Two lawyers have joined forces to assemble a case challenging in U.S. bankruptcy court the federal government’s use of Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to bail out Chrysler and in doing so may have created a scenario that finally will bring to a head the issue of Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president.
The attorneys are Leo Donofrio, who has launched cases directly challenging Obama’s eligibility, and Stephen Pidgeon, who also has worked on the issue.
Their new case questions the authority by which the federal government and administration officials intervened in the auto industry, specifically allocating some $8 billion-plus to Chrysler, which later was forgiven.
Pidgeon told WND the plaintiffs in the case are former Chrysler dealers who lost their businesses as part of the “restructuring” of the automobile company. They have been damaged with the loss of their businesses, and the case alleges the Obama administration, through its use of TARP money, influenced Chrysler’s outcome.
Donofrio told WND the core issue is the disbursement of TARP funds to the automaker that were intended to help banks and financial institutions. The previous Treasury secretary had indicated such expenditures were not appropriate, and, in fact, a congressional effort to authorize the expenditures failed, he said.
So, along with a bankruptcy-court challenge, a “quo warranto” case is being filed in Washington, D.C., demanding to know by what authority administration officials set up the financial arrangements with Chrysler and handed out taxpayer money.
As part of the demand for information about the authority used, Donofrio confirmed, there will be questions about Obama’s eligibility to be president. Donofrio contends that since by Obama’s own admission his father never was a U.S. citizen, Obama was born a dual citizen. The framers of the Constitution, he argues, did not consider a dual citizen to be a “natural born citizen” as required for the presidency.
The burden, then, would shift to Obama and his administration officials to document their constitutional authority for their decisions and their handling of taxpayer money.
If the president cannot document his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office, his presidential task force had no authority to act at all, the case contends.
Pidgeon told WND the plaintiffs in the case are the former Chrysler dealers, and their interests will be paramount.
The goal is “to get them restored,” he said, and “put them back where they were before their contracts were rejected.”
“Our clients are not in this action as ‘birthers,'” he said, citing a term used for people who question Obama’s constitutional eligibility. “Our clients are here to seek redress for wrongs.”
But the case may open doors that have been closed in other disputes over Obama’s eligibility. Most previous cases, at one point or another, have been dismissed because the plaintiffs do not have “standing” – they have not suffered direct injury for which they have a reasonable expectation of seeking redress.
In the case of the dealers, they have suffered financial loss because of circumstances that developed with the government’s intervention in the auto industry.
According to columnist Devvy Kidd, the case is “complicated.”
She explained a “quo warranto may be issued from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the name of the United States against a person who within the District of Columbia usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises, a franchise conferred by the United States or a public office of the United States, civil or military.”
That means quo warranto applies not just to eligibility but to the “exercise” of authority through public office, she said.
She noted the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already has described as “interesting and unresolved” some of the questions raised in a related case that did not involve the dealers. In that case, once again, the appellants did not have “standing.”
“The Chrysler dealers have the requisite injury – loss of their franchises – to meet the standing requirements,” she wrote.
The formal paperwork in the filings is expected to be submitted to the courts within days on a motion to reconsider the bankruptcy court’s decisions and the quo warranto pertaining to the authority of Obama and his appointees.
WND previously has reported on many cases brought over the issue of Obama’s eligibility, including one at the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that alleges Congress failed in its constitutional duties by refusing to investigate the eligibility of Obama to be president.
The case is being handled by attorney Mario Apuzzo for lead plaintiff Charles F. Kerchner Jr. and others against Obama, the U.S., Congress, the Senate, the House of Representatives and former Vice President Dick Cheney along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The case focuses on the alleged failure of Congress to follow the Constitution. That document, the lawsuit states, “provides that Congress must fully qualify the candidate ‘elected’ by the Electoral College Electors.”
The case asserts “when Obama was born his father was a British subject/citizen and Obama himself was the same.”
The Constitution also provides, the lawsuit says, “If the president-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the vice president elect shall act as president until a president shall have qualified.”
The Obama eligibility cases have cited Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, which 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 – at a cost confirmed to be at least $1.7 million – 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?
WND also has reported on another case that was dismissed by U.S. District Judge David Carter in California. It also now is heading to the appeals level.
Among documentation not yet available for Obama is 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.
Because of the dearth of information about Obama’s eligibility, WND founder Joseph Farah has launched a campaign to raise contributions to post billboards asking a simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip
The campaign followed a petition that has collected more than 480,000 signatures demanding proof of his eligibility, the availability of yard signs raising the question and the production of permanent, detachable magnetic bumper stickers asking the question.
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.
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