A lawyer lobbying the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Supreme Court for a review of Barack Obama's qualifications to be president says a key conservative justice has hinted that another conservative justice has been voting against hearing the dispute.
According to Orly Taitz, a California attorney working through her Defend Our Freedoms Foundation on several cases challenging Obama, said she was presented with an opportunity to ask a question of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia yesterday.
The issue of Obama's eligibility has been raised before the Supreme Court at least four times already but has yet to be given a single hearing. Cases have been brought by Taitz, Philip Berg, Cort Wrotnowski and Leo Donofrio.
While the requests have been heard "in conference" by the justices, no hearings have resulted on the evidence. WND previously has reported that cases brought to individual justices on an emergency basis can be discussed in such conferences, but they need the affirmative vote from four justices before a hearing on the merits can be scheduled.
The Supreme Court today is considered to have mainly a 4-4 conservative-liberal split, with one swing vote on most issues. On the conservative side generally are Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Anthony Kennedy often is the swing vote. The liberal side frequently includes Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.
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No explanations on the court's response to the Obama citizenship issue have been offered until now.
Taitz reported she attended a reception for Scalia and stood "right by the mic, just to make sure I have an opportunity to ask a question. Only four lawyers out of about 300 in the audience got to ask their questions and I was lucky to be one of them."
She said, "I told Scalia that I was an attorney that filed Lightfoot v. Bowen that Chief Justice Roberts distributed for conference on Jan. 23 and now I represent nine state reps and 120 military officers, many of them high ranked, and I want to know if they will hear Quo Warranto and if they would hear it on original jurisdiction, if I bring Hawaii as an additional defendant to unseal the records and ascertain Obama's legitimacy for presidency."
Taitz said she had some worries asking the question.
"I have to say that I prepared myself to a lot of boo-ing, knowing that Los Angeles trial lawyers and entertainment elite are Obama's stronghold, however there was no boo-ing, no negative remarks," she said. "I actually could see a lot of approving nods, smiles, many gasped and listened intensely. I could tell, that even Obama's strongest supporters wanted to know the answer.
"Scalia stated that it would be heard if I can get four people to hear it. He repeated, you need four for the argument. I got a feeling that he was saying that one of these four that call themselves constitutionalists went to the other side," Taitz said.
"He did not say that it is a political question, he did not say that it is for the legislature to decide. For example, right after me another attorney has asked him about his case of taxing some Internet commerce and right away Scalia told him that he should address it with the legislature. He did not say it to me. He did not say that Quo Warranto is antiquated or not appropriate. No, just get four," she said.
She then bought Scalia's book and waited in line to get it autographed.
"I gave him the books to sign and asked, 'Tell me what to do, what can I do, those soldiers [her plaintiffs] can be court-martialed for asking a legitimate question, who is the president, is he legitimate.' He said, 'Bring the case, I'll hear it, I don't know about others.'"
The legal phrase essentially means an explanation is being demanded for what authority Obama is using to act as president. An online constitutional resource says Quo Warranto "affords the only judicial remedy for violations of the Constitution by public officials and agents."
The plaintiffs allege Obama failed to submit prima facie evidence of his qualifications before Jan. 20, 2009.
"Election officers failed to challenge, validate or evaluate his qualifications. Relators submit that as president elect, Respondent Obama failed [tO] qualify per U.S. CONST. Amend. XX [paragraph] 3," the document said.
John Eidsmoe, an expert on the U.S. Constitution working with the Foundation on Moral Law, said the demand is a legitimate course of action.
"She basically is asking, 'By what authority' is Obama president," he told WND. "In other words, 'I want you to tell me by what authority. I don't really think you should hold the office.'"
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama's status as a "natural born citizen." The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, 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."
Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama's American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Although Obama officials have told WND all such allegations are "garbage," here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama's eligibility:
- New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn't properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.
- Pennsylvania Democrat Philip Berg has three cases pending, including Berg vs. Obama in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a separate Berg vs. Obama which is under seal at the U.S. District Court level and Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, (now dismissed) brought on behalf of a retired military member who could be facing recall to active duty by Obama.
- Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.
- Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut's secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.
- Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes headlines a list of people filing a suit in California, in a case handled by the United States Justice Foundation, that asks the secretary of state to refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office. The case is pending, and lawyers are seeking the public's support.
- Chicago attorney Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama's vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.
- Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama's eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama's citizenship. His case was denied.
- In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.
- Also in Ohio, there was the Greenberg v. Brunner case which ended when the judge threatened to assess all case costs against the plaintiff.
- In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama's citizenship. The case was denied.
- In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama's birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia's secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.
- California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters.
In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog as raising questions about Obama's eligibility include:
- In Texas, Darrel Hunter vs. Obama later was dismissed.
- In Ohio, Gordon Stamper vs. U.S. later was dismissed.
- In Texas, Brockhausen vs. Andrade.
- In Washington, L. Charles Cohen vs. Obama.
- In Hawaii, Keyes vs. Lingle, dismissed.