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 ↑
A lawyer threatened by a federal judge with sanctions for filing one of the myriad legal challenges to President Obama’s eligibility has responded by criticizing the judge for relying on “hearsay” blog information for his decision and suggesting he should be given a hearing that could include discovery of the president’s original birth certificate.
WND reported earlier when Judge James Robertson dismissed a lawsuit filed by John D. Hemenway on behalf of Gregory S. Hollister, a retired military officer who is subject to being recalled to duty and therefore would need to know the legitimacy of any order coming from Obama.
In his statement dismissing the case, Robertson ridiculed the complaint, which never had a court hearing, ruling that the eligibility issues had been “blogged, texted, twittered and otherwise massaged.”
Hollister is represented by Philadelphia lawyer Philip Berg, who has brought several motions on the eligibility dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court that have been ignored. Hemenway acted as local counsel in filing the action on behalf of Hollister.
Robertson wrote: “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.
Wrong on most counts, Hemenway contends.
“This is not what Plaintiff Hollister’s concern is,” Hemenway wrote in a court-required response. “Plaintiff
Hollister is a retired colonel, who is subject to recall. Plaintiff’s concern is how an order
received from Soetoro/Obama is to be regarded. Would it be a legal order which he must
obey or an illegal order which he must disobey?
“These are not frivolous matters, as the
learned Judge Robertson has suggested. Possible illegal orders are a matter of great
concern to officers in the armed forces. Undersigned counsel himself entered the Army
of the United States during WWII and was promoted to Infantry Second Lieutenant
preparing for the anticipated landings in Japan which were scheduled for November 1,
1945. But for President Truman’s use of nuclear weapons to end the war, this would
have transpired. The legality of orders in and out of combat is of paramount importance,” he wrote.
Hemenway continued with a “second point” Robertson raised.
That is, he said, that “the
president of the United States had been properly vetted.”
“This assumes facts not in
evidence and was not addressed. It is clear that the constitutional qualifications of
President Soetoro/Obama have not been properly vetted. Judge Robertson even cites an
earlier case filed in Pennsylvania by one of the two lead attorneys in this case, in which
the judge claimed candidates in the recent presidential election had never been more
closely vetted. Nothing was further from the truth. Effectively, the Pennsylvania District
Court judge was introducing his own hearsay and opinion into the case as if it were
acceptable evidence,” Hemenway wrote.
“It is sad to read this
court’s use of material from the Internet to imply that the issues in the numerous lawsuits
filed have been resolved by the ‘twittering and blogging’ to determine that the litigants
are invoking ‘conspiracy theorists.’ It suggests that the intellectual capacity of this court
focused on the issues in the instant suit at a very low level, perhaps for political purposes,
such as to win attention from the highest authority when a seat on the Supreme Court of
the United States becomes vacant,” Hemenway wrote.
Further, Hemenway wrote, Robertson is threatening him with sanctions for “the costs allegedly borne by the defendants when all that would be necessary to terminate this political chicanery (substitute ‘crisis’) that now has involved hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens would be for President Obama to display his actual birth certificate.”
Instead, ranks of attorneys have been hired to block “access to his records by sealing his college
records, refusing access to his ‘vault’ birth certificate; and all other documents which
would provide his citizenship status.”
Hemenway said, “Defendant Soetoro/Obama has never responded. Instead, a document [purporting] to be
Soetoro/Obama’s birth certificate was placed on the Internet in sites including, but not
limited to: factcheck.org, dailykos.com and fightthesmears.com.
“This image so presented
was later challenged by a forensic expert as a forged and/or altered document. … It is a widely recognized legal principle that, when a false or modified or
counterfeit document is presented as the original, under discovery, the actual document
must be presented,” he said.
“Moreover, this document is a Certification of Live Birth which is issued by the
Hawaiian State Government when births abroad or births occurring outside of a hospital
are registered with the Hawaii Department of Health. A proper birth certificate provides
information as to where the child was born, weight, length, parent’s information, doctor
information, etc. The Certification of Live Birth provided by Soetoro/Obama only shows
he was born – somewhere,” he said.
In a commentary at FamilySecurityMatters.org, Margaret Calhoun Hemenway, a former White House appointee serving in the Department of Defense and at NASA, said that Obama “regularly referred to himself as ‘a constitutional law professor.’”
“Mr. Obama’s professed respect for the Constitution doesn’t seem to include its clear-cut qualifications for president in Article 2, Section 1, which directly impacts upon whether he is entitled to hold the current political position to which the voters entrusted him,” she wrote.
“Sadly, the American people depend upon a vetting process for national candidates which evidently is, truly and astonishingly, non-existent. Instead of actual verification of genuine documents to determine citizenship by some impartial board or committee, the vetting process appears to have become subjugated in the case of Mr. Obama to competing campaigns or partisan websites, a flawed Internet phenomenon which Judge Robertson referenced as Twittering and blogging, and online postings of suspect copies of documents, which should never have been a substitute for the judge’s constitutional duty to examine evidence and rule on facts, bolstered by legal and forensic experts, not opinions from the blogosphere.”
John Hemenway also said the judge’s description of Berg and an associate as “agents provocateurs” was “prejudicial.”
The legitimate questions about Obama’s birth certificate are just too many to ignore, he continued.
“It should also be noted, Soetoro/Obama’s sister, Maya
Soetoro-Ng was born in Indonesia and today is classifiable as a ‘naturalized citizen.’ However, her birth was registered in Hawaii and she, too, maintains a Certification of
Live Birth,” he wrote.
“Plaintiff submitted Barry Soetoro’s (a/k/a Barack H. Obama’s) Indonesian
school record showing Soetoro/Obama’s citizenship status as ‘Indonesian,’ his name as
‘Barry Soetoro,’ etc. Soetoro/Obama has admitted to attending the Indonesian public
Schools. … Furthermore … Indonesia did not allow foreign students to attend their public schools in
the late 1960′s or 1970′s, and any time a child was registered for a public school, the
child’s name and citizenship status were verified through the Indonesian government,” Hemenway said.
“It is not helpful for a United States
district judge to endorse obfuscation when a constitutional issue is involved. Under
these circumstances, to threaten sanctions against an attorney who, in good faith assisted
in the filing of a lawsuit involving issues none of the many judges and attorneys from
coast to coast have found ‘frivolous’ is to employ the Rule 11 as a device to deprive the
undersigned attorney of his civil rights and the right to due process. Without even a
hearing or access to discovery being granted to defend against the charges, such a
sanction would be a veritable lynching,” Hemenway challenged.
“If the court persists in pressing Rule 11 procedures against Hemenway, then Hemenway
should be allowed all of the discovery pertinent to the procedures as court precedents
have permitted in the past,” he said.
“The court has referred to a number of facts outside of the record of this particular
case and, therefore, the undersigned is particularly entitled to a hearing to get the truth of
those matters into the record. This may require the court to authorize some discovery,” Hemenway said.
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.
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.
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.
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.