A federal judge in California today listened to government lawyers argue that a lawsuit over President Obama’s eligibility should be immediately dismissed but refused to grant their request, saying he would make his decision and announce it later.
The result came this morning from U.S. District Judge David Carter, who already has set a tentative trial date for the dispute Jan. 26, 2010. The judge also already had lawyers draw up a tentative schedule for hearings and deadlines in preparation for the trial.
WND previously reported on plans for the hearing handled by attorneys Orly Taitz and Gary Kreep, each representing separate clients.
The lawsuit was brought by several political candidates and party officials, including former U.S. ambassador Alan Keyes and Wiley Drake and Markham Robinson of the American Independent Party.
They are suing Obama alleging he is not eligible to be president under the U.S. Constitution’s requirement for a “natural born” citizen in the Oval Office. Forty-six of the plaintiffs are represented by Taitz, who has worked on a multitude of lawsuits over Obama’s eligibility, and two – Drake and Robinson – are represented by Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation.
Kreep told WND after the hearing it appeared to him the judge was expecting answers and failed to get them from government attorneys during the hearing.
“He was asking the [Department of Justice] to explain impeachment. If he really was [legitimately president], how would that work.”
Kreep said he argued impeachment wasn’t relevant, since “you have to have a valid, elected president.” He said a court hearing with full disclosure of evidence is required, since the impeachment provision wouldn’t technically apply to someone who never was qualified to be president.
Taitz was contacted by WND but declined to comment on today’s hearing.
But Kreep said he argued that a simple numbers formula also doesn’t apply. Many of the government arguments have noted the candidates who are plaintiffs, such as Keyes, did not have a reasonable mathematical probability of winning the presidential election.
That assertion is not relevant, Kreep said he argued. Had Obama’s ineligibility been publicized before the election, Hillary Clinton likely would have become the nominee, and she might have been vulnerable to other candidates, he said.
Carter’s order that no discovery of evidence will be allowed until his decision was continued today.
Lawyers representing Obama in the case claim “no single federal district court has the power to declare that a sitting president is not fit or qualified to occupy the office, and is, therefore, not a legitimate president.”
The attorneys have argued the election process and Constitution allow only Congress to examine the credentials of a presidential candidate, and in any event, that opportunity is long gone.
They have argued, “Plaintiffs simply are not the proper parties to challenge President Obama’s qualifications or fitness for office and this court is not the proper forum to decide this issue.”
The plaintiffs, however, have argued on behalf of their “real, tangible injuries” from Obama’s placement in the White House. If he is not eligible, “they have been denied a free and fair election.”
They have suggested the simplest resolution is to put Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other government officials under oath and question them about Obama’s birth and birth records.
They also have indicated plans to ask, if given permission by the court, for copies of Hawaiian records regarding Obama’s birth, Washington state records regarding him and his mother, his Harvard Law School records, passport records and a long list of other documents.
According to Sept. 25 court documents the DOJ filed in response to Kreep’s opposition to dismissal, the DOJ states, “The arguments made by these plaintiffs, in large measure, completely ignore the fact that Barack Obama is the president of the United States and seek to treat him as simply a candidate for office. Try as they might, plaintiffs cannot conceal the fact that what they are really seeking in this case is nothing less than a determination by this United States District Court that President Obama should be removed from office. The preposterous nature of this assertion is readily apparent. No single United States District Court has the power to try the question of whether a sitting president of the United States should be allowed to remain in office.”
Kreep has requested immediate access to Obama’s records, such as his original long-form birth certificate and his Occidental College records. The plaintiffs’ suspicion is that those records would undermine the president’s statements that he is a “natural born” citizen, which could disqualify him. For example, an original birth certificate could indicate it was a “delayed” filing, which could open the door for a birth location outside the United States.
Likewise, the Occidental College records could be significant if Obama attended on a program for foreign students or represented himself as a foreign student at the time.
The DOJ also filed a separate response to Taitz’s opposition to dismissal Sept. 25, stating, “Much of the opposition filed by these plaintiffs is a disjointed polemic, completely devoid of citation to any case or statutory authority. Defendants will not waste the court’s time, or that of undersigned counsel by seeking to respond to the many irrelevant statements and references made therein.”
Both Taitz and Kreep have expressed significant differences of opinion in how the case should be handled. Should the lawsuit proceed, it will be the first time the merits of the dispute have been heard in open court.
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.
Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend sums probably exceeding $1 million to avoid releasing an original long-form state birth certificate that would put to rest the questions.
WND also has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, Punahou 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, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.
Because of the dearth of information about Obama’s eligibility, WND founder Joseph Farah has launched a campaign to raise contributions to post billboards asking a simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip
The campaign followed a petition that has collected more than 475,000 signatures demanding proof of his eligibility, the availability of yard signs raising the question and the production of permanent, detachable magnetic bumper stickers asking the question.
The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.
Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.
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