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 district court’s ruling in a dispute over Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, if allowed to stand, would strip minorities in the United States of “all political power” and leave laws to be based “upon the whims of the majority,” according to a new filing in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The brief was filed by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation, who is representing Wiley S. Drake, a vice presidential candidate on the 2008 ballot in California, and Markham Robinson, an elector from the state.
The case involves a long list of additional plaintiffs, including ambassador Alan Keyes, who are being represented by California attorney Orly Taitz and are filing their pleadings separately from those on behalf of Drake and Robinson.
The case challenges Obama’s eligibility to be president, citing a lack of documentation, and was the subject of hearings at the lower court level, where Judge David Carter heard arguments.
However, Carter dismissed the case, ruling that the plaintiffs suffered no injury – they didn’t have “standing” – and that the law left it to Congress to sort out eligibility issues instead of a court.
Wrong on both counts, argues the brief submitted just days ago to the appeals judges.
The brief contends that according to a 2008 court precedent, “a candidate or his political party has standing to challenge the inclusion of an allegedly ineligible rival on the ballot, on the theory that doing so hurts the candidate’s or party’s own chances of prevailing.”
“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 performancing 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 as the contestants would not be competing on a level playing fields,” the brief argues. “Obama entered this race without having meet the eligibility requirements for the office of president of the United States and, as a result, Drake has been injured because he did not have fair competition for the office of vice president.”
Further, the brief argues that the government’s argument that Keyes and Drake were in no position to win the election anyway, “does not nullify their injury.”
“The injury here is … that these candidates were denied a fair opportunity to run for the office because their competition was disqualified from the outset,” the argument explains.
Furthermore, the case should be handled by the court system, the brief insists.
“[The government] alleged … that this matter is a political question and, therefore, unredressable by this court,” the brief said. “Appellants do not seek to judicially place a different political party in the White House, but, instead, only seek a determination as to whether Obama has met the constitutional eligibility requirements, and, should Obama be discovered to be ineligible to serve as president … appellants seek a court declaration that the votes cast by the California Electors in favor of the Obama/Biden ticket were of no legal force or effect.”
The brief cites the removal of Thomas H. Moodie from the office of governor in North Dakota in the 1930s as proof that a government’s chief officer can be removed from office by the courts – even after an election and inauguration. Moodie had failed to meet a state residency requirement to be governor. But was elected anyway and installed, and ultimately removed from office over that failure.
The political branches “lack the authority to make” a determination on a candidate’s ineligibility, the legal brief says.
“A provision of the Constitution may not be disregarded by means of a popular vote of the people,” the brief continued, “as there are specific guidelines for amending the constitution of the United States … 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 for office and make that candidate eligible,” Kreep argues.
“Because voters can and do vote for candidates that are liked by the voters, even if those candidates may not be eligible for the position, the voters do not have the power or the right to determine the eligibility of a candidate. For the court to hold otherwise, would be to strip non-majorities of all political power, as the laws would be based upon the whims of the majority.
“Here, the underlying issue is one arising under the Art. 2, Paragraph 1 of the United States Constitution, whether Obama meets the eligibility requirements … As established above, plaintiffs have standing to bring this action as they have suffered a concrete injury in fact, caused by Obama’s ineligibility for the office of United States president, for which the court has a remedy.”
The brief also notes that no other case has addressed these particular circumstances, but to leave it unresolved is to court danger.
“If the current prime minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron were to be nominated by a political party to run for the office of president of the United States, could he do so on the grounds that there is no one with the authority to verify his status?”
The issue stems from the constitutional demand that the president – unlike others in the federal government – must be a “natural born citizen.” WND has covered a multitude of challenges and lawsuits over Obama’s eligibility. Some have alleged that he was not born in Hawaii in 1961 as he has written, or that the framers of the Constitution specifically excluded dual citizens – Obama’s father was a subject of the British crown at Obama’s birth – from being eligible for the office.
Besides Obama’s actual birth documentation, still-withheld documentation for him includes 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, medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.