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Myths About Supposed Court Action About President-Elect Obama's Supposed Ineligibility:

A bunch of people have asked me what's up with the Justices supposedly ordering President-Elect Obama to produce documents related to his eligibility for the Presidency. (As I noted below, I have no reason to doubt his eligibility, but here I'm just trying to rebut one claim about the Justices' supposed action on the subject.) Here's a sample of what I'd gotten, from the "Amazing Facts" blog:

SCOTUS tells Obama to show proof of Natural Born Citizenship
Supreme court ruling on Obama's eligibility for presidency

http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08-570.htm

Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) Justice David Souter has agreed that a review of the federal lawsuit filed by attorney Phil Berg against Barack Hussein Obama II, et al., which was subsequently dismissed for lack of standing is warranted. SCOTUS Docket No. 08-570 contains the details....

Except this is not a fact, amazing or otherwise; the Court did not tell President-Elect Obama anything; the Supreme Court is not "ruling" on the subject except insofar that it has a certiorari petition before it (like thousands of certiorari petitions are filed before it each year); and Justice Souter has not agreed to anything. The docket sheet makes clear that all we have is a filed petition, a filed application for a preliminary injunction that was denied by Justice Souter, and a "[r]esponse due December 1, 2008" — a notation that simply marks the date by which any response should be filed, and imposes no obligation on anyone to file a response. Anyone can file a petition. All we have here is action by some litigants, not by Justice Souter.

(Note that parties routinely decline to file a response to a petition for certiorari, and those petitions are routinely denied in the absence of a response. If a Justice is inclined, he can call for a response, which is a signal to the respondent that at least one Justice thinks the petition has merit; and the Court almost never grants an unresponded-to petition without first calling for a response. But there has been no call for a response in this case, and I don't expect there to be any such call.)

Likewise, this other case simply involves an application for a stay denied by Justice Souter, refiled and resubmitted to Justice Thomas, and referred to the Court by Justice Thomas — something that is not uncommon, to my knowledge, with second stay requests, and that generally leads to a prompt denial by the Court at the relevant conference (in this instance, the December 5 conference). Search for "referred to the court denied" & date(> 1/1/2000) in Westlaw and you'll find 782 such instances this decade; "referred to the court granted" & date(> 1/1/2000) yields only 60, which should tell you how little you can read into the fact of the referral.

I wouldn't even be posting about this if it weren't for the several messages I've gotten on the subject; but given those messages, I thought I'd try to clear the matter up as best I can.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Referrals to the Entire Court of Lawsuits Challenging President-Elect Obama's Eligibility:
  2. Myths About Supposed Court Action About President-Elect Obama's Supposed Ineligibility:
Paul Milligan (mail):
Update - after Souter declined it, it was re-submitted, and Thomas accepted it for conference discussion ( this week , as I recall ). Which, as the Prof says, does NOT mean cert has been granted ( or will be ), only that they are going to TALK about maybe granting it.

Regardless, I suspect the chances of SCOTUS declaring Brobama ineligible are greatly exceeded by the chance of Heidi Klum showing up at my door today nekid and horny.

I'll let y'all know how the Klum thing works out for me later.
12.1.2008 12:50pm
FantasiaWHT:
Funny, I got an email from a non-legal friend raving about how Obama was never going to make it to the presidency now because of this. The article he linked cited the docket sheet and went off on all the things this really meant (what all the controversies were, that Obama had to respond, etc.), and I couldn't figure out how any of that could be read from the docket sheet, so I ignored it. Now I can at least cite some authority to this friend that he's nuts!

I wonder if Snopes has this...

*checks*
12.1.2008 12:52pm
Paul Milligan (mail):
Mabe next time I'll try reading ALL of EV's post instead of just the first paragraph before replying. SOrry.

Still waiting on that other thing ....
12.1.2008 12:52pm
FantasiaWHT:
Snopes, yes, briefly, at the bottom of a related article.

Snopes
12.1.2008 12:55pm
J. Aldridge:
I don't see anything happening unless with the SCOTUS unless someone comes up with some hard evidence to present that shows Obama was born in Kenya.

On the other hand, few gave little chance of the court intervening in the Florida recount.
12.1.2008 12:55pm
Redman:
Doesn't matter where he was born. The Messiah is a Citizen of the World.
12.1.2008 12:57pm
J. Aldridge:
Gawd I hate composing messages on this laptop.
12.1.2008 12:57pm
RRM:
Non-lawyer question: Who bears the burden of proving Obama is (or isn't) qualified to hold office? The person claiming he wasn't born in US? Or must Obama himself prove it once the issue is put in question by a lawsuit? And how conclusively must it be proven? I would assume not "beyond a reasonable doubt." Would it be on the "balance of probabilities"?
12.1.2008 1:17pm
Lombard Law:
I have no reason to doubt his eligibility


Yes you do. People say it ain't so. And he hasn't proven he is. Maybe not good reasons, but reasons.

What you seem to mean is, You don't care to doubt his eligibility. And the double negative in your dismissal suggests you don't have persuasive reasons to believe he is either. Otherwise you'd give them. Like, say, "His birth certificate has been released." etc. Like that.

He will of course be president. Laws are for the little folk.
12.1.2008 1:25pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
RRM.

Depends. Is the person in question a republican or a democrat?

You'll recall an abortive but loud attempt to insist that McCain, born in the Panama Canal Zone, was not eligible.
I don't think it got this far. But the question of where he was born was settled. The question was whether being born in the Zone was a disqualifier. WRT Obama, we know that a possible birthplace is a disqualifier. We just don't know if that was his birthplace. To put it another way, other candidates have been born in circumstances which made it obviously not worth checking. In this case, O could settle things down, including some conspiracy theorists, by proving it, since it's not as obvious. I gather some folks aren't convinced.
12.1.2008 1:26pm
Patrick216:
Guys, this madness over Obama's citizenship must cease. These conspiracy theories are starting to sound like a Derangement Syndrome, which I hope Republicans can avoid catching.

All reasonable evidence points to the conclusion that he was born in Hawaii. McCain's birth in the Panama Canal Zone raised many more serious questions about his eligibility to be president (though I wholeheartedly agree that McCain is a "natural born citizen" and is eligible to be president).
12.1.2008 1:27pm
Uh_Clem (mail):
Would it be on the "balance of probabilities"?

I believe the phrase (and the legal standard) is "preponderance of evidence", but beyond that I'm not much help.
12.1.2008 1:28pm
Uh_Clem (mail):
These conspiracy theories are starting to sound like a Derangement Syndrome, which I hope Republicans can avoid catching.

Sorry, dude, but you're about 16 years too late. Remember the Vincent Foster murder? How Clinton orchestrated the massacre at Ruby Ridge? It's all coming back...
12.1.2008 1:31pm
John (mail):
J. Aldridge:

The court didn't "intervene" in the Florida recount. The litigation was started by Gore and the court was eventually asked to decide things.
12.1.2008 1:34pm
Uh_Clem (mail):
The SCOTUS case was Bush v. Gore. Plaintiff's name goes first.

Next?
12.1.2008 1:35pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Yes you do. People say it ain't so. And he hasn't proven he is.



That's a curious version of the burden of proof.

I say that you should not be believed because you are a Al-Qaida double agent. Should people doubt your word and your analysis based on my claim until such time as you produce acceptable proof that you are not an Al-Qaida double agent?

(And don't bother trying to prove it with "documents". Those things can be forged, you know.)
12.1.2008 1:39pm
Snaphappy:
Uh, no. The petitioner's name goes first in the Supreme Court regardless of who was the plaintiff. Bush lost in the Florida Supreme Court, which is why his name was first in Bush v. Gore.
12.1.2008 1:40pm
Sarcastro (www):
Richard Aubrey is totally right about this. If Obama were a Republican, he would be deported by now, just like McCain was.
12.1.2008 1:45pm
ShelbyC:

The petitioner's name goes first in the Supreme Court regardless of who was the plaintiff. Bush lost in the Florida Supreme Court, which is why his name was first in Bush v. Gore.




Right. And all the court did was toss Gore's lawsuit.
12.1.2008 1:46pm
Cornellian (mail):
Non-lawyer question: Who bears the burden of proving Obama is (or isn't) qualified to hold office? The person claiming he wasn't born in US? Or must Obama himself prove it once the issue is put in question by a lawsuit? And how conclusively must it be proven? I would assume not "beyond a reasonable doubt." Would it be on the "balance of probabilities"?

The issue will never come up as this petition will be dismissed faster than you can say "lack of standing."
12.1.2008 1:52pm
Bama 1L:
No court will touch this: standing, justiciability, political question, and ripeness all get in the way.

And do you really want a court deciding this?
12.1.2008 1:59pm
CB55 (mail):
This case has the look, smell and feel about people that can not accept the fact that Obama is not like most "typical" white bread Americans. Not only does he not look like the other presidents (read that as White), but he is the by product of an African male and a White female. People find it strange that he was born in Honolulu and not in Kansas (some Americans think one required a passport to travel to Honolulu in 1961). Obama does not have the image of any past Blacks (from Malcolm X and Cliff Huxtable to Clarence Thomas and Jessie Jackson or P-Diddy) of history that many people can conceive even as he straddles the old world and the new century.
12.1.2008 2:04pm
Snaphappy:

Right. And all the court did was toss Gore's lawsuit.


I personally think Bush v. Gore was wrongly decided on many levels, that it reflected the worst in outcome-based judging, and that hurt the Court's credibility. None of that changes the fact that petitioner's name goes first in the Supreme Court regardless of who is the plaintiff.

Sheesh.
12.1.2008 2:11pm
DangerMouse:
What exactly WOULD happen in the case where an ineligible person was elected president? Like if a guy who was only 34 years old was elected president, or if the guy WAS born in an ineligible place (like Europe)? Say he was elected and then before he was sworn in, all of this became public knowledge?

The Courts wouldn't touch it because it's politicial, right? Would Congress certify the results? They probably would, since they don't care about the limits of the Constitution and they'd view it as a political question also.
12.1.2008 2:18pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
CB55, give it a rest.

"straddles the old world and the new century", barf.

Were the kooks aginst Clinton also motivated by racism? No, they were just kooks.

Same here.
12.1.2008 2:20pm
Steve:
Bush was the first party to file a court action in the recount dispute, which may account for some of the confusion. However, the particular case which ended up being decided by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore was filed by Gore. Sometimes people bring up this fact in order to imply that Gore was responsible for bringing the dispute into the courts in the first place.
12.1.2008 2:24pm
taxpayer q public (mail):
So, the SCOTUS might not actually drill down on this? What is everyone waiting for? Violence?

The Annointed One WILL produce his damn HAWAIIAN birth certificate. Or he will NOT be inaugurated. End of discussion. Simple as that.
12.1.2008 2:34pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
As things stand now--or seem to--O doesn't have to prove anything. God willing, he will shortly be sworn in as president.
However, that is not saying that it wouldn't be good for him to be more forthcoming. He doesn't need this crap hanging out there, with one lawsuit after another bugging him and his advisors.
If he could put it to bed right now, it would be best.
There is a possibility, though. When Rather and CBS broached the TANG forgeries, Bush &Co. played dumb. "Huh?" "Hadn't heard of it." "What's that?" "We'll review the records." That gave the nutcases time to get 'way out on the limb. Really, really far out.
I see three possibilities. One is he's letting the nutcases get the noose nice and neat and the rope over the tree branch. One is he's just being contrarian. One is, he's not eligible and is banking on being untouchable once sworn in. It could be that he and his buddies are too busy, but that doesn't square with the willingness to spend a ton on lawyers.
The reasonable thing for him to do is assemble much more evidence than necessary and shove it up the nutcases' noses. With trumpet flourishes. Right now.
12.1.2008 2:34pm
CB55 (mail):
Bob from Ohio:

Interacial marriages and are much more common in 2008 than in 1960, Bob?! More children are latch key kids. More come from single parent homes. More are being raised by grandparents. More have stepparents. More mothers work.
12.1.2008 2:35pm
ShelbyC:
Snaphappy, I'm not arguing with you.
12.1.2008 2:37pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I got a lot of emails about that wacky litigation, too. If the guy equates losing a PI with winning a case, I have some doubts about his understanding of the judicial process. And some about his mental state.

I've seen on the web a birth announcement section of a Hawaiian newspaper, listing Mr. O as born there, dated about a week after the event (which was customary lag for the paper).
12.1.2008 2:42pm
CB55 (mail):
Richard Aubrey:

What is "proof"?, Richard! How about statements (under oath) made by the medical hospital staff, canceled checks, bank statements, receipts, old medical bills and medical records that link Obama to said hospital as to his date of birth.
12.1.2008 2:47pm
Smokey:
On a related note, apparently Constitutional language doesn't matter in the Peoples' Supreme Soviet of 0bamaland, because Senator Hillary! will be elevated from the Senate straight into the new Administration's Cabinet. Hey, who cares what an emolument is, anyway? That's old timey talk.

Hillary's shameless on-camera preening at being appointed by The One indicates that 0bama's repeatedly giving her the finger during the primary has been trumped by his throwing her a bone.

Good doggy.
12.1.2008 2:52pm
Henry679 (mail):
Umm, you do all know that the "plaintiff", Berg, is a 9/11 Truther nutcase, too, don't you?

Phil Berg
12.1.2008 2:54pm
Cornellian (mail):
Hey, who cares what an emolument is, anyway? That's old timey talk.


I saw a line in a news story today saying this kind of situation has come up before and been dealt with just by having the nominee get the position at the old salary. They didn't cite any examples though.
12.1.2008 2:54pm
Henry679 (mail):
Cornellian--check the archives here. It is called the Saxby Rule.
12.1.2008 2:56pm
skullduggery:
Obama has presented his certificate of live birth. The Hawaii Health Department Director and the registrar of vital statistics announced that they personally verified that they have Obama's original birth certificate. There's a newspaper announcement from the time.

How has he not demonstrated that he was born in Hawaii?
12.1.2008 2:57pm
A Law Dawg:
Obama has presented his certificate of live birth. The Hawaii Health Department Director and the registrar of vital statistics announced that they personally verified that they have Obama's original birth certificate. There's a newspaper announcement from the time.

How has he not demonstrated that he was born in Hawaii?


The doubters don't believe the staffers and want to see the original birth certificate.
12.1.2008 3:00pm
ChrisIowa (mail):

Hey, who cares what an emolument is, anyway? That's old timey talk.

I saw a line in a news story today saying this kind of situation has come up before and been dealt with just by having the nominee get the position at the old salary. They didn't cite any examples though.

Previously discussed (with examples) on this blog.

Let's not raise the emolument issue until after she resigns from the Senate, but before she's confirmed. It won't accomplish anything, but could be entertaining.
12.1.2008 3:00pm
Sarcastro (www):
Thank goodness Smokey has arrived to inject some sanity into all you people talking about boring things!

Obama (who will make the US just like the USSR, moderate appointments bedamned!) clearly broke the Constitution's emolument's clause and no one is talking about it!

And a primary fight means you can never be friends again, so I can only assume that Hillary is planning to murder her way up to the Presidency!

I also like to spell Obama with a “0” because it not only insults him, it’s subtlety proves how clever I am!
12.1.2008 3:02pm
Henry679 (mail):
"Obama has presented his certificate of live birth. The Hawaii Health Department Director and the registrar of vital statistics announced that they personally verified that they have Obama's original birth certificate. There's a newspaper announcement from the time.

How has he not demonstrated that he was born in Hawaii?"


Apparently you fail to recognize that there is no wingnuttery like right-wing wingnuttery. When I was young it was the Birchers and their "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" blather. They are always just a step away from the "stabbed in the back" Weimer meme as well. These people are just %@&#ing nuts.
12.1.2008 3:03pm
skullduggery:
Henry679: It's the Saxbe Fix named after William B Saxbe.
12.1.2008 3:03pm
Cityduck (mail):
I like these kind of threads. We get to see who the nutcases, idiots and racists are.


What is "proof"?, Richard! How about statements (under oath) made by the medical hospital staff, canceled checks, bank statements, receipts, old medical bills and medical records that link Obama to said hospital as to his date of birth.


This is a great example of stupidity. Obama was born in 1961. Does anyone really think that it is plausible that any doctor or nurse who was in attendance that day would have a legitimate recollection of his birth? If you do, you're an idiot.

Likewise, why on earth would anyone have the cancelled checks, bank statements, receipts or bills from their deceased Mother's account pertaining to their birth? My parents are both still alive, and I'm younger than Obama, but they don't have any of those records.

What my parents have is exactly what Obama has already produced: A certified copy of the birth certificate and the birth announcement.

I mean really! How stupid, wacko or prejudiced do you have to be to think that Obama's Mother started this conspiracy back in 1961 when she submitted a fake birth announcement to the Honolulu newspaper?

My answer is: Really stupid, wacko or racist.
12.1.2008 3:04pm
A Law Dawg:
Nothing would make me love Obama more than if, 5 minutes after Hillary resigns form the Senate, Obama holds a press conference announcing that because of "constitutional ineligibility just now brought to my attention" he cannot nominate her. Then, he looks at the camera and says "This is what comes of standing in the way of Barack Obama. That's the Chicago way."
12.1.2008 3:05pm
Henry679 (mail):
Skullduggery, thanks for the correction. I should have remembered those.
12.1.2008 3:06pm
Dave N (mail):
I think this "controversy" is just silly. I am almost exactly Obama's age. I do not have access to "statements (under oath) made by the medical hospital staff, canceled checks, bank statements, receipts, old medical bills and medical records that link [me] to said hospital as to [my] date of birth."

I suspect that in Hawai'i, like most states, birth certificates are public (if semi-confidential) records. You would think one of the crazies who doubt Obama's birthplace would take a trip to Honolulu and see if the Bureau of Vital Statistics (or whatever they choose to call it there) has a record of said birth.

But frankly, the burden belongs to those who claim that Obama is not a naturally born citizen--not insult him with having to provide proof that no other President in American history hs been required to show before being sworn into office.

I say all of this as someone who did not vote for Obama in 2008 and will likely not vote for him in 2012--but I am sick and tired of the Derangement Syndromes that seek to conflate legitimate policy differences into demonization of the politician de jure.
12.1.2008 3:09pm
Charles Chapman (mail) (www):
Yes, what could make anyone think Obama was born in Hawaii?

This?

This?

This?

This?

But of course, all of the above is part of the Vast Islamic Socialist Marxist Conspiracy (tm). As PolitiFact observes:
Because if this document is forged, then they all are.

If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud. They have done it with conspiring officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, the Attorney Registration &Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and many other government agencies.


As PolitiFact further observes:

It is possible that Obama conspired his way to the precipice of the world’s biggest job, involving a vast network of people and government agencies over decades of lies. Anything’s possible.

Then again, there are some obvious co-conspirators who are going to engage in the disgusting behavior of being... reasonable:
But step back and look at the overwhelming evidence to the contrary and your sense of what’s reasonable has to take over.

There is not one shred of evidence to disprove PolitiFact’s conclusion that the candidate’s name is Barack Hussein Obama, or to support allegations that the birth certificate he released isn’t authentic.

And that’s true no matter how many people cling to some hint of doubt and use the Internet to fuel their innate sense of distrust.
12.1.2008 3:12pm
skullduggery:
A Law Dawg and Henry679:

Thank you. I had temporarily made the mistake of thinking too highly of those people's intellects. They're like sad children crying as their parents tell them that Santa isn't real and screaming back at them through tears and sobs: "but he is too! How else do you explain the presents? And the cookies? And that Ann Dunham was in Seattle when Malcolm X was but then left quickly to secretly give birth to Barack X in Hawaii. But also what about the elves?"
12.1.2008 3:12pm
Smokey:
Cityduck:
This is a great example of stupidity ...why on earth would anyone have the cancelled checks, bank statements, receipts or bills from their deceased Mother's account pertaining to their birth
I personally accept that Obama was born in Hawaii.

But I also believe in Machiavelli's dictum that "Men are evil, unless compelled to be good." Documents can be altered or forged [please don't disagree].

Is it being unreasonable to ask to view the relevant documents?
12.1.2008 3:18pm
Patrick216:
Cityduck:

The Illuminati foretold the both of our Glorious Leader in the year 1874. The great conspiracy is upon us. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, His mother was out of country at the time of His birth. Thus, an Illuminati operative in Kenya hustled the infant Messiah to Hawaii and manufactured a false birth certificate.

And to those of you who assume that Derangement Syndromes affect only the Right, that is a false assumption. Democrats are just as willing to engage in such crazy conspiracy theories. Derangement Syndrome knows no political boundaries, but it does hurt those who catch it.
12.1.2008 3:19pm
skullduggery:
The Mayans foretold that Obama's shady birth wouldn't be known until 2012. That's why they stopped the calendar then.
12.1.2008 3:27pm
Cityduck (mail):
And that Ann Dunham was in Seattle when Malcolm X was but then left quickly to secretly give birth to Barack X in Hawaii.

I don't get it. Seattle is part of the U.S. Is it less plausible that she traveled from Seattle to Hawaii (four hour flight) or Seattle to Kenya (20 hours with connections). And who said the birth was "secret."

THERE WAS A BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT IN THE HONOLULU PAPER!

Anyone advocating the conspiracy theory has to admire the incredible foresight that allowed his mother to perceive the need to start the conspiracy when Obama was only a few days old.

Nutcases, idiots and racists.

That's the only answer to the question: Who believes this junk?
12.1.2008 3:28pm
CB55 (mail):
Cityduck:


LOL, you got my point exactly. It's like when all of those smart men of the Holy Church refused to use a telescope because they had their proof right there in the Bible. Fast forward to 2008 and Mister Darwin is still having a hard time getting thru with the Bush Admin and some schools. So if I look like an Arab, or wear any article of clothing of an Muslim I must be unAmerican no matter what a crummy piece of paper says I am. According to the FBI Most Wanted profile, Osama Bin Laden is not a White or Black man. How can Joe or Jane Doe prove with out doubt that they are who they say they are even with a government issued document?! If the state had any doubt about Obama's birth status they would be all over him like gravy on red beans and rice.
12.1.2008 3:34pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Patrick.
I'd reverse things. Those with derangement syndrome were already hurt before they caught it.
I don't have ODS. I just plan to do enough to induce libs and dems to make the moral and logical case why I should stop.
That ought to be fun.
The reason O should come up with the documents is in order to shut down the arguments. He doesn't need the arguments. We don't need the arguments.
The reason it's different for him is that there was never any doubt about his predecessors. Here, due to the mobility of the various folks who made up his immediate family, there is doubt which his supporters claim he need not address. That's kind of odd.
Address it. Get it over and done.
Birth certificate.
My daughter needed either her BC or her passport to switch her drivers license to CA. So why not ask for the same from our next pres? Of course, if we used CA rules, if Obama shows up for inauguration unable to speak English, then the requirement for identification would be waived.
But O isn't being given a CA drivers license, and I believe the requirements are stricter. So far.
12.1.2008 3:35pm
skullduggery:
Cityduck: two weeks before the election, some wingnuts actually began arguing that Obama was Malcolm X's secret child. They even have photos! And they have a backup explanation for residency: maybe instead of fleeing to Hawaii, Dunham gave birth to Obama in Canada.

There's a lot of crazy in this country. It's too bad that our big literary magazines are all too liberal. These people can certainly write incredible fiction.
12.1.2008 3:39pm
BradY:
Re the Saxby fix. It should be called the Knox fix, since it was used in 1909 for Taft's SOC.
12.1.2008 3:39pm
pete (mail) (www):

But I also believe in Machiavelli's dictum that "Men are evil, unless compelled to be good." Documents can be altered or forged [please don't disagree].

Is it being unreasonable to ask to view the relevant documents?


Yes. There is no proof that Obama was born elsewhere and tons of proof that he was born in Hawaii, including newspaper announcements. Demanding more proof makes you look like a nut.

(And I say that as someone who dislikes Obama and voted for McCain and who will almost certainly vote for whoever the Republicans nominate next time)
12.1.2008 3:40pm
Barbara:
Sarcastro (www):

Thank goodness Smokey has arrived to inject some sanity into all you people talking about boring things!

Obama (who will make the US just like the USSR, moderate appointments bedamned!) clearly broke the Constitution's emolument's clause and no one is talking about it!

And a primary fight means you can never be friends again, so I can only assume that Hillary is planning to murder her way up to the Presidency!

I also like to spell Obama with a “0” because it not only insults him, it’s subtlety proves how clever I am!

Sarcastro are you mad because someone else has finessed you at sarcasm?

Subtlety isn't your strong point.
12.1.2008 3:40pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Barbara, alas, Smokey isn't being sarcastic.
12.1.2008 3:45pm
pete (mail) (www):
On a side note, I have long supported ammending the constitution to remove the natural born citizen requirement for presidency. I think anyone who has been a citizen for a nine years should be elligible to be elected president. Nine years is the requirement to be a Senator.

Back in the day of foreign monarchs this requirement made sense, but I think it is time for it to be changed. Governors Granholm and Schwartzenegger are both inelligible to be president because they were not born citizens.
12.1.2008 3:49pm
BradY:
Richard Aubrey: If they want more proof than that provided above, it's safe to assume, nothing will satisfy them, so you premise of putting this to rest is just plain wrong.
12.1.2008 3:57pm
Dave N (mail):
pete,

I'm not sure I'd want either Governor Granholm or Governor Schwarzenegger to be President.

Besides, I am against amending the Constitution to remove the "natural born citizen" clause. Naturalized citizens can serve their country in a variety of ways--as Governor, or Senator or even Secretary of State. I don't mind at all that a naturalized citized cannot be President or Vice President.

I do agree completely with your main post, though.
12.1.2008 4:04pm
Smokey:
pete:
...Governors Granholm and Schwartzenegger are both inelligible to be president...
Thank goodness for that!
12.1.2008 4:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Brad.
I suppose they'd complain that the BC was forged or something.
However, refusing to pony up the BC is more suspicious than having one which looks like the real deal.
What's the downside?
12.1.2008 4:12pm
Cityduck (mail):
Richard,

Obama already produced his Hawaii state certified birth certificate. And when the wingnuts said it was forged, the State of Hawaii confirmed its authenticity. What more do you want? Just because some wingnut makes a demand for something more doesn't mean Obama should respond. Frankly, its a waste of his time, and he and his Administration should focus on the adult issues.
12.1.2008 4:12pm
Alix Cavanaugh (mail) (www):
A long time ago, I wrote about this frivolous lawsuit on my blog, because I thought it symptomatic of a very depressing, and pervasive, kind of constitutional illiteracy among certain self-anointed "defenders of the Constitution".

But even a frivolous lawsuit can lead to interesting discoveries, and I later found an amusing little bit of historical trivia.

There once was a man who became President after having had dual nationality at birth through his father, which he apparently lost years before taking office. However, he was the victim of a smear campaign by some of his opponents, alleging that he had lied about his birthplace and was ineligble under the natural born citizen clause. That man's name? Chester Alan Arthur.

(1) Dual Nationality: Arthur was, as far as I've been able to find, the only President before Obama who ever held dual nationality (excluding those who lived through the Revolution). Arthur's father was born in 1796 in Dreen, Co. Antrim, Ireland, and moved to the United States in the early nineteenth century. Presumably Arthur's father was formally naturalized in the United States, but that was irrelevant as a matter of British law: until 1870, the allegiance of a subject was considered inalienable, with the exception of people residing in British territory at the time of a change in sovereignty. (*) (Those familiar with the issue of impressment before the 1812 war will remember the force of nemo potest exuere patriam in British law.) By the statutes of 4 Geo. II, c. 21, and 13 Geo. III, c. 21, this made Chester Alan Arthur, born 1829 or 1830 in Vermont, a British subject at birth according to British law.

However, in 1870, the Naturalization Act, 33 &34 Vict. c. 14 was passed, allowing (for the first time) voluntary expatriation by British subjects (and also naturalization of foreigners without case-by-case legislation). Under s. 6 of that act, "Any British subject who has at any time before, or may at any time after the passing of this Act, when in any foreign state and not under any disability voluntarily become naturalized in such state, shall from and after the time of his so having become naturalized in such foreign state, be deemed to have ceased to be a British subject and to be regarded as an alien."

I believe that this means that, as of 1870, Arthur's father would have been deemed retroactively to have expatriated himself on becoming a naturalized American subject (before Arthur's birth), thus taking Arthur himself out of the scope of the 1730 and 1772 Nationality Acts. Thus he would have lost his status as a British subject some eleven years before becoming President.

(A quick look at an old nationality text available online seems to confirm this. 1 Sir Francis Piggott, Nationality: Including Naturalization and English Law on the High Seas and Beyond the Realm (1907) 65, 152ff. But I admit that I'm not an expert, and the Naturalization Act 1870 is anything but clearly written. So it's possible that Arthur might still have been a dual national at the time of his Presidency.)

(2) The Conspiracy Theory: In the 1880s, a man named Arthur Hinman launched a campaign to discredit Arthur, claiming that he had in fact fraudulently concealed his Canadian birth. In 1884, Hinman wrote a book, entitled How a British Subject Became President of the United States . I haven't seen the book, but here's the rough story, as provided by this website:
Hinman, a New York lawyer, brought the issue to the attention of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in a letter early in August, 1880, while Arthur was yet a candidate for the Vice-Presidency. Arthur evidently had flip-flopped on the issue in the past. One article, dated August 13, quotes a leading Republican in a way reminiscent of more recent campaigns: "Why in —— don't the General come out and say where he was born, and put an end to all this mystery." [ ... ] The following story appeared in the New York Times of Dec. 22, 1880:

MATERIAL FOR A DEMOCRATIC LIE

ST. ALBANS, Vt., Dec. 21.—A stranger arrived here a few days ago, and registered at the American House as A. P. Hinman, of New-York. Since then he has been very busy in the adjoining town of Fairfield, ostensibly collecting materials for a biography of Vice-President-elect Arthur. He has privately stated to leading Democratic citizens, however, that he is employed by the Democratic National Committee to obtain evidence to show that Gen. Arthur is an unnaturalized foreigner. He claims to have discovered that Gen. Arthur was born in Canada, instead of Fairfield; that his name is Chester Allen instead of Chester Abell [sic]; that he was 50 years old in July instead of October, as has been stated, and generally that he is an alien and ineligible to the office of Vice-President.

[ ... ]

[Arthur biographer Thomas C.] Reeves dismisses Hinman's theory, while admitting that President Arthur lied about his age. He cites the Arthur family Bible, held at the Library of Congress, which gives the President's year of birth as 1829, and makes no mention of a child named "Chester Abell."


So what can we learn from this trip through the realm of historical minutiae? Three things, I think:

(1) The present day has no monopoly on political cranks and conspiracy theorists.

(2) Having been a dual national doesn't disbar one from being President. This should be completely obvious, but when people claim otherwise, advancing facially absurd readings of the "natural born citizen" clause, it's nice to have a precedent as well as a textual argument to throw back at them.

(3) We really should get amend the Constitution to rid of the "natural born citizen" provision, not only because it's stupid, but because it attracts deluded partisans like moths to a flame.

(*) This exception was established in the case of Doe d. Thomas v. Acklam, Barn. &Cress. 779, 795, 107 Eng. Rep. 572, 578 (K.B., 1824). It explains why James Buchanan did not hold dual nationality at birth despite his British-born father: Buchanan père emigrated to the U.S. -- just barely -- before 3 September 1783, the date of the Paris Peace Treaty, which (in British law) marks the transfer of sovereignty.
12.1.2008 4:13pm
A Law Dawg:
I'm not sure I'd want either Governor Granholm or Governor Schwarzenegger to be President.


Because of their policy choices, or because you don't trust their loyalties?

I am pretty sure the latter concern is what drove the drafting of the clause.
12.1.2008 4:15pm
Jane (mail):
Apparently you fail to recognize that there is no wingnuttery like right-wing wingnuttery.



That's so true. The left alleges sane things like "steel doesn't melt" (see 9/11 theories)
12.1.2008 4:18pm
BradY:
Richard: The Certificate is that first link in Charles Chapman's post. It looks official and says he was born in Hawaii. Now, I am certain that there are arguments that somone will make that it's all a lie told by his mother ("Rosemary") in 1963, and that the Great Deceiver has, in truth, raised the anti-christ to power, but it will never be put to rest.
12.1.2008 4:27pm
Dave N (mail):
A Law Dog,

I have major policy problems with both Governors. However, I do not doubt the loyalty of either.

And to other posters, I see no reason to amend the Constitution. I'm sorry if that otherwise prohibits an otherwise outstanding person from being President or Vice President of the United States.
12.1.2008 4:27pm
skullduggery:
Jane: the 9/11 truthers are a bipartisan bunch. They are not representative of the left nor the right.
12.1.2008 4:28pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Brad.
There seems to be some confusion here. The plaintiffs seem to be saying they'd like to see the BC.
If this is the BC, what are they talking about?
If it's not the BC, but something like a cert that the BC exists, why not haul out the BC?
If it is the BC, why not say so?
"THIS IS THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, IDIOTS!"

Sayihg this is a certified copy of something telling us that something else does, in fact, exist is just chum in the water.
12.1.2008 4:31pm
Alex C:
I'm beginning to think that Professor Volokh's hopes that he wouldn't get any more emails asking him to cover the subject are in vain.
12.1.2008 4:32pm
MarkField (mail):
Great post, Alix. I'd never heard any of that.
12.1.2008 4:34pm
CB55 (mail):
BradY:

Born in Sin
Come on in
Made from lust
Dust to dust
Doubt the cross of Jesus Christ
You drink the blood of the AntiChrist
12.1.2008 4:34pm
darrenm:

Obama has presented his certificate of live birth.

It's called a "Certification of Live Birth". I don't know what the difference is, if there is one.
12.1.2008 4:46pm
darrenm:

But frankly, the burden belongs to those who claim that Obama is not a naturally born citizen--not insult him with having to provide proof that no other President in American history hs been required to show before being sworn into office.

This seems similar to the case of voting, the right to which is also derived from the Constitution. Do you have to prove you are a citizen (and resident) in order to vote? Is the burden of proof on someone else to demonstrate that you do not have a right to vote? From what I can see the birth certificate provided by Obama should be adequate. However, given the Presidency is single the most important government position in the nation, and not one vote among millions, it's also not unreasonable to ask for a bit more.
12.1.2008 4:56pm
scattergood:
Guys and gals,

This issue is a very valid one both on the facts and on the law. With regards to the law, how the heck can we have a restriction of natural born citizenship if nobody will do anything about it. If the courts won't examine it, and the Secretary of States say they can't do anything about it, then why have the restriction? Some of us think that the Constitution are REQUIREMENTS not SUGGESTIONS for who can and cannot be president. I think this is one aspect of the case that the SCOTUS will declare themselves on.

As to the facts of the case it really is more complicated than one thinks. Firstly, Hawaii allows for OUT OF STATE birth registrations! Please see here for details. Secondly, Obama has presented a Certification on Live Birth, not a Certificate of Live Birth. When one applies for a Certification, they fill out out a form and FILL IT IN THEMSELVES, and then Hawaii prints it. If there are any mismatches of information then the fields are LEFT BLANK. This is how one could get an 'original' Certification of Live Birth and then doctor it. See here for a full review on how the posted documents have been manufactured. This gentleman has gone to a duly authorized court and sworn a statement to this effect. Obama and his crew have not done the same to confirm that he is incorrect.

Some of us just want to get the documents, in their original form and not in .jpg on DailyKos, into the hands of a court, put people under oath, and confirm that Obama was born where he says he was born. If he is, great, no problem. If he isn't it is a constitutional crisis of very large proportions.

All of his laws, executive orders, judges, their rulings, abassadors, treaties, etc will be null and void. The Democratic party would be destroyed for decades, but yet nobody wants to actually see a single piece of paper that would clear this up? Me thinks the Dem's do protest too much.
12.1.2008 4:59pm
Cornellian (mail):
See here for a full review on how the posted documents have been manufactured. This gentleman has gone to a duly authorized court and sworn a statement to this effect. Obama and his crew have not done the same to confirm that he is incorrect.

In other words, some wingnut 9/11 Truther claims Obama's birth certificate could have been forged, and Obama has an obligation to respond to that? If that triggers an obligation to respond, then Obama will be doing nothing for the next four years but responding to the legions of wingnuts that infest the fringes of our politics.
12.1.2008 5:07pm
Jim Rose (mail) (www):
If you want to see the birth certificate it's at fact check.org here: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html
12.1.2008 5:19pm
skullduggery:
When one applies for a Certification, they fill out out a form and FILL IT IN THEMSELVES, and then Hawaii prints it. If there are any mismatches of information then the fields are LEFT BLANK. This is how one could get an 'original' Certification of Live Birth and then doctor it.


Funny, if Obama faked it, how would the Hawaii Health Department Director and the registrar of vital statistics both have verified the information against their documents?

You're ridiculous.
12.1.2008 5:20pm
Kris (mail) (www):
Please Jesus, roll on 5 December. Stop the insanity.

It all boils down to the fact that people are jealous of the [legal] profession. Few presume to make a medical diagnosis for their friend, but every f-er in the country thinks s/he's a constitutional/immigration lawyer.

If you want what we have, you've got to do what we do. I am sick unto death of the birth certificate bluffers.

Thanks to Prof V for weighing in.
12.1.2008 5:28pm
SallyT:
Scattergood = scatterbrained
12.1.2008 5:29pm
A Law Dawg:
Few presume to make a medical diagnosis for their friend,


Dammit, I want to hang out in your social circle then.
12.1.2008 5:32pm
Bama 1L:
This gentleman has gone to a duly authorized court and sworn a statement to this effect. Obama and his crew have not done the same to confirm that he is incorrect.

That's not how it works. Reread your procedural rules. No matter how many oath-helpers the accuser brings, the accused can always:

1. Submit to the ordeal of hot iron.

2. Put the question to twelve lawful men of the county and be bound by their determination.

3. Substitute trial by battle, since parties claim the status of free men. Note that the accused always has this right when personal status is challenged, but there is a divergence of authorities as to whether champions are allowed in such cases. I mean, if the accused loses, then he had no right to a champion! Obama might actually be better off arguing for no champions, since he's a pretty fit guy.

This is one of the situations where the accuser would have been better off bringing the claim in ecclesiastical court because, although the documents might be treated as self-proving, most likely they would have to be authenticated by someone was there if contradicted by other documents. Oddly enough, the document contradicting the claimed right prevails.
12.1.2008 5:32pm
Bama 1L:
I have to apologize for my last post. I'd thought I'd heard rumors that Obama was introducing Salic law, whereas in fact the rumors concern Sharia law.
12.1.2008 5:34pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Jane Wrote:

That's so true. The left alleges sane things like "steel doesn't melt" (see 9/11 theories)


Like most conspiracy theories you have 80% good facts, 10% logical supposition and 10% logical error.

Steel doesn't melt at the temperatures we are talking about (re: 9/11). I don't even think you can melt steel with an alcohol lamp and a blow pipe (which reaches temperatures high enough to melt certain alloys of silver and lead).

Nobody I have talked to thinks that the steel melting caused the towers to collapse. Most of the engineering types however point out that rapid heating would do this even without melting, because the joint supports have a different steel and thermal expansion would cause failures relatively quickly. Basically, the steel beams heat up and expand, and the combination of the movement and pressure causes the joint supports to fail. This is where the claims go wrong. They are based on a faulty assumption as to how steel buildings fail under these conditions.
12.1.2008 5:37pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Just to note, the same logic about conspiracy theories applies to those relating to Obama's citizenship. Both my children btw, are dual citizens.
12.1.2008 5:48pm
Smokey:
Funny, if Obama Dan Rather faked it, how would the Hawaii Health Department Director and the registrar of vital statistics Mary Mapes, CBS and 60 Minutes have verified the information against their documents?

You're ridiculous.
Fixed.
12.1.2008 6:01pm
Alix Cavanaugh (mail) (www):
I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but:
Some of us just want to get the documents, in their original form and not in .jpg on DailyKos, into the hands of a court, put people under oath, and confirm that Obama was born where he says he was born. If he is, great, no problem. If he isn't it is a constitutional crisis of very large proportions.

All of his laws, executive orders, judges, their rulings, abassadors, treaties, etc will be null and void. The Democratic party would be destroyed for decades, but yet nobody wants to actually see a single piece of paper that would clear this up? Me thinks the Dem's do protest too much.
The italicized sentence is almost certainly false: under the de facto officer doctrine, the official acts of one holding office under colour of title will not subsequently be adjudged void -- at least not on collateral attack.

Newfangled theorizing, this doctrine? Hardly. It dates at least from the case of the Abbot of Fountains in 1431, Y.B. 9 Hen. VI, f. 32.

Of course, it's a moot point, as Obama is perfectly eligible -- and even if he in fact weren't it would not be up to the courts to second-guess the judgment of the Electoral College and Congress -- but it's just another instance of how often people simply make up legal doctrines and assert them with bothering to do the slightest research.
12.1.2008 6:07pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Bama 1L wins a generally ridiculous thread.

To pull a few things together, it seems that some (not "all or even "most" but "some") on the right are frustrated by their inability to control the agenda and narrative. Turns out few people actually cared about Ayers, even though some on the right thought he was really significant. Turns out Kelo isn't a huge issue for Obama and at least most of his supporters, even though some here think it should be. And no, Obama doesn't have to produce additional evidence on the trumped-up "issue" of his birth. It's settled as far as the vast majority of people in the country -- and everyone whose opinion will count on this issue -- are concerned. Blog posts and frivolous lawsuits by those who think, or pretend to think, otherwise, simply don't matter.
12.1.2008 6:12pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Obama is not like most "typical" white bread Americans.

I was going to ask if any other POTUS had a foreign parent at all. Obama's case is a lot more extreme than having a parent who was naturalized though such was not immediately recognized by the former country.
12.1.2008 6:13pm
Roy Englert:
When a stay application is denied by one Justice, and then resubmitted to a second Justice, the second Justice routinely refers it to the Conference. Doing so is not an indication of any belief that the application has merit or that the Justices intend actually to spend a nanosecond of time talking about it at the Conference. Rather, the routine referral of renewed stay applications to the Conference is intended to prevent the unsuccessful applicant from resubmitting it a third time, which the applicant is permitted to do if two individual Justices deny it seriatim but is not permitted to do if the application has been denied after referral to the Conference.

What the loonies are touting as evidence that the Supreme Court is taking this issue seriously is, in fact, evidence that the Court is applying procedures designed to get rid of vexatious litigants who won't take no for an answer.
12.1.2008 6:15pm
scattergood:

In other words, some wingnut 9/11 Truther claims Obama's birth certificate could have been forged, and Obama has an obligation to respond to that? If that triggers an obligation to respond, then Obama will be doing nothing for the next four years but responding to the legions of wingnuts that infest the fringes of our politics.





Ad homonim attacks do not do your side any favors. Read the report, it is chock o block full of documented irregularities that demonstrate that it is a fraud. This is the same kind of investigatory work that showed Dan Rather's 'documents' were fraudulent.

The report in and of itself doesn't create a necessity to respond. However, the list of other facts, including lies on Obama's part about his religion and citizen ship create the situation where he should. He stated he wasn't ever a Muslim, then that he never studied Islam, etc. and yet we now have documentary evidence that he was registered in an Indonesian school as Barry Soetro as a Muslim. And since ONLY citizens of Indonesia can attend school there, how did that happen?

There are numerous other questions:

1) Under what passport did Obama travel to Pakistan and Indonesia when he was in his early 20's? Pakistan had restricted travel for US citizens, and there is no record of his having a US passport and getting a visa for such travel.

2) If he traveled under his Indonesian passport, at the age of 20, does that call his US citizenship into question as he 'swore an oath' do another country? When did he get is US passport?

3) His own site stated he had British citizenship, but there is no record of his chosing one citizenship over another as is generally required, no?

Look, you want to trust the words printed on an image that appeared on the DailyKos as confirmation that Obama is a 'natural born citizen'. After asking the Secretary of State in many states who say they have done nothing to confirm his citizenship, I and a few others would like a properly informed court, with its coercive powers to compell documents and testimony, to confirm where he was born in order to protect the office of the presidency. This is what courts are for, to resolve disputes.
12.1.2008 6:45pm
scattergood:

Funny, if Obama faked it, how would the Hawaii Health Department Director and the registrar of vital statistics both have verified the information against their documents?

You're ridiculous.



The people you refer to have NOT verified the information against their documents. Here is the actual quote:

"Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obamas original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures," Fukino said.

Do you see her say that the information is what Obama says it is? Please point it out to me. What I see her say is that they have a document on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

Further, please explain to us why it is so problematic for Obama to release this hidden document to verify his ability to be President. Why to the likes of you get so angry and spew invective at people who are just asking a question?
12.1.2008 6:49pm
CB55 (mail):
David Chesler:

What bothers some people about Obama is that he is biracial (he is noneWhite etc etc), his name does not sound European, his dad was not born in Europe or the USA but Africa, his dad was not a USA citizen. People can, do and did accept McCain's origins in Panama due to his military tree, but gawd, they have a hard time with Obama because they see nothing but sin and transgression and Jesus Jack race mixing. Then they see little Obama living in Indonesia where most people believe in this idol called Allah and they follow the Koran and not the true word of the living God in Jesus (can you say Aman to that one). Little Obama starts reading about Uncle Marx and while he is there he gets high on dope aaaaaaaaand Socialism long before Harvard. As some one said here if Obama is not the One he is the number 2 of the AntiChrist (and it will take the great gawd called the GOP to clean up because the GOP is placing big bets that the economy stays rotten for 5 more years).
12.1.2008 6:51pm
Per Son:
Scatter:

Is this what you come up with now that he won? I hope you look into the sound studio where they faked the moon landing. I heard the same gaffer, key grip, and best boy were involved in Obama's birth certificate brouhaha.

Heck, I even heard that vaccines do not cause autism - Obama does.

Lastly, have you stopped beating your wife?
12.1.2008 6:52pm
Per Son:
Scatter:

You said: "Further, please explain to us why it is so problematic for Obama to release this hidden document to verify his ability to be President. Why to the likes of you get so angry and spew invective at people who are just asking a question?"

Why should Obama need to respond to you or any others out in the peanut gallery? Should Bush answer every question asked by the Kos crowd regarding everying under the sun?
12.1.2008 6:55pm
AnotherMike:
You know you've graduated from ordinary wingnuttery to mind blowing stupid wingnuttery when even Fox News, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Ingraham, et al. won't touch the story.
12.1.2008 6:57pm
scattergood:

The italicized sentence is almost certainly false: under the de facto officer doctrine, the official acts of one holding office under colour of title will not subsequently be adjudged void -- at least not on collateral attack.

Newfangled theorizing, this doctrine? Hardly. It dates at least from the case of the Abbot of Fountains in 1431, Y.B. 9 Hen. VI, f. 32.

Of course, it's a moot point, as Obama is perfectly eligible -- and even if he in fact weren't it would not be up to the courts to second-guess the judgment of the Electoral College and Congress -- but it's just another instance of how often people simply make up legal doctrines and assert them with bothering to do the slightest research.



I'd suggest you read Edwin Vieira's commentary on the subject of your response here.
12.1.2008 6:57pm
scattergood:

Scatter:

Is this what you come up with now that he won? I hope you look into the sound studio where they faked the moon landing. I heard the same gaffer, key grip, and best boy were involved in Obama's birth certificate brouhaha.

Heck, I even heard that vaccines do not cause autism - Obama does.

Lastly, have you stopped beating your wife?



Such attacks are only evidence that you have nothing substative to respond with. I have said nothing about moon landings, or vaccines. I have said nothing about the intelligence, or lack thereof, of any person who has disagreed with me.

If you would like to know, I have been concerned about the natural born citizen status of both candidates since before the election. I find the courts ruling that citizens don't have standing because even if an candidate who isn't qualified to hold an office is elected, voters have suffered no harm a pretty illogical and incorrect stance.

If you have some facts or a reasonable line of thought to present please do so.
12.1.2008 7:03pm
Per Son:
Scatter:

It is just that I bunch Obama/McCain natural-born doubters in the same category as the typical caller on Coast to Coast Am or Stern for that matter.
12.1.2008 7:05pm
scattergood:

Scatter:

You said: "Further, please explain to us why it is so problematic for Obama to release this hidden document to verify his ability to be President. Why to the likes of you get so angry and spew invective at people who are just asking a question?"

Why should Obama need to respond to you or any others out in the peanut gallery? Should Bush answer every question asked by the Kos crowd regarding everying under the sun?


The reason why is because NOBODY has every actually asked for and seen the long form birth certificate. The Sec of State in Florida, NJ, CT have all stated that they don't do that and just accept whoever the Parties provide. Do you really think that is reasonable? Just trust people to maintain the requirements of the Constitution, and if they don't then have no mechanism for review in the courts or in half the states?

Here's an interesting fact, the Socalist candidate for prez is not a citizen at all. Of the 10 ballots that he got on, 5 threw him off. NJ wasn't one of them. Thus some states look into the matter, some don't. The integrity of the system as a whole seems to be a resonable thing to try to maintain, no?

Please tell me what other states other than Hawaii allow for the registration of births of children born out of state. This was allowed in Hawaii for American Protectorate territories such as Guam.

As to Bush
12.1.2008 7:09pm
scattergood:

Scatter:

It is just that I bunch Obama/McCain natural-born doubters in the same category as the typical caller on Coast to Coast Am or Stern for that matter.


Ok, well that's good for you. Good thing the SCOTUS doesn't share your categorizations, IMHO.
12.1.2008 7:11pm
AnotherMike:
Scatter, I've got some questions:

1. Why was Obama's mother in Kenya at the time of his birth?

2. Why is there a birth announcement in a Honolulu paper at the time of Obama's birth?

3. Why is factcheck's claim to have seen the birth certificate not to be believed?

4. Why have none of the right wing media like Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, O'Reilly, and Fox News taken up this issue?
12.1.2008 7:12pm
Oren:


Saying this is a certified copy of something telling us that something else does, in fact, exist is just chum in the water.

A certified copy is the exact equivalent of the original for all legal purposes. That's why it's a certified copy (and, in my home state of IL, requires you to engage the services of a notary public to confirm no malfeasance on your part).
12.1.2008 7:33pm
Steve:
When my daughter was born, I supplied the information for the birth certificate myself. I had no idea this was so irregular or that the authorities should be expected to independently investigate. Sounds like a lot of resources that might require a tax increase to support.
12.1.2008 7:33pm
MarkField (mail):
Great posts, Bama1L.
12.1.2008 7:35pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

I find the courts ruling that citizens don't have standing because even if an candidate who isn't qualified to hold an office is elected, voters have suffered no harm a pretty illogical and incorrect stance.


I would agree here, but at the same time, thus far, I haven't seen any real evidence of fraud. I don't know what the retention is for long-form birth certificates, but the fact is, a certified copy is certified to be a copy and certified to be legally equivalent.

Hence it seems reasonable to me for the courts to rule that the certified copy is adequate and the original long-form is irrelevant.
12.1.2008 7:47pm
scattergood:

Scatter, I've got some questions:

1. Why was Obama's mother in Kenya at the time of his birth?

2. Why is there a birth announcement in a Honolulu paper at the time of Obama's birth?

3. Why is factcheck's claim to have seen the birth certificate not to be believed?

4. Why have none of the right wing media like Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, O'Reilly, and Fox News taken up this issue?


1) My understanding is that Obama's mother went to Kenya to visit her husband's family while she was pregnant with Obama Jr.

2) The birth announcement was published 9 days after his birth, it doesn't list any of the hospitals or verifiable information. I can't say what the requirements of getting an announcement of the birth of somebody into the paper was in 1961. Do you know what the requirements are? Are you willing to trust a min wage clerk at a newspaper to verify the qualifications for the President of the United States when he could just provide the same documentation himself? Ok, some people will be willing to, but given Obama's clear lies and contradictions and open issue regarding citizenship, religion, travel documents, etc. I'd like a more complete review by a court. Some people will and have called me scatterbrained, nut job, etc for wanting to see a document presented to a court, as is their right. I don't think it is so unreasonable.

3) Factcheck's own images have serious flaws. Firstly, it is photos of his Certification of Live Birth, not a Certificate of Live Birth. One is printed based on information provided to the state, one is the actual document submitted by the doctors and the hospital to the state. They took pictures of the document that people have issues with to begin with. Secondly, the exif information embedded into the Fackcheck images are from 3/12/2008 and all of the images span 6 minutes in time difference from the first file to the last. Given that they claim they 'recently' took them when they posted the images on 8/21/2008 and they spent 'some time', I don't think it is resonable to questin their validity. Maybe it is a simple issue like they didn't set the camera's clock properly, but for an organization whose entire purpose is to be rigorous, in checking facts this seems to bring their abilities into question.

4) I don't know why other news orgs aren't bringing this up. Maybe they haven't gone through the difference between a Certification of Live Birth and a Certificate of Live Birth and how they are created, who knows. I am not part of those orgs and can't speak for them.

Look, the big difference is that I am perfectly willing to be wrong. I don't KNOW that Obama wasn't born in the USA, but here is what we are relying on to KNOW that he was:

a) A birth announcement from 1961 for which we don't know the qualifications.

b) A Certificaton of Live Birth that may or may not be real, and even if it is real can be obtained by somebody who was born outside of the State of Hawaii.

c) The Secretary of State in multiple states just trusting Obama and the Democratic party that they have looked into it, while kicking off the ballot other, non-Dem and non-Republican, candidates.

Again, why is it so hard for Obama to go and get the long form document. He finally got the Certification of Live Birth, and only after being asked about it for months.
12.1.2008 7:52pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Scatter: Given that it was fairly common even prior to 1789 for, say, the British Parliament to recognize British subjects as those who were born of British parents but abroad, wouldn't the fact that Obama's mother is a birthright US citizen make him a natural born citizen?

I do agree that courts are doing everything they can not to touch this issue, but would you be happy with a ruling which would say that children of US citizens born abroad were allowed to run as president?
12.1.2008 8:04pm
ThoughtsAloud (mail) (www):
I've got some questions:

1. Why was Obama's mother in Kenya at the time of his birth?

Conjecture: Perhaps because that is where the man who alledgedly impregnated this seventeen-year-old child lived with his wife. Young girls sometimes do foolish things like chase down men who have abandoned them.

Fact: I saw with my own eyes an interview with her best friend from high school, who confirmed that she visited her one day near Seattle when Obama was just a few days old.
2. Why is there a birth announcement in a Honolulu paper at the time of Obama's birth?

Conjecture: Perhaps the same reason that Obama's birth was recorded on August 8th, four days after he was born. His mother reported the event upon return to Hawaii.
3. Why is factcheck's claim to have seen the birth certificate not to be believed?

Fact: I saw their pictures holding the "Certification of Live Birth" (COLB) which they attest is real with no evidence of forgery. However, it does not state the place he was born, and is only evidence that his birth by a Hawaii resident on August 4th, was reported on August 8th.

Conjecture: Had he been born in a hospital on Oahu, they would have submitted the actual doctor signed birth certificate themselves, and the dates would probably match.

4. Why have none of the right wing media like Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, O'Reilly, and Fox News taken up this issue?

Fact: Most of the digging and discovery on this issue was done by a pro-Hillary group of bloggers who call themselves PUMAs (Party Unity My Arse).

Conjecture: The folks you mention seem more disturbed by his Marxist roots, and have probably relied on FactCheck et al, just as you have. Most I have encountered do not understand the difference between a COLB and a birth certificate. Further, there have been so many competing theories and disinformation gambits, that it takes a lot of sifting through crud to notice the real inconsistencies. Given that the slightest criticism of Obama brings hateful charges of racism, these folks are treading very carefully and at least trying to nail down a story before running with it. -Dave
12.1.2008 8:24pm
Grigor:
Paul Milligan - any luck?
12.1.2008 8:26pm
scattergood:

Scatter: Given that it was fairly common even prior to 1789 for, say, the British Parliament to recognize British subjects as those who were born of British parents but abroad, wouldn't the fact that Obama's mother is a birthright US citizen make him a natural born citizen?

I do agree that courts are doing everything they can not to touch this issue, but would you be happy with a ruling which would say that children of US citizens born abroad were allowed to run as president?


I believe that this is an incorrect assesment, as does Eugene Volokh. As he states in this link on this very blog:

So, as I now read 8 U.S.C. § 1401, "a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States" before Nov. 14, 1986 is a natural-born citizen only if the citizen parent "was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years" — the same rule that was in place in the early 1960s. See also United States v. Flores-Villar, 497 F. Supp. 2d 1160, 1162-64 (S.D. Cal. 2007) (taking the same view and concluding the change from ten years/five years to five years/two years only applied to people born after 1986), aff'd, 536 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2008) (so assuming but not discussing it in detail); Rico-Ibarra v. Mukasey, 281 Fed. Appx. 694, 695 n.1 (9th Cir. 2008) (not precedential).

Obama's mother was under the age of 19 at the time of his birth and thus was unable to confer citizenship to Jr. through her status as a US citizen, if he wasn't born in the USA proper.
12.1.2008 8:32pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Personally, I wish the courts would rule as to what "Natural-born citizen" means. However, absent that ruling, I think we have to take what it essentially meant in the years leading up to the revolutionary war. Since the law changed in 1772, it would seem to my mind that the Constitution was not necessarily intended to fix definitions on what was then recent history.

In another reply I have pointed to problems tying this provision with 1789 British law and suggested that this could result in aliens running for POTUS (those who would have been eligible under the 1772 law for birthright citizenship but not under current law). Instead, I think a plain reading of that definition, particularly given the recent legal changes at the time of the framing needs to be "birthright citizen born on US soil or abroad, as defined by law."

This reading does give Congress the power to determine under what conditions a person of foreign birth is eligible for US citizenship without going through the naturalization process. So IMO, it makes the lawsuits moot. IANAL though.
12.1.2008 8:35pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Most I have encountered do not understand the difference between a COLB and a birth certificate.

An important point. Hawaii by statute issues "birth certificates" for children born out of State:

[§338-17.8] Certificates for children born out of State. (a) Upon application of an adult or the legal parents of a minor child, the director of health shall issue a birth certificate for such adult or minor, provided that proof has been submitted to the director of health that the legal parents of such individual while living without the Territory or State of Hawaii had declared the Territory or State of Hawaii as their legal residence for at least one year immediately preceding the birth or adoption of such child.

Thus Obama's COLB definitively sets his birthplace as Honolulu, as a mere "birth certificate" might never do.

Had [Obama] been born in a hospital on Oahu, they[???] would have submitted the actual doctor signed birth certificate themselves, and the dates would probably match.

Who would have custody of "the actual doctor signed birth certificate"? Who would be charged with the mission of safeguarding it all these years?

Original documents disappear; that's a fact of life. A foreign-born co-worker of mine lacks a document he claims is essential to becoming naturalized: his draft registration record from 1963. He no longer has a copy, and neither does the Federal government. Yet he has a distinct recollection of having to fill the application out on the ship before he was allowed to disembark.
12.1.2008 8:38pm
AnotherMike:
1. OK, it is certainly possible for someone to travel while almost 8-9 months pregnant. But, I have a hard time believing an 8-9 months pregnant 18-year old would leave her parents and home and voluntarily travel to Kenya to give birth. Seems like a risky and foolish thing to do.

2. According to the anti-Obama site that discovered the birth announcement, "these announcements came directly from the Vital Statistics Office as reported by local hospitals." Obama Likely Born in Hawaii

If the birth announcement is not from the Vital Statistics Office as reported by local hospitals, who reported it, why, and how did it get in the paper?

3. What's the importance of the distinction between a certification of live birth and a certificate of live birth? I understand you say a certification "is printed based on information provided to the state." Isn't that "information" the certificate of birth submitted by the doctors and hospital? The certification of birth states Obama was born in Honolulu. Certifications of live births are official state documents and all you need for things like drivers' licenses, passports, etc. Is the argument that the certification of birth is a fake and Factcheck is in on the conspiracy? If not, why does the distinction between certification and certificate matter?

4. If there was ANYTHING to this theory, conservative media would be all over it. In addition, if there were evidence of Obama proffering forged birth certificates, McCain would have said something. Where also is the whistle blower from the Hawaii Department of Records? There's not one Republican who works there and has had the opportunity to look at the state's records? Like Sherlock Holmes' dog that didn't bark, their silence is informative.
12.1.2008 8:50pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Oren. "for all legal purposes" means what, exactly? Does it mean it's genuine or refers to a genuine item? Or does it mean we're required to act as if it's genuine and question not.
So I guess if it's genuine there won't be any problem with the BC.

Ein. You an engineer? You took the steel melting thing pretty literally. The point was that some troofers have claimed that since burning jet fuel won't melt steel, the WTC towers had to have been dropped by controlled demolition.
But, as it happens, steel doesn't have to melt for that to happen, so the troofers were trying to get one over on us. All the steel has to do is flex slightly and it then, the shortest distance between two points (vertical supports) not being a curve, falls down.
12.1.2008 8:51pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Scatter: Wrong paragraph.

8 USC 1401 (h) states:

(h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States.



Seems like Obama qualifies......
12.1.2008 9:10pm
scattergood:

1. OK, it is certainly possible for someone to travel while almost 8-9 months pregnant. But, I have a hard time believing an 8-9 months pregnant 18-year old would leave her parents and home and voluntarily travel to Kenya to give birth. Seems like a risky and foolish thing to do.


Well, she could have gone when she was 6-7 months pregnant, and then was unable to return on the plane when she was 8 months pregnant. 18 year old girls who are pregnant do foolish things, no?


2. According to the anti-Obama site that discovered the birth announcement, "these announcements came directly from the Vital Statistics Office as reported by local hospitals." Obama Likely Born in Hawaii

If the birth announcement is not from the Vital Statistics Office as reported by local hospitals, who reported it, why, and how did it get in the paper?


Again, these are questions of conjecture, and of fact, that can be resolved if somebody was compelling people with sworn testimony. As I said, I'd like to know for a fact rather than just trust our intuition on the subject of 47 year old procedures of newspapers in a state that was barely 3-4 years old at the time.


3. What's the importance of the distinction between a certification of live birth and a certificate of live birth? I understand you say a certification "is printed based on information provided to the state." Isn't that "information" the certificate of birth submitted by the doctors and hospital? The certification of birth states Obama was born in Honolulu. Certifications of live births are official state documents and all you need for things like drivers' licenses, passports, etc. Is the argument that the certification of birth is a fake and Factcheck is in on the conspiracy? If not, why does the distinction between certification and certificate matter?


Here is the difference. A Certificate of Live Birth is the originally submitted birth certificate done usually at the hospital and with doctors signatures. A Certification of Live Birth is a reprint, under seal, of a form that is filled out by the requestor of information that matches whatever is on record. If information is submitted that doesn't match, then those fields are left blank and can be filled in on the document later, at least according to Polarik's report.


4. If there was ANYTHING to this theory, conservative media would be all over it. In addition, if there were evidence of Obama proffering forged birth certificates, McCain would have said something. Where also is the whistle blower from the Hawaii Department of Records? There's not one Republican who works there and has had the opportunity to look at the state's records? Like Sherlock Holmes' dog that didn't bark, their silence is informative.


Again, you are trusting the validity of the information based on the fact that nobody else has found that it isn't invalid. I'd like to trust the validity because somebody has found it valid that has the coercive power of producing evidence and testimony.
12.1.2008 9:10pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Robert Aubrey wrote:

Ein. You an engineer? You took the steel melting thing pretty literally. The point was that some troofers have claimed that since burning jet fuel won't melt steel, the WTC towers had to have been dropped by controlled demolition.
But, as it happens, steel doesn't have to melt for that to happen, so the troofers were trying to get one over on us. All the steel has to do is flex slightly and it then, the shortest distance between two points (vertical supports) not being a curve, falls down.


I am a software engineer. I know civil engineers, etc.

You are largely restating my point but with a different failure condition. The basic issue is that the joint supports tend to be a softer steel. Harder steel cuts softer steel, so the thermal expansion is the equivalent of taking a metal-cutting saw to these supports. Flexing isn't even required. Some slippage is sufficient.
12.1.2008 9:13pm
scattergood:

8 USC 1401 (h) states:


(h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States.




Seems like Obama qualifies......


As you seem to have a dispute with the interpretation of Prof. Volokh and a number of other legal scholars, I would suggest that a court of law would be the best place to resolve your difference of understanding.

Claiming victory while far more learned
12.1.2008 9:14pm
Will the Lying Never STOP!:


Fact: I saw their pictures holding the "Certification of Live Birth" (COLB) which they attest is real with no evidence of forgery. However, it does not state the place he was born, and is only evidence that his birth by a Hawaii resident on August 4th, was reported on August 8th.



For the love of god, Thoughtless and scatterbrain and every other liar and/or idiot posting variations of this, the damn COLB LISTS THE LOCATION OF BIRTH. It's right there, under the birthdate, in the place marked "City, Town, or Location of Birth". Are you seriously alleging that the State of Hawaii lists Honolulu as the Location of Birth for out-of-state births to state residents? SHow me the law, reg, or even an example that illustrates this. Or do you think there's some fifth dimension in Honolulu that allows one to be at once born within the city, yet outside the country?

You and all your ilk can safely be dismissed as dishonest morons.
12.1.2008 9:15pm
Will the Lying Never STOP!:


Fact: I saw their pictures holding the "Certification of Live Birth" (COLB) which they attest is real with no evidence of forgery. However, it does not state the place he was born, and is only evidence that his birth by a Hawaii resident on August 4th, was reported on August 8th.



For the love of god, Thoughtless and scatterbrain and every other liar and/or idiot posting variations of this, the damn COLB LISTS THE LOCATION OF BIRTH. It's right there, under the birthdate, in the place marked "City, Town, or Location of Birth". Are you seriously alleging that the State of Hawaii lists Honolulu as the Location of Birth for out-of-state births to state residents? SHow me the law, reg, or even an example that illustrates this. Or do you think there's some fifth dimension in Honolulu that allows one to be at once born within the city, yet outside the country?

You and all your ilk can safely be dismissed as dishonest morons.
12.1.2008 9:15pm
Oren:

Again, you are trusting the validity of the information based on the fact that nobody else has found that it isn't invalid. I'd like to trust the validity because somebody has found it valid that has the coercive power of producing evidence and testimony.

The burden of proof is on the plaintiff that seeks relief, not on the defendant. You conjecture is quite plausible but doesn't come anywhere near the sort of evidence required for a court to unseat an elected POTUS.


Oren. "for all legal purposes" means what, exactly? Does it mean it's genuine or refers to a genuine item? Or does it mean we're required to act as if it's genuine and question not.

You have conflated two issues here -- whether a document is genuine and whether a document is original. There is nothing stopping you from arguing that the particular document is a fraud but you are foreclosed from arguing that, as a certified copy, it carries less weight than the original article.
12.1.2008 9:19pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Scatter:


As you seem to have a dispute with the interpretation of Prof. Volokh and a number of other legal scholars, I would suggest that a court of law would be the best place to resolve your difference of understanding.


From US v. Flores-Villar (found because of EV's reference):


Ruben Flores-Villar raises a challenge under the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's due process clause on the basis of age and gender to two former sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1401(a)(7) and 1409 (1974), which impose a five-year residence requirement, after the age of fourteen, on United States citizen fathers - but not on United States citizen mothers - before they may transmit citizenship to a child born out of wedlock abroad to a non-citizen.


Secondly, I don't see EV discussing paragraph (h). It may well be that there is no difference of opinion.
12.1.2008 9:22pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Oops. I read "after" instead of "before" on (h). Looks like (g) would indeed apply.
12.1.2008 9:35pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I guess I was wrong on 8 USC 1401(h) but I have been aware from other sources (embassy personnel, having lived overseas) that the limits don't apply to mothers. Same thing was at issue in US v. Flores-Villar.

(c) Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (a) of this
section, a person born, after December 23, 1952, outside the United
States and out of wedlock shall be held to have acquired at birth
the nationality status of his mother, if the mother had the
nationality of the United States at the time of such person's
birth, and if the mother had previously been physically present in
the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a
continuous period of one year.


This suggests a residency requirement of one year.
12.1.2008 9:42pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Once again, I retract. That is only out-of-wedlock births.

Strange that the law would punish a woman for being married by denying citizenship to the child.....
12.1.2008 9:54pm
Charles Chapman (mail) (www):
None of the people who have questioned the location of Obama's birth have proffered any evidence that he was not born in Hawaii. They have submitted only conspiratorial conjecture that it is possible that he was born elsewhere, and demanded that he produce admissible evidence.

That is easily done. Federal Rule of Evidence 803(19) provides:
The following are not excluded by the hearsay rule, even though the declarant is available as a witness:
* * *
(19) Reputation concerning personal or family history. Reputation among members of a person's family by blood, adoption, or marriage, or among a person's associates, or in the community, concerning a person's birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, death, legitimacy, relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, ancestry, or other similar fact of personal or family history.
"An individual's testimony as to his personal or family history concerning ancestry and relationship by blood or 'other similar fact of his personal or family history is admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule." Annett v. University of Kansas, 82 F.Supp.2d 1230, 1243 (D KS 2000). So Obama (and/or others) testify that he was born in Hawaii. Obama has sustained his burden of proof (assuming he had that burden). In the absence of other evidence, Obama (and we all) win. Case closed.
12.1.2008 10:11pm
AnotherMike:
scatter,

1. Yes, I would agree that young women can sometimes do foolish things. So, as I stated before, this point is not dispositive. But, it still strikes me as rather unlikely, although not impossible

2. You either misread what I wrote or chose to make a strawman argument, as no one talks about "intuition." The statement regarding the practice for birth announcements comes from the investigator of an anti-Obama site. Of course, you and others are also free to investigate the policy for printing birth announcements in the Honolulu paper and reporting if the anti-obama investigator got it wrong (or perhaps the investigator is part of the conspiracy?). I find that fact that no one has done so persuasive. Regardless, you have still not set forth a plausible alternative explanation for the presence of the Obama birth announcement if he had been born in Kenya.

3. Thanks for the explanation. So, as I understand it, you would agree that the Obama certification of birth is either (a) proof of Obama's Honolulu birth or (b) a forgery? If a forgery, would you also agree that those in the Hawaii department of records who claim to have seen the official birth certificate are also necessarily complicit in the conspiracy since they would know the certification of birth submitted to Factcheck is a forgery yet have not blown the whistle on Obama? Also, you must either believe Factcheck is part of the conspiracy or else was fooled by the forged certification of birth, correct?

4. Yes, I do believe those with the expertise, resources and an interest in defeating Obama or exposing the greatest fraud in presidential elections ever to have vetted the issue. I hear nothing but silence from them and they have not previously displayed a reticence about going after Obama or trusting in his word.
12.1.2008 10:27pm
scattergood:

scatter,

1. Yes, I would agree that young women can sometimes do foolish things. So, as I stated before, this point is not dispositive. But, it still strikes me as rather unlikely, although not impossible


That she was in Kenya to visit Obama Sr.'s family is not in dispute, there are interviews with his grandmother to this effect. What is in dispute is whether she returned to the USA to have Jr. while 8 or 9 months pregnant.


2. You either misread what I wrote or chose to make a strawman argument, as no one talks about "intuition." The statement regarding the practice for birth announcements comes from the investigator of an anti-Obama site. Of course, you and others are also free to investigate the policy for printing birth announcements in the Honolulu paper and reporting if the anti-obama investigator got it wrong (or perhaps the investigator is part of the conspiracy?). I find that fact that no one has done so persuasive. Regardless, you have still not set forth a plausible alternative explanation for the presence of the Obama birth announcement if he had been born in Kenya.


Here is the issue, what is the place of birth listed for out of state registrations in the state of Hawaii? I dont' know what they are, and nobody else seems to. Maybe it is listed as the place of registration? Again I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but let's get the facts on the table since we have a very unique set of laws in the state of Hawaii. We cannot assume, or intuit if you will, that what holds for one state holds for Hawaii because of this issue of out of state birth registrations.

Further, it is possible that the mere REGISTRATION of a birth will trigger an announcement. Again, all of this can be cleared up with a $15 fee and Obama's signature.


3. Thanks for the explanation. So, as I understand it, you would agree that the Obama certification of birth is either (a) proof of Obama's Honolulu birth or (b) a forgery? If a forgery, would you also agree that those in the Hawaii department of records who claim to have seen the official birth certificate are also necessarily complicit in the conspiracy since they would know the certification of birth submitted to Factcheck is a forgery yet have not blown the whistle on Obama? Also, you must either believe Factcheck is part of the conspiracy or else was fooled by the forged certification of birth, correct?


No, I would agree that the Certification is either proof of his registration of foreign birth with Honolulu listed as place of birth because of registration, proof of birth in Honolulu, or a forgery. I can't say which, but believe there is a reasonable debate that it may be a forgery but am not sure.

The Haawaiian officials have only said they have the original birth certificate but they don't specify what is on it, whether it was a birth certificate from a hospital with doctor's signatures or a birth certificate issued to a foreign born child. Again, let's put them under oath, provide the document and get this cleared up.

As to Factcheck yes, they are either 'in on it' or they are being duped. But as I repeat, I am not confident in having an Obama funded organization upon which he sat on the board of being the final arbiter of his qualifications.


4. Yes, I do believe those with the expertise, resources and an interest in defeating Obama or exposing the greatest fraud in presidential elections ever to have vetted the issue. I hear nothing but silence from them and they have not previously displayed a reticence about going after Obama or trusting in his word.



And exactly how long did Woodward and Bernstein toil in the wilderness before exposing the greates fraud in presidential politics all the while those with the expertise, resources and interest in bringing Nixon down sat in silence? A few years if memory serves me.

Also, this issue becomes one of honor and integrity. Obama has asserted that he wants the most open and transparent administration but has refused to release his original birth certificate, any of his school transcripts, any of his school work, any of his school admissions forms. Many of these documents could shine a light in either direction on the issue of his natural born status.
12.2.2008 12:47am
Alix Cavanaugh (mail) (www):
I can't help finding the anti-Obama conspiracy theories not only pathetic and disturbing, but extraordinary ironic.

For decades the talk-radio crowd have been railing about "activist" federal judges imposing their personal, idiosyncratic interpretations of the Constitution on the other branches of government, the states, and the people. But now it seems that the shoe is on the other foot.

Obama satisfied all fifty states as to his eligibility.

His campaign posted the short-form birth certificate months and months ago, and since then the Berg crowd have been blogging ceaselessly and breathlessly about forgeries, obscure confessions of obscurer relatives, and God knows what else, and they've been spectacularly unsuccessful in dissuading people from voting for him.

In all that time, the conspiracy theorists have fully enjoyed every protection the First Amendment properly accords to even the most absurd political speech. No one has tried to suppress their websites, ban their fringe newsletters, or threaten them into silence. They've had every opportunity to convince the American people generally, and Obama's opponents and the major news media in particular -- who presumably would have some interest in these allegations were they true -- and they have completely and utterly failed at it.

On 15 December, the electors will meet and select Obama, in accordance with Article II and the Twelfth Amendment. On 6 January, both houses of Congress in joint session will count the electoral votes and confirm his election, in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

A sane person might look at all of this and think that the American people, acting collectively on Election Day as well as through a great many different organs of government at different times, have effectively decided that Obama is eligible to be President, and that their decision deserves deference.

But now the conspiracy theorists want the federal judiciary to intervene -- and do what exactly? Issue injunctions to the Electoral College telling them how to vote? Stop Congress from counting the ballots until litigation works its way through the courts?

Are they bothered that, by so doing, the court would be forcing Congress to violate an explict constitutional command ("The President of the Senate shall [...] open all the certificates")? Not at all! The courts can simply use their equitable powers to come up with some fix for that little problem. I've seen bloggers baying for blood seriously assert that the Court should just redo the election if it can't satisfy itself as to Obama's credentials. That's not in the Constitution either, but since we're making things up as we go along ...

Now, on the basis of what, exactly, are these extraordinary assertions of judicial power to be justified?

The Constitution does not say "No one shall be eligible to the Office of President who cannot establish by clear and convincing evidence that he is a natural born citizen". It does not say "No one shall be eligible to the Office of President who cannot demonstrate to the satisfaction of a federal court in an adversarial process that he is a natural born citizen." In fact, the natural-born citizen clause says nothing about evidentiary standards and nothing about which organ of government is charged with evaluating candidates' qualifications.

However, it's worth noting that in the case of congressional qualifications, the Constitution provides that the legislative branch, not the judiciary, will be the final arbiter (art. I, sec. 5, cl. 1). So one might well want at least some textual hook to argue for a disanalogy in the presidential case. But there is none on offer: the Constitution specifies in great detail the roles of two political bodies -- the electors "in their respective states" and the "Senate and House of Representatives" -- and says absolutely nothing about a role for the courts. In a long article, Vasan Kesavan argues that judging candidates' qualifications is wholly up to the Electoral College; I'm not entirely convinced, but either the Electoral College or Congress in joint session, or both acting in turn, are far more plausible depositories of this authority than the courts.

So on what, exactly, do critics of Obama's eligibility base this demand that the judiciary enforce a higher evidentiary standard for the qualifications of Article II than the states, Senate, House, Electoral College, and voters have been willing to demand? Nothing in the text of the Constitution; absolutely nothing except their own feeling that more stringent standards of evidence should be required.

Now, I happen to think that this demand is ludicrous: the short-form birth certificate and everything else are more than evidence enough for the purposes of qualification for office. (For what it's worth, they're better evidence than I have available of the birth facts of most of my immediate family members.)

Obviously the sceptics would disagree. But why should their private standards of evidence, or for that matter my private standards of evidence, be chosen over the standards implicit in the judgment of voters, congressmen, senators, and electors that Obama is eligible? Nothing in the text of the Constitution mandates it; nothing in a statute mandates it; nothing in our political traditions or our ordinary legal practice mandates it. Nothing but their own desires mandates it.

How would the intervention of a court on those grounds be anything but the epitome of unprincipled judicial activism?
12.2.2008 5:07am
David M. Nieporent (www):
In other words, some wingnut 9/11 Truther claims Obama's birth certificate could have been forged, and Obama has an obligation to respond to that? If that triggers an obligation to respond, then Obama will be doing nothing for the next four years but responding to the legions of wingnuts that infest the fringes of our politics.
Keep in mind that this is all a red herring, since the guy who was elected on November 4th is actually not the same guy who was born as Barack Obama on August 4, 1961 at all. This whole thing about where he was born is a smokescreen to distract people from the fact that he was switched in his early teens with the son of Fidel Castro.
12.2.2008 5:33am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Here is the issue, what is the place of birth listed for out of state registrations in the state of Hawaii?
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the place of birth listed is the place where the person was born.
12.2.2008 5:37am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Somebody said the media would be all over it.
Joke, right?
The guys who told us more about troopergate than the various unsealed divorce decrees?
The guys who told us more about Palin's per diem problem than the Annenberg Challenge which, if memory serves, included approximately one thousand times as much money?
The ones who told us about Samantha (invade Israel) Power?
The ones who anointed Michelle Obama as nearly a saint while picturing Cindy McCain as a mean-spirited druggie?
There could be other reasons this whole thing isn't more open, but media eagerness isn't it. The media don't need reality to make a story--see TANG--they'll make it up if they have to.
Ein. You're an engineer alright. The reference to steel doesn't melt originally meant nutcases saying stupid stuff in support of a nutcase idea. It's kind of a shorthand now.
12.2.2008 8:24am
Kotter:
Actually, the criticism is that the right wing of the media would be all over it (and most certainly is), and would report it, if it could find any evidence other than these wackjobs who rely on hearsay and improbable supposition.

Take for example the claim that Factcheck.org is funded by Obama and Obama sat on its board. It's a lie. That or those who say it, don't know what they are talking about.
12.2.2008 9:59am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Kotter. The right wing of the media isn't important. The MSM, as it's usually known, is, for purposes of this discussion.
Their eagerness to find anything on Obama is notable by its absence, especially as compared to their eagerness to hammer Palin.
12.2.2008 10:23am
scattergood:

Obama satisfied all fifty states as to his eligibility.


And this is actually the most important point. Do you know what the Sec of State does in many states to confirm the eligibility of a candidate? Nothing. Let me repeat that, the Sec of State does no investigatory, confirming, or ask for documents.

This is one of the basic points of Donofrio in his suit against the NJ Sec of State. Under NJ law the SOS is required to, under seal of the office. The SOS says she did so based only on the assumption of their nomination. That's great certification isn't it.

BTW, this is how the Socialist candidate,who isn't a citizen and was thrown off of 5 other state's ballots, made in onto NJ's.

Again, I dont' KNOW that Obama was born outside of the USA and am perfectly willing to be PROVEN wrong. However, I'd think that trusting a SOS who doesn't do anything to trust a candidate and party without any recourse isn't the best way to maintain the integrity of the electoral process.

NJ is just one example of a SOS basically doing nothing. FL, CT, PA and CA I believe are known to just 'trust the parties'.

Again, NOBODY has actually stated that they have seen the long form originial birth certificate that shows he was born in Hawaii. Given the potential damage and the unbelievable ease of resolving this the burden doesn't seem too difficult to release it.

But given the course of action that DNC and Obama camps have taken, many, many other issues get brought up. Why do voters not have rights of redress to the courts, as stated in the Constituion? Why won't the courts deal with this, as it is a Constituional issue? Why do the SOS's of many states not ask for original and fully confirming documentation? Remember, these SOS's haven't even seen in electronic or physical form the Certification that Obama presented before they put him on the ballot.
12.2.2008 10:27am
scattergood:

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the place of birth listed is the place where the person was born.



Ok, that's a limb. I don't know and you clearly don't know. Wouldn't it be nice to know before we swear in a POTUS, because if we are wrong the damage is HUGE.
12.2.2008 10:31am
Per Son:
It seems to me that the person(s) with standing would have been his opponents during the primaries and then McCain.

Scatter, please explain why Obama must prove his eligibility, as opposed to you needing to prove that he is not eligible.

Lets say that it is criminal fraud as Mr. Vieria says it can be. Obama is innocent until proven guilty. Lets say it is civil fraud, then the plaintiff needs to file a complaint and meet the heightened pleading standard in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Throwing up a bunch of questions and what ifs, and unfounded assertions, is not enough.

You can write and postulate, heck even pontificate all you want. BUT PLEASE, OH PLEASE, MEET YOUR BURDEN!
12.2.2008 10:44am
Kotter:
"The right wing of the media isn't important."

Except, that the criticism was that not even the right wing of the media is reporting it.
12.2.2008 10:46am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Kotter.
Then I guess it hardly matters: From my experience with a certain political persuasion, there is a mechanism for shutting down arguments. Mostly, they wait expectantly for you to mention something, then erupt in disgusting glottal noises and tell you you're a moron. They don't bother discussing the issue. Because, in many cases, they'd lose. So they forestall the discussion.
It works. The cumulative effect of the cumulative effect results in the desired self-censorship.
And, no, it's not a conspiracy when everybody thinks alike. They don't need meetings and e-mails.
My question is what is the reason for not providing the basic BC. Related to that, what is the downside of providing the basic BC? IOW, what's keeping him from settling this?
If McCain or Palin had tried to keep their BC from public view, would they be granted the same sympathy on this board? Right. Pull the other one.
12.2.2008 11:40am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Just thought of something:
I'll do it like a liberal.

What are you guys afraid of? Huh? What? Think your golden boy isn't really eligible? Cat's got your tongue for a reason, hey?
12.2.2008 11:41am
Per Son:
Richard:

The downside of providing the BC to the general public is that it sets a precedent of actually responding to the likes of Phil Berg and company. What else should he provide, and when would it end? His and his sympathizers' fantasies should not be indulged.

Should the federal government be required to respond to every cert petition filed naming the US as the respondent? Of course not, and it would not make sense. If you feel you can make the pleading standard and demonstrate standing - go sue.
12.2.2008 11:47am
Kotter:
What hardly matters? Your saying the right wing of the media has self-censored? Well, I guess there is no way to test that proposition.

Which leaves me where many above are. It will never end, no matter what is produced.
12.2.2008 11:55am
AnotherMike:

That she was in Kenya to visit Obama Sr.'s family is not in dispute, there are interviews with his grandmother to this effect. What is in dispute is whether she returned to the USA to have Jr. while 8 or 9 months pregnant.


I've heard there is a tape of his grandmother saying she was present at Obama's birth in Kenya (BTW, is the audio online?). Other than this is there any evidence Obama's mother was in Kenya at any time at any time around his birth? Passport records? Travel documents? Testimony of friends or family that she left Hawaii for Kenya? Pictures of her in Kenya? School or work records showing she was absent? Anything?


Here is the issue, what is the place of birth listed for out of state registrations in the state of Hawaii? I dont' know what they are, and nobody else seems to. Maybe it is listed as the place of registration?


I assume that Hawaii does not list "Honolulu" as the place of birth for someone born in Kenya. Generally, when a birth certificate has a line for "place of birth" it's normal to assume that the place listed therein is in fact the place of birth. If you've got testimony or documentation that this is not the case, then I'd be more open to persuasion. But, you seem to be saying that just because a certification of birth says Honolulu was the place of birth, prove to me that this is so. I think you've got the burden of proving otherwise.


The Haawaiian officials have only said they have the original birth certificate but they don't specify what is on it, whether it was a birth certificate from a hospital with doctor's signatures or a birth certificate issued to a foreign born child.


If they've seen the original birth certificate and assuming it shows it was a birth certificate issued to a foreign born child, then doesn't this make them complicit in Obama's fraud of saying he's Hawaiian born and thus elibible for the presidency since they haven't blown the whistle? Is there no Republican or, for the primaries, Hillary Clinton supporter in the Hawaii department of records with access to the original who would have taken a peek and blown the whistle if it showed Obama to be foreign born? Even Joe the Plumber's confidential government records were searched by zealous bureacrats.


Obama has asserted that he wants the most open and transparent administration but has refused to release his original birth certificate, any of his school transcripts, any of his school work, any of his school admissions forms. Many of these documents could shine a light in either direction on the issue of his natural born status.


Here's where I really think this is going. The notion that all Obama has to do to end this issue is present his long form birth certificate is BS, IMHO. Berg and his ilk want to go on a fishing expidition with the power of the legal process behind them. He served a request for production with a long and expansive list of documents. Get his school records from kindergarten through Harvard Law, passport records and travel documents for his entire life, all vetting info ever submitted to the government, etc. and see if they can find something damaging or inconsistent. It worked against Clinton after all.
12.2.2008 11:56am
FredC:
What makes anyone insist that there is another Birth Certificate other than what has already been produced? The one that has been produced says that it is the legal record of his birth and it says that he was born in Hawaii. In one of the links above, the campaign says, that's the Birth Certificate. The Hawaii Dept, responsible for this info, says that's the info they have. Why should anyone have a resonable belief that there is presently another BC somewhere or that if BO asked, the Department would or could release to him anything other than what they already released to him and he realeased to the public.
12.2.2008 12:17pm
Cornellian (mail):
Again, I dont' KNOW that Obama was born outside of the USA and am perfectly willing to be PROVEN wrong.

Obama doesn't have to prove you're wrong. You have to prove you're right. If you don't know where Obama was born then you have no case. Just as importantly, you have no case regardless. If anyone has standing to complain, it's John McCain, not you.
12.2.2008 12:45pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Actually, Per, not to be rude about it or anything, but your version makes no sense whatsoever.
This particular request for info goes to the eligibility to hold office. That, for conservatives, is important.
Other requests, presuming Berg wants to pester O indefinitely getting his high-school grades, are meaningless.
What is meaningful is that he keeps all this under wraps, but that it is not as important as the question of eligibility, which is one of a kind.
But you knew all this when you started out. You must practice on really gullible people.
12.2.2008 12:57pm
Per Son:
Richard:

Again, Richard, why should Obama need to respond to these requests? Why should he even spend one second placating the Bergs of the world (who I doubt would be satisfied)?

If he is not a natural born citizen - prove it. Find the data and send it to someone, like McCain or Clinton, who probably has standing to sue.

I guess part of it is that I don't believe you have any interest in eligibility. I think this whole brouhaha is just a continuation of the dirt that did not work or stick.

As for rudeness, be as rude as you want, because I am getting a kick out of this in the same way I often listen to Coast to Coast AM.
12.2.2008 1:14pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
FredC:
What makes anyone insist that there is another Birth Certificate other than what has already been produced?

Apparently there originally was and presumably still is a longform birth certificate in the records of Hawaii Department of Health, but when someone (e.g Obama) applies what you get is a certification of birth - the short form record. So the problem doesn't lie with Obama and his campaign but with the Hawaii Department of Health.
12.2.2008 2:46pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Per.
I don't like Obama at all. No need to list the reasons.
But, unlike some here, I think the law ought to apply in all cases. I'm not a lawyer.
So when a question arises, it would be a good idea to address it and not hide behind the fact that nobody is in a position to burgle the Hawaii office of birth records, while going neenerneener.
The Bergs of the world can ask all the questions they want. As a matter of political intelligence, this is one Obama ought to address. The others can be ignored. Because eligibility is important and the other questions Berg can think up (has he thought up any, or are you making stuff up?)are irrelevant.
Yeah, you must be used to arguing with the really gullible.
12.2.2008 3:06pm
Xenu23:
Meanwhile, important issues await:

"A "million fax on Washington" directed by the head of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC) to demand that Obama "demand a full briefing from your military services and intelligence agencies regarding what they know and what they are doing about extraterrestrial related phenomena" and "formally acknowledge the extraterrestrial presence and finally end the truth embargo after 61 years."
12.2.2008 3:09pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I guess I want to say what bothers me about this case (I am a supporter of Obama to some extent, FWIW). If nobody can ever have standing to challenge a candidate's eligibility to hold office under the Constitution because the claim is not a specific enough harm or that the harm is too widely shared, then if someone runs who does not qualify (suppose the candidate is not even a citizen, is an immigrant, or is under 35 years of age) then there is no role for the courts to review this issue.

The question becomes: Is this an issue that Congress would have to settle via impeachment proceedings if there really was an inelligible POTUS? Or do the courts have a role to play? Given that we have not yet had a successful attempt to impeach and convict a president yet, what does this say about Constitutional controls?
12.2.2008 3:19pm
FredC:
Thanks Cannuck, although why you or others presume that this longform still exists is not quite clear, I get the picture now: in order to mainatin doubts about this, one either has to believe the public certificate is a forgery or that the Hawaii department is lying about what's in thier records -- on official documents that are designated to be legal proof.
12.2.2008 3:20pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
FredC.
One can also ask the question about why Obama is spending mucho dinero to avoid having to show the genuine article.
12.2.2008 3:29pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Richard Aubrey:
One can also ask the question about why Obama is spending mucho dinero to avoid having to show the genuine article.

Evidence please that they are spending money.
12.2.2008 3:36pm
FredC:
What dinero would that be?
12.2.2008 3:36pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
FredC
The campaign is spending money on lawyers to argue the cases.
12.2.2008 3:42pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
FredC:
why you or others presume that this longform still exists is not quite clear

The Director of Hawaii department of Health, Ms.Fukino said she has “personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures."
12.2.2008 3:45pm
FredC:
Are they? I had heard that no one has responded to the complaints and if they are its just as likely that such legal services are provided, pro bono, ie for free.
12.2.2008 3:46pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Pro bono. I guess that figures. Working for free in order to keep the question of the BC under wraps.
The news reports I've read referred to over $1 mill. That might have been an estimate of some reporter's discovery of approx hours times likely billing rate, but that wasn't how it was stated.
12.2.2008 4:00pm
FredC:
Thanks again Canuck. If that means long form, I got it.
12.2.2008 4:11pm
Per Son:
On the standing issue. I believe that McCain and Clinton would have had standing.

As for rights without remedies. That has long been a legal fact. Consider that the Supreme Court generally does not find "causes of action" without exlicit language. That maxim is often used against plaintiffs attempting to put forth novel legal challenges when the a statute or Constitution does not provide a specific cause of action. For example, the federal law regarding privacy of student records does not give rise to a cause of action if the school breaks that law. The Supremes decided it several years ago.

One remedy for Presidential eligibility is for Congress to create a statutory procedure for challenging a candidate or elect's eligibility.

Heck, it does not look like the Government is worried too much as the only thing it did in respect to Berg was file a Waiver of right of a right to respond. No one has filed anything on Obama's behalf that I can tell - at least as far as SCOTUS is concerned.
12.2.2008 5:59pm
AnotherMike:

One can also ask the question about why Obama is spending mucho dinero to avoid having to show the genuine article.


Richard, have you seen the Requests for Production to Obama and the DNC in the Berg case? It is not limited to a copy of his birth certificate. It is extremely broad basically asks for all educational, travel records, records submitted to government agencies in connection with any canidacy, etc. Can't recall if it asked for medical records. If they get all the records, will they then want to depose Obama? Will they want to take depositions of his friends and colleagues? It's likely to be much more cost effective to get them dismissed early on based on standing or other procedural defects rather than defend a lengthy lawsuit. And, even if you assume it would be cheaper to just give them whatever they want, that just encourages more frivolous lawsuits in the future. And, what if Obama does have something to hide that would prove embarrasing in his school records or travel documents--why give your political opponents any ammunition at all? Obama has already produced the birth certificate and it's been confirmed by Hawaiian officials that they have the original. The only ones clamoring for more information are on the far right wing fringe who will never support him. It's costing him zero political capital to fight the lawsuits. If anything, it makes his opponents look like kooks and diminishes the credibility of any future attacks/rumors/smears/actual dirty laundry. And, it's not like he's paying money out of his own pocket. Fighting the lawsuits is a win-win for Obama.
12.2.2008 6:01pm
AnotherMike:
I'm not sure who would have standing. Alan Keyes has filed a lawsuit and he was a candidate, so if McCain has standing, then Keyes may as well. Presumably, a secretary of state or some other election official might have standing to try to keep Obama off the ballot in any particular state. Perhaps electors to the electoral college, even ones who aren't pledged to Obama might have standing. I'm not sure the issue is even ripe until after the electoral college votes. And, I'm not sure the courts have the final say.

I do think this whole presidential qualification issue is interesting. As far as I know, there is not any official effort to determine whether a candidate is constitutionally qualified. Perhaps that is the best way to go--create some federal body charged with determining the constitutional eligibility of all candidates for federal office.
12.2.2008 6:11pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Another.
Obama should produce the original BC. Let Berg choke on the rest, since they are irrelevant. Doing the first does not require doing the rest.
However, pretending they do is a handy excuse, no?
12.2.2008 6:32pm
AnotherMike:
Richard,

Do you think the suits would go away if he allowed inspection of his original birth certificate to anyone who asked for it? Remember most (all?) of these suits also allege he gave up his citizenship somehow or another through his years in Indonesia or travels or some such (that's the hook for asking for all of the educational, travel, and other intrusive documentation).

If not, then why should he produce the original BC? How is it a smart move for him politically?
12.2.2008 7:02pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
AnotherMike wrote:

I do think this whole presidential qualification issue is interesting. As far as I know, there is not any official effort to determine whether a candidate is constitutionally qualified. Perhaps that is the best way to go--create some federal body charged with determining the constitutional eligibility of all candidates for federal office.


Would such a review be proactive like it is, for example, in Iran?
12.2.2008 7:04pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Another. The rest of the suits don't have to go away, or they can, for all of me.
Coming up with the BC will or will not make them go away.
Not coming up with the BC guarantees they will not go away.
So it seems, given your view of the matter, that showing the BC would be the better deal.
Berg uses the BC issue for fuel to drag the other stuff along. Take the wind out of the sails, to mix a metaphor, by producing the BC and it all stalls. Nobody else cares
about the rest of the stuff. It's baggage.
But, as I say, pretending the issue is the other stuff is a handy excuse. One which, I should say, is not at all likely to fool anybody.
12.2.2008 7:26pm
AnotherMike:

Berg uses the BC issue for fuel to drag the other stuff along. Take the wind out of the sails, to mix a metaphor, by producing the BC and it all stalls. Nobody else cares
about the rest of the stuff. It's baggage.


You seem to think Obama wants or needs somehow to put this "controversy" to rest. I disagree. As far as I can tell, no one really cares about the birth certificate stuff--it's a non-issue for the vast majority of Americans. The only ones up in arms about it are the far right wing internet junkies who already despise Obama. Why should he care about placating them? Better to let them rant and rave about a non-issue. And, if Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al do pick up the issue and put their credibility behind it, than Obama can always produce the long form BC at that time and make them look silly for pushing a grand conspiracy theory. It would even help innoculate him from future attacks.

In fact, this whole story reminds me of the story that Palin faked Trig's pregnancy and her daughter was the real mother. All that accomplished was earn Palin tons of sympathy and make anyone associated with pushing the story look silly. The more this story is pushed, the better for Obama, as long as he doesn't have to produce tons of other documents.

[Of course, I'm assuming he really was born in Hawaii. And, if not, then he should fight like hell to keep from producing anything!]
12.2.2008 7:50pm
AnotherMike:

Would such a review be proactive like it is, for example, in Iran?


If you're going to do something like I mentioned (and I'm not sure it's a good idea--just something to think about), you'd definitely want to do it proactively. Much less mess than trying to sort things out after an election.

No idea about how Iran works. What do they do?
12.2.2008 7:55pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

No idea about how Iran works. What do they do?


The Council of Guardians (sort of like their Supreme Court) basically reviews candidates an excludes those whom they say don't qualify.

Note, though that the Council of Guardians differs in two important respects from our Supreme Court-- 1) They can and often do initiate legal action themselves and 2) They are at least theoretically accountable to another pseudo-parliamentary body called the Assembly of Experts. The former makes them far more powerful than our Supreme Court, and the second makes them far more politically accountable.

One of the accusations frequently made against the Council of Guardians is that they disproportionately disqualify reformist candidates.
12.2.2008 8:11pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey wrote:

Obama doesn't have to prove anything.... God willing, he will shortly be sworn in as president.


And we know why you say this, since you are obviously part of the Great Moslem Conspiracy to Elect Obama ;-)
12.2.2008 8:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
anothermike:

The only ones up in arms about it are the far right wing internet junkies who already despise Obama. Why should he care about placating them? Better to let them rant and rave about a non-issue.


I think this is exactly right. Notice what Chris Buckley said, quoting his dad:

I've spent my entire lifetime separating the Right from the kooks


Right now it looks like the BC truthers are determined to prove that Buckley lost that battle. Obama has nothing to gain by silencing those truthers. On the contrary. They're helping to shrink the GOP. Every time they speak, sane Republicans think about becoming ex-Republicans.
12.2.2008 11:14pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
ein. You are an engineer. He's elected, with only the College left to go.

Another. If I hear you right, if O wasn't born in Hawaii and is therefore ineligible, he should hide that so as to be an illegitimate president. Right? Or are you merely providing lawyerly advice?

I believe I mentioned the Bush/TANG tactic of giving the nutcases (Rather, CBS and a lot of VC posters) rope to hang themselves and that it might be Obama's tactic here. If so, the difference is that Rather et al were eventually busted. So, to follow the parallell, O will triumphantly produce the BC.

Can you imagine any other candidate arguing about this? That's the difference.

If you're right, the only reason O is letting this go on is to deke the right into making themselves look silly. Might be. Are you sure? Really sure? And, if he really is ineligible, do you care?

I have a suspicion I know the answer, and it would fit very nicely with your resisting a reasonable request.
12.2.2008 11:21pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Another.
To expand on my last sentence, there's a chance, a good chance, that this is all about knowing O is ineligible, sneering at those who would like to be reassured.
Then, when the news comes out, it's, "TOO LATE CHUMPS. HAHAHA."
Ditto guns and broadcast freedom.
12.2.2008 11:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

Ditto guns and broadcast freedom.


Don't forget about the gay abortions.
12.2.2008 11:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
So, presuming O and his BATF buds and gungrabbers start tightening up on guns, your response to those who say, "But he said he wouldn't." will be ...?
12.2.2008 11:59pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey:

It was a joke, but perhaps the satire was too close to home. My apologies.

BTW, I did vote for Obama.....
12.3.2008 1:41am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
his BATF buds and gungrabbers


He'll also be getting your velvet Jesus and your best hunting dog. You have until 1/20 to bury such items in your yard.
12.3.2008 7:52am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
So what will be your response when people are saying, "But he said he wouldn't?"
I expect it will be something along the lines of "We lied. What are you going to do about it?"
Clinton did a pretty good job of that. "I lied to you. That's how it goes." went one parody.
12.3.2008 8:24am
scattergood:

Obama doesn't have to prove you're wrong. You have to prove you're right. If you don't know where Obama was born then you have no case. Just as importantly, you have no case regardless. If anyone has standing to complain, it's John McCain, not you.



Two points. Firstly, to say that a voter doesn't have standing is one of the errors in this process. I think we can all agree that if Obama isn't eligible and sworn in, then everybody who participated in the election would be harmed by his actions by a gross and total violation of teh Constitution. Unless you want to say that 'no, him not being eligible, in contravention of specific clauses of the Constitution, ONLY harms John McCain' If so, please explain how raising hundreds of millions of dollars via fraud doesn't constitute harm.

Secondly, I'd love to prove I am right. However, Obama and the state of Hawaii have deemed the proof to be top secret. The burden and difficulty of determining the information is essentially nil. You are basically saying that while there is ONLY an official document that will prove your point ,that is easy to get, you can't have access to it until you prove your point. The hypocricy in your position is clear.
12.3.2008 9:16am
Per Son:
Scatter:

So basically your argument is that because meeting the burden of proof to show that Obama is not a natural born citizen is really tough to do - the burden should be flipped?

Gimme a break. Right now, nobody but a microscopic minority thinks this is an issue. It is a last ditch effort to try to get rid of Obama, and it is so low on the radar it is not evening creating a backlash. It is simply providing comic relief to pretty much everyone in America that even knows about this stuff. I don't want Obama to release it at this point, because it would ruin my fun of watching the few folks squirm over it.
12.3.2008 10:26am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Per
Let me correct your last.

"I know Obama is ineligible and I don't want anybody to find out until after he's inaugurated."

What, I should ask, would you do if it turned out that he really is ineligible?

I recall Oren giving his word he'd fight mandatory service. Since Rahm Emmanuel said that's in store, Oren has not said much. But, to waste pixels, you can say you'd be actively against inaugurating/keeping a seated president if he proved ineligible. You can even give us your word. Like Oren.
12.3.2008 11:08am
Per Son:
If he is ruled ineligible there is not a damn thing I could do apart from lobbying for impeachment - which I promise I will do. I could not file anything since I do not have standing, and there is no cause of action that permits me to challenge his eligibility.

Once he is the sitting president, only impeachment can get him out.

Not sure of why my earlier statements need a correction. My last statement was "I don't want Obama to release it at this point, because it would ruin my fun of watching the few folks squirm over it." I could not say I definitively know one way or the other about his eligibility. Rather, I accept him at his word, as I have done for every other US president. Indeed, I figure that if there was really a case against him his opponents in the election would have raised it, or at a minimum the FEC or DOJ.
12.3.2008 11:18am
Per Son:
Also, not a single state denied him eligibility to get on their ballot as well.
12.3.2008 11:26am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Per.
Give me a break. No state asked for evidence. So that means nothing about the evidence one way or another.
I'm glad to have your word you'd support impeachment if and when.
Like Oren's going to fight mandatory service.
Not.
12.3.2008 12:39pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Scattergood:

There are a couple of problems, though I do agree with your standing concerns.

The big one is that the plaintiffs are largely going on a fishing expedition, and this isn't the sort of thing that the courts should endorse. Here they have chosen the standing consideration as a way of preventing the case from going to trial, while instead IMO they should be derailed on the basis that nobody has yet put forth anything beyond supposition. In short there is no good faith evidentiary support for this lawsuit.

Unless of course I should be able to sue you in order to force you to prove you are NOT tortuously interfering with my business.....
12.3.2008 12:49pm
Per Son:
Richard:

You just do not get it do you? Fifty states believe that he was rightfully on the ballot, as did the FEC. What am I missing? The fact that they did not do what you wanted them to do does not diminish anything. They have the authority to make the determinations, and they made them. The RNC filed challenges regarding DNC and Obama contributions. I figure if the Obama = not natural born moonbatism had any legs, maybe they would challenge, and would have challenged earlier. Those who have the authority to determine candidates made a decision. You feel that it may not have been a good decision or a complete decision. But gues what; it is over.

I am still waiting for one person to show me the existence of a cause of action for an individual citizen to challenge the eligibility of a president.

Oh and I would support impeachment as I said, and will you be happy with President Biden (assuming Obama is removed). Why would you suppose that I would still want Obama in office if he is ruled ineligible?
12.3.2008 2:45pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Per.
Try to comprehend. That a state puts O on the ballot without checking for eligibility is not evidence that there is evidence of eligibility. Try really, really hard to understand that everybody can figure that out. Then you won't waste any more time trying it on us. It may mean other things but hauling it out to pretend there was any checking is silly.

I presume you'd want O in office regardless because you like him more than you care for the law.

If you really wanted to see the nutcases look bad, you'd have O produce the BC with great fanfare. But you don't. Instead you want to keep the BC issue secret. So, since you don't take the road which would most obviously satisfy your ostensible interest--making nutcases look bad--the way to bet is that your ostensible interest is an excuse. Not true, iow.
The nutcases will only look bad as long as you can convince the rest of the population that the BC exists and O is keeping it hidden just for grits and shins. Eventually, despite disgusting glottal noises and other modes of liberal rhetoric, the public may end up not convinced.
Then what?

Should O turn out to be ineligible, I expect you'll be snickering behind your hand and publicly professing far too much on your plate to get involved just now.
12.3.2008 3:08pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Richard A:
As I understand it, per my earlier post, the appropriate official in the Hawaii department of health has stated that they indeed have the original Obama BC on file. It seems that when someone with the right to apply, ie Obama, applies for proof of birth, he gets a Certification of Birth (CB) rather than a certified photocopy of the original BC.

Why should Hawaii department of health change its practice?
Why should Hawaii be issuing incorrect CB's?
12.3.2008 4:24pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

If you really wanted to see the nutcases look bad, you'd have O produce the BC with great fanfare.


No. Silencing the nutcases is not the best way to make "the nutcases look bad." A silent nutcase does not "look bad." The best way to make "the nutcases look bad" is to encourage them to keep making the exact same noises that they're currently making. For as long as possible, and as loudly as possible. Keep up the good work.
12.3.2008 4:33pm
Per Son:
Richard:

I like how you know how I think, and what my plans are. Can you tell me how many fingers I am holding behind my back as well?

I also agree jukeboxgrad - silencing nutcases ruins the fun. There is a reason why I find Coast to Coast AM entertaining.
12.3.2008 5:19pm
Per Son:
Richard:

Again, please show me where the cause of action against Obama regarding his eligibility exists?

Keep in mind that the Supremes have consistently ruled that there are not remedies for every wrong - even constitutional harm. This argument doesn't always fly, but it was the argument by the US regarding the Alien Tort Claims Statute.

Also, the eligibility clause in the Constitution is not a right held be individuals - such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches or a specific limitation on government action (1st Amendment). So it is doubtful, that such a cause of action can be gleaned through implication (which of course goes against the rule against creating causes of action through implication).

So please explain for all of us the proper way this should be disposed of and not simply what you think Obama ought to do. What are you doing about it, and what suits have you filed, and/or lobbying you have done on this issue.
12.3.2008 5:38pm
Bob Weber (mail):
It's astounding how many people can believe that a penniless grad student (Obama, Sr. came here on scholarship) and his teen bride took a trip to Kenya in 1961 just to meet the family, or maybe to take advantage of the outstanding medical care in a third-world country in 1961. A trip to Kenya now would be pretty costly; in 1961 it would have required years of saving by an average American worker. Highly implausible, on the face of it. Also we are asked to believe this happened without leaving one shred of evidence behind: No visa applications, no record of Ann Dunham leaving the or re-entering the U.S. or Kenya, no record of the infant Obama entering the U.S., no airline records, no hotel records, no nothing. Hilariously, it would suffice for the Obama Truthers to allege that Obama was born in Canada when Ann Dunham took a ferry boat from Seattle to Victoria, B.C. on a weekend trip and gave birth unexpectedly. It's also a million times more plausible, and has just as much evidence, none. This shows how easy it is to get people to believe the hugely implausible.
12.3.2008 5:49pm
AnotherMike:

Another. If I hear you right, if O wasn't born in Hawaii and is therefore ineligible, he should hide that so as to be an illegitimate president. Right? Or are you merely providing lawyerly advice?



If you're right, the only reason O is letting this go on is to deke the right into making themselves look silly. Might be. Are you sure? Really sure? And, if he really is ineligible, do you care?


My advice to Obama to hide his foreign birth, assuming for the sake of shit and grins that he were indeed foreign born, was largely made in jest. I suppose if I were his lawyer, I would also advise him to continue fighting the lawsuits .

Now, if you want to know how I personally would react to it coming out that Obama is actually foreign born, I'll tell you. I'd be pissed at Obama for lying to me. And, I'd want the courts and electors and Congress to follow the law, whatever result that led to (I'm not sure however he'd be ineligible since he would still have been born to American mother).
12.3.2008 5:50pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Per.
I'm not discussing the conveniently turbid law which, in your view, makes finding this stuff out impossible.
I'm talking about the strange issue of not wanting to know until too late.
Your idea of making the nutcases look bad is juvenile, even for a lawyer. And, even though I don't think much of lawers, this is still a stretch. So I don't think it's your real reason. The most obvious alternative is that you want O to be in office before it's too late and you have your suspicions.
And I discount by 100% your insistence you'd be upset.

And I have heard no reason from O that makes sense about why not deliver. None. That raises questions.

Your ostensible reason makes no sense because, eventually, some folks will get to wondering and it won't be the nutcases alone wanting an answer. Fighting them off with contemptuous snorts may take more effort than you can manage. Since the easiest thing to do to solve the issue, produce the BC, isn't being done. Why not? It's not that I think you're not aware that, if the BC were available, this is a bad road. You're smart enough to know that. Or maybe you want to challenge me on that judgment. So the most likely deduction is that, since you're too smart to promote this if a BC were available, you must know one is not.

If Rather &Co. had not been busted on their forgeries, the forgeries would still be important material. Getting busted made CBS, and Rather and his minions look really, really bad. As some have said, it's so good it must be a Rove plant to discredit those who claim to have real evidence of TANG misconduct. But getting busted was the key. If the nutcases are not busted, they will look better, not worse. Which you know.
12.3.2008 10:45pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
If the nutcases are not busted


Except that the nutcases have already been busted. But they're not clever enough to realize that they've been busted, and they're not clever enough to realize that they're nutcases. That's why they're called "nutcases."

As I said, keep up the good work.
12.3.2008 11:09pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Yeah, juke. The nutcases have been busted by not being able to see the BC. That kind of reasoning is why somebody said, wrt the Mumbai massacre;

You have a pistol. You're facing a two-man team of terrorists. One has an AK 74, a side arm, and a bag of grenades. The other is a lawyer. Who first? Obviously, the armed man. The serious citizen always puts business before pleasure.
12.4.2008 12:08am
Per Son:
Richard:

Keep them coming. Keep it coming. You keep the laughs coming. But you know I am laughing since by your posts you seem to know what I think, how I will act, etc.

lol

As far as not wanting to know until its too late - How about the fact that I sincerely believe he is a natural born citizen? Because I believe that, I fully support him giving the Obama Truthers the bird, or better yet, nothing at all.
12.4.2008 1:50am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

the Mumbai massacre


It might be time for Godwin to come up with a new Law.
12.4.2008 7:48am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Per.
If you sincerely believed that, you wouldn't be playing
juvenile games, pretending to some Olympian amusement.
But the real point is not what some non-distinctive
individual who needs to emphasize that he really is a person thinks, but what O thinks about it and what
the population at large will think when O keeps quiet about the BC which is, if truth is being told, easily available. The question of why not might be reasonable for you, and those who know you well might think it's characteristic of you. "It's funny." That's probably not a particularly attractive characteristic of a president. Nor of any adult, but especially a president.
12.4.2008 8:45am
justwatching666 (mail):
I still haven't seen any proof that Obama is spending millions and has legal teams fighting these suits.
12.4.2008 9:25am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
just
Okay.
So? News reports.
Now that you have challenged me to cite a news report and I don't want to bother, does that mean I'm supposed to believe I didn't see the reports? Forget it.
12.4.2008 10:29am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
just.
Hey! You're about to get run over by a train!!!.
Cite? No, I don't have one.
Stay where you are. Nothing will happen.
No cite, see.
12.4.2008 10:31am
justwatching666 (mail):
Um... ok. Hooray for Good Faith.
12.4.2008 10:34am
AnotherMike:

But the real point is . . . what
the population at large will think when O keeps quiet about the BC which is, if truth is being told, easily available.


You just don't get it. The population at large doesn't know or care about the alleged BC issue. Those who do on the left and the center think it's hilarious, tin foil hat comedy. Those who do on the right are either wearing the tin foil hats or are embarassed for their ideological soul mates.

Can you point to a single shred of evidence that Obama is being hurt politically by fighting the lawsuits?
12.4.2008 10:40am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

Now that you have challenged me to cite a news report and I don't want to bother, does that mean I'm supposed to believe I didn't see the reports?


Except that you have a track record of inventing your own facts and then refusing to take responsibility for doing so. So it's reasonable to take this into account when pondering the credibility of various undocumented claims you make (which seem to the only kind you ever make).

mike:

Can you point to a single shred of evidence that Obama is being hurt politically by fighting the lawsuits?


If you watch closely you'll notice that aubrey is much to busy to bother with "evidence." In this thread he's contributed 29 comments containing this many links: zero.
12.4.2008 10:50am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
If I wanted to use facts, I'd link to them. The only "fact" which could possibly require a link is the news report about the O campaign spending money on this.
It doesn't interest me whether I provide a link and you ignore it or I don't provide a link and you pretend the fact doesn't exist. What would be the point?
My posts have to do with how the issue is going to be perceived.
Per thinks that the more times he can make awful noises in the back of his nose, the less people are going to be interested.
Not necessarily true.
But, as I point out, it's all he's got.
Even with dems....naw...with lots of people, disgusting noises don't pass for thought.
The idea that this is all for fun doesn't pass the dumb test, even with liberal lawyers who, whatever their many faults, aren't usually that dumb.
Hence, there is probably something else.
Like knowing no BC exists.
12.4.2008 11:46am
Duncan Frissell (mail):
People who think that maybe Mr. &Mrs. Obama flew to Kenya from HNL just in time for Barry's birth have obviously never priced international transportation costs in 1961. This was before ubiquitous jets. It cost a bomb to fly internationally. Persons of modest means still used ships in those days. Would have taken a while to get to Kenya.
12.4.2008 11:56am
justwatching666 (mail):
And the dervish whirls and whirls...
12.4.2008 11:57am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Richard Aubrey:

As I have said, I think that there are significant questions of standing in these cases because it seems to push the question to one of impeachment by Congress rather than judgement and interpretation by the courts.

For example, if someone like Gov. Swartzenegger were to run as president, who would have standing to challenge?

Having said this, courts don't generally take kindly to being invited to open fishing expeditions. Berg is not just asking for the birth certificate, but is asking for evidence he never lost his citizenship through some crackpot legal theory. IMO, this is nothing more than a fishing expedition and should have been resolved on that issue instead. In other words I don't think the plaintiff has any real evidentiary support for the lawsuit and therefore it should not go forward anymore than a suit should go forward if I sued you for tortuous interference against my business and insisted that you provide all records of all dealings with all my competitors in order to prove you weren't.

Hope this helps.
12.4.2008 11:59am
Fact_Checker (mail):

None of that stopped Berg from stoking the conspiracy theorists. On Oct. 16, an Anabaptist minister named Ron McRae called Sarah Hussein Obama, the president-elect's 86-year-old paternal step-grandmother, at her home in Kenya. Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was "present" when the president-elect was born. One of the translators says "yes." McRae contacted Berg and gave him a partial transcript of the call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call, in which he asks the question more directly—"Was he born in Mombassa?"—and the translators, finally understanding him, tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii.


http://www.slate.com/id/2206033/pagenum/2
12.4.2008 7:17pm
scattergood:

Scattergood:

There are a couple of problems, though I do agree with your standing concerns.

The big one is that the plaintiffs are largely going on a fishing expedition, and this isn't the sort of thing that the courts should endorse. Here they have chosen the standing consideration as a way of preventing the case from going to trial, while instead IMO they should be derailed on the basis that nobody has yet put forth anything beyond supposition. In short there is no good faith evidentiary support for this lawsuit.

Unless of course I should be able to sue you in order to force you to prove you are NOT tortuously interfering with my business.....


Ok, so after some digging, things get really interesting. How? The STATE OF HAWAII doesn't even accept the Certification of Live Birth as proof of being born in the state! This is from the Hawaiian government's own website for Hawaiian Home Lands programming:

In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green. This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL.



So, we have a situation where the entire country is supposed to trust the qualifiations for POTUS to a document that the state that creates it doesn't trust and wants 'additional verification'? Insanity.
12.4.2008 11:15pm
scattergood:

Scattergood:

There are a couple of problems, though I do agree with your standing concerns.

The big one is that the plaintiffs are largely going on a fishing expedition, and this isn't the sort of thing that the courts should endorse. Here they have chosen the standing consideration as a way of preventing the case from going to trial, while instead IMO they should be derailed on the basis that nobody has yet put forth anything beyond supposition. In short there is no good faith evidentiary support for this lawsuit.

Unless of course I should be able to sue you in order to force you to prove you are NOT tortuously interfering with my business.....


Ok, so after some digging, things get really interesting. How? The STATE OF HAWAII doesn't even accept the Certification of Live Birth as proof of being born in the state! This is from the Hawaiian government's own website for Hawaiian Home Lands programming:

In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green. This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL.



So, we have a situation where the entire country is supposed to trust the qualifiations for POTUS to a document that the state that creates it doesn't trust and wants 'additional verification'? Insanity.
12.4.2008 11:15pm
MollyB:
People who post on these blogs will never cease to amaze me. Two types. There are you liberal Obama lovers who sound (and usually write) like 3rd graders, and I can see you sticking out your tongue and making faces at whoever you are aiming at. All you do is spew the same garbage over and over, but never have any evidence or make a valid point. You cannot discuss anything - all you do is argue and use old, tired terms like "the vast majority of the people" - that would be the 22% that voted for Obama. Then there is the race card - always the race card when all else fails because it is so "in" and everyone knows we must bow to blacks at all costs and for any reason. It is used as a means to shut intelligent people up, but in fact the effect is that it make us all dislike and distrust blacks. At any rate, your "playbook" answers get awfully boring.

Then there are the poor educated people who try so hard to teach the liberals something. Well guys - there is a reason they are liberals, and that is they were probably the same way in school. Some people just cannot be taught. You state a PROVEN fact over and over, explain the difference between a Birth Certificate and a Certificate of Birth, and they just can't seem to get it. You try to be patient and make them understand, but they keep coming back at you with the same old tired responses. I don't know if they are too dumb to understand or if they can't read words the have more than four letters. Either way, you are wasting your time with them. Use your time to teach your children or brothers/sisters or the neighbor kids - they are the ones we need to teach because they are the future. The losers of today are not salvageable as evidenced by their posts.

P.S. We ask to see Obama's Birth Certificate because it is our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to know the status of his birth. If he is allowed to circumvent the Constitution on this point, who will stop him from re-writing the whole thing to suit himself? Your right to free speech will be among the first to go, and you can be sure the internet will be gone as well as talk radio. Then we will all be stupid.
12.5.2008 4:40am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
John Hinderaker:

No one, least of all us, is in favor of smears, so a lot of what appears on Obama's site is easy to applaud…Obama has now made his birth certificate public; there is nothing odd about it.


Michelle Malkin:

I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii


Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs:

AJ Strata spent more time on the Barack Obama birth certificate “forgery” story than it deserved, to prove that (as I’ve been repeating ad nauseam) it’s a big nothing, and the document is genuine


Few things are more entertaining than hearing from the people who make the likes of Hinderaker, Malkin and Johnson look sane.
12.5.2008 7:13am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
the 22% that voted for Obama


When Bush ran as a non-incumbent (which is the fair comparison), this is the portion of the population that voted for him: 17.9%. And in 2004, the portion was 20.6%. But that was enough for Cheney and lots of other people to call Bush's victory a "mandate."

Compared with 17.9% and 20.6%, Obama's 22.3% is a landslide. His 67,066,915 votes are more than any president in history, by a wide margin (over 5 million votes).

By the way, this is the portion of the population that put Reagan into office: 19.4%. And this is the number of times that any non-incumbent (like Obama) has beaten Obama's number (22.3%): zero.

This is the number of times any president in history has beaten Obama's number: two. 22.8% of the population voted for LBJ in 1964, and 23.0% of the population voted for Reagan in 1984. No president in American history has ever won votes from more than 23% of the population. Obama's 22.3% is the third-best performance ever, and the best performance ever by a non-incumbent.

Sometimes a little perspective is helpful.
12.5.2008 8:40am
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Molly B:
"You state a PROVEN fact over and over, explain the difference between a Birth Certificate and a Certificate of Birth, and they just can't seem to get it....
We ask to see Obama's Birth Certificate because it is our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to know the status of his birth."

If a Certificate of Live Birth is the document that the government of Hawaii always issues, and has issued, to confirm the relevant birth status, it would seem that your problem is with the government of Hawaii, and your suppostition that that government would issue a false document.
12.5.2008 9:35am
Per Son:
MollyB:

I find it very funny that you criticize the writing style of liberals. Figure that one out.
12.5.2008 10:44am
AnotherMike:
{I]t make [sic] us all dislike and distrust blacks . . . .


Speak for yourself.
12.5.2008 12:26pm
Knox:
"Ok, so after some digging, things get really interesting. How? The STATE OF HAWAII doesn't even accept the Certification of Live Birth as proof of being born in the state! This is from the Hawaiian government's own website for Hawaiian Home Lands programming (sic). . .

So, we have a situation where the entire country is supposed to trust the qualifiations for POTUS to a document that the state that creates it doesn't trust and wants 'additional verification'? Insanity."

Yes, you are insane -- they don't call you scatterbrained for nothing. The Hawaiian Lands program is for those of Hawaiian ancestory not Hawaiian birth. Obama does not and has never claimed Hawaiian ancestory. He was born in Hawaii, however, as the legal certication of his brith shows.
12.5.2008 1:54pm
scattergood:

So, we have a situation where the entire country is supposed to trust the qualifiations for POTUS to a document that the state that creates it doesn't trust and wants 'additional verification'? Insanity."

Yes, you are insane -- they don't call you scatterbrained for nothing. The Hawaiian Lands program is for those of Hawaiian ancestory not Hawaiian birth. Obama does not and has never claimed Hawaiian ancestory. He was born in Hawaii, however, as the legal certication of his brith shows.


You can cast aspersions as much as you want, but it won't change the facts. You are correct, the Hawaiian Lands programs is for those of 50% Hawaiian ancestory. And how does Hawaii determine if somebody has at least 50% of Hawaiian ansestory? Here again is from their own website:

A certified copy of Certificate of Birth;
A certified copy of Certificate of Hawaiian Birth, including testimonies; or
A certified copy of Certificate of Delayed Birth.
You will need the certified birth certificates for:

Yourself
Your biological father; and
Your biological mother
The state Department of Health, (DOH), Vital Records Section, records documents by island and district (geographically) and by the date of the event (chronologically).

If your biological parents' documents don't clearly prove that you have at least 50 percent Hawaiian ancestry, you will also need certified birth certificates for:

Your biological father's parents; and
Your biological mother's parents.


Applying for Hawaiian Home Lands

The requirement is a certified copy of the Certificate of Birth. For you, and your parents and possibly your parents parent's. NOT, I repeat NOT for the Certificaton of Live Birth for you or your parents or your parent's parents. WHY? Because Hawaii knows that the document isn't sufficient, on its face, to fuly determine birth within the state. Whether it is for you, or your parents, or your parent's parent's, a Certification of Live Birth doesn't cut it for their own programs.

So again, I repeat, we have a situation in which the State of Hawaii doesn't accept the very document that they provided, and which is being proffered by Obama as proof of birth within Hawaii, as proof of birth within Hawaii. But yet the rest of the country should?
12.5.2008 2:39pm
Knox:
"Because Hawaii knows that the document isn't sufficient, on its face, to fuly determine birth within the state."


This is a lie. The certifcation of live birth proves he was born in the State.
12.5.2008 3:01pm
AnotherMike:
Scatter,

I'm still trying to figure out how anyone could believe there is a real controversy considering:

1. The heads of the Hawaiian department of records confirmed that Hawaii had Obama's birth certificate and that they had personally seen it. Are they in on the conspiracy? If not, why is this not dispositive?

2. A Honolulu newspaper has the Obama birth announcement in it 9 days after Obama's birth. If Obama were born in Kenya, how did this get there?
12.5.2008 3:03pm
Knox:
Mike, Your serch for understanding is, unfortunately fruitless:

"But that doesn't matter. The faux controversy isn't going to go away soon. Yes, Obama was born in Hawaii, and yes, he is eligible to be president. But according to several experts in conspiracy theories, and in the psychology of people who believe in conspiracy theories, there's little chance those people who think Obama is barred from the presidency will ever be convinced otherwise. "There's no amount of evidence or data that will change somebody's mind," says Michael Shermer, who is the publisher of Skeptic magazine and a columnist for Scientific American, and who holds an undergraduate and a master's degree in psychology. "The more data you present a person, the more they doubt it ... Once you're committed, especially behaviorally committed or financially committed, the more impossible it becomes to change your mind."

Any inconvenient facts are irrelevant. People who believe in a conspiracy theory "develop a selective perception, their mind refuses to accept contrary evidence," Chip Berlet, a senior analyst with Political Research Associates who studies such theories, says. "As soon as you criticize a conspiracy theory, you become part of the conspiracy."

Evan Harrington, a social psychologist who is an associate professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, agrees. "One of the tendencies of the conspiracy notion, the whole appeal, is that a lot of the information the believer has is secret or special," Harrington says. "The real evidence is out there, [and] you can give them all this evidence, but they'll have convenient ways to discredit [it]."

Whatever can't be ignored can be twisted to fit into the narrative; every new disclosure of something that should, by rights, end the controversy only opens up new questions, identifies new plotters. Perhaps the most common argument of those questioning Obama's eligibility is that he should just release his full, original birth certificate, rather than the shorter certification, which is a copy. His failure to do so only proves there is reason to be suspicious, they say, and if the document was released, the issue would go away. But that's unlikely. It was, after all, the Obama campaign's release of the certification this summer that stoked the fever of conspiracy mongers.

For believers, it works like this: So what if Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the director of Hawaii's Department of Health, released a statement saying she has verified that the state has the original birth certificate on record? So what if she said separately that the certification looks identical to one she was issued for her own Hawaii birth certificate? Why didn't her statement specify Obama's birthplace? So what if a Hawaii Health Department spokeswoman later clarified that Fukino meant that Obama was born in Hawaii? So what if researchers for FactCheck.org actually saw the physical copy of the certification and debunked much of the key "evidence" supposedly proving that the image posted online is a forgery? They're not really independent. They're funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and Obama once (with Bill Ayers, no less) ran an entirely unrelated program that happened to be paid for with money donated by Walter Annenberg. And on and on and on."


If the long-form birth certificate were released, with its unequivocal identification of Hawaii as Obama's place of birth, the cycle would almost certainly continue."
12.5.2008 3:20pm
AnotherMike:
Knox, you are undoubtedly correct. But I do get a certain entertainment value out of hearing the explanations by the conspiracy theorists--they are much better than my limited imagination can supply.
12.5.2008 3:29pm
Oren:
Yeah, it's like no one on here has any idea of the burden of proof attendant on such an extraordinary claim.
12.5.2008 6:34pm
MollyB:
Jukeboxgrad:

Few things are more entertaining than hearing from the people who make the likes of Hinderaker, Malkin and Johnson look sane.

Probably not many are as entertaining to you, but one certainly is to the rest of us - and that is listening to liberal Obama-supporters ask the same dumb questions and make the same dumb statements over and over. For instance: "He has already shown his birth certificate . ." "A birth certificate is just a copy of a birth certificate and so . . ." "They are exactly the same thing so one is as good as the other . . ." Someone answers the question and they just ask it again . . and again . . and again ad nauseam.

Your election statistics are correct and I should have made myself clear. I was referring to an earlier post that referred to the number of people that voted for Obama as the "vast majority of Americans."

OK people - once more - and try to learn it this time so there can be some intelligent debate on this subject (how refreshing that would be).

BIRTH CERTIFICATE - this is an official document issued at the time of birth. It has the date, city and state of birth, name of the hospital, the parents' names, ages, race, and their place of birth, the number of children previously born to this mother, name of the hospital, name of the attending physician. It is SIGNED BY THE PHYSICIAN. SIGNED. SIGNED. SIGNED. ALWAYS SIGNED BY THE DOCTOR. ALWAYS.

CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH - this is an official document that can be issued at anytime (depending on state laws) stating that a person has been born but not necessarily in the state issuing the document. It has the child’s name, date of birth, parents' names, race, and maybe a little other information, depending on state requirements. No doctor’s name appears, nor does the name of the hospital. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SIGNED. NOT SIGNED. NO DOCTOR'S NAME. NOT SIGNED.
It is, in effect, a certificate of authenticity like you get when you buy gold or an expensive piece of art. It says only that the art, gold, or, in this case, child is authentic and has indeed been painted by so-and-so (name of artist) or, in the case of gold, that it is the stated grade and has been inspected (certified) by so-and-so (name of inspecting agency), or in the case of a child he/she was born of so-and-so (name of parents). That’s it. As I understand it (and I'm no authority) it was commonly used by parents who are US citizens (at least one of them) and whose child was born abroad. Foreign birth certificates are hard to read being written in a foreign language and all that, and this served the parents and child for issues of lesser importance.

Let's recap the important part: Always true – without exception
BIRTH CERTIFICATE - signed
CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH - not signed

Officials from Hawaii have been giving you liberal-speak on the subject of Obama’s birth certificate. Read this carefully – it is right off of Snopes.com:

Hawaiian officials reported they had personally verified the existence of Obama’s original birth certificate. Health Department director, Dr. C. Fukino, said she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified the existence of Obama’s original birth certificate.

Where does anyone say Obama was born in Hawaii? Go ahead – we’ll wait while you read it again. They gave you this “political-speak” as a way of answering the question without actually answering it. Some people fall for this because they don’t listen or read very carefully so they don’t realize they have been snookered. If you read what they said, you will see that nobody said Obama was born in Hawaii. They only said they have seen his birth certificate and that they verify it exists. There was never a dispute about that. Dr. Fukino has repeatedly said it is against Hawaii law for her or anyone else to reveal information on any birth certificate or the actual certificate without a written request from the owner. Obama has not requested that release (Fukino said so) and that’s how we all know nobody has seen his original BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Can you tell me why he won’t sign a request for release? If they cannot release a birth certificate without a signed request, then how did they get away with releasing the Certificate of Birth that they did release? Is this starting to make sense?

As far as the newspaper notice of Obama’s birth. In 1961, when people were more honest and it was safe to do so, anyone could place an ad like that in any newspaper. It was a free ad. It was probably placed there by Obama’s grandmother or other relative as a way of announcing his birth. It was a common occurrence back then, and almost all new parents placed such an ad shortly after their chld was born. Relatives or friends often placed such ad in their hometown newspaper if either of the parents was from there and had moved away, or sometimes just as something of local interest. However, the ads back then always said where the child was born, and that almost always included the name of the hospital especially if there was more than one in the local area.

In an attempt to ascertain how difficult this really is, I took a “local” poll. In my family, the 3 year old does not understand any of this. The 4 year old does not understand any of this. The 6 year old understands it enough to know they are two different pieces of paper, one is a lot better than the other, and he hopes he has the good one. The 8 year old understands it almost perfectly. We know you are as smart as a 4 year old, but the real question is are you as smart as an 8 year old?

And I’ll bet you that within one hour someone will post saying Obama has already released his original, certified birth certificate . . .he saw it on snopes.com or factchecker.com.
12.5.2008 8:17pm
MollyB:
Johnny Canuck:
If you read your own post you will discover the answer. You called it a CERTIFICATE of LIVE BIRTH. That is different from a Birth Certificate. Please read my previous post from a few minutes ago where I explained it as well as I could. I never supposed or even suggested the government of Hawaii would or did issue a false document, nor did I say a certificate of live birth is the document Hawaii always issues. I stated that they do issue two different documents – a birth certificate for children actually born in Hawaii, and a certificate of birth for parents (US citizens) who request it for their children born abroad or elsewhere outside of Hawaii. There is no dispute about whether or not Obama was born or to whom, and that’s really all the certificate of live birth verifies. It is not signed. Would you accept a check that was not signed? Or a contract? Would you loan me $1,000 if I refuse to sign an IOU or the equivalent? How about $1,000,000. How about granting the office of President of the United States?

I do not have a problem with the government of Hawaii. The officials in Hawaii are only following their law by not releasing the original Birth Certificate. We have been told repeatedly that they can only do so if and when Obama signs a request to allow it to be released. He has not done so, which means nobody has seen it. Not even the ultimate authority – Obama’s own FactChecker.com or Snopes.com – whichever one is his.
12.5.2008 8:47pm
MollyB:
Per Son:

I find it very funny that you criticize the writing style of liberals. Figure that one out.

I didn’t criticize the writing style of liberals. I said it was like that of a 3rd grader. Third graders often don’t get their facts straight (especially when they haven’t done their homework and don’t know their subject matter), and their spelling and grammar is often somewhat lacking in accuracy. I easily figured it out by reading your posts.
12.5.2008 8:59pm
SaraT:
MollyB is exhibit A for the conspiracy theory truther squad, mentioned in Knox' post, above. The distinctions she spends so much time parsing are clearly irrelevant to any matter at issue. Since she spends the other half of her, overlong, posts on calling everyone else children, and making up bizzare stories about planted birth announcements 47 years ago, one might only assume she is about 10 years old (at least in mental capacity).

Yet, this might all be forgivable but for MollyB's disgusting comment that she "dislikes and distrusts black people." You, MollyB, have no class and are, in fact, scum.

Yet, despite Molly's OCD and moral decrepitude, the Certification that has been produced is, on its face, proof that Obama was born in Hawaii. It is sad but telling that someone of such low moral character as MollyB, cannot handle the truth.
12.5.2008 9:35pm
MollyB:
SaraT:

I call everyone children, am a member of the conspiracy theory truther (sic) squad, make up stories about planted birth announcements, have the mental capacity of a 10-year old, makes disgusting comments, am scum, have moral decrepitude, have low moral character, and cannot handle the truth.

All that said by one who has, I assume, very high moral character and extremely advanced thought processes. And simply because I don't agree with you.

I rest my case.
12.5.2008 9:56pm
SaraT:
No. Not because you don't agree with me because you are in fact scum with low moral character because of your talk about your dislike of black people.

Honey, you never had a case.
12.5.2008 10:24pm
FredC:
MollyB said:

"I call everyone children, am a member of the conspiracy theory truther (sic) squad, make up stories about planted birth announcements, have the mental capacity of a 10-year old, makes disgusting comments, am scum, have moral decrepitude, have low moral character, and cannot handle the truth."

Looks like we are all in agreement.
12.5.2008 10:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
molly:

I was referring to an earlier post that referred to the number of people that voted for Obama as the "vast majority of Americans."


Except that there is no "earlier post that referred to the number of people that voted for Obama as the 'vast majority of Americans.' " One of many things you need help with is your reading comprehension.

Third graders often don’t get their facts straight


I think you're leaving certain clues that help us guess what grade you're in.
12.5.2008 11:27pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
MollyB: You think that with Obama's permission the original birth certificate can be produced. That is not the way I understand it. What I understand is that Obama can request the Govt of Hawaii to provide a Certificate. Yes it is computer generated. It has a seal applied by the Govt of Hawaii, it has a facismile signature of the approriate official. this is what Hawaii issues not a certfied photocopy of the original document that you want them to. And they do it for anyone born in Hawaii. They don't produce certified copies of the birth certificate, just of their certificate of live birth which contains all the information they deem relevant (including place of birth. It is logical in this computerized age, that this is the kind of document that would be produced, and the document in question the COLB states Honolulu as Obama's place of birth.

This presumably was good enough when Obama applied for a passport, and presumably should be good enough for you, unless, despite your protests, you think the Hawaii department of Health has, through malice or carelessness issued a document that falsely states Obama was born in Honolulu

"Would you accept a check that was not signed?" Yes,I accept a facsimile signature if issued by government or a financial institution. Have accepted and cashed many such cheques.
12.6.2008 2:18am
MollyB:
Johnny Canuck:

If you are truly interested in learning the truth (and it sounds like you are), go to www.wnd.com and look at the top article - "Will Supremes Review Citizenship Arguments?" WND updates its site often, so by the time you look at the site that article may have been moved, but it will definitely be there at or near the top. In the article, a short way down the page immediately under the advertisements, is a link in the sentence that begins with, "Bradlow created a YouTube video." Follow that link to YouTube and you will find more about this subject than you ever wanted to know. All videos, and hard to argue with.

This presumably was good enough when Obama applied for a passport
That's another part of the whole mystery. It is believed he possibly was traveling under a passport from another country.

Liberals and Obama followers - please do not visit the wnd site. There is a mountain of evidence that you won't like.
12.6.2008 6:02am
Johnny Canuck (mail):
MollyB:
the article you referred to contains no evidence. It has an argument, based largely on a theory that automatic dual citizenship- Obama's father was a British subject disqualifies. A dubious legal theory.
I also watched several of the videos. Again they are argumentative but evidence free.
One suggested that because the COLB was not done on a typewriter it was false. another is sure Obama is not only not a citizen but an illegal alien because as a 10 year old he came back from Indonesia and didn't pass through customs.


The certificate of live birth issued by government of Hawaii says he was born in the City of Honolulu. This is the kind of evidence any court will accept, barring evidence of fraud or forgery with respect to the document itself.

get ready for the Inauguration.
12.6.2008 11:04am