloud over the impending presidency of a man whose relatives have reported he was born in Kenya and who has decided, for whatever reason, not to release a bona fide copy of his original birth certificate in its complete form.
WND columnist Janet Porter today in her column raises some of the more significant consequences that could result should the questions continue without answers.
“What if an impostor from another country ran for the presidency and won?” she asks. “What if the media blocked any news of his birthplace and citizenship? What if the media censorship even blocked paid advertising which tried to expose it?
“What if no one had the courage to challenge or verify it? What if he was inaugurated illegally? What if the military had to answer to a commander in chief who was
illegitimate? What if every law he signed was invalid?”
And, she wonders, “What if it all happened on our watch?”
Multiple lawsuits have been filed around the nation alleging 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. The woman identified by Obama as his 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 – especially if it took place in a foreign country and the man identified as his father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan citizen.
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 he traveled to Pakistan in the ’80s and conflicting reports from Obama’s family about his place of birth.
On Friday the justices will consider Philip J. Berg’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari.
“This is a historic occasion that will impact the office of the president of the United States as never before. No one has ever brought an action against a president-elect candidate challenging his eligibility to serve based on the ‘natural born’ citizen requirement provided in the United States Constitution, Article II Section 1,” said a statement on Berg’s ObamaCrimes.com website.
Berg suggested if Obama “is allowed to be sworn in as president of the United States, there will be substantial and irrevocable harm to the stability of the United States of America and to its citizens.”
“Because Barack Obama is not a ‘natural born’ citizen as required by the United States Constitution, then all of his actions as president would be null and void,” Berg said.
“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 a case brought on behalf of Ambassador Alan Keyes, also a presidential candidate. “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.”
Porter told WND that her organization, Faith2Action.org, was even turned down by CNN and Fox News in its effort to purchasing advertising to publicize the dispute.
“As requested, we backed up every sentence of this ad, and still it was rejected,” she said. “What does that say about freedom of speech when we not only cannot count on the media to cover the story, but we can’t even buy time to publicize what may be the biggest story of the century.”
In the few days between that report and today, that figure dropped another 2 percent, and the latest results show 55 percent believe there is merit to the questions raised over Obama’s eligibility, including majorities in all but a handful of states.
During Obama’s presidential campaign, an image of a Hawaiian “Certification of Live Birth” was posted on the Internet in response to questions about his birth. Critics, however, dismissed it by pointing out that such a document was routinely provided to parents whose children were not born in Hawaii at the time.
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.”
Another comment 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
Berg, who has another case on the issue pending on behalf of a retired military officer, earlier stated, “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?
“I am appalled that the mainstream media continue 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.
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?