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 judge has told lawyers whose clients are challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president they cannot start digging into the president’s historical records right now, and he’ll adjust a scheduled Jan. 26, 2010, trial date if they end up needing more time for their research.
The ruling comes from U.S. District Judge David Carter in a California lawsuit brought by several political candidates and party officials, including former U.S. ambassador Alan Keyes and Wiley Drake and Markham Robinson of the American Independent Party.
They are suing Obama alleging that he was not and is not eligible to be president under the U.S. Constitution’s demand for a “natural born” citizen in the Oval Office. They are represented by Orly Taitz, who has worked on a multitude of lawsuits over Obama’s eligibility, and Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation.
Kreep had responded to the government’s motion requesting a stay in the discovery process, the procedures through which valuable evidence is assembled in a lawsuit, by requesting immediate access to Obama’s records such as his original long-form birth certificate and his Occidental College records.
The plaintiffs’ suspicion is that those records would, in fact, undermine the president’s statements that he is a “natural born” citizen, which could disqualify him. For example, an original birth certificate could indicate that it was a “delayed” filing, which could open the door for a birth location outside the United States.
Likewise, the Occidental College records could be significant if Obama attended on a program for foreign students, or represented himself as a foreign student at the time.
Carter has been handling motions in the case, including the government’s motion to dismiss, in which Justice Department lawyers representing Obama claimed that the courts have no jurisdiction over any parts of the question.
The government’s motions have been opposed by Kreep, who expressed concern the plaintiffs would be prejudiced by having their search of the evidence delayed, and the possible shortened time period for that process between the Oct. 5 hearing and the January trial.
Carter granted Obama’s motion for limited stay of discovery, saying the court, not the defendants, will determine what evidence would be pertinent to the case and if the plaintiffs are hampered by the time frame imposed by the court, he will hear “any proposed new trial dates” during the Oct. 5 hearing.
Rumors had circulated on the Internet that the discovery process already had begun, because of Carter’s earlier ruling that encouraged cooperation and as much movement forward as the two sides could agree to.
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.
Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend sums estimated over $1 million to avoid releasing an original long-form state birth certificate that would put to rest the questions.
WND also has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.
In the U.S. Justice Department’s motion to dismiss, attorneys didn’t address the concerns directly but instead focused their efforts on technical procedures, stating the matter can’t be decided in court and that the dozens of plaintiffs cannot demonstrate they have been injured by having Obama in the Oval Office.
Kreep has explained that existing court precedent includes the right for a candidate or a political party “to challenge the inclusion of an allegedly ineligible rival on the ballot, on theory that doing so hurts the candidate’s or party’s own chances.”
“Dr. Drake has an interest in having a fair competition,” Kreep’s USJF brief has argued. “This interest is akin to the interest of an Olympic competition, where one of the competitors in an athletic competition is found to be using performance enhancing drugs, but is not removed despite a violation of the rules, and all of the athletes who had trained for the event legitimately are harmed if that disqualified contestant remains. …
“Obama entered this race without having met the eligibility requirements for the office of President of the United States and, as a result, Dr. Wiley Drake has been injured because he did not have fair competition for the office of Vice President of the United States.”
Kreep also explained the motion to dismiss is incorrect “in a number of ways” regarding the Constitution’s assignment of presidential eligibility verification.
“Even if the people of the United States voted to elect as president a candidate who did not qualify for the position, that vote would not be sufficient to overcome the constitutional requirements,” he wrote.
“Here, the issue is one arising under the Constitution,
whether Barack Obama meets the eligibility requirements for the office of president
of the United States, as required under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. As
established above, PLAINTIFFS have standing to bring this action as they have
suffered a concrete injury in fact, caused by Barack Obama, for which the court has
a remedy. Because PLAINTIFFS have established the requirements for standing,
and because this case presents an issue regarding a federal question arising out of
the Constitution, this court has subject matter jurisdiction over the issues raised in
this case,” he wrote.
The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.
Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.