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 ↑
Despite President Obama’s concerted campaign to keep hidden his original birth certificate and other documentation that would verify his qualification for office, members of Congress are confident of his eligibility.
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status under the Constitution’s requirement that the president be 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. Members of his family and government officials in Kenya have made statements that could be interpreted to mean he was born in Mombasa. 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.
Adding fuel to the campaign to challenge his eligibility is the fact law firms representing Obama have been hired around the country to fight to keep all of his documentation away from the public.
Hawaiian officials have confirmed they have a birth certificate on file for Obama, but it cannot be released without his permission. He has refused that permission. And Hawaiian officials 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.”
“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.
Among the statements from members of Congress:
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.: “Well, his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate. You have to be born in America to be president.” Shelby later backed off, saying he was confident Obama is a U.S. citizen.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.: “Thank you for your recent e-mail. Senator Obama meets the constitutional requirements for presidential office. Rumors pertaining to his citizenship status have been circulating on the Internet, and this information has been debunked by Snopes.com, which investigates the truth behind Internet rumors.”
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla.: “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. 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.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: “President Obama has provided several news organizations with a copy of his
birth certificate, showing he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4,
1961. Hawaii became a state in 1959, and all individuals born in Hawaii
after its admission are considered natural-born United States citizens. In
addition, the Hawaii State Health Department recently issued a public
statement verifying the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa.: “I am
confident that Mr. Obama meets all the constitutional requirements to be our 44th
president. Mr. Obama has posted a copy of his birth certificate on his campaign
website and submitted an additional copy to the independent website
FactCheck.org. The birth certificate demonstrates that he was born in Honolulu,
Hawaii in 1961, thereby making him a natural-born citizen eligible to be
U.S. Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif.: “As you know, some questions were raised about whether President Obama is a
natural born citizen. There was a recent lawsuit arguing that he is not
eligible for the Presidency for this reason. I understand that the Supreme
Court considered hearing this lawsuit, but it ultimately turned down the
request to have the case considered before the full court. I further
understand that the director of Hawaii’s Department of Health recently
confirmed that President Obama was born in Honolulu and has personally
verified that her agency has his original birth certificate on record. As
you know, the U.S. Congress certified his election on January 8, and he was
sworn into office on January 20, 2009. While I may disagree with President Obama on a multitude of issues, he has
been elected as President of the United States through a fair process and
has shown sufficient documentation, via a state birth certificate, that has
been verified as being authentic. In short, therefore, I do not believe
sufficient evidence was brought to light to conclude that President Obama
was ineligible for the office.”
U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.H.: “President Obama publicly posted his
birth certificate on his campaign website which confirms that he was born in
Hawaii in 1961. This birth certificate confirms that President Obama is a
natural born citizen of the United States, above the age of 35, and is
therefore qualified to be President of the United States of America. If you
would like to view President Obama’s birth certificate, I encourage you to
go to the website http://fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate.”
“Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, “The Constitution and federal law require that, among other things, only
native-born U.S. citizens (or those born abroad, but only to parents who
were both American citizens) may be President of the United States. In
President Obama’s case, some individuals have filed lawsuits in state and
federal courts alleging that he has not proven that he is an American
citizen, but each of those lawsuits have been dismissed. This includes a
recent decision by the United States Supreme Court to not review an
“application for emergency stay” filed by a New Jersey resident claiming
that the President is not a natural born citizen because his father was born
in Kenya. Furthermore, both the Director of Hawaii’s Department of Health
and the state’s Registrar of Vital Statistics recently confirmed that Mr.
Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961 and, as such, meets the
constitutional citizenship requirements for the presidency. If contrary
documentation is produced and verified, this matter will necessarily be
resolved by the judicial branch of our government under the Constitution.”
“Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.: “On June 13, 2008, the Obama campaign released a copy of his birth
certificate after numerous claims were made about his eligibility to hold the office of
President. The released copy created additional questions, because it
contained a blacked out department file number and was apparently missing a seal,
and it was impossible to detect raised text, a common characteristic of
official documents. There were satisfactory answers to such questions, however: the
department file number had been blacked out to prevent hackers from breaking
into the Health Department’s system, and the State places the seal on the
back of the certificate. The website Factcheck.org investigated the matter and
provided high-resolution photos taken at multiple angles that revealed the
raised text and the seal on the back of the document. … Accordingly, it
has been concluded that President Obama has met the constitutional
qualifications to be President of the United States.”
U.S. Rep Vic Snyder, D-Ark.: “According to State of Hawai’i officials, the Hawai’i State Department of Health has President-elect Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with that state’s policies and procedures.
Said one WND reader, “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?”