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 ↑
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla.
A U.S. senator has suggested that voters have made Barack Obama eligible to occupy the Oval Office, whether or not he meets the constitutional mandate of being a “natural born” citizen.
The comments from Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., came in an e-mail sent to a constituent shortly after the election, which just now was forwarded to WND.
The constituent had asked about Martinez’s perspective on the issue on which WND and others have reported: claims made by dozens of lawsuits around the country that Obama might not meet the constitutional qualification for various reasons.
“Presidential candidates are vetted by voters at least twice – first in the
primary elections and again in the general election. President-Elect Obama
won the Democratic Party’s nomination after one of the most fiercely
contested presidential primaries in American history,” Martinez responded.
“And, he has now been
duly elected by the majority of voters in the United States. Throughout both
the primary and general election, concerns about Mr. Obama’s birthplace were
raised. The voters have made clear their view that Mr. Obama meets the
qualifications to hold the office of president,” he wrote.
Multiple WND calls to Martinez’s offices in Washington and Florida today asking for comment did not generate a response from the senator.
But he admitted the “federal government has the responsibility to make certain that the Constitution of the United States is not compromised. We must fight to uphold our Constitution through our courts and political
He cited the constitutional provision requiring a president be “natural born.”
But Martinez noted the Constitution does not provide for an enforcement mechanism, and he cited a federal court opinion that a taxpayer and voter in Pennsylvania didn’t have standing to force Obama to provide documentation of his eligibility.
“The District Court dismissed Mr. [Philip] Berg’s suit and held that the question of
Obama’s citizenship is not a matter for a court to decide. The court further
noted that voters, not courts, should decide whether a particular
presidential candidate is qualified to hold office,” he wrote.
Martinez did not respond to the issue of the actual requirements in the Constitution for the president to be “natural born.”
The WND reader who forwarded the e-mail was alarmed.
frightening in its implications and should alarm every freedom-loving
American and military member. I myself am a veteran of the U.S. Air Force
(1979-84). Senator Martinez has said, in essence, that it doesn’t matter
what the laws are or what the Constitution says. If the people elected him,
Obama is president – period.”
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “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 lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, 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.
WND reported just a day ago when a lawyer organizing a challenge to Obama’s presidency confirmed one of the plaintiffs, a soldier who is required to take orders from the commander in chief and would have a need to know his authority for being in office, was ordered by commanders not to talk to the media about his concerns.
Attorney Orly Taitz, the California activist who through her DefendOurFreedoms.us foundation is assembling the case, told WND of the military’s order for the officer’s silence.
The officer’s identity was withheld to prevent further actions against him.
However, Taitz confirmed to WND there would be no lack of plaintiffs in her action, which challenges Obama to prove by what authority he operates as commander in chief.
The idea, first recorded some 800 years ago, essentially is a demand to know what authority Obama is using to act as president. An online constitutional resource says Quo Warranto “affords the only judicial remedy for violations of the Constitution by public officials and agents.”
Among those requesting the action are Maj. Gen. Carroll Childers; Lt. Col. Dr. David Earl-Graef; police officer and Selected Reservist Navy Commander Clinton Grimes; Lt. Scott Easterling, now serving on active duty in Iraq; New Hampshire state Rep. Timothy Comerford; and Tennessee state Rep. Frank Nicely.
“As president-elect, Respondent Obama failed to submit prima facie evidence of his qualifications before January 20, 2009. Election officers failed to challenge, validate or evaluate his qualifications. Relators submit that as president elect, Respondent Obama failed [to] qualify per U.S. CONST. Amend. XX [paragraph] 3,” the document said.
John Eidsmoe, an expert on the U.S. Constitution now working with the Foundation on Moral Law, an organization founded by former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, said the demand is a legitimate course of action.
“She basically is asking, ‘By what authority’ is Obama president,” he told WND. “In other words, ‘I want you to tell me by what authority. I don’t really think you should hold the office.’”
Eidsmoe said it’s clear that Obama has something in the documentation of his history, including his birth certificate, college records and other documents that “he does not want the public to know.”
According to the online Constitution.org resource: “The common law writ of Quo Warranto has been suppressed at the federal level in the United States, and deprecated at the state level, but remains a right under the Ninth Amendment which was understood and presumed by the Founders, and which affords the only judicial remedy for violations of the Constitution by public officials and agents.”
Although Obama officials have told WND all such allegations are “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.
Pennsylvania Democrat Philip Berg has three cases pending, including Berg vs. Obama in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a separate Berg vs. Obama which is under seal at the U.S. District Court level and Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, brought on behalf of a retired military member who could be facing recall to active duty by Obama.
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 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.
Also in Ohio, there was the Greenberg v. Brunner case which ended when the judge threatened to assess all case costs against the plaintiff.
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.