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 ↑
An attorney handling one of the many lawsuits challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is urging a court to deny a demand from a lawyer for the president for still more time to answer simple questions such as whether Obama was born in Hawaii, citing the dangers of having an president many identify as a “usurper” in office.
“Whether or not the president of the United States is eligible for the office he currently occupies is of utmost national important,” wrote attorney Mario Apuzzo of New Jersey in a motion opposing Obama’s request for more time.
“Every passing day Mr. Obama takes executive action, that significantly impacts on the lives of Americans,” he continued.
“It can be argued that Mr. Obama is currently the most powerful human being on the planet. He could conceivably end all life on earth in a single day. Every executive action that Mr. Obama takes impacts not only the plaintiffs but also every other American,” he said in the legal document submitted in the court case yesterday.
Apuzzo filed his lawsuit in January on behalf of Charles F. Kerchner Jr., Lowell T. Patterson, Darrell James Lenormand and Donald H. Nelson Jr.
The action names as defendants Barack Hussein Obama II, the U.S., Congress, the Senate, House of Representatives and former Vice President Dick Cheney along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Apuzzo told WND that while it may be good strategy on the part of a defense lawyer for Obama to delay answering such questions as long as possible, the American people also are impacted by the case every day in which there is not a resolution.
He outlines in the document that while ordinary court rules require answers to such lawsuits within 60 days, in this case the actions of the defense lawyer probably will generate a delay of 124 days – or more – for Obama’s answers.
Apuzzo told WND the first issue is simple: Was Obama born in Hawaii as he has said? The second question seeking a definition of “natural born” citizen is more complicated.
WND reported earlier on the request submitted by Ralph Marra Jr., the acting U.S. attorney, and Elizabeth Pascal, the assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, that explains that the Department of Justice, operating under Obama appointee Attorney General Eric Holder, still is working on a decision on representation for the defendants.
“The failure to file an answer, move, or to otherwise respond before the expiration of the time specified is not the result of any neglect on any of the Defendants’ parts,” the court filing said.
“Representation decisions are made by a specialized group of individuals in the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In order to provide a fair opportunity for the Department to review this matter and to complete the representation determinations, Defendants respectfully request an extension of twenty (20) days from the date of this Order in which to answer, move, or otherwise respond,” the court filing 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 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.
Further, others question his citizenship by virtue of his attendance in Indonesian schools during his childhood and question on what passport did he travel to Pakistan three decades ago.
Adding fuel to the fire is Obama’s persistent refusal to release documents that could provide answers and the appointment of myriad lawyers to defend against all requests for his documentation. While his supporters cite an online version of a “Certification of Live Birth” from Hawaii as his birth verification, critics point out such documents actually were issued for children not born in the state.
The ultimate questions remain unaddressed to date: Is Obama a natural born citizen, and, if so, why hasn’t documentation been provided? And, of course, if he is not, what does it mean to the 2008 election or the U.S. Constitution if it is revealed that there has been a violation?
And the answer could take only minutes: authorization from the president to Hawaiian officials to release his documentation.
Apuzzo, on his website, says the issue “is of utmost national importance.”
It is not the first case challenging Obama’s eligibility that has run into a stone wall in the court system. A similar situation developed in a California case raising a challenge to Obama’s eligibility that was filed on behalf of Ambassador Alan Keyes. The complaint was filed by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation in early November, but it didn’t get court action until March, months after the actual election that it challenged.
That case now is on appeal.
The case being handled by Apuzzo focuses on the alleged failure in Congress to follow the Constitution.
That document, the lawsuit states, “provides that Congress must fully qualify the candidate ‘elected’ by the Electoral College Electors.”
It provides, the lawsuit said, “If the president-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the vice president elect shall act as president until a president shall have qualified.”
“There existed significant public doubt and grievances from plaintiffs and other concerned Americans regarding Obama’s eligibility to be president and defendants had the sworn duty to protect and preserve the Constitution and specifically under the 20th Amendment, Section 3, a Constitutional obligation to confirm whether Obama, once the electors elected him, was qualified,” the case explains.
“Congress is the elected representative of the American people and the people speak and act through them,” the lawsuit said.
The defendants “violated” the 20th Amendment by failing to assure that Obama meets the eligibility requirements,” the lawsuit said.
A state official, Hawaiian Health Director Chiyome Fukino, said, “I, and Dr. Alvin Onaka have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.” But officials have rejected requests for access, saying Obama would have to authorize any 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 foreign birth in Hawaii?
Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro, has named two different Hawaii hospitals where Obama could have been born.
While an Obama spokesman one time called the allegations “garbage,” the president and his team have withheld other comments. But 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 lawyer 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. She also has brought forward several other cases and has conducted several public campaigns to generate awareness of the issue.