Obama attorneys argue he's not Dem nominee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Attorneys arguing on behalf of Barack Obama’s
re-election plans today urged a Florida judge to decide that Obama is
not yet the Democratic nominee for president and ignore evidence
challenging his eligibility.
The arguments were raised by attorney Mark Herron on behalf of Obama
in a hearing before Judge Terry Lewis in Florida, who is best known for
presiding over the 2000 Bush v. Gore election dispute.
Lewis is credited with making crucial rulings in the contested 2000
presidential election when ultimately a Florida recount was halted by
the U.S. Supreme Court, and George W. Bush was declared the winner.
Attorney Larry Klayman filed the challenge to Obama’s eligibility for
the ballot on behalf of Michael Voeltz, who identifies himself in the
complaint as “a registered member of the Democratic Party, voter, and
taxpayer in Broward County.”
Attorneys representing Obama at the hearing, which was livestreamed
by WND, argued that the Florida presidential preference primary, which
listed Obama as the only Democrat nominee, didn’t make him the party’s
nominee for president.
Herron argued the Florida process affirms only that Obama is the
choice in the state’s presidential preference primary but is not
necessarily the party’s nominee for president.
“This language clearly indicates the winner of the president preference primary, not the nominee of the party,” he said.
But the judge noted that the party wrote to Florida’s secretary of
state a letter indicating Obama’s name was the only one submitted, and
he thought the state’s electors were bound to vote for him.
“Wasn’t there a letter [that said] this is the only candidate whose name will appear?” Lewis asked.
Obama’s attorneys said such a decision “has not been triggered yet.”
Klayman argued that according to state law, when only one name is
submitted, that person automatically becomes the nominee, even if the
national Democratic Party nominating convention has not been held.
No decision was announced immediately. The judge said he would review the law, but he had pointed questions for both sides.
When Klayman noted the Founding Fathers established the natural-born
citizen requirement because they wanted to avoid foreign influence on a
president from a non-citizen parent, Lewis countered by posing a
hypothetical situation in which a candidate’s two U.S.-citizen parents
later emigrate to Israel.
Klayman said the Founding Fathers’ attempt to avoid a conflict of
interest in the Oval Office did not include every possible scenario.
The judge asked whether the Democratic Party, as a private group, had
a right to choose a nominee, even if that person was ineligible.
Lewis questioned a citation by Obama’s attorneys of a Florida law
that suggests when only one person is on the ballot, that person becomes
the nominee. He told the attorneys he would review the details of the
The arguments by Obama’s attorneys reflected their request that the
judge simply dismiss the case because they claim a sitting president
chosen by his party at multiple levels is not yet officially the
Klayman accused the Obama attorneys of playing a “shell game” and
trying to put off the issue, as numerous courts did in 2008 until the
election was over and Obama was inaugurated.
The judge could remove Obama’s name from the November ballot in
Florida, a crucial swing state, should he determine that the
Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen”
can be applied at the primary level.
Klayman told WND that during a hearing last month on discovery issues
in the case, Lewis noted that the plaintiff’s brief cited U.S. Supreme
Court case Minor v. Happersett from 1875 defining “natural born citizen”
as the offspring of two citizens of the nation, while the Obama
campaign’s arguments provided no citations.
Defining the term is critical. Such a step has not been reached in
any of the more than 100 legal cases that have been brought over Obama’s
The U.S. Constitution’s “natural born citizen” requirement is not
imposed on other federal officials. The writings of the Founders
indicate the requirement was meant to ensure that no person who had
divided loyalties would serve as commander in chief.
Klayman has argued that since Obama, by his own admission, was not
born to two citizen parents, he is not a “natural born citizen” and,
therefore, is ineligible to be a candidate on the state’s election
Florida’s election statutes provide broad protections for voters to
ensure that the integrity of the election system is beyond reproach. One
of the laws allows voters to challenge the nomination of a candidate
who is not eligible for the office he is seeking.
WND earlier reported on the case, which raises some of the same issues that have been raised in other state ballot challenges. Specifically it alleges:
On or about April 2011, only after years
into his presidency, and under media and political pressure, Barack
Hussein Obama published on the Internet an electronic version of a
purported birth certificate alleging his birth in Honolulu, Hawaii on
August 4, 1961, to American citizen mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and
Kenyan British subject father, Barack Obama Senior.
There is credible evidence indicating that
this electronically produced birth certificate is entirely fraudulent
or otherwise altered. No physical, paper copy of the actual long form
birth certificate has been produced in order to definitively establish
Barack Hussein Obama’s birth within the United States.
The action follows by weeks the release of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s
investigation into Obama’s eligibility. The investigation by
professional law enforcement officers working on a volunteer basis for
Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse found probable cause that Obama’s birth
certificate was forged and fraudulently presented as a genuine document.
The plaintiff has submitted affidavits from Arpaio and others to support the claim.
The complaint explains that even if Obama was born within the United
States, he is still not a “natural-born citizen” as required by the U.S.
Constitution. That’s because his father was born in the British Colony
of Kenya on June 18, 1936, making him a British subject, according to
the British Nationality Act of 1948.
A case filing explains: “No physical, paper copy of defendant Obama’s
birth certificate has been presented to establish his eligibility. …
Defendant Obama has electronically produced a copy of what he purports
to be his ‘birth certificate.’ Nevertheless, there is evidence to
suggest that the electronically produced birth certificate is entirely
fraudulent or otherwise altered.”
When asked by Judge Lewis, Klayman confirmed he could add to the
complaint details of the evidence Obama was not born in the U.S.
Obama’s attorneys told the judge that other courts have decided that
courts should not make such decisions and the process is better handled
by Congress. They said state courts especially are not suited to making a
decision on the eligibility of Obama.
“They are precluded from judging the qualifications of candidates for president of the United States,” the Obama attorneys said.
But Klayman pleaded with the judge to decide the issue, because a
determination made after the election could negate Florida’s vote.
“Florida has a special duty not just on behalf of the citizens of Florida but on behalf of the United States,” he said.
Klayman referred to a recent Obama order to underscore the
significance of the Founders’ desire that the president not have divided
loyalties or “not even a hint of foreign influence.”
“Just a few days ago, he issued an executive order … which in effect
allows illegal alien students who came into this country … to remain in
this country. … The president’s own father was in fact here on a student
visa and ultimately was deported because that visa expired.”
Klayman reiterated the Supreme Court’s Minor v. Happersett definition
of “natural born citizen” as a person born in the country of two
“The point is this, your honor,” said Klayman. “The president is not
like everybody else. If that was the case the framers would have said
‘citizens’ [can be president.]”
He accused Obama’s attorneys of trying to “push the issue down the road” until the legal process would fail due to lack of time.
“It’s a shell game,” Klayman said. ” … Neither the Florida
Constitution nor the federal Constitution … would ever sanction what
they are saying.”
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