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 ruling awaited from the Indiana Supreme Court is expected to determine whether Secretary of State Charlie White will remain in office after a lower court decided he was ineligible at the time he was elected.
Marion County Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg previously ruled White was ineligible to be on the 2010 ballot and Democrat runner-up, Vop Osili, should be declared the winner.
The case was moved up to the state Supreme Court today, and its eventual ruling is expected to gather much attention. While the specific situation is different, the issue of removing an elected official from office over eligibility has been dogging Barack Obama since before his inauguration in 2009.
Obama’s critics argue that he doesn’t meet the Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural-born citizen.” He, therefore, can’t be impeached, they further contend, because he never should have been installed in the Oval Office.
White has been confronted with series of other problems, including a pending trial in Hamilton County where there are voter fraud and perjury counts lodged against him. A spokesman for White’s office told the Journal & Courier newspaper of Lafayette, Ind., that the situation was “unprecedented.”
The controversy began when Democrats alleged before the 2010 election that White was guilty of voter fraud by voting in a precinct where he didn’t live. While White won the election by hundreds of thousands of votes, Democrats continued to insist he never was registered correctly.
He was scolded by the Indiana Recount Commission, but that decision said state law required only that he be registered in the state. Judge Rosenberg, a Democrat, thought otherwise.
He ruled that White was not registered properly in time for the election in which he was a candidate.
“The fact that Mr. White knowingly registered in the wrong precinct is sufficient to render him ineligible for the office of secretary of state,” he ruled.
Numerous court cases have been filed against Obama over his occupancy in the White House. But none has succeeded yet even in reaching the point of discovery where plaintiffs’ might determine whether concealed documentation for Obama reveals his status.
Some say he was not born in Hawaii as he has maintained and, therefore, is not eligible. Other critics say the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” requirement means that since his father never was a U.S. citizen, he wouldn’t qualify under any circumstances.
There are impeachment campaigns that have been launched encouraging his removal from office, but others say he doesn’t even qualify for impeachment, as a lack of eligibility should mean he never was president.
The Indiana decision, when it eventually is released, however, is not the only precedent that courts will have available.
He explained, “In 1968, the Peace and Freedom Party submitted the name of Eldridge Cleaver as a qualified candidate for president of the United States. The then-Secretary of State, Mr. Frank Jordan, found that, according to Mr. Cleaver’s birth certificate, he was only 34 years old, one year shy of the 35 years of age needed to be on the ballot as a candidate for president.
“Using his administrative powers, Mr. Jordan removed Mr. Cleaver from the ballot. Mr. Cleaver, unsuccessfully, challenged this decision to the Supreme Court of the State of California, and, later, to the Supreme Court of the United States, which affirmed the actions.”
Further, Kreep has argued, is the case of Thomas H. Moodie. He was a Democrat nominated by his party for governor in North Dakota in 1934. He beat his Republican opponent, Lydia Langer.
“As soon as the election was over, there was talk of impeachment, but no charges were filed,” the state’s archives say. “After Moodie’s inauguration on January 7, 1935, it was revealed that he had voted in a 1932 municipal election in Minnesota. In order to be eligible for governor, an individual has to have lived in the state for five consecutive years before the election. The State Supreme Court determined that Governor Moodie was ineligible to serve, and he was removed from office on February 16, 1935.”
The Indiana case could update the precedent that was established then for the removal of a politician from office, or from a ballot, because of ineligibility.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled just this week that although other candidates for the presidency in 2008 would have reason to think they would have standing to file a case alleging fraud against Obama, they lost their standing because they waited until minutes after the inauguration.
That ruling came even though Obama flubbed the oath during the public inauguration and the chief justice of the Supreme Court thought it necessary for him to retake it later in the privacy of the presidential quarters.
“I’m still waiting for the [court decision] on whether or not a Puerto Rican can run for president of the United States,” said Serrano, who was born in the island territory. “That’s another issue.”
Yet after Serrano questioned him on whether or not the land’s highest court would be well-served by a justice who had never been a judge, Thomas not only answered in the affirmative but also hinted that Serrano would be better off seeking a seat in the Supreme Court than a chair in the Oval Office.
“I’m glad to hear that you don’t think there has to be a judge on the court,” said Serrano, “because I’m not a judge; I’ve never been a judge.”
“And you don’t have to be born in the United States,” said Thomas, referring to the Constitution, which requires the president to be a natural born citizen but has no such requirement for a Supreme Court justice, “so you never have to answer that question.”
“Oh really?” asked Serrano. “So you haven’t answered the one about whether I can serve as president, but you answer this one?”
“We’re evading that one,” answered Thomas, referring to questions of presidential eligibility and prompting laughter in the chamber. “We’re giving you another option.”
When the justices refused to listen to the concerns, Laurence Elgin, an expert working with the Constitutional Rule of Law Fund and website and monitoring the case, said their “defiance of the court cases, their attitude they don’t really need to adhere to the law, is really unparalleled.”
“The public is going to grow increasingly concerned about Obama and the failure of the courts to deal with these concerns,” he told WND.
Obama released an image of a Hawaiian Certificate of Live Birth earlier this year:
But a number of experts in imaging, computers and documentation have concluded that the image is fraudulent.