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Campaigners who have brought dozens of lawsuits challenging President Obama’s eligibility to occupy the Oval Office under constitutional requirements he be a “natural born” citizen continue chasing those cases through arguments over discovery and hearing schedules, but now they also have turned their attention to state legislatures, which could require their states to verify such information about candidates.
At least three proposals have been submitted to state legislatures since Obama’s election in November, and at least one – in Oklahoma – has gained enough traction to pass a committee vote.
WND has reported on the many legal challenges against which Obama has assembled teams of lawyers. The complaints largely 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 claim he 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 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. The 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 and on what nation’s passport he traveled to Pakistan in the ’80s. Also, family members have given conflicting reports of his place of birth.
Where’s the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the “natural-born American” clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 250,000 others and sign up now!
While a search of the website for the the National Conference of State Legislatures did not reveal any concerted effort on the issue in state assemblies, lawmakers in at least three states have pursued verification.
The effort that appears to have the most momentum is a proposed bill by Oklahoma State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow that would require anyone running for elected office to show proof of U.S. citizenship.
His measure obtained approval at the committee level.
Participants in Oklahoma newspaper forums seemed mostly pleased.
“This bill signifies the beginning of the end for ‘bama. … When the year 2012 comes along and ‘bama wants to be put on the ballot they are going to require that he show up with a Birth Certificate (that is if he makes it that far after being asked to step down and forced to live his life in exile like Napoleon Bonaparte). He is going to tell them ‘well I’m the President I don’t have to have any documentation.’ They are going to tell him ‘sorry this is not Indonesia,'” said one.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Ohio Rep. Diana Fessler, R-New Carlisle, also proposed a resolution that “encouraged” the Electoral College to “exercise due diligence to ensure that the persons for whom they cast their ballots for president and vice president of the United States are citizens of the United States” by examining candidates’ birth certificates.
Fessler said she proposed the idea because of requests from members of her constituency. She said members of the Ohio House already have to show proof that they were elected by providing “official paperwork.”
Contributors to the Daily News forum divided over the issue.
“Why doesn’t Mr. Obama make his actual real birth certificate available to the various electoral commissions or an independent agency such as the FBI for verification? How can he have the highest level TOP SECRET SECURITY CLEARANCE in our government without true documentation?” asked one.
Another, however, said those who have concerns over Obama’s eligibility should get over it.
Just this week, lawmakers in Montana tabled a plan to require presidential candidates to provide state officials with a verification of their eligibility.
The Montana Senate State Administration Committee reviewed the plan to require the evidence, and opponents said state law already ensured candidates’ qualifications.
“A candidate for president, vice president, or a congressional office shall include as part of the declaration for nomination a sworn affidavit in the form prescribed by the secretary of state by rule. The affidavit must include a statement that the candidate complies with all birth, age, citizenship, and residency requirements prescribed by the United States Constitution for the office the candidate is seeking,” the plan proposed.
Specifically for president or vice president, the documentation must include “a certified copy of the candidate’s birth certificate or other documentation that has equal effect of a birth certificate under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the candidate waas born that shows the candidate was born within a state or territory of the United States.”
State lawmakers in Tennessee also are getting involved but in a different way. Stacey Campfield, Frank Niceley, Eric Swafford and Glen Casada have agreed to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit over Obama’s eligibility being prepared by California attorney Orly Taitz.
Taitz told WND earlier the case also probably will include members of the military as plaintiffs, because both state lawmakers and military officers are obliged to follow orders from the president and need to know if the orders are legitimate.
If a president is not qualified, she said, “In the military, those would be unlawful orders, and [following them] would subject the officers to court-martial. In the legislatures, they cannot follow any of his bills or orders … they don’t know who he is.”
An extended list of legal challenges to Obama’s eligibility has been compiled at TheRightSideofLife.com.
Spokesmen for Obama have called the legal challenges garbage.
Here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama’s eligibility:
- New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn’t properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.
- Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania Democrat, demanded that the courts verify Obama’s original birth certificate and other documents proving his American citizenship. Berg’s latest appeal, requesting an injunction to stop the Electoral College from selecting the 44th president, was denied.
- 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.
- Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes headlines a list of people filing a suit in California, in a case handled by the United States Justice Foundation, that asks the secretary of state to refuse to allow the state’s 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office. The case is pending, and lawyers are seeking the public’s support.
- Chicago attorney 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 injunction against Georgia’s secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.
- California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters.
In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog that raise questions about Obama’s eligibility include:
- In Texas, Darrel Hunter vs. Obama later was dismissed.
- In Ohio, Gordon Stamper vs. U.S. later was dismissed.
- In Texas, Brockhausen vs. Andrade.
- In Washington, L. Charles vs. Obama.
- In Hawaii, Keyes vs. Lingle, dismissed.
WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi had gone to both Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama’s birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.
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, which the state’s procedures allowed at the time?
Apuzzo told WND the biggest question, and reason for asking more questions, is the fact Obama has enlisted law firms across the nation to battle every attempt to access his birth, schooling, immigration or passport records.