One of the last remaining court battles over Barack Obama's presidential eligibility has gone down in flames in a 7-2 decision by the Alabama Supreme Court to render "no opinion."
However, the dissenting minority of Justice Tom Parker and Chief Justice Roy Moore concluded the case has serious constitutional significance, warranting an investigation of the qualifications of 2012 presidential candidates by Alabama's secretary of state.
Moore wrote in his dissent that the circuit court should have granted the plaintiffs' request to order the state secretary of state "to implement the natural-born-citizen requirement of the presidential-qualifications clause in future elections."
"Although the removal of a president-elect or a president who has taken the oath of office is within the breast of Congress, the determination of the eligibility of the 2012 presidential candidates before the casting of the electoral votes is a state function," Moore argued.
He said the case was of "great constitutional significance in regard to the highest office in our land."
"Should he who was elected to the presidency be determined to be ineligible, the remedy of impeachment is available through the United States Congress, and the plaintiffs in this case, (Hugh) McInnish and (Virgil) Goode, can pursue this remedy through their representatives in Congress."
Parker agreed with Moore's reasoning, except that he would call for the secretary of state to investigate eligibility issues once she "has received notice that a potential candidate may lack the necessary qualifications to be placed on an Alabama election ballot."
Both justices earlier had expressed concern about the issue.
Parker had filed a special, unpublished concurrence arguing that plaintiff Hugh McInnish's charge of "forgery" was legitimate cause for concern.
"Mclnnish has attached certain documentation to his mandamus petition, which, if presented to the appropriate forum as part of a proper evidentiary presentation, would raise serious questions about the authenticity of both the 'short form' and the 'long form' birth certificates of President Barack Hussein Obama that have been made public," he wrote.
Moore, in an interview with WND in 2010, defended Lt. Col Terrence Lakin's demand that Obama prove his eligibility as commander in chief as a condition of obeying deployment orders.
Lakin was stripped of his rank and removed from the military when he demanded to see evidence that Obama was a legitimate commander-in-chief of the military before carrying out deployment orders. He reasoned the orders would be illegal if Obama was not eligible to be president.
At the time, Moore said Lakin "not only has a right to follow his personal convictions under the Constitution, he has a duty."
"And if the authority running the efforts of the war is not a citizen in violation of the Constitution, the order is unlawful," he said.
In the 2010 interview with WND, Moore said he had seen no convincing evidence that Obama is a "natural born citizen" and considerable evidence that suggests he is not.
"This is the strangest thing indeed," he said. "The president has never produced [evidence] in the face of substantial evidence he was not born in our country. People are accepting it blindly based on their feelings, not on the law."
Moore explained that the Alabama case did not request a judicial determination of Obama's eligibility but an order that the elections officials in the state assure voters that candidates were eligible under the law.
He explained state law calls for candidates "who qualify for placement on the ballot in a presidential-preference primary … are 'entitled to have their names printed on the appropriate ballot for the general election, provided they are otherwise qualified for the office they seek.'"
"Under Alabama law, therefore, the Secretary of State, as the chief elections official, has a legal duty to determine that presidential-convention nominees who have run in the presidential primary are duly 'qualified for the office they seek' before placing their names on the general-election ballot," he continued.
The case raised some of the same arguments that appeared earlier in dozens of local, state and federal court cases in Obama's first term.
They all argued in some fashion that because of the lack of verifiable facts about Obama's birthplace, he might be constitutionally ineligible.
If the parents' citizenship is a qualifier, Obama by his own admission fails, since he reports his father was a Kenyan student who came to study in the U.S. but never was a U.S. citizen. The senior Obama already was married in Kenya before he met and married Obama Jr.'s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.
This case is brought on behalf of 2012 Constitution Party presidential nominee Virgil Goode and Alabama Republican Party leader Hugh McInnish, who are asking Alabama's highest court to force Secretary of State Beth Chapman to verify that all candidates on the state's 2012 ballot were eligible to serve.
Attorney Larry Klayman in a brief, argued that the secretary of state, "having the power to certify candidates, can surely de-certify – in effect disqualify – them if they are found to be ineligible."
He pointed out that, for example, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen rejected Petra Lindsay on the 2012 California primary ballot because she was 27 years old. The U.S. Constitution requires that the president be at least 35.
The "certain documentation" to which Parker referred comes from a Cold Case Posse investigation launched by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio's investigation has concluded that based on the evidence, the birth certificate documentation presented by the White House as "proof positive" of Obama's eligibility actually is fraudulent, created on a computer and not representative of any official document.
Arpaio's investigator have raised the possibility of fraud and forgery committed against American voters.
Citing the Arpaio investigation, Klayman says state officials "gained knowledge from an official source that there was probable cause to believe the Barack Obama had not met a certifying qualification."
"It would be paradoxical beyond measure if the real and grave question of the legitimacy of the de facto president, a question which lies at the very heart of our American constitutional government, were left unresolved for want of the simplest of documents, a birth certificate," Klayman said in an earlier filing.
Arpaio's lead investigator, Mike Zullo, has told WND sheriff's office investigators now are officially helping the volunteer Cold Case Posse.
"When this information is finally exposed to the public, it will be universe-shattering," Zullo said. "This is beyond the pale of anything you can imagine."
Zullo explained that because it's an active investigation that could produce criminal charges, he's unable to reveal details at the moment.
But the allegations, he said, which go far beyond a fraudulent birth certificate, could be public early this year.
Zullo has testified that the White House computer image of Obama's birth certificate contains anomalies that are unexplainable unless the document had been fabricated piecemeal by human intervention, rather than being copied from a genuine paper document.
See some of Zullo's evidence:
More recently, Grace Vuoto of the World Tribune reported that among the experts challenging the birth certificate is certified document analyst Reed Hayes, who has served as an expert for Perkins Coie, the law firm that has been defending Obama in eligibility cases.
"We have obtained an affidavit from a certified document analyzer, Reed Hayes, that states the document is a 100 percent forgery, no doubt about it," Zullo told the World Tribune.
"Mr. Obama's operatives cannot discredit [Hayes]," the investigator told the news outlet. "Mr. Hayes has been used as the firm's reliable expert. The very firm the president is using to defend him on the birth certificate case has used Mr. Hayes in their cases."
The Tribune reported Hayes agreed to take a look at the documentation and called almost immediately.
"There is something wrong with this," Hayes said.
Hayes produced a 40-page report in which he says "based on my observations and findings, it is clear that the Certificate of Live Birth I examined is not a scan of an original paper birth certificate, but a digitally manufactured document created by utilizing material from various sources."
"In over 20 years of examining documentation of various types, I have never seen a document that is so seriously questionable in so many respects. In my opinion, the birth certificate is entirely fabricated," he says in the report.
Investigator Douglas J. Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network reported that in October an affidavit was filed in a court case, under seal, that purportedly identifies the creator of the Obama birth certificate.
He said Douglas Vogt, an author and the owner and operator of a scanning business who also has an accounting background, invested over two years in an investigation of the authenticity of document.
Vogt, along with veteran typesetter Paul Ivey, conducted "exhaustive research of the document provided to the White House Press Corps on April 27, 2011 – not the online PDF, a critical distinction that must be understood," Hagmann said.
"Using their combined experience of 80 years in this realm, they conducted extensive examinations of the 'copy' that was used as the basis for the PDF document. They acquired the same type of equipment that was used back in the late 1950s and early 1960s in an attempt to recreate the document presented as an 'authenticated copy' proving the legitimacy of Barack Obama. Instead, they found 20 points of forgery on that document and detail each point of forgery in the affidavit," wrote Hagmann.
"Even more interesting, Mr. Vogt claims to have identified the 'signature' of the perpetrator, or the woman who created the forged document, hidden within the document itself. Her identity, in addition to the identity of other conspirators and their precise methods are contained in a sealed document supplementing the public affidavit."
Grounds for impeachment
Last year, WND columnist Christopher Monckton wrote that the controversy he calls "Hawaiigate" should be "the central ground of impeachment."
"First, the dishonesty is shameless and in your face. Mr Obama's advisers, once they realized the 'birth certificate' was as bogus as a $3 bill, knew that if they simply went on pretending that $3 bills are legal tender the hard-left-dominated news media would carefully and continuously look the other way, pausing occasionally to sneer at anyone who pointed out that, in this constitutionally crucial respect, the 'president' has no clothes," Monckton wrote.
"Secondly, not one of the numerous agencies of state, as well as federal government, whose duty was and is to investigate the Mickey-Mouse 'birth certificate' has bothered even to respond to the thousands of requests for investigation put forward by U.S. citizens."
He said that in Hawaii last year, he watched "as a senior former state senator called the police and, when they came, handed over to them compelling evidence that the 'birth certificate' had been forged."
"The police, correctly, passed the file to the state's attorney general, a 'Democrat,' who did nothing about it," he said.
"In Washington, D.C., I watched as a concerned citizen from Texas telephoned the FBI and reported the 'birth certificate' as being a forgery. They said they would send two agents to see him within the hour. No one came."
'You tell me about eligibility'
One of the highest profile skeptics has been billionaire Donald Trump.
Trump said he can't be certain that Obama is eligible to be president, and he pointedly noted that a reporter who was poking fun at the issue admitted he can't, either.
Trump repeatedly has insisted Obama has not documented his eligibility. At one point, he offered $5 million to the charity or charities of Obama's choice if he would release his passport records and authorize the colleges he attended to release his applications and other records.
Trump argues that those documents would show whether or not Obama ever accepted scholarship or other aid as a foreign student, which could preclude him from being a "natural-born citizen."
Trump's conversation with ABC's Jonathan Karl started with Karl noting that Trump took on the "not serious" issue of eligibility.
"Why does that make me not serious?" Trump demanded. "I think that resonated with a lot of people."
Karl replied: "You don't still question he was[n't] born in the United States, do you?"
"I have no idea," Trump said. "I don't know. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. You know some people say that was not his birth certificate. I'm saying I don't know. Nobody knows, and you don't know either. Jonathan you're a smart guy, and you don't know."
When Karl admitted he was "pretty sure," Trump jumped on the statement.
"You just said you're pretty sure … you have to be 100 percent sure," he said. "Jonathan, you said you're pretty convinced, so let's just see what happens over time."
Among the many records the Obama camp has refused to release are the marriage license of his father (Barack Sr.) and mother (Stanley Ann Dunham), name change records (Barry Soetero to Barack Hussein Obama), adoption records, records of his and his mother's repatriation as U.S. citizens from Indonesia, baptism records, Noelani Elementary School (Hawaii) records, Punahou School financial aid or school records, Occidental College financial aid records, Harvard Law School records, Columbia senior thesis, Columbia College records, record with Illinois State Bar Association, files from his terms as an Illinois state senator, his law client list, medical records and passport records.
In a brief asking that the Alabama case be dismissed, Democrats quoted late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
The party insisted: "In order for one to accept the claim that President Obama's birth certificate is a forgery [and that he is ineligible], one has to buy into a conspiracy theory so vast and byzantine that it sincerely taxes the imagination of reasonable minds."
The brief scoffs at "birthers" as a "tiny cabal of zealots" and quotes Kimmel saying: "These people could have personally witnessed Obama being born out of an apple pie, in the middle of a Kansas wheat field, while Toby Keith sang the National Anthem – and they'd still think he was a Kenyan Muslim."