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Judge: Eligibility issue thoroughly 'twittered'

Posted By Bob Unruh On 03/07/2009 @ 12:20 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled


James Robertson

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit questioning Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, because the issue already has been “blogged, texted, twittered and otherwise massaged.” 

Meanwhile, more and more members of Congress are being shown to have dismissed concerns by constituents about Obama’s eligibility.

The judge ruled in a case brought by Gregory Hollister against “Barry Soetoro, et al,” alleging a need to know Obama’s legitimacy, because as a retired member of the military he could be recalled to active duty and, therefore, would have to know whether Obama’s orders were legitimate.

Hollister is represented by Philadelphia lawyer Philip Berg, who has brought several motions on the eligibility dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court, only to have the evidence he wanted to present ignored.

In his ruling, Judge James Robertson said,

“The plaintiff says that he is a retired Air Force colonel who continues to owe fealty to his Commander-in-Chief (because he might possibly be recalled to duty) and who is tortured by uncertainty as to whether he would have to obey orders from Barack Obama because it has not been proven – to the colonel’s satisfaction – that Mr. Obama is a native-born American citizen, qualified under the Constitution to be president.

“The issue of the president’s citizenship was raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and otherwise massaged by America’s vigilant citizenry during Mr. Obama’s two-year-campaign for the presidency, but this plaintiff wants it resolved by a court,” Robertson wrote.

That is not going to happen, he ruled.

“Even in its relatively short life the case has excited the blogosphere and the conspiracy theorists. The right thing to do is to bring it to an early end,” Robertson wrote.

But is Obama actually constitutionally qualified? It’s been “twittered,” Robertson said, while also requiring the plaintiffs attorneys to explain why they shouldn’t be penalized financially for having raised the legal question. “Twitter” is a brand name for an Internet technology that allows participants to post brief reports on their daily activities and observations.

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 300,000 others and sign up now!

The court’s deflection of attention from the central issue of producing verification of Obama’s citizenship mirrors the response many Congress members have given concerned constituents.

WND reported this week when Sen. Mel Martinez, F-Fla., argued voters gave Obama his constitutional eligibility by voting for him and when Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., insisted the online “fact” website Snopes had confirmed Obama’s eligibility.

WND received a flood of response to the articles, with dozens wondering why no one is asking for actual confirmation of Obama’s eligibility, a question that has been raised in dozens of lawsuits across the country.

“It seems that the few congressional bodies that are responding to the question of ‘eligibility’ are sidestepping responsibility to address the Constitutional prerequisites for POTUS,” wrote one WND reader. “Is there anyone willing to submit a simple CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS ASSURANCE BILL?”

The writer suggested demanding documentation such as an original birth certificate, accompanied by education and other records – and that they be made available to the public.

Other readers submitted comments they had received from congressional offices:

  • From U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J.: “The claim that President Obama was born outside of the United States, thus rendering him ineligible for the presidency, is part of a larger number of pernicious and factually baseless claims that were circulated about then-Senator Obama during his presidential campaign. President Obama was born in Hawaii.” The response provided no documentation.

  • From U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla.: “The claim that Barack Obama is not a citizen of the U.S. is false. This rumor is simply election year politics.” She referred questioners to Snopes for documentation.
  • From U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich.: He cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional authority to rule on the dispute and the fact that the court refused to hear evidence in at least four cases brought before the justices. “Rest assured, however, I will well remember your concerns regarding this issue during the 111th Congress.”
  • From Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas: “As we enter the
    111th Congress, our nation faces many challenges. We are in the midst of
    tough economic times, and the federal government must stand on the side of
    taxpayers and small businesses. Now more than ever, we need fiscal
    discipline in Washington. I welcome President-elect Obama’s commitment to
    reform the federal budget process and rein in wasteful government spending,
    and I will hold the President-elect accountable as Congress works to
    quickly identify and eliminate inefficient, ineffective, and outdated
    federal programs.” He didn’t respond to the eligibility issue.

  • From Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: “The courts have held that President Obama is a natural-born American citizen. Moreover, in December 2008, the Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit challenging Mr. Obama’s eligibility to serve as president, concurring with three other federal courts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Washington. The courts have confirmed the determination of state officials in Hawaii that health department records prove that Barack Obama was born a U.S. citizen in Honolulu.”
  • From Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.: “President Obama demonstrated his citizenship during his campaign by circulating copies of his birth certificate, which showed he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.”
  • From U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.: He noted the dispute is under court review. “I will carefully monitor the progress of this case. However, as a Representative in Congress, my opportunity to intervene in resolving this question is limited. As further court and judicial action is taken, please be assured I will continue to raise the questions and concerns we both share.”
  • From U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas: “Now that the election is over and the campaigns have ended, I think it is important that the politicians and the citizens of our nation put the fierce partisan rhetoric aside so that we can work together to come up with real solutions to our country’s challenges.”

Another reader questioned the logic being applied by many officials.

“The people who voted for Obama believed he was a qualified and eligible candidate for president because his name was on the ballot. Senator Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, says that since the voters elected Obama that proves that Obama is qualified and eligible to serve as president. Is not that getting a little circular on the reasoning?”

Robertson wrote that other judges have taken such claims “seriously – and dismissed them.”

But another reader pointed out there already is a procedure set up to deal with objections to a candidate for president, specifically an opportunity during the time period when Congress approves the Electoral College vote totals.

Democrats, in fact, used that process to challenge some of the votes for President George W. Bush in 2004. But there were no objections raised to Obama’s election total.

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 Obama 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. Further complicating the issue are the reports he was adopted by an Indonesia man during his childhood and moved to Indonesia and attended school there. There also are questions on what nation’s passport he traveled to Pakistan.


Sen. Jon Kyl

Kyl referred constituents raising concerns over Obama’s eligibility to an online “fact” organization that relies for its answer partly on information from the Obama campaign. Martinez said Obama’s eligibility was affirmed by voters who supported him in the Democratic primary and general elections in 2008.

Multiple attempts by WND through calls to Kyl’s Washington and Arizona offices to obtain comment from him or his staff were unsuccessful.

But some of the facts being used in the arguments are in dispute. The Obama campaign’s posting of a “Certification of Live Birth” is offered as documentation by his supporters. Detractors note the document is not the same as a “birth certificate” and the state granted them to children not born in Hawaii.

Lawyers and plaintiffs in a multitude of lawsuits also have asked why, if a birth certificate actually reflects that Obama was born in Hawaii, has he spent sums estimated by observers of up to $1 million hiring various law firms to keep concealed his birth certificate, his college records and other documentation.

California lawyer Orly Taitz, whose work is on her Defend Our Freedoms Foundation website, has confronted the COLB image directly.

“The image that Mr. Obama has posted on the Internet was not a valid birth certificate, but rather a limited value document, called Short Version Certification of Live Birth. The Certification of Live Birth does not name a hospital, name a doctor, have any signatures or a seal of the Hawaiian Health Department on the front of the document. This document is usually given to parties that don’t have a proper hospital birth certificate and it is given based on a statement of one relative only. Even the state of Hawaii doesn’t give full credit to these documents,” she said.

She suggested the records from the “Annenberg FactCheck” be subpoenaed “as to how did they claim to have examined Obama’s birth certificate and found it valid. Neither the state of Hawaii, nor Obama has ever released such birth certificate and there is no evidence of Obama being born in any hospital in Hawaii.”

Hawaiian officials have said they have a birth certificate on file for Obama, but it cannot be released without his permission. And they have not revealed what information the certificate contains.

John Eidsmoe, an expert on the U.S. Constitution now working with the Foundation on Moral Law, told WND a demand for verification of Obama’s eligibility appears to be legitimate.

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.”

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, (now dismissed) 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog as raising 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 Cohen vs. Obama.
  • In Hawaii, Keyes vs. Lingle, dismissed.



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