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An attorney working on a case challenging Barack Obama’s name on the Georgia 2012 presidential election ballot says the state’s “laws and courts are a sham” and protect the powerful against the powerless.
The comments come from Van Irion of Liberty Legal Foundation, one of several attorneys who started out several weeks ago with a challenge to Obama’s candidacy based on a state law that allows residents to require candidates to prove their eligibility for the office they seek.
At the hearing level, an administrative law judge simply threw out all of the evidence and ruled in favor of Obama, who, along with his lawyer, snubbed the hearing and refused to appear at all.
An intermediate court followed suit and now the state Supreme Court has issued a terse denial of a request for a preliminary injunction.
“Upon consideration of applicant’s ‘Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction,’ the motion is hereby denied,” the court said in a one-line refusal.
Irion had asked the court to halt the certification of the primary election results that included Obama’s name until the court case could be argued.
“I believe that this latest ruling proves that Georgia law does not apply to the powerful,” he said in today’s statement to supporters and others. “Put another way, Georgia laws are enforced against the powerless by the powerful, but when the powerless try to have the laws applied to the powerful the courts protect the powerful.
“This is worse than anarchy. With total anarchy everyone knows that the powerful rule. With anarchy everyone understands that the only rules are the rules that the powerful want to enforce, when the powerful want to enforce them. What we have in Georgia is a system of laws and courts that appear to be fair and claim to be impartial, but in reality the purpose of the laws and courts is to deceive the people into thinking that justice is possible. The laws and courts are a sham. The courts serve to disguise the one-sided enforcement of the law.”
He noted that the justices had the request for a week, but waited until there was no time to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of the injunction before releasing their order.
“If we had been given one or two days we could have filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Supreme Court. … I’m sure that the Georgia Supreme Court is aware that Justice [Clarence] Thomas would have been our next step, had we had time to file another motion. The Georgia court ensured that such review was not possible by waiting until the last day to rule before our motion became moot.”
He said the fight will continue, as the dispute now was only over a request for an injunction.
The challenges to Obama had been raised by several individuals represented by different attorneys. They brought the arguments under a state law that allows any citizen to challenge the qualifications of a candidate.
The plaintiffs argued several points before administrative law judge Michael Malihi, including Obama’s alleged failure to qualify as a “natural-born citizen” as required by the U.S. Constitution for presidents. Obama has admitted in his writings his father never was a U.S. citizen, and attorneys argued that the understanding of the Founders, and a subsequent Supreme Court ruling, defines natural-born citizen as the offspring of two citizens of the country at the time of the birth.
Citizens raising concerns include David Farrar, Leah Lax, Thomas Malaren and Laurie Roth, represented by Orly Taitz; David Weldon represented by attorney Van R. Irion of Liberty Legal Foundation; and Carl Swensson and Kevin Richard Powell, represented by J. Mark Hatfield. Cody Judy is raising a challenge because he also wants to be on the ballot.
The legal foundation earlier noted other obstructions created by the court system for the plaintiffs:
For instead, “The Georgia Superior Court clerk initially refuses to file LLF’s appeal document, then backs down after being instructed on the law.” Then, “The Georgia Superior Court clerk refuses to file LLF’s emergency motion for preliminary injunction because $1 was not included with our filing. Then, when LLF hand delivers $1 to the clerk, the clerk sits on the motion for 10 days and mails it back to LLF claiming that the correct staffer didn’t get the $1. Our plaintiff gave the case number, name of the motion, and name of the staffer, who was literally pointed at in the room. Yet the clerk’s office still claims that that staffer didn’t get the $1. The motion had to be completely re-filed and was then delayed another two days before finally being filed.”
The foundation also noted, “The chief judge of the Superior Court was made aware of all of the incidents occurring in her clerk’s office, yet she did nothing to correct the situation.”
When Obama’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss, the court also waited three days to notify Irion’s foundation and then it was with the message that the time to file an opposition had been shortened.
“Late that same day the chief judge signs an order denying LLF’s motion to have Van Irion admitted as a visiting attorney in this case, preventing LLF from filing the opposition that the court had ordered us to file 6 hours earlier. (Note that I’ve been admitted as a visiting attorney in 5 states and at every level of court, both state and federal. I’ve never been denied admission before. Further, my local attorney sponsor was a sitting member of the state’s legislature, making this denial even more shocking.) Even more outrageous is the timing of the denial, made just hours before a court-set deadline, after the court sat on our motion for more than two weeks,” Irion said.
“Only 90 minutes after our plaintiff files an opposition himself (because LLF was denied the ability to file it for him), the chief judge issues a three-page opinion granting Obama’s motion to dismiss our appeal. It seems obvious that the court’s opinion was written before they asked us to file an opposition. Also, the dismissal was granted while the court had not even received the record of the hearing held by the lower court. In other words, it ruled without even reviewing the record or reading our plaintiff’s opposition,” the foundation said.
Malihi had been charge with responding to the complaints brought over Obama’s candidacy under a state law that 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.”