One of the attorneys who argued before a Georgia judge today that Barack Obama is ineligible to have his name on the state’s 2012 presidential ballot says the president’s decision to snub the court system and ignore the hearing is a dangerous precedent that threatens the foundation of the United States.
“We have a president who has openly refused to comply with a legal order of the judicial branch,” Van Irion told WND after today’s hearing before Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi concluded in Atlanta.
Malihi’s recommendation on the issue, whether Obama’s name should be on the ballot or not, is expected later and eventually will end up before state Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
Irion, of Liberty Legal Foundation, represents David Weldon, who filed a complaint under state law challenging Obama.
David Farrar, Leah Lax, Thomas Malaren and Laurie Roth are represented by California attorney Orly Taitz and
Carl Swensson and Kevin Richard Powell are represented by J. Mark Hatfield. Cody Judy is raising a challenge because he also wants to be on the ballot.
In Georgia, a state law requires “every candidate for federal” office who is certified by the state executive committees of a political party or who files a notice of candidacy “shall meet the constitutional and statutory qualifications for holding the office being sought.”
State law also grants the secretary of state and any “elector who is eligible to vote for a candidate” in the state the authority to raise a challenge to a candidate’s qualifications, the judge determined.
The White House was notified of the hearing, and Obama’s lawyer filed a motion to quash the subpoena for Obama to appear at the hearing to testify, and to bring with him records of his birth.
Malihi refused, noting that, “Defendant argues that ‘if enforced, [the subpoena] requires him to interrupt duties as president of the United States’ to attend a hearing in Atlanta, Georgia. However, defendant fails to provide any legal authority to support his motion to quash the subpoena to attend.”
His order said, “Defendant’s motion suggests that no president should be compelled to attend a court hearing. This may be correct. But defendant has failed to enlighten the court with any legal authority.”
He said, “Specifically, defendant has failed to cite to any legal authority evidencing why his attendance is ‘unreasonable or oppressive, or that the testimony … [is] irrelevant, immaterial, or cumulative and unnecessary to a party’s preparation or presentation at the hearing, or that basic fairness dictates that the subpoena should not be enforced.’”
Obama’s lawyer, Michael Jablonski then told Kemp that he and his client were not going to participate in the hearing because the judge was letting attorneys “run amok,” and Kemp responded that not participating would be at Obama’s “peril.”
Irion told WND a decision on the substance of the hearing was important to get on the record. He said often when one party simply refuses to show up for a hearing, a default judgment is the result.
He said in this case he would not have wanted such a result, because that would not have allowed the evidence to be entered into the record, which undoubtedly will find its way into an appellate court system.
“At this point, there’s really nothing we can do [about Obama.] If he can ignore the judiciary, we don’t have a constitutional republic any longer. We have a dictatorship,” he said.
Irion said that there are procedures and actions available, such as seeking a writ of mandamus from a higher court, or Obama’s attorney could simply have argued the court doesn’t have jurisdiction.
“They didn’t do that,” he said. “They didn’t follow the process. They just said, ‘I don’t agree with the court, I’m just going to ignore it.’ That’s one thing you can’t do.”
He said the actions very clearly state that Obama believes he is above the laws that are applied to the rest of society.
And he said there should be consequences.
“Whenever a president does that, they have essentially said, ‘I am above the law, above the Constitution, above other branches.’ That is an impeachable offense. The very foundations of our system of government are at stake here.”
He noted even Nixon during Watergate and Clinton during the scandals over his sexual antics seemed to follow the procedures.
Irion noted that Obama previously stepped on the wrong side of the law in attacking Arizona’s immigration plan, in taking over banks and car companies, and other situations.
But he said this is the “most blatant” example.
It’s one thing to maneuver and manipulate, he noted, but another simply to refuse to deal with such a court order.
“If this doesn’t lead to impeachment proceedings, everyone in Congress is as responsible,” he said.