On Dec 8, the United States Supreme Court (USSC) rejected a lawsuit asking the judges to determine whether Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to assume the office of president. The suit was filed by New Jersey attorney Leo Donofrio who originally sought the removal of, not only Obama's name from that state's ballot, but also Sen. John McCain and Roger Calero, claiming all failed to meet the “natural born citizen” clause, (one of three specified presidential qualifications), of the Constitution.
In Obama's case, since his father was a citizen of Kenya, an African country then under British control, laws at that time required the American parent – in order to register the child as a citizen – to have been a resident at least 10 years, five of which had to be beyond age 14. Since Obama's mother was 18 at time of birth, she did not meet the legal requirement, however, Obama is still considered – even according to his Fight the Smears campaign website – to have had dual citizenship at birth; a status some say still disqualifies him from being a “natural born citizen.”
In McCain's case, he was born in Panama to American parents stationed there for military duty. Calero, who ran as a candidate for the Socialist Workers Party, was born in Nicaragua. All appeared as contenders in New Jersey and for that reason were included in Donofrio's lawsuit against the Secretary of State (SOS) in which he argued that Obama was born in Hawaii but, for the above reasons, was not “natural born” per the legal definition.
Even though the USSC refused to hear arguments on the case, there are already two more set for court conference, and several more to be filed, according to Orly Taitz, one of the lawyers representing Alan Keyes' California case seeking to bar the SOS and California's 55 electors from certifying or casting electoral votes until Obama has submitted a certified copy of his original birth certificate to prove his “natural-born” citizenship.
Donofrio's case was rejected because of a technical glitch and not for lack of merit. Such a technicality, Taitz said in a phone interview, is not present in another, “stronger” case set to be reviewed by USSC on Dec.12. Attorney Cort Wrotnowski's case was originally filed in Connecticut and he also argued that McCain did not meet the natural-born citizen requirement, and that Obama had dual-citizenship at birth and, therefore, was ineligible to be certified by the SOS office as a candidate for president. He sought a judicial order delaying the Dec 15 electoral college vote until eligibility could be verified but his filings were denied by Connecticut judges. This paved the way for him to seek redress from the country's top court and he did so, taking the opportunity to highlight the seriousness of the request to suspend the electoral college vote in every state, not just New Jersey.
“As this case involves the possible voiding of the popular vote of our national election, it concerns a matter of vital public importance and is of such extraordinary nature that no other Court should be responsible for the incredible weight of decision now before this Honorable Court,” reads his legal filing.
Wrotnowski went on to cite various court rulings from the past which indicate a natural born citizen is one born in the U.S. from parents who are both citizens. Based on such definition, he asks the USSC: “Is Presidential Candidate Barack Obama ineligible to hold the office of president?”
The Berg case; a scam?
In another case, which the Court denied on. Dec 9, Philadelphia attorney Phil Berg made similar arguments, seeking the USSC review his case which was rejected weeks ago by the superior court of his home state. He asserts that Obama – a constitutional lawyer – was well aware of his ineligibility. Unlike others who believe the history-making candidate to have been born in Hawaii, Berg believes evidence will show him born in Kenya and therefore, ineligible to run for president. In September, he sued requesting the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Obama present documents such as an original birth certificate to clear up the claims about ineligibility but no response was received; other than that the DNC has reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars to defend Obama's right not to release the document. Calls to the DNC for confirmation were unreturned at time of publication.
There are some, however, who find several of Berg's claims to be unsubstantiated and his tactics to be primarily profit-related which they say hurt his case and the efforts of all others seeking resolution of the matter. “This guy Phil Berg is nothing but a thief. He comes up with these outlandish schemes and nonsense because he uses them as a money making machine,” said Andy Martin, Editor of ContrarianCommentary.com, investigator and author of “Obama: The Man Behind the Mask.”
The law professor has been delving into Obama's life story for more than four years and said Berg consulted him prior to ever deciding to start the string of lawsuits he has filed. Martin claims that he, after doing his own research, found discrepancies related to Obama's birth story and saw that it was likely he was born with dual citizenship; a fact he felt the then-senator might want to make known but he did little else with the information at that time. “I think [Obama's] an interesting character and obviously I believe there are great doubts about him, but I don't believe in fabricating lies to match his lies,” Martin said. “He hasn't told the truth about the birth certificate.”
His reference is to the facsimile copy of the Certification of Live Birth Obama placed on his campaign website to dispel the rumors and reports about his birth, but Martin explained that the internet image is nothing more than an “abstract” of an original. Unlike Berg, he does not believe Obama was born in Kenya but is hesitant to draw firm conclusions without knowing what is on the original birth certificate, which Obama has never provided. “It would be so much better if he authorized it to be released,” he said. “There's obviously information on the type written original that he doesn't want the public to see. He claims he released it; he lied. Why would he lie? There's got to be a motive for lying.”
Martin's opinion; something he does not base his legal positions on, is that the original birth certificate lists another man as the father and not Barack Obama, Sr. “I think [Frank Marshall Davis] is the father. If you plug Barack Obama Sr. in the life of Senator Obama, none of the pieces of the puzzle fit [but] the minute you plug in Frank Marshall Davis' role, all the pieces of the puzzle fit very snugly,” he explained. Davis is a man Obama has identified as a mentor during his early life and Martin added, “he was part of the jazz scene in Chicago; part of the Negro press in the 30s and 40s; a writer, poet, and a very interesting fellow.”
He further speculates that Davis is the father figure to whom Obama's book, Dreams of My Father, was written. Obama, Martin suggests, did not learn of the father mix-up until he was grown. “The adults in his life betrayed him when he was born by treating him like a poker chip and passing him around,” he said. “That's why he's such a fascinating, complex and psychological character.”
Many unanswered questions about Obama
Despite his fascination with Obama, Martin still maintains that there are many unanswered questions about him and says there has never been a president about whom so little is known. Martin has filed suit in Hawaii seeking that Obama's original birth certificate be made available for public viewing. Taitz shared that 30 plaintiffs, including her client, have secured the representation of a Hawaiian attorney to represent them in their quest to have the document released. Martin also questions why none of Obama's college records have been released when other candidates have made theirs available for scrutiny.