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 ↑
Philip J. Berg
Arguments that had been expected to be taking place before a federal appeals court right about now on whether U.S. citizens have a right to know that their president is eligible for the office he holds have been delayed.
Philip Berg, the first lawyer to take the issue of Barack Obama’s compliance with the U.S. Constitution’s requirements for president to court, says he’s been told by officials with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the oral arguments in his Berg vs. Obama case, No. 088-4340, have been put off.
“About two months ago I received notice that the Third Circuit would schedule ‘oral argument’ the last week of May 2009 or the first week of June 2009,” he said. Not hearing from the court further, his office contacted the judges and was told the earliest time the arguments now could be held would be in September or October.
“I am totally disappointed that there has been this delay,” said Berg, who documents progress on his three separate lawsuits at his ObamaCrimes.com website.
“I am determined to keep fighting lawfully through our court system; I believe there is a judge or justices that will grant us discovery as it is essential … that the truth be told,” he said.
WND reported earlier when the trial court judge issued his opinion that Berg had no standing to demand such evidence.
Judge R. Barclay Surrick ruled that ordinary citizens cannot sue to ensure that a presidential candidate actually meets the constitutional requirements of the office of president.
The judge said Congress could allow that, by determining “that citizens, voters, or party members should police the Constitution’s eligibility requirements for the presidency,” but that it would take new laws to grant individual citizens that ability.
“Until that time,” Surrick wrote, “voters do not have standing to bring the sort of challenge that plaintiff attempts to bring.”
Berg’s case alleges that the uncertainty about how the U.S. does enforce the requirements of presidency may result in a constitutional crisis should an ineligible candidate win the office.
As WND reported, Berg filed suit in U.S. District Court in August, alleging Obama is not a natural-born citizen and is thus ineligible to serve as president of the United States. Berg demanded that Obama provide documentation to the court to verify that the candidate was born in Hawaii, as Obama contends, and not in Kenya, as Berg believes.
Surrick expressed skepticism that a foreign-born Obama could have escaped the primary election season without be discovered, but refused to rule on that key issue.
The judge cited Article III of the U.S. Constitution, limiting federal judicial power to handling cases and controversies in which plaintiffs have clear standing through specific, personal injury.
Berg, the judge ruled, simply didn’t have a case for a particular injury and thus, had no standing to sue.
Berg also has pending another Berg vs. Obama case, but it is under court-ordered seal and no information is public on that claim yet. A third case, Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, is on appeal also.
Berg said in a prepared statement that the 300-plus million citizens of the United States should have a right to know such information.
“When people are made aware of the Obama ‘HOAX,’ that Obama has not proven he is constitutionally ‘qualified/eligible’ to be president; that Obama has not produced his original (vault version) ‘Birth Certificate;’ that Obama has not produced legal documents to show he legally changed his name from his ‘adopted’ name of ‘Barry Soetoro’ from Indonesia; they will demand Obama be removed from his office of president of the United States,” Berg said.
WND reported just days ago how a new campaign launched by WND Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah to put up billboard’s asking “Where’s The Birth Certificate?” is collecting attention from other media outlets.
Birth certificate question being raised in Ball, La.
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 hiring 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.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has laughed at a question about the original birth certificate, citing the unsubstantiated online posting as proof of a Hawaiian birth.
But here is a partial listing of 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 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.