Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is the highest-ranking and first active-duty officer to refuse to obey orders based on President Obama’s eligibility.
The question of Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president is being discussed in conference before the Supreme Court today, as an attorney is asking the justices to stop lower courts from passing the buck on where eligibility challenges should be heard.
“We have clear controversy between different courts,” Taitz told WND. “The judge in Capt. Rhodes’ case said he was not going to decide a lawsuit on internal matters of the military, saying it was up to the military to decide.
“On other hand,” she pointed out, “in Lakin’s case, Army Judge [Col. Denise R.] Lind says it’s not up to the military, and based on that, Lakin was imprisoned.”
Furthermore, Taitz explained, civil courts have also issued decisions citing mutually exclusive reasons for refusing to rule on Obama’s eligibility.
“In Alan Keyes’ lawsuit, a California judge said the case was premature, because the electoral process had yet to run its course. The case was filed before the meeting of electors, and only afterward could the judiciary step in,” Taitz told WND. “But in cases in Georgia, Judge [Clay] Land stated that it was frivolous to file so late, after the Electoral College had run its course.”
Taitz’ implied question, which she has now submitted to the Supreme Court for a definitive answer, is, which is it? Should challenges be brought before the election is ratified or after? And should soldiers bring their challenges to civilian courts or military?
“When we have cases with different courts and military courts coming up with decisions that are clearly contradictory, the Supreme Court has to hear this case on the merits and resolve such disputes between courts,” Taitz insists.
In the case of Capt. Rhodes, Judge Land insisted the legitimacy of the commander in chief was a question for the military and issued Taitz a $20,000 sanction for thus bringing a “frivolous” lawsuit to a civilian court.
But in her most recently filed brief, Taitz argues Lt. Col. Lakin’s case demonstrates the need for the Supreme Court to establish where and when challenges to Obama’s eligibility can be given hearing.
“Currently we have conflicting and diametrically opposite decisions,” the brief states. “Taitz was sanctioned because Land believed the legitimacy of order was internal for the military, and Lakin was dishonorably discharged and imprisoned because Judge Lind believed that it is not up to the military to decide.
“There has to be a judicial determination by the Supreme Court in the land, the Supreme Court of the United States, whether members of the U.S. military can question legitimacy of orders coming down the chain of command from [an] illegitimate commander in chief,” the brief continues. “[The Supreme Court] needs to determine whether such challenge and inquiry into legitimacy of orders can be mounted in federal court, state court or military court.”
The Supreme Court is meeting in conference today and scheduled to consider the merits of Taitz’s brief. The attorney told WND a decision on whether or not to hear arguments in the case could be announced as soon as Monday.
There have been dozens of lawsuits and challenges over the fact that Obama’s eligibility never has been documented. The “Certification of Live Birth” his campaign posted online is a document that Hawaii has made available to those not born in the state.
The controversy stems from the Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, 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.”
The challenges to Obama’s eligibility allege he does not qualify because he was not born in Hawaii in 1961 as he claims, or that he fails to qualify because he was a dual citizen, through his father, of the U.S. and the United Kingdom when he was born and the framers of the Constitution specifically excluded dual citizens from eligibility.
There are several cases still pending before the courts over Obama’s eligibility, including two that are scheduled to be discussed by the members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Others remain pending at the appellate level.
Those cases, however, almost all have been facing hurdles created by the courts’ interpretation of “standing,” meaning someone who is being or could be harmed by the situation. The courts have decided almost unanimously that an individual taxpayer faces no damages different from other taxpayers, therefore doesn’t have standing. Judges even have ruled that other presidential candidates are in that position.
The result is that none of the court cases to date has reached the level of discovery, through which Obama’s birth documentation could be brought into court.
“What we need are hundreds of thousands of Americans endorsing this strategy on the petition – encouraging more action by state officials before the 2012 election. Imagine if just one or two states adopt such measures before 2012. Obama will be forced to comply with those state regulations or forgo any effort to get on the ballot for re-election. Can Obama run and win without getting on all 50 state ballots? I don’t think so,” he said.
For 18 months, Farah has been one of the few national figures who has steadfastly pushed the issue of eligibility, despite ridicule, name-calling and ostracism at the hands of most of his colleagues. To date, in addition to the earlier petition, he has:
“Obama may be able to continue showing contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law for the next two years, as he has demonstrated his willingness to do in his first year in office,” he wrote in a column. “However, a day of reckoning is coming. Even if only one significant state, with a sizable Electoral College count, decides a candidate for election or re-election has failed to prove his or her eligibility, that makes it nearly impossible for the candidate to win. It doesn’t take all 50 states complying with the law to be effective.”
If you are a member of the media and would like to interview Joseph Farah about this campaign, e-mail WND.