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 man who was on the American Independent Party’s presidential ticket in California in 2008 as well as a certified elector for the party have asked a full panel of a federal appeals court to hear their claim that Barack Obama wasn’t qualified to be president, stacking the election unfairly against qualified candidates.
The petition for a rehearing of the full bench was filed today by Kreep on behalf of his clients. Taitz earlier told WND her plaintiffs will pursue further action but which step would be taken was as yet unclear.
Kreep’s clients are Wiley S. Drake, a candidate for the White House on the American Independent Party ticket in California; and Markham Robinson, a certified California elector for the American Independent Party.
The judges had observed: “These plaintiffs argue that they have standing because, as candidates running against Obama in the 2008 election, they had an interest in having a fair competition. … If Obama entered the presidential race without meeting the requirements for the office, they contend, the candidates did not have a fair opportunity to obtain votes in their favor.”
The opinion from the panel of judges Harry Pregerson, Ray Fisher and Marsha Berzon explained the concept is called “competitive standing,” and they affirmed it as legitimate grounds for concern.
“This notion of ‘competitive standing’ has been recognized by several circuits,” the opinion said. “We, too, have upheld the notion of ‘competitive standing.’ In Owen v. Mulligan, we held that the ‘potential loss of an election’ was an injury-in-fact sufficient to give a local candidate and Republican party officials standing. In that case, the candidate for local office sued the Postal Service for giving his rival a preferential mailing rate, in violation of its own regulations.”
The opinion said the case had the candidate and party officials seeking “to prevent their opponent from gaining an unfair advantage.” However, in Obama’s case, the court panel simply said that once the inauguration was held, the claims evaporated, because the plaintiffs no longer were “candidates.”
“The original complaint was filed Jan. 20, 2009, at 3:26 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, after President Obama was officially sworn is as president,” the judges wrote. “Once the 2008 election was over and the president sworn in, Keyes, Drake and Lightfoot were no longer ‘candidates’ for the 2008 general election. Moreover, they have not alleged any interest in running against President Obama in the future.
The opinion neglected to note Obama’s flub of the oath of office and his decision to retake it later.
However, the petition to the appeals court noted that Berzon, in a hearing in May, “mentioned that the issue raised in this case was an important constitutional issue that needed to be resolved.”
But the opinion itself said nothing on the issue.
“In the judgment of counsel, a rehearing en banc (the full bench) is required because the panel’s opinion denies candidates for the office of president of the United States the opportunity to redress the injury to themselves when they are forced to compete against unqualified candidates,” Kreep wrote.
“Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution specifies the minimum requirements necessary to hold the office. However, there is currently no mechanism, at either the state or at the federal level, to review, or verify, whether a candidate has met the … requirements.
“If the issue of ineligible candidates running for the office of United States president is not resolved, then candidates in future elections will continue to face the prospect that some of their opponents are competing for an office that the opponents are ineligible to hold, thus denying eligible candidates a level playing field,” the brief said.
“Drake and Robinson request that this court resolve this current issue of who has the authority to verify that a presidential candidate meets the constitutionally required eligibility requirements, because there remains a question as to whether absurd results may occur unless and until this court so determines. Arnold Schwarzenegger is well known as having been born in Austria. If there are no means of compelling verification of a presidential candidate’s birth status, Mr. Schwarzenegger could run for, and be elected, president of the United States.”
The brief continued, “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 as required under the U.S. Constitution. … Because of this, there is a strong potential for of persons running for, and being elected to, the office of president of the United States, when said persons have no constitutional eligibility to hold the office.”
Such a case took place in North Dakota in the 1930s when Thomas H. Moodie was removed from the office of governor. Moodie had failed to meet a state residency requirement to be governor. But he was elected anyway, installed and ultimately removed from office by the state Supreme Court over that failure.
According to Kreep, the court in the Moodie case held, “The lack of residential qualifications on the part of the governor is a legal disability. The [North Dakota] constitution does not differentiate between a disability existing before election and one occurring after election in regard to the right of the lieutenant governor to assume the powers and duties of the office of governor. The provision in the constitution devolving these powers and duties upon him must be construed in the light of reason. … When the framers of the constitution used the language which we are here considering, they intended to include legal as well as physical or mental disabilities, and did not exclude disabilities existing prior to election.
“Here, in like manner, Drake and Robinson allege that Obama is legally disabled by his birth status. The condition of being ineligible for particular elected office does not change on account of winning the requisite number of votes to otherwise win the office. If one is ineligible when a candidate, the same person continues to be ineligible after being elected,” the brief said.
“If Mr. Obama is, in fact, ineligible for the office of president of the United States, it is insufficient that he received a majority of the Electoral College votes and has served for some time in the office, because ineligibility is not vacated by votes, else the Constitution could be amended contrary to the Constitution’s own dictates,” it said.
While Obama’s “Certificate of Live Birth” was released by the White House, other documentation for him remains sealed, including kindergarten records, high 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.
“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.”
Taitz and Kreep had another case that ran through the state court system that raised similar issues and ultimately was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, which simply posted a notice it would not hear the case.
The image that Obama released as his birth documentation, which has been challenged repeatedly by computer, imaging and document experts as a fraud: