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Hawaii passes law against repeated requests

According to CNN:

The state passed a law on Wednesday [May 12, 2010] that allows state agencies to ignore repeated requests to view government records, including the president’s birth document. Hawaii’s Republican Gov. Linda Lingle signed the legislation into law. …

Fukino cited a small group of individuals “who engage in a pattern of repeated requests” in a transcript of her testimony provided to CNN. “We believe having to respond repeatedly to essentially the same request or a variation of the request all centering on whether or not President Obama was born in Hawaii is a frivolous use of department time and resources.”

If 16% of the population really believes this stuff, I can see why the Department of Health is worried about their resources.

152 Responses to Hawaii passes law against repeated requests

  1. avatar
    richCares May 17, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    that small group is from “Post and Fail”, they are going buggy over this, really thick skulss, like I said hating Obama causes brain damage.

  2. avatar
    BatGuano May 17, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    honestly, what does ” repeated requests” mean ??? the same request repeatedly ? a similar request repeatedly ?? or the same person asking similar questions on the the same subject again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again ???

    i would be curious if someone chalenges this in hawaiian court.

  3. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny May 17, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=11434

    The comments are instructive. We have Butterdezillion there, threatening to use anonymous e-mail accounts to continue to ask for the birth certificate and some Borderraven type claiming Obama is a usurper and the RCFP is censoring him because they truncated his raving rant.
    But the interesting point is the link in the article to the Hawaiian lawyer protesting against the measure. I looked at the PDF, and found the guy had actually forgotten to state which law this measure violates. “It is likely this will violate” followed by a blank. I am sure the legislators were impressed.

  4. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny May 17, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    BatGuano: honestly, what does ” repeated requests” mean ??? the same request repeatedly ? a similar request repeatedly ?? or the same person asking similar questions on the the same subject again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again ???i would be curious if someone chalenges this in hawaiian court.

    http://angelgroup.org/articles/316-hawaii-health-department-vexatious-requesters
    This is quoting from an article in the Hawaiian Reporter which no longer exists on the web (only in google cache).
    Okubo mentions what they are asking for: “We have had people ask for organizational charts so they can contact every department. They’ve asked for our director’s personal calendar. They want our records retention law, our guidelines, indexes for every birth in Hawaii and old records we no longer have.” So, in fact they are not only asking for the same information again and again, but even asking how they dealt with earlier attempts to get that information. Birfer A asking about what was done with the request by birfer B and vice versa. So, even if there are only three or four people pulling at this windmill, they can take up a lot of administration time which could be used for better purposes, as the trouble they cause is an exponential number. And do not forget legally Hawaii must answer within ten days.

  5. avatar
    John May 17, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    With the passage of this new law, I think DOH is now a dead end since they ignore requests. I had suggested that while this law was in works, birthers hit DOH with everything they can muster before it was too late. My goal was to try to get in 5,000 requests a month. This means DOH would have had respond to 5,000 requests. Unfortunately with the new law, communication with DOH will likely go nowhere. LTC Terry Lakin is last real hope for the truth about Obama.

  6. avatar
    Bob Ross May 17, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    John: With the passage of this new law, I think DOH is now a dead end since they ignore requests. I had suggested that while this law was in works, birthers hit DOH with everything they can muster before it was too late. My goal was to try to get in 5,000 requests a month. This means DOH would have had respond to 5,000 requests. Unfortunately with the new law, communication with DOH will likely go nowhere. LTC Terry Lakin is last real hope for the truth about Obama.

    Yeah great idea flood DOH as if they have nothing better to do than pay attention to stupid conspiracy theories

  7. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    John: I’m just curious what you would change for you, personally, if Hawaii suddenly decided to disregard the laws and dump all of Obama’s records in your lap. I’m going out on a limb here and guessing you don’t like him. Supposing the records provided 100% confirmation that he was born in Honolulu just like he says? Would you then support him? I’ll go out on a limb again and say no. Regardless of what was in the records, your opinion of Obama wouldn’t change. So, in fact, as far as you’re concerned, the records are quite irrelvant, aren’t they, John?

  8. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    By the way, Doc, thanks for the cool shades on my avatar. Much cooler than John’s…

  9. avatar
    DaveH May 17, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    John: LTC Terry Lakin is last real hope for the truth about Obama.

    Lakin has no hope for discovery because he disobeyed the UCMJ. Obama did not order Lakin to go to Afghanistan. Lakin’s commanders did and he disobeyed their orders. Lakin is gonna be break’n big rocks into little rocks. I hope that he feels it was worth it so that the American Patriot Foundation were able to line their pockets with donations by using him.

  10. avatar
    Black Lion May 17, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    John, don’t hold your breath. Lakin has ZERO chance of getting anything. And when he doesn’t and is convicted, are you going to scream cover up? That Obama got to the court martial? The problem is that most birthers are unfamilar with the law and how things work in the real world. And instead of accepting that you might just be wrong, you continually cling to ridiculous theories and hope that somehow judges will ignore the law and allow “Lakin to get the real truth about Obama”, which is OK with most Americans. Because the truth is that he was born in Hawaii and is a NBC.

  11. avatar
    Keith May 17, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    John: LTC Terry Lakin is last real hope for the truth about Obama.

    Can I smoke some of what you are drinking?

    You already have the truth about Obama, unfortunately the reality space your consciousness has retreated to doesn’t seem to have a BS filter attached to help you eliminate the lies the Murdoch media is feeding you.

    And how exactly do you expect LTC Lakin to find out any kind of untold truth about the President while he is in living in Levenworth?

  12. avatar
    John May 17, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Lakin will get “Discovery” or at the very least the issue will be litigated at high cost. The Lakin case is a criminal case which is completely different from a civil case, Lakin has the right to due process and Right to a Fair Trial.

  13. avatar
    Black Lion May 17, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Paul, between Butterdezillion and Don H. posting over at that website, it was difficult to tell who was more delusional…All BZ does is tell people to look at her blog where she can confuse and misread the law and statutes….Like other posters have said here, hating Obama does lead to mental illness…

    John, the only “Discovery” Lakin will get is where at Leavenworth he will be staying for the next couple of years. You and the other birthers show an amazing inability to understand basic English. You are correct that it is a criminal case, but against Lakin. Not the President. As shown in New, not believing the President is eligible is not an excuse to disobey orders. Lakin is charged under the UCMJ of missing a movement and disobeying a direct order. He is toast. You can continue to believe that magically that the courts will ignore the law and grant him this discovery, but you also thought that Orly’s case had a chance and that Apuzzo was a competent attorney. And how did that work out for you exactly?

  14. avatar
    John May 17, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Lakin’s Oath to the Constitution trumpts the UCMJ. Obama did order Lakin to Afganistan. If you recall earlier this year, Obama authorized 30,000 troops to AF. Addition, constitutionally speaking, all orders in the military have their force and authority rest in the power of Commander in Chief. It is Lakin’s defense the Obama is not eligible and therefore his authority (and therefore all orders) are unlawful. Although the Defacto Doctrine exists this cannot get around the following of unlawful orders clearly violates Lakin’s Constitional Oath and the Lakin’s Oath can bbe upheld if he is following the unlawful orders of ineligible COC.

  15. avatar
    Bob Ross May 17, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    John: Lakin will get “Discovery” or at the very least the issue will be litigated at high cost. The Lakin case is a criminal case which is completely different from a civil case, Lakin has the right to due process and Right to a Fair Trial.

    Lakin isn’t likely to get discovery as Obama’s eligibility isn’t tied to Lakin’s orders.

  16. avatar
    Bob Ross May 17, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    John: Lakin’s Oath to the Constitution trumpts the UCMJ. Obama did order Lakin to Afganistan. If you recall earlier this year, Obama authorized 30,000 troops to AF. Addition, constitutionally speaking, all orders in the military have their force and authority rest in the power of Commander in Chief. It is Lakin’s defense the Obama is not eligible and therefore his authority (and therefore all orders) are unlawful. Although the Defacto Doctrine exists this cannot get around the following of unlawful orders clearly violates Lakin’s Constitional Oath and the Lakin’s Oath can bbe upheld if he is following the unlawful orders of ineligible COC.

    There was nothing unlawful about the orders. He was directly ordered by his CO. Again Obama’s eligibility has nothing to do with following facially valid orders. I’m sure Lakin has followed every order he was given post January 20th, 2009 up until he was ordered to deploy. So why didn’t he just disobey orders on January 21st onward instead of waiting?

  17. avatar
    Black Lion May 17, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    John 17. May, 2010 at 9:42 am John(Quote) #
    Lakin’s Oath to the Constitution trumpts the UCMJ. Obama did order Lakin to Afganistan. If you recall earlier this year, Obama authorized 30,000 troops to AF. Addition, constitutionally speaking, all orders in the military have their force and authority rest in the power of Commander in Chief. It is Lakin’s defense the Obama is not eligible and therefore his authority (and therefore all orders) are unlawful.

    John, can you show us in the law that somehow Lakin’s oath trumps the UCMJ? I would be interested to seeing that. Especially since all military personnel are required to adhere to the UCMJ. So in you knowledge of military law, you can cite us this specific section of the law, right?

    Secondly Lakin was ordered to deploy by his direct commander in his chain of command. Obama is not in that chain, so he cannot disobey an order that he was not given by the President. Following his logic as of 1/20/09 Lakin should not have shown up to work or follow the orders of his direct commanding officer because those orders could have come directly from the President as CiC….

    But best of all is the specific charges against Lakin. He is charged with missing a movement. The judge advocate is going to ask him if he missed the movement or not, not why he missed it. Secondly he is charged with disobeying a superior officer in his direct command. That is very specific. Lakin will again be asked if he disobeyed an order from his direct commander, and since he did that’s it.

    You can believe that somehow Lakin will get discovery, but when it doesn’t happen please don’t go crying about a conspiracy. Man up and admit you did not understand the law. Because if every legal expert is telling you that Lakin can’t use the Presidential eligibility issue as a defense and can’t subpoena the President’s records, and this comes to pass, then it is not a conspiracy but the way the law works. Not once does any birther accept that they don’t understand the law. It is always some judge was afraid or was part of the conspiracy. That is why they continue to look foolish…

  18. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Miltary court martials have no jurisdiction over civilians, which includes the State of Hawaii, the Governor of Hawaii and the President. The Court Martial will not issue subpoenas for squat and if they did, the above persons would be free to ignore them.

  19. avatar
    Scott Brown May 17, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Black Lion:
    Paul, Like other posters have said here, hating Obama does lead to mental illness…

    I continue to see this type of response over and over here at this site.

    Personally, I don’t know Obama; however, he seems like a nice enough guy. Judging from what I can discern about his personality, I think I would probably like him if given the chance to get to know him. That said, I disagree 100% with him politically, but I certainly don’t think that makes me mentally ill.

    I’m curious if anyone that supports Obama, either disagreed with or ‘hated’ Bush? If so, how in the world did you avoid mental illness?

    You lose credibility, in my opinion, when you want to take the argument to such wild lengths. Stop being so dramatic. You can disagree with someone politically and not ‘hate’ them.

    I really think it has nothing to do with the actual BC – it has more to do with the fact that it’s being withheld. The BC is tangible although certainly not essential in understanding that Obama is not a NBC and therefore, in my opinion, not eligible to be POTUS, but for the majority of the population it is a more tangible concept to hold on to and argue for. Would I be happy if the Hawaii DOH dumped everything in my lap? Yes – only for the fact that we would finally have that transparency that Obama kept spouting during the campaign.

    I hear many people complain that no one was ever concerned about any past president’s BC; but then we’ve never had a past president, in my lifetime, who’s father was not a US Citizen and who claimed to have been born with dual citizenship – specifically under British law at birth. But no, releasing the BC makes no difference – Obama is not a NBC in my opinion, either way.

  20. avatar
    John May 17, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    I agree Scott.

    Obama’s BC is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for NBC.

  21. avatar
    richCares May 17, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    “LTC Terry Lakin is last real hope for the truth about Obama”

    Poor john falls for every OMG moment the birhters get excited about, Reality is much too diificult I guess. How many OMG moment failures does it take for john to give up. His forefinger must be sore from pushing paypal buttoms.

  22. avatar
    Bovril May 17, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Scott/John

    Err…….wrong on all counts.

  23. avatar
    richCares May 17, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    scot brown says “You lose credibility, in my opinion,”, now that is pure irony!

    yes dear john, falling for the birther points is in fact mental illness.

  24. avatar
    DaveH May 17, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    John: Lakin’s Oath to the Constitution trumpts the UCMJ. Obama did order Lakin to Afganistan

    You are in for a heap full of disappointment. The military isn’t going to allow Lakin to claim that his oath to the constitution trups the UCMJ. If they allowed it, then any active military person could decide they’re not going to follow orders. It is irrelevant who the CiC is. You are not allowed to question a direct order from your superiors – period.

  25. avatar
    DaveH May 17, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Scott Brown: I continue to see this type of response over and over here at this site. Personally, I don’t know Obama; however, he seems like a nice enough guy. Judging from what I can discern about his personality, I think I would probably like him if given the chance to get to know him. That said, I disagree 100% with him politically, but I certainly don’t think that makes me mentally ill.I’m curious if anyone that supports Obama, either disagreed with or ‘hated’ Bush? If so, how in the world did you avoid mental illness?You lose credibility, in my opinion, when you want to take the argument to such wild lengths. Stop being so dramatic. You can disagree with someone politically and not ‘hate’ them. I really think it has nothing to do with the actual BC – it has more to do with the fact that it’s being withheld. The BC is tangible although certainly not essential in understanding that Obama is not a NBC and therefore, in my opinion, not eligible to be POTUS, but for the majority of the population it is a more tangible concept to hold on to and argue for. Would I be happy if the Hawaii DOH dumped everything in my lap? Yes – only for the fact that we would finally have that transparency that Obama kept spouting during the campaign.I hear many people complain that no one was ever concerned about any past president’s BC; but then we’ve never had a past president, in my lifetime, who’s father was not a US Citizen and who claimed to have been born with dual citizenship – specifically under British law at birth. But no, releasing the BC makes no difference – Obama is not a NBC in my opinion, either way.

    The transparency the Obama promised was in the way he governed, not in providing proof that he is eligible to govern. He provided a COLB from Hawai’i that is proof that he was born in Hawai’i. And, yes, there have been other presidents that had fathers that were foreign. Look at Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan and Chester Arthur.

    British Law does not trump US Law. The only way Obama could be a British Citizen would be if he had renounced his citizenship by the time he was 21 years of age. Considering he lived here in the USA for the majority of his life and there is no record of Obama renouncing his citizenship, he is not a dual citizen.

  26. avatar
    racosta May 17, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    The latest news is that fake scott brown doesn’t hate Obama, she just doesn’t believe he is NBC. Wow, what a breathtaking moment that was. Come on fake scott brown, tells us the truth why don’t you, we all know your record on truth.

  27. avatar
    Bob Ross May 17, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    racosta: The latest news is that fake scott brown doesn’t hate Obama, she just doesn’t believe he is NBC. Wow, what a breathtaking moment that was. Come on fake scott brown, tells us the truth why don’t you, we all know your record on truth.

    But remember Fake Scott Brown claims not to be a birther yet uses birther talking points

  28. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Scott Brown: I’m curious if anyone that supports Obama, either disagreed with or ‘hated’ Bush? If so, how in the world did you avoid mental illness?

    I disagreed with Bush (didn’t hate him). I also believe he didn’t win Florida and was installed in office in a gross over-reach by the Supreme Court. I also believe that Dick Cheney, who was CEO of a corporation based in Houston, was a Texas resident and was not constiututionally entitled to the Vice-Presidential votes from that state. Without those votes, Joe Lieberman would have been the rightful Veep (though I doubt he would have been any better than Cheney).

    Here is the difference, between me and birthers like you. Once Bush and Cheney were inaugurated, I accepted that they were President and Veep. While I believe the order to invade Iraq was horribly wrong on every count, I would have accepted that a soldier who disobeyed those orders would rightly face punishment. I might have supported them morally, but i would have recognized that legally they didn’t have a leg to stand on.

  29. avatar
    richcares May 17, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    john, you have been selected as a juror in pastor mannings trial, they are looking for you, they want to make it 76 birthers, so hurry on down Quck before they sink into irrevalency.

  30. avatar
    Rickey May 17, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    John: With the passage of this new law, I think DOH is now a dead end since they ignore requests.I had suggested that while this law was in works, birthers hit DOH with everything they can muster before it was too late.My goal was to try to get in 5,000 requests a month.This means DOH would have had respond to 5,000 requests.Unfortunately with the new law, communication with DOH will likely go nowhere.

    Let me get this straight. You are a birther, and presumably a tea partier who believes in less government and cutting government spending, yet you think it is okay to flood Hawaii’s DOH with thousands of frivolous requests per month? Such hypocrisy!

  31. avatar
    Rickey May 17, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    John: Lakin’s Oath to the Constitution trumpts the UCMJ.

    So I assume that you would support any soldier who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq on the grounds that those wars are unconstitutional, since Congress has never declared war?

    Would you support a general strike (i.e., mutiny) by our armed forces on the grounds that the CIC is ineligible?

    And let me ask you this – if Lakin’s deployment orders are illegal, why is he obeying his current day to day orders? You claim that every order ultimately comes from the CIC, so presumably every order issued by any officer or NCO is illegal while Obama is in office. If Lakin truly wants to uphold the Constitution against the usurper, doesn’t he have to disobey EVERY order which he is given?

  32. avatar
    Bob Ross May 17, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Rickey: So I assume that you would support any soldier who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq on the grounds that those wars are unconstitutional, since Congress has never declared war? Would you support a general strike (i.e., mutiny) by our armed forces on the grounds that the CIC is ineligible? And let me ask you this – if Lakin’s deployment orders are illegal, why is he obeying his current day to day orders? You claim that every order ultimately comes from the CIC, so presumably every order issued by any officer or NCO is illegal while Obama is in office. If Lakin truly wants to uphold the Constitution against the usurper, doesn’t he have to disobey EVERY order which he is given?

    That was exactly the point I was making Rickey. If Lakin truly believed in what he was doing he would have stopped obeying every single order from deployment to doing paperwork as of the afternoon of January 20th, 2009. Why wait so long to disobey orders?

  33. avatar
    richcares May 17, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    . “Why wait so long to disobey orders?”

    Lakin spouted every fake birther talking point, he actually believes Obama to be a usurper. He was scammed into thinking that his action will force Obama’s hand and be removed. Yes, that is very silly but Lakin was scammed into believing it, just as is our resident troll john. That all previous OMG moments failed seems to escape their memory. That strongly suggests mental illness. When Lakin finds out that he can’t use Obama as an excuse the birther world will forget Lakin and find another OMG moment.. Lakin is throwing a lot away and hasn’t realized it yet. If his lawyer tries talking at the court marshal like he did with Anderson Cooper, he will be removed from the court room.

  34. avatar
    NbC May 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Scott Brown: But no, releasing the BC makes no difference – Obama is not a NBC in my opinion, either way.

    Luckily your opinion is just that, an opinion.
    More enlightened people would realize that birth on US soil is sufficient for being a natural born citizen and that foreign countries cannot take away such birthright citizenship.

    After all, if you argue that Obama is not NBC then he cannot logically be a citizen either since the two concepts are the same. There are no born citizens who are not natural born.

    In other words, since citizens include natural-born and natural-ized, when one is not natural born then one is either naturalized or an alien.
    It is clear that Obama, when he was born on US soil was not naturalized by statutory law.

  35. avatar
    Black Lion May 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Scott Brown 17. May, 2010 at 10:12 am Scott Brown(Quote) #
    Black Lion:
    “Paul, Like other posters have said here, hating Obama does lead to mental illness…

    I continue to see this type of response over and over here at this site.

    Personally, I don’t know Obama; however, he seems like a nice enough guy. Judging from what I can discern about his personality, I think I would probably like him if given the chance to get to know him. That said, I disagree 100% with him politically, but I certainly don’t think that makes me mentally ill.

    I’m curious if anyone that supports Obama, either disagreed with or ‘hated’ Bush? If so, how in the world did you avoid mental illness?

    You lose credibility, in my opinion, when you want to take the argument to such wild lengths. Stop being so dramatic. You can disagree with someone politically and not ‘hate’ them. ”

    Scott, you really shouldn’t be addressing anyone regarding credibility. Because if you took a poll regarding the least credible poster on this site, I believe that you may win hands down. Remember you are the one that claimed that you had a COLB “exxactly like Obama’s” yet could not get a US Passport. When it was pointed out that was impossible, you never replied or addressed the issue for a week, then attempted to use a lame Post and Fail article to defend yourself. And to top it off it has been over a month and you never answered the question regarding what state you were born in. In other words, pot meet kettle in regards to credibility.

    Secondly the reason you continue to see that comment is because of the irrational statements made by some of the posters. When it is pointed out that legally something can’t happen, they ignore the law, and when it doesn’t happen, instead if admitting they were ignorant of the law, they blame a wide ranging conspiracy of threats and intimidation. No where else has the words “Born in Hawaii” been interpreted to mean anything else but someone who had their mother give birth to them in the state of HI. But the birthers continue to imply that either Dr. Fukino is incompetent, lying, or been threatened to say that. Never once has the possibility that she is telling the truth and he was born in HI, even though all fo the admissible evidence leads to that conclusion, enter their mind.

    And I for one never hated Bush. I thought he was a horrible President, but did not hate him. And although history will be the ultimate judge, it seems like Bush is going to end up as one of the worst President’s in our history.

    And “Scott” the fact is as much as you may not want to admit it, nothing has been withheld. It amazes most competent Americans that the one President that has released all of the relevant information could be accused of withholding information. Really? If you could just point us to where Bush, Clinton, Bush 1, or Reagan released their birth certificates, kindergarden records, school record applications, adoption records, passport records, etc, then you could possibly have a point. Until then you have nothing.

    Obama may not be a NBC in your opinion, but so what? Your opinion and mine are meaningless. The courts disagree with you. At last count by a 0 – 70 record. Also Congress, all 535 of them, who’s opinion does matter, thinks otherwise. If not then why as of today’s date not one person officially has challenged Obama’s NBC status. Remember all it takes is one to initiate impeachment, yet no one, even the crazy Michelle Bachmann has done it. Haven’t you ever stopped to ask yourself why? Or is she afraid of Obama or part of the conspiracy. Your argument is the one that lack credibility. But in the time you have been posting here, you have already shown the type of credibility you have.

  36. avatar
    richcares May 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    “Luckily your opinion is just that, an opinion.”

    and not a valid opinion at that. As you have pointed out repeatedly case law and historic data make his opinion worthless. So why does he hold it?

  37. avatar
    G May 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Fake Scott Brown is doing nothing more than her usual fake concern trolling. We’re dealing with nothing but a dishonest troll who’s only goal is deception and dishonesty.

  38. avatar
    nbC May 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    richcares: and not a valid opinion at that. As you have pointed out repeatedly case law and historic data make his opinion worthless. So why does he hold it?

    Ignorance? Foolishness?
    Some even appear to object to what they see as Obama’s Marxist/Socialist/Communist/Fascist tendencies.

  39. avatar
    yguy May 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Rickey:
    So I assume that you would support any soldier who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq on the grounds that those wars are unconstitutional, since Congress has never declared war?

    *
    *

    Since a “declaration of war” per se is not a constitutional prerequisite for military action, that’s a moot question.

  40. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    yguy: Since a “declaration of war” per se is not a constitutional prerequisite for military action, that’s a moot question

    You know, if you’re going to come here pretending to be a constitutional stickler, it should encompass the entire document not just 3 words. The power to declare war was given to Congress. The clear intent was to prevent the Executive from going off to war on their own. Responding to an emergency is one thing, but Afghanistan has been going on for 8 years and Iraq for 7.

    This goes back way before either Bush or Obama-I think WW II was the last declared war. Mostly, the fault lies with Congress for ducking their responsibilities to either declare war or cut off funding.

    However, this issue is out of the individual soldier’s domain; he/she has to follow orders. Period.

  41. avatar
    SFJeff May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    “Since a “declaration of war” per se is not a constitutional prerequisite for military action, that’s a moot question”

    Oh you don’t get off that easy Yguy. Though you will ignore the rational of my response, I feel compelled to answer anyway. You are wrong on two counts:

    a) You have argued that Lakin does not know that President Obama is a legal commander and chief and that the President must prove to him that he is. Another soldier could have just as compelling argument that he believes the Constitution is being violated by the undeclared War in Afghanistan. Moot? You are basically endorsing individual soldiers being able to question the constitutionality of their orders, and if Lakin succeeds every soldier would be entitled to question any order for almost any ‘contstitutional reason”
    b) I personally think that the Constitution is very clear that only Congress can declare War- and that the very clear intent was that the United States should not get into a ‘War” without a firm, unequivocal declaration from Congress- otherwise the Administrative branch would have too much power. By any rational persons description our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have constituted a war- as did Vietnam and Korea.

    However, I recognize that there has been a tacit agreement between all parties that allows the U.S. to go to war without a declaration of war. I assume there have been court battles at some point, but I am not sure.

    Yet even though I personally think it should be illegal to be pouring more troops into Afghanistan without a declaration of war, I would still not support a soldier who refused his orders based upon that argument. You cannot have a functioning military if individuals can say ‘no’ based upon their personal interpretations to the act of going to war.

  42. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Finally, John, and yguy…

    Whether or not Obama is eligible is irrelevant to whether or not Lakin disobeyed the order.

    Let’s take what you state at face value:

    1. Obama is ineligible.

    2. Orders can be “said” to come from Obama.

    The following would happen.

    The court would apply the de facto officer doctorine. This would mean that any orders that Obama gave would be valid, and Lakin disobeyed a valid order.

    Now, if what you state is not correct and Obama is eligible…

    Lakin disobeyed a valid order.

    So, either way, Lakin obeyed a valid order. Therefore, whether or not Obama was eligible has no relevance to the outcome of the case.

    It’s like arguing against an armed robbery by arguing that you didn’t hold them up with a gun, but you held them up with a knife. It’s stupidity at it’s finest.

    Any Military Lawyer knows this.

  43. avatar
    richcares May 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    curious: what will john and his ilk do when they find that Lakin’s position is not valid and no “discovery” will take place and Lakin will be busting rocks. Lakin can believe Obama was born on Krypton, it doesn’t materr to his case. Poor paypal suckers will have to search for another OMG moment..

  44. avatar
    Rickey May 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    yguy:
    Since a “declaration of war” per se is not a constitutional prerequisite for military action, that’s a moot question.

    Typical birther misdirection.

    It should be obvious (even to you) that I was NOT making the argument that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are unconstitutional. I was making the point that one could make a plausible argument that the wars are unconstitutional. So, according to Lakin’s supporters, if I were a military officer I could refuse to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan because my oath to uphold the Constitution trumps the UCMJ.

    Perhaps when I was in the Navy I should have filed a lawsuit to prevent my deployment to Vietnam on the grounds that Congress never declared war. The only problem is that my lawsuit would have been dismissed because I didn’t have Article III standing.

  45. avatar
    yguy May 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Scientist:
    The power to declare war was given to Congress.
    *
    *

    Since I’m unaware of any President ever declaring war, I fail to see the point of the observation.
    *
    *

    The clear intent was to prevent the Executive from going off to war on their own.Responding to an emergency is one thing, but Afghanistan has been going on for 8 years and Iraq for 7.
    *
    *

    Without the consent of Congress?
    *
    *

    Mostly, the fault lies with Congress for ducking their responsibilities to either declare war or cut off funding.
    *
    *

    Where in the Constitution do you find any such responsibility?

  46. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett May 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Scott Brown:
    .But no, releasing the BC makes no difference – Obama is not a NBC in my opinion, either way.

    So basically, your mind’s made up, and we shouldn’t try to confuse you with the facts?

  47. avatar
    yguy May 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Rickey:
    I was making the point that one could make a plausible argument that the wars are unconstitutional.
    *
    *

    A plausible argument can be made for anything, given a sufficiently credulous audience.
    *
    *

    So, according to Lakin’s supporters, if I were a military officer I could refuse to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan because my oath to uphold the Constitution trumps the UCMJ.
    *
    *

    Since the premise depends for its truth value on a definition of “plausible” that that easily encompasses “facile”, the conclusion is unfounded.

  48. avatar
    SFJeff May 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    “Since the premise depends for its truth value on a definition of “plausible” that that easily encompasses “facile”, the conclusion is unfounded.”

    No, the conclusion is the only logical conclusion. As usual you miss the point.

    A soldier either has the right to question the constitutionality of an order or he doesn’t.

    If he does, then it is up to the solder it decide what he can question, and each soldier could sue for anything he believes to be unconstitutional.

    If he doesn’t, then Lakin doesn’t have that right.

  49. avatar
    sponson May 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Taitz made an appearance and had a photo op with Congresswoman Michelle Bachman: talkingpointsmemo.com

  50. avatar
    Greg May 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    yguy: Since a “declaration of war” per se is not a constitutional prerequisite for military action, that’s a moot question

    Presenting a long form birth certificate is not a prerequisite to natural born citizenship either. Nor is having two citizen parents a prerequisite. The argument that the AUMF is an unconstitutional delegation of the power to declare war is more solidly founded than any birther argument – which isn’t saying much.

    yguy:
    A plausible argument can be made for anything, given a sufficiently credulous audience.

    Hi Mr. Credulous. Let’s see, every military lawyer who has looked at this says there is not even a snowball’s chance in heck he’ll get discovery. Every court that has looked at this has passed on the issue. Birthers have been denounced by every prominent member of the Republican party, including Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. When you’re called crazy by Ann Coulter…well, that’s saying a mouthful!

    There’s not a single living constitutional scholar who called him/herself such before the 2008 election who would sign onto the notion that Obama is not eligible. Your side cannot even beg or borrow an amicus brief from the Eagle Forum, which argued that Hamdi wasn’t a citizen because his parents were guest workers at the time of his birth.

    Yet, you persist. You are exhibit 1 for the notion that you can support any argument with a credulous enough audience.

    And, THAT is why Lakin is hosed! No reasonable soldier could come to the conclusion that the orders were facially invalid. He has to rely on convincing the judge that his incredible argument is both true and relevant to his case. He has to hope that the judge is as credulous as he is!

    He would have as much luck convincing a judge that Obama is a time-traveling space alien impersonating the real Barack Obama and is, therefore, ineligible to give orders.

  51. avatar
    Dave May 17, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Scott Brown: … I disagree 100% with him politically …

    Because you are in such total disagreement with the President, you might be interested to know that there is now a bill before the Senate to give the President the power to strip anyone’s citizenship, pretty much on his say so.
    And the bill was introduced by Senator Scott Brown.

  52. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    yguy: You’re trying to be cute. You aren’t.

    When the Constitution gives a power to Congress, that means they have the primary responsibility in that area. The fact that they have ceded their responsibility regarding when to go to war to the Executive in the last 60 years is unfortunate.

    However, none of that allows individual soldiers to choose whether a particular war or a particular President suits their moral principles or finely-honed legal standards. If they want to be moral philosophers or legal scholars, they should should have picked another line of work other than the military.

    Anyway, the experiment is being done for you by Lt Col Lakin. You will see the empirical results and you won’t like them. Too bad for you. But don’t worry, you will still be able to post your nonsense on message boards while he sits in Leavenworth. You are a real hero, guy. NOT

  53. avatar
    nbc May 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    yguy: Since the premise depends for its truth value on a definition of “plausible” that that easily encompasses “facile”, the conclusion is unfounded.

    Now that’s ironic yguy… Surely you must understand this…

  54. avatar
    Randy May 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    You know in theory it sound good to have a couple of trolls around, they will be entertaining, and then they start reciting the talking points and Lakin, Orly and Mario etc… 2 citizen NBC…

    Really I just wanted to see what avatar I get.

  55. avatar
    yguy May 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    Greg:
    “The argument that the AUMF is an unconstitutional delegation of the power to declare war is more solidly founded than any [] argument [you’ve made]”

    I’m sure it is, in the minds of people who, it may reasonably be stated with no more passion than it takes to recite the quadratic formula, don’t know the first thing about the Constitution.

  56. avatar
    Rickey May 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    yguy:
    A plausible argument can be made for anything, given a sufficiently credulous audience.
    *
    *
    Since the premise depends for its truth value on a definition of “plausible” that that easily encompasses “facile”, the conclusion is unfounded.

    Seriously?

    Let’s see what what a couple of the nation’s founders had to say about the power to declare war.

    Is the power of declaring war necessary? No man will answer this question in the negative. It would be superfluous therefore to enter into a proof of the affirmative. – James Madison, The Federalist XLI

    The President therefore is to command the military forces of the United States, and this power I think a proper one; at the same time it will be found to be sufficiently guarded. A very material difference may be observed between this power, and the authority of the King of Great Britain, under similar circumstances. The King of Great Britain is not only the Commander in Chief of the land and naval forces, but has power in time of war to raise fleets and armies. He also has the power to declare war. The President has not the power of declaring war by his own authority, nor that of raising fleets and armies. Those powers are vested in other hands. The power of declaring war is expressly given to Congress, that is. to the two branches of the legislature… – James Iredell, original Justice of the Supreme Court, Debate on the Constitution, Part Two, p. 871

    So Madison says that the power to declare war is necessary, and Justice Iredell says that the power to declare war is vested with the Congress in order to give the Congress a check on the military authority of the Commander in Chief. Yet you say that those who argue that going to war without a declaration of war is unconstitutional are being “facile.”

    Please.

  57. avatar
    nbc May 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    yguy: I’m sure it is, in the minds of people who, it may reasonably be stated with no more passion than it takes to recite the quadratic formula, don’t know the first thing about the Constitution.

    Again that irony… And yet we see you who insists on ignoring the Constitution time after time based on YOUR interpretation of it.

    Foolish

  58. avatar
    Walter White May 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    dunstvangeet: The court would apply the de facto officer doctorine. This would mean that any orders that Obama gave would be valid, and Lakin disobeyed a valid order.

    The military lawyers at CAAFlog continually reference a soldier who has been convicted and then raises an alleged defect in the Judge’s credentials AFTER the conviction. Since there is a conviction, the de facto officer doctrine applies.

    LTC Lakin alleged the defect in his commanding officer BEFORE his conviction, so the de facto officer doctrine doesn’t apply.

  59. avatar
    DaveH May 17, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Walter White: The military lawyers at CAAFlog continually reference a soldier who has been convicted and then raises an alleged defect in the Judge’s credentials AFTER the conviction. Since there is a conviction, the de facto officer doctrine applies.LTC Lakin alleged the defect in his commanding officer BEFORE his conviction, so the de facto officer doctrine doesn’t apply.

    ————————

    Nice try. But you’re not going to get what you want. Maybe you should read the charges against Lakin. None of those charges refer to Lakin’s refusal to follow orders that Obama gave him. The charges are against Lakin for refusing to follow orders from his commanders.

    Lakin really made a big mistake. He makes a video, posts it on YouTube and goes on to talk shows and CNN. Whadda ya bet that the video posted on YouTube will be used against him which will prove that he intended to refuse to follow orders. I’d say that this court martial is pretty clear cut. The court members will return a verdict of guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty…. And then Lakin will lose his pension, his rank, and most likely will be sent to an all paid vacation at a luxurious suite at Ft. Leavenworth, Ks. where he will get to participate in activities like breaking big rocks into little rocks with a sledge hammer. What a lucky guy he is… 🙂

  60. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Randy: Really I just wanted to see what avatar I get.

    The default avatars here are called “wavatars”. For an informative description of gravatars and wavatars, I commend you to this article:

    http://forums.developertutorials.com/forums-blogs-social-networks/3193-anyone-know-what-wavatar.html

  61. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    yguy: A plausible argument can be made for anything, given a sufficiently credulous audience.

    Wow! I really like that. That almost ranks up there with Arthur C. Clarke’s: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” It’s really tempting to make that this blog’s new subtitle. BTW, the original tag line for the site was “The light at the end of the tunnel” and the blog design featured a tunnel image at the top.

    I suppose that’s the reason that birther commenters here don’t stay very long (the lack of a credulous audience).

  62. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    Walter WhiteThe military lawyers at CAAFlog continually reference a soldier who has been convicted and then raises an alleged defect in the Judge’s credentials AFTER the conviction. Since there is a conviction, the de facto officer doctrine applies.

    No, Walter, there is no difference.

    Here’s what the Supreme Court says about the de facto officer doctorine (Ryder v. U.S., 1995): “The de facto officer doctrine confers validity upon acts performed by a person acting under the color of official title even though it is later discovered that the legality of that person’s appointment or election to office is deficient.”

    So, what we have in Lakin’s case, according to Lakin…

    You have an officer who refused to follow an order to deploy. The order to deploy is an “act performed by a person acting under the color of the official title”. Therefore, even if it was found that the “legality of that person’s appointment or election to office is deficient” (a.k.a. Barack Obama is not legally eligible for the Presidency), all the acts performed by him would still be valid.

    There is absolutely no difference. The order was issued. That order is an act. Lakin directly disobeyed that order. If Obama was the valid President, even Lakin would agree that the order was valid. So, you have an act that is conferred to be valid by the position that Obama sits on.

    Situation 1: Obama is eligible for the Presidency. Lakin disobeyed a direct order to deploy. Lakin is guilty.

    Situation 2: Obama is not eligible for the Presidency. According to the de facto officer doctorine, the order is valid. Lakin disobeyed a direct order to deploy. Lakin is guilty.

    Obama’s eligibility has no bearing on the outcome of the case. Therefore, Obama’s eligibility is not relevant to the case.

    The de facto officer doctorine means that Obama’s eligibility is not relevant to the case.

  63. avatar
    yguy May 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    “It’s really tempting to make that this blog’s new subtitle.”

    If you do, I want attribution. 8)

  64. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Scott Brown: I hear many people complain that no one was ever concerned about any past president’s BC; but then we’ve never had a past president, in my lifetime, who’s father was not a US Citizen and who claimed to have been born with dual citizenship – specifically under British law at birth.

    Chester A. Arthur’s father was not a US Citizen, but a British subject. Of course that was not in your lifetime, but it was in the lifetime of the country.

    But no, releasing the BC makes no difference – Obama is not a NBC in my opinion, either way.

    You should have been on Pastor Manning’s “jury.”

  65. avatar
    Dave May 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    dunstvangeet:
    The de facto officer doctorine means that Obama’s eligibility is not relevant to the case.

    I fear you are being too generous to Lakin.
    The orders that Lakin didn’t follow were not issued by the President. Contrary to assertions made by Lakin’s lawyer to the media, it is not necessary to establish that every officer in the chain of command properly holds their position for an order to be legal. So Lakin’s lawyer would have to get past this obstacle, which he can’t; and if he did, then he would run into the de facto officer doctrine.
    There are some signs of birthers considering lawsuits challenging laws signed by the President on the basis that he is ineligible. The de facto officer doctrine will be relevant to those cases. And by relevant, I mean fatal.

  66. avatar
    misha May 17, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    “Obama is not a NBC in my opinion, either way.”

    Who cares about your opinion? Obama was elected, and will be re-elected, and Cory Booker will follow. Better get used to it.

  67. avatar
    yguy May 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Rickey:
    So Madison says that the power to declare war is necessary, and Justice Iredell says that the power to declare war is vested with the Congress in order to give the Congress a check on the military authority of the Commander in Chief. Yet you say that those who argue that going to war without a declaration of war is unconstitutional are being “facile.”

    I see no reason to say otherwise. The quote from Madison is self-admittedly tautological, and nothing Iredell says implies any responsibility on the part of Congress to authorize military force exclusively by a “declaration of war”. And neither is it apparent how a CiC could for any significant length of time exercise the martial power independently given the two year appropriation limit.

    Please.

    Please what? 🙂

  68. avatar
    richcares May 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    “I fear you are being too generous to Lakin.”

    Lakin’s goose is cooked, Lakin is Bakin’. Falling for scams can be painful, poor deluded guy. His lawyer said “Show the BC and this will be over”, that’s BS, Lakin would never attempt refusal of orders if he thought the possibility of Obama being eligible was true. No, he believes Obama is not eligible and he is the hero that will bring Obama down. Lakin fell for his lawyers BS hook line and sinker, and it’s the sinker he will get. Though that lawyer knows he won’t get “discovery”, he convinced Lakin that he would (for what purpose do you think?)

  69. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Dave:
    I fear you are being too generous to Lakin.

    I think you are correct on that. I was giving Lakin the benefit of every doubt, asserting that his main two points were true:

    1. Obama is not eligible for the Presidency.

    2. The order (and ultimately every order) is issued under the President’s authority as Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces.

    Obviously, those two things are not true, but even if they were, it would still make no difference.

    The de facto officer doctorine is one that means that any order that Obama signs while he is still in the White House is valid. (Now that’s not to say that every order would be legal, but that would happen whether or not he was eligible.)

    In order for Lakin to win his argument, he has to argue that the order was on it’s face an illegal order that he was under duty to disobey. An order to deploy is not one of those.

  70. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    John: Lakin will get “Discovery” or at the very least the issue will be litigated at high cost

    I disagree with your prediction. I would have hoped that resolution would come soon, but for whatever reason, Lakin’s attorney has moved for a postponement. I predict that there will be no discovery, and that the Army’s case will be presented very quickly. If there is any “high cost” I believe it would have to be exorbitant fees paid to attorney Jensen and for newspaper and TV ads to publicize the case.

  71. avatar
    Tomtech May 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    You can get your own “gravitar”.

    Go to http://en.gravatar.com/ and create an account with the same e-mail you use here. Then select your own from their system or download a photo.

    I had to use Internet Explorer instead of Firefox to finalize the image since the “crop” function didn’t work.

  72. avatar
    Whatever4 May 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Walter White: The military lawyers at CAAFlog continually reference a soldier who has been convicted and then raises an alleged defect in the Judge’s credentials AFTER the conviction. Since there is a conviction, the de facto officer doctrine applies.LTC Lakin alleged the defect in his commanding officer BEFORE his conviction, so the de facto officer doctrine doesn’t apply.

    I believe the cases are referring to the JUDGE as a de facto officer, trying to remove the Judge from the case after the case has been adjudicated. In this case, the Judge isn’t at issue. The CinC is a different matter.

  73. avatar
    DaveH May 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I disagree with your prediction. I would have hoped that resolution would come soon, but for whatever reason, Lakin’s attorney has moved for a postponement. I predict that there will be no discovery, and that the Army’s case will be presented very quickly. If there is any “high cost” I believe it would have to be exorbitant fees paid to attorney Jensen and for newspaper and TV ads to publicize the case.

    Military lawyers agree with you, Dr. C. There have been some posts asking if they thought if Lakin were to apologize at this point and agree to deploy, that it wouldn’t be allowed. The Army has already had to deploy another doctor in Lakin’s place. One of the posters at CAAFLOG wrote that he knew first hand that Lakin’s superiors tried to get Lakin to change his mind on this. He had his chance and now it is gone. Lakin is going down and he is not going to enjoy the results.

  74. avatar
    DaveH May 17, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    dunstvangeet: I think you are correct on that. I was giving Lakin the benefit of every doubt, asserting that his main two points were true:1. Obama is not eligible for the Presidency.2. The order (and ultimately every order) is issued under the President’s authority as Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces.Obviously, those two things are not true, but even if they were, it would still make no difference.The de facto officer doctorine is one that means that any order that Obama signs while he is still in the White House is valid. (Now that’s not to say that every order would be legal, but that would happen whether or not he was eligible.)In order for Lakin to win his argument, he has to argue that the order was on it’s face an illegal order that he was under duty to disobey. An order to deploy is not one of those.

    The only illegal order that I can think of off the top of my head that a soldier or officer could disobey would be an order to kill a bunch of civilians. He or she would still get court martialed but would have a greater chance of being exonerated of the charges of disobeying the orders.

  75. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    DaveH: The only illegal order that I can think of off the top of my head…

    Try these on (all in the USA). Say a soldier was ordered to march into a town and confiscate all the guns from all the civilian residents? Or say a soldier was ordered to remove all the civilians from a neighborhood and move his platoon in to the houses to reside for a couple of weeks? What if a soldier were ordered to guard a church and prevent any of its members from worshiping there? What if soldiers were ordered to burn a newspaper office and destroy its presses?

    Being a doctor in Afghanistan, however, is not against any conceivable constitutional principle or law. I see Lakin’s attempt as more akin to an act of civil disobedience to raise an issue than it is with refusing to obey an unlawful order. Lakin’s oath is not preventing him from deploying to Afghanistan. In my view Lakin’s oath to defend the Constitution is making him exchange his career and freedom for a chance to inspire a popular uprising by his martyrdom against what he views as a usurper president.

  76. avatar
    Rickey May 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    yguy:
    I see no reason to say otherwise. The quote from Madison is self-admittedly tautological, and nothing Iredell says implies any responsibility on the part of Congress to authorize military force exclusively by a “declaration of war”. And neither is it apparent how a CiC could for any significant length of time exercise the martial power independently given the two year appropriation limit.

    So what was the point of giving Congress the power to declare war, if a declaration of war is unnecessary for the country to go to war? Do you really believe that the founders would have been comfortable with the president sending the Army off to war for two years without a declaration of war?

    The point is that it is indeed plausible to argue that the Constitution requires a declaration of war before the country can go to war (or, at least, that a declaration of war is required as soon as practicable after the beginning of hostilities). I’m not saying that it is a slam dunk, but given the many reservations which the founders had about the power of the chief executive, it is at least plausible.

    However, you can’t acknowledge this because it highlights the weakness of your position. The only order which a member of the military can disobey is an order which is illegal on its face. It doesn’t matter what reservations the soldier or sailor has about the legitimacy of the president or the constitutionality of the war.

  77. avatar
    yguy May 18, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Rickey:
    So what was the point of giving Congress the power to declare war, if a declaration of war is unnecessary for the country to go to war?

    To prevent anyone else from doing it.

    Do you really believe that the founders would have been comfortable with the president sending the Army off to war for two years without a declaration of war?

    Sure. For one thing, there are other ways for Congress to direct the CiC to take military action than to “declare war”. For another, no CiC will go to war backed by appropriations sufficient only to maintain the armed forces – unless of course he’s an enemy of the US, in which case the clause becomes trivial anyway.

    However, you can’t acknowledge this because it highlights the weakness of your position.

    Actually it’s because I’m not in the habit of acknowledging as cogent arguments which are better characterized as specious.

  78. avatar
    nbC May 18, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    yguy: Actually it’s because I’m not in the habit of acknowledging as cogent arguments which are better characterized as specious.

    So why do you then not refrain yourself from submitting specious arguments yourself?

  79. avatar
    G May 18, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I disagree with your prediction. I would have hoped that resolution would come soon, but for whatever reason, Lakin’s attorney has moved for a postponement. I predict that there will be no discovery, and that the Army’s case will be presented very quickly. If there is any “high cost” I believe it would have to be exorbitant fees paid to attorney Jensen and for newspaper and TV ads to publicize the case.

    My suspicion is that Lakin’s attorney’s whole goal is to delay and drag this out as long as possible. Once the trial actually goes forward, its pretty much game over for the defense and I think the one’s behind this charade fully understand that.

    The true goal here is to milk and con their followers to keep “donating to the cause” as long as possible and to play up any possible “martyrdom” angle they can, in hope to either incite a lone nut or to at least keep their faithful sheep in a mood to keep throwing money their way.

  80. avatar
    Greg May 18, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    yguy: I’m sure it is, in the minds of people who, it may reasonably be stated with no more passion than it takes to recite the quadratic formula, don’t know the first thing about the Constitution.

    I don’t think that’s fair. You know how to spell the word Constitution. That’s a start.

    You know that we have a Constitution. Also a good thing.

    Granted, it doesn’t appear that you’ve read it.

    It might help in this debate if you familiarized yourself with it, yguy. We’ll talk about other readings (the Federalist papers, Ex Parte Milligan, Jefferson’s Letter to Congress about the Tripoli Pirates, etc.) once you’ve finished reading the actual Constitution.

    Oh, and the argument that an undeclared war is unconstitutional is quantifiably more Constitutionally grounded than birther arguments. The best birther arguments are those that crib copiously from the losing side in Wong Kim Ark. That was a 6-2 decision. The dissent in The Prize Cases was a 5-4 decision with the dissent relying on statements like this from Chancellor Kent:

    “He further observes,
    ‘as war cannot lawfully be commenced on the part of the United States without an act of Congress, such act is, of course, a formal notice to all the world, and equivalent to the most solemn declaration.’

    To conclude that the President wholly lacked the power to declare war:

    I am compelled to the conclusion that no civil war existed between this Government and the States in insurrection till recognized by the Act of Congress 13th of July, 1861; that the President does not possess the power under the Constitution to declare war or recognize its existence within the meaning of the law of nations, which carries with it belligerent rights, and thus change the country and all its citizens from a state of peace to a state of war; that this power belongs exclusively to the Congress of the United States…

    So, twice as many dissenters in The Prize Cases believed that the President lacked the power to declare war and that a war prosecuted by the President in the absence of a Congressional declaration was illegal as believed that Wong was not eligible for the Presidency.

    The courts have studiously avoided the question since, declaring it a political question.

    In short, you have to be smoking some pretty rank weed to think that it is so obvious that Obama is ineligible for the Presidency that you’d suggest Lakin risk prison but think there is no question that undeclared wars are completely legal.

    My head hurts just contemplating the cognitive dissonance required in those mental gymnastics.

  81. avatar
    Mike May 18, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    yguy:
    For another, no CiC will go to war backed by appropriations sufficient only to maintain the armed forces – unless of course he’s an enemy of the US, in which case the clause becomes trivial anyway.

    Wow. You really are creative, I’ll give you that.

  82. avatar
    SFJeff May 18, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    I think I am getting Yguys point here:
    A soldier can refuse an order to go to war if he isn’t sure the President is eligible but a soldier can’t refuse an order to go to war if he isn’t sure the President has the authority to order him to war.

    See its obvious.

  83. avatar
    Tomtech May 18, 2010 at 3:53 am #

    SFJeff: I think I am getting Yguys point here:
    A soldier can refuse an order to go to war if he isn’t sure the President is eligible but a soldier can’t refuse an order to go to war if he isn’t sure the President has the authority to order him to war.
    See its obvious.

    I don’t get your point. By definition the President has the authority to issue any legal order as CINC and the soldiers are not in a position to ask by what authority he or she does it. The Congress gave the authority with the approved as President, or in the chain of Succession if he or she was elevated.

  84. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 18, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Tomtech: I had to use Internet Explorer instead of Firefox to finalize the image since the “crop” function didn’t work.

    Odd. I use FireFox (3.6.3) and cropped without a problem.

  85. avatar
    yguy May 18, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Greg:
    The best birther arguments are those that crib copiously from the losing side in Wong Kim Ark. That was a 6-2 decision.

    It has no bearing on any of my arguments, so who cares?

    The dissent in The Prize Cases was a 5-4 decision with the dissent relying on statements like this from Chancellor Kent:

    An unsupported assertion, which in any case gives no indication that the AUMF fails to qualify as such a “solemn declaration”.

    To conclude that the President wholly lacked the power to declare war:

    God you’re smart.

    In short, you have to be smoking some pretty rank weed to think that it is so obvious that Obama is ineligible for the Presidency that you’d suggest Lakin risk prison

    I wonder what you have to be smoking to think I ever made such a suggestion.

  86. avatar
    Rickey May 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    yguy:
    To prevent anyone else from doing it.
    Sure. For one thing, there are other ways for Congress to direct the CiC to take military action than to “declare war”. For another, no CiC will go to war backed by appropriations sufficient only to maintain the armed forces – unless of course he’s an enemy of the US, in which case the clause becomes trivial anyway.
    Actually it’s because I’m not in the habit of acknowledging as cogent arguments which are better characterized as specious.

    One sure way to make specious arguments is to completely ignore the debates on the Constitution, the writings of the founders, the spirited debates on whether the U.S. should even have a standing army, etc. The notion that this country could go to war without a Congressional declaration of war is one which Madison would have regarded as Constitutional heresy.

  87. avatar
    SFJeff May 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    “An unsupported assertion, which in any case gives no indication that the AUMF fails to qualify as such a “solemn declaration”.”

    So…..you think there is a qualitative difference between the Certificate of Live Birth that Hawaii provides those who request a BC, and the version they generated it from, yet you find no distinction between Congress making a formal declaration of War, as called for in the Constitution, and the AUMF?

    Then why did the Congress bother to declare war after Pearl Harbor? Why did Congress declare war in World War 1? Or in the War of 1812.

    Here is how i feel- grant you this is just my opinion- sort of like your opinion on what documents a President should be submitting and how they should be vetted-

    If we call it a war, Congress should declare war. Did we call Vietnam the Glorious Excursion to Promote Democracy in Vietnam or did we call it the Vietnam War? Did we call it the First Gulf War or did we call it a small police action to defend Kuwait?

    You are perfectly within your rights to support the Presidents power to go to war without a declaration of war, but your conclusion that a soldier could have a legitimate reason to question whether a President’s orders are valid because the soldier thinks the President might be ineligible, but not support a soldiers right to question whether a President has the constitutional power to go to war without a declaration of war to me is clearly hypocritical.

  88. avatar
    Greg May 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    yguy: It has no bearing on any of my arguments, so who cares?

    Are you Lakin? Then your views don’t matter to whether a reasonable soldier would find it more or less Constitutionally grounded than the birther arguments.

    The proposition I was defending was that the contention that the AUMF was unconstitutional is more constitutionally grounded than that Obama is ineligible. That the Constitutional basis for the proposition does not fit with what you’ve argued is irrelevant. In fact, I agree that the AUMF is likely Constitutional. That doesn’t change the fact that there is more intellectual support for that proposition than Obama’s ineligibility.

    I wonder what you have to be smoking to think I ever made such a suggestion.

    Sometimes it’s really hard to get what you’re saying. Why don’t you come out and say it. Is Lakin’s case strong enough that other soldier’s should disobey orders? Would you risk prison in the same situation?

    God you’re smart.

    I’m glad you recognize this fact of nature. The sooner you come to grips with it, the sooner we can move on to more pressing matters.

  89. avatar
    yguy May 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    SFJeff: “An unsupported assertion, which in any case gives no indication that the AUMF fails to qualify as such a “solemn declaration”.”So…..you think there is a qualitative difference between the Certificate of Live Birth that Hawaii provides those who request a BC, and the version they generated it from, yet you find no distinction between Congress making a formal declaration of War, as called for in the Constitution, and the AUMF?

    I don’t see a parallel. The COLB is essentially hearsay WRT the testimony of HI officials given in 1961; whereas if Congress had declared war instead of passing the AUMF, there would still have been no question that it was Congress which authorized the CiC to invade Iraq.

  90. avatar
    SFJeff May 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    “I don’t see a parallel.”

    I know you don’t.

    The COLB is essentially hearsay WRT the testimony of HI officials given in 1961; whereas if Congress had declared war instead of passing the AUMF, there would still have been no question that it was Congress which authorized the CiC to invade Iraq.

    What you refuse to acknowledge is that a soldier either has the right to refuse an order he thinks might be unconstitutional or he doesn’t. Whether you see the parallel or not, the crux is that a soldier either can challenge like he is in Lakin- and can therefore do it for any other issue of constitutional conscience he has, or he can’t.

    But I might as well be yelling at the wind to stop.

  91. avatar
    richcares May 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    But I might as well be yelling at the wind to stop.

    yup, time to ignore!

  92. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    I apologize for the injection of this comment which probably doesn’t follow the flow. It seemed the appropriate thread for this thought.

    WASHINGTON — The birth certificate of a child whom a tabloid newspaper claims is linked to former Sen. John Edwards doesn’t identify a father.

    The document, obtained through a routine records request, shows Frances Quinn Hunter was born Feb. 27 to Rielle Hunter, a videographer who worked on Edwards’ presidential campaign last year.

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/07/31/46066/birth-certificate-of-child-linked.html#ixzz0oJtaxP4C

    I would hope something obviously stands out, but just in case,

    “The document, obtained through a routine records request …”

    Seems the press, when it wants to, can get grubby hands on things when it wants to, even if illegally… John Edwards, who is that? Oh, wasn’t he a presidential candidate at one time? Pressy no likey John Edwards…

    Another thought, or actually question, for your consideration. Does anyone have a case where a COLB was admitted as a self-authenticating document into evidence, particularly after a challenge? The closest I could find is this (I think the issues raised would also apply in the Obama matter):

    “The circuit concluded that the foreign birth certificate was properly admitted as the two requirements for authentication under FRE 902(3) were met. First, evidence was presented that the document is what is purports to be, such as that the document was executed by a proper official in his official capacity or the genuineness of the document was attested to by a proper official in his official capacity. This requirement was met as “the copy of the birth certificate was stamped as a certified copy and affixed with the seal of Luzviminda N. Cruz, whom Vice Consul Russell certified was “Clerk II, National Statistics Office, Quezon City, Republic of the Philippines.” Deverso, 518 F.3d at 1256.

    Second, evidence was presented that the official who vouched for the document is who he or she purports to be. This requirement was established as the “birth certificate was accompanied by a certificate from Richard Ambrad, Embassy Coordinator with the Government of the Philippines, attesting that the copy of Beverly’s birth certificate was a true copy of an official record authorized by the law of the Philippines to be reported and recorded in the National Census and Statistics Office. That certification was accompanied by a final certification by Kimberly A. Russell, Vice Consul of the United States in the Philippines.” Deverso, 518 F.3d at 1256.

    Finally, the defendant also claimed the information in the birth certificate was unreliable. This argument went to the weight of the evidence and not its admissibility. ”

    It sounds as if there was testimony by the official and that was a necessary requirement. Secondly, there was a signature, but it is unclear whether it was stamped or original. Does that matter? Third, it sounds like the information on the certificate can indeed be challenged, if the document is admitted.

    I hope to hear your response to both matters, Doctor C, if you feel so inclined, but of course I would be interested in the response of anyone.

  93. avatar
    SFJeff May 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Interesting.

    First of all- I thought Birthers were all in a twitter about how digital copies posted on line can’t be authenticated- do we know this is a true copy of the BC?
    Secondly- did you notice that this copy is not valid to establish identity? This couldn’t be used to establish wheter young Francis is a NBC or not.
    Finally- obtained by a “routine records request” stinks to high heavens. I sincerely doubt- and hope that no newspaper could obtain a copy of my daughters BC so routinely. I suspect, though I have no evidence of this, that the BC was leaked by one of the parties involved. The fact that the newspaper provided no specific detail makes me very suspicious.

  94. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    charo, Seems the press, when it wants to, can get grubby hands on things when it wants to, even if illegally… John Edwards, who is that?

    North Carolina has an open records law. A dozen or so states are like this. Hawaii, like most states has a closed records law. Closed record laws are primarily made to prevent fraud and identity theft.

    It sounds as if there was testimony by the official and that was a necessary requirement [to authenticate a birth certificate from the Phillipines].

    The Constitution and Federal laws require that the states and the federal government recognize the validity of each others’ official documents. This is not extended to foreign governments (unless there would be a treaty of some sort that says so). This is why you found this instance regarding a foreign birth certificate, and why you shouldn’t be able to find one like it for a US state birth certificate in a US court.

  95. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks for the answer. I didn’t know that some states allowed the release of the birth certificates, although I am sure it was covered in the history here. I still don’t think this particular outfit must have liked Edwards much.

    It would seem to me that there would be some case where a COLB was admitted into evidence, even if the COLB is not the subject of the litigation. Surely it is in the background of some case. There must be commenters with access to legal research to find one. THere is a reason for the rule. Additionally, I had a third point, namely that it seems that the information on the COLB can be challenged. Once the document in the above case was admitted, the court said that “[t]he argument went to the weight of the evidence and not its admissibility.”

  96. avatar
    SFJeff May 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Doc- is California an open records State? If it is, time to see if my legislators can manage to do anything besides not balance the budget.

  97. avatar
    yguy May 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Rickey:
    The notion that this country could go to war without a Congressional declaration of war is one which Madison would have regarded as Constitutional heresy.

    Then I invite you to provide quotes of his to that effect.

  98. avatar
    Greg May 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    yguy:
    Then I invite you to provide quotes of his to that effect.

    Madison:

    “The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war [and] the power of raising armies. A delegation of such powers [to the president] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments. The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.”

    Struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.

    Seems like he was against the idea, doesn’t it?

  99. avatar
    yguy May 18, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Greg:
    Madison:
    “The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war [and] the power of raising armies. A delegation of such powers [to the president] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments. The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.”Struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.
    Seems like he was against the idea, doesn’t it?

    I haven’t been able to verify that these are Madison’s words, but no. What the author said would have struck at the heart of the Constitution was vesting the entire martial power in the CiC, and no Congress has ever done that, AFAIK.

  100. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    Something else to stir the birther pot.

    “We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that’s when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign,…” http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

    Why was it produced for the campaign in 2007? No one asked for it yet. As has been mentioned, no other candidate produced one in prior elections. It doesn’t appear to have been requested to present it to anyone because of the statement in the next line:

    “The campaign didn’t release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama’s citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number.”

    Was it standard practice to have the COLB on hand? Were the “birther” questions even around in 2007?

    I am sure this has been twittered and texted to death but I’ll repeat it anyways: There was a “rush” to release it, the rush so frantic that no one could wait for clarification about the certificate number?

    “Says Shauna: “[We] couldn’t get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out.”

    Oh my, no would answer the phone! We have to get this thing out this very hour although we have had it for one year!

    That logic is just as weird as birther logic.

    One final point on the FRE regarding self-authentication:

    “Case law and statutes have, over the years, developed a substantial body of instances in which authenticity is taken as sufficiently established for purposes of admissibility without extrinsic evidence to that effect, sometimes for reasons of policy but perhaps more often because practical considerations reduce the possibility of unauthenticity to a very small dimension. The present rule collects and incorporates these situations, in some instances expanding them to occupy a larger area which their underlying considerations justify. In no instance is the opposite party foreclosed from disputing authenticity.”

    In light of forgery capabilities that would seem more possible since the date of this note, I wonder if there will be any kind of change? (Think outside of the Obama box, the greater potential for forgery that exists now.)

  101. avatar
    Scientist May 18, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    yguy: Do you ever agree with anything? Having seen the way you behave here, I can only imagine what it must be like to be around you in person.

  102. avatar
    Greg May 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    yguy: What the author said would have struck at the heart of the Constitution was vesting the entire martial power

    Here’s an extended excerpt:

    It is of some importance that this part of the history of the session, which has found no place in the late reviews of it, should be well understood. They who are curious to learn the particulars must examine the debates and the votes. A full narrative would exceed the limits which are here prescribed. It must suffice to remark, that the efforts were varied and repeated until the last moment of the session, even after the departure of a number of members forbade new propositions, much more a renewal of rejected ones; and that the powers proposed to be surrendered to the Executive were those which the Constitution has most jealously appropriated to the Legislature.

    The reader shall judge on this subject for himself.

    The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war: it was proposed that the Executive might, in the recess of the Legislature, declare the United States to be in a state of war.

    The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of raising armies : it was proposed that, in the recess of the Legislature, the Executive might, at its pleasure, raise or not raise an army of ten, fifteen, or twenty-five thousand men.

    The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of creating offices: it was proposed that the Executive, in the recess of the Legislature, might create offices as well as appoint officers for an army of ten, fifteen, or twenty-five thousand men.

    A delegation of such powers would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.

    The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.

    The separation of the power of raising armies from the power of commanding them, is intended to prevent the raising of armies for the sake of commanding them.

    The separation of the power of creating offices from that of filling them, is an essential guard against the temptation to create offices for the sake of gratifying favourites or multiplying dependents.

    Where would be the difference between the blending of these incompatible powers, by surrendering the legislative part of them into the hands of the Executive, and by assuming the executive part of them into the hands of the Legislature? In either case the principle would be equally destroyed, and the consequences equally dangerous.

    It seems to me that Madison wasn’t objecting to the delegation of ALL the war powers, but of ANY of the war powers, individually. Each, as he noted, was explicitly granted to the Congress for a reason.

  103. avatar
    misha May 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Charo: I read your latest comment. You really should be a fiction writer; mainly of mysteries.

  104. avatar
    Rickey May 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    yguy:
    I haven’t been able to verify that these are Madison’s words, but no. What the author said would have struck at the heart of the Constitution was vesting the entire martial power in the CiC, and no Congress has ever done that, AFAIK.

    This was written by Doug Bandow, a fellow at the conservative Cato Institute, in 1995:

    Article 1, Sec. 8(11) states that “Congress shall have the power . . . to declare war.” As Alexander Hamilton indicated, the president is commander-in-chief, but he is to fulfill his responsibilities only within the framework established by the Constitution and subject to the control of Congress.

    Of this, there simply is no doubt. Wrote James Madison in 1793, it is necessary to adhere to the “fundamental doctrine of the Constitution that the power to declare war is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.” Modern supporters of the doctrine of president-as-Caesar make much of the fact that convention delegates changed Congress’ authority from “make” to “declare” war, but they did so, explained Madison, only to allow the president the authority to respond to a sudden attack. When Pierce Butler of South Carolina formally proposed giving the president the power to start war, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts said that he “never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the executive to declare war.” Butler’s motion was quickly rejected.

    The reasoning of the conferees in opposing Butler’s measure was simple. Explained Virginia’s George Mason, the president “is not safely to be entrusted with” the power to decide on war. Mason therefore favored “clogging rather than facilitating war.” James Wilson, though an advocate of a strong presidency, approvingly observed that the new constitutional system “will not hurry us into war.” Instead, “it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress.” Similarly, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “We have already given . . . one effectual check to the dog of war by transferring the power of letting him loose.”

    Even Hamilton agreed with his long-time adversary on this point, pointing out that the war powers of the president were “in substance much inferior to” that of the British king. And Hamilton supported this result even while backing strong executive power. As he wrote in the Federalist No. 75:

    “The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a President of the United States.”

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/0695e.asp

    Bandow was making the conservative case that various U.S. presidents had exceeded their Constitutional authority by involving the U.S. in wars without a declaration of war by the Congress.

  105. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    @ charo

    Charo raises questions about why the COLB was printed when it was and why it was released when it was.

    Release of the COLB was precipitated by a headline story at WorldNetDaily from June 10, 2008, Is Obama’s Candidacy Constitutional? and Jim Geraghty on a National Review blog. Present-day campaigns try to respond quickly (same day) to attacks, a lesson learned from mistakes made in past campaigns where dirty tricks have become common place. The “rush” is not only understandable, it is expected. Tommy Vietor at the Obama campaign sent a message to a number of news organizations, including FactCheck.org and Politico.com saying, “I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama’s citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate.” The COLB image was attached. Soon thereafter a copy was posted on the Obama FightTheSmears.com web site.

    FactCheck.org, commenting on the 2007 production date said:

    The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that’s when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and “all the records we could get our hands on” according to spokesperson Shauna Daly.

    I remember reading one news account (which I have been unable to find again) that the 2007 COLB was one of several copies ordered by the Obama Campaign in anticipation of having to provide them for official purposes. Whether they actually used any for that purpose, I do not know.

  106. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 18, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    yguy: I haven’t been able to verify that these are Madison’s words

    I found it in under 20 seconds.

  107. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    “The “rush” is not only understandable, it is expected. ”

    I do understand rushing to get information out quickly, but unable to wait for the phone to be answered (often there is an opportunity to leave a voice mail) seems odd.

    “I remember reading one news account (which I have been unable to find again) that the 2007 COLB was one of several ordered by the Obama Campaign in anticipation of having to provide them for official purposes.”

    And for what official purposes would a campaign need them? I can’t think of any unless it is for some kind of verification, but what would the campaign have to verify? When was that statement given, about needing them for official purposes?

    Questions.

  108. avatar
    Bob Ross May 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    SFJeff:
    But I might as well be yelling at the wind to stop.

    Such is Mango?

  109. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/13/obamas-birth-certificate/

    “I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama’s citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor wrote in a June 12, 2008, e-mail.

    See it for yourself here. *(except that it is not there)

    More from Politifact:

    “Okubo said a copy of the birth certificate was requested in June 2008, but she wouldn’t specify by whom. But as we know from our attempts to get the record in April 2008, Hawaii law states that only family members can access such records.”

    I am new to your site and maybe you have already provided the explanation for why Politifact says that a copy of the COLB was requested in 2008, when the date stamped is 2007. I really didn’t become involved with the whole controversy until late in the game so maybe this issue has been explained. Please enlighten me if it has.

  110. avatar
    nbC May 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    charo: Politifact says that a copy of the COLB was requested in 2008, when the date stamped is 2007. I really didn’t become involved with the whole controversy until late in the game so maybe this issue has been explained. Please enlighten me if it has.

    More than one copy was requested?
    Okubo misremembered?
    The date was misreported?

    In the end it does not really matter as the COLB shows President Obama born on US soil and thus a natural born citizen.

  111. avatar
    nbC May 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    charo: “The “rush” is not only understandable, it is expected. ”I do understand rushing to get information out quickly, but unable to wait for the phone to be answered (often there is an opportunity to leave a voice mail) seems odd.“I remember reading one news account (which I have been unable to find again) that the 2007 COLB was one of several ordered by the Obama Campaign in anticipation of having to provide them for official purposes.”And for what official purposes would a campaign need them?I can’t think of any unless it is for some kind of verification, but what would the campaign have to verify?When was that statement given, about needing them for official purposes?Questions.

    Certification of age? Maybe he wanted to apply for a passport?

    A little imagination is all that is needed.

  112. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    misha: Charo: I read your latest comment. You really should be a fiction writer; mainly of mysteries.

    I definitely need an agent…

  113. avatar
    nbC May 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    You may also want to check your memory…

    We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that’s when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and “all the records we could get our hands on” according to spokesperson Shauna Daly. The campaign didn’t release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama’s citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number. Says Shauna: “[We] couldn’t get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out. Since then we’ve found out it’s pretty irrelevant for the outside world.” The document we looked at did have a certificate number; it is 151 1961 – 010641.

    Source

    So how do you explain that the COLB shows president Obama born on US soil and thus by any relevant standards a natural born citizen?

    Is that not far more relevant than your [reasons for suspecting otherwise]?

  114. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    “Certification of age? Maybe he wanted to apply for a passport?

    A little imagination is all that is needed.”

    I am going by what Doc said about official business. None of your responses make any sense. To whom would he have certified his age? A Secretary of State? There has been no information that President Obama submitted a COLB to verify his age to any official. Why would the campaign request a COLB for a passport for Obama?

    “More than one copy was requested?” that has nothing to do with the date. I love the word misremembered.

    “In the end it does not really matter …”

    It does matter because these things don’t make sense. The only sensible statement you made was that the date could have been misreported, but Politifact, don’t you think, would correct its own mistakes, given the mission of the site. So, you struck out again.

    The only thing that is making sense to me is that there is something inconsistent with the COLB released on the internet and the information contained in the vital records. That something to me is his father. I think you may remember my stance on that.

    I have never said that the birthplace is not Hawaii.

  115. avatar
    charo May 18, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    Goodbye for now.

  116. avatar
    NbC May 18, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    charo: The only thing that is making sense to me is that there is something inconsistent with the COLB released on the internet and the information contained in the vital records. That something to me is his father. I think you may remember my stance on that.

    That’s of course irrelevant to his natural born status.
    So you are just looking for some smear and you refuse to accept logic and reason and instead insist that we accept your ‘worst case’ scenario.
    Blinded by your ignorance you refuse to accept common sense and instead insist on violating “Occam’s razor”.

    Remember that Arizona requires the candidate to certify that he is a natural born citizen. It seems reasonable that the staffers may have expected that additional documentation may be needed.
    Furthermore, it seems that the action item was to collect any documents that may be relevant to Obama so the COLB may have been incidental to a larger effort to gather any and all relevant records.

    But it seems you have already made up your mind

  117. avatar
    NbC May 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    charo: Goodbye for now.

    I understand the rush to leave.

  118. avatar
    NbC May 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    charo:
    I definitely need an agent…

    And a fact checker and a copy editor and …

  119. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    charo: I have never said that the birthplace is not Hawaii.

    You never say much you just insinuate based on incomplete data. That’s far worse…

    Said really that you have made it your goal to smear our President based on nothing.

  120. avatar
    charo May 19, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    “Remember that Arizona requires the candidate to certify that he is a natural born citizen. It seems reasonable that the staffers may have expected that additional documentation may be needed.”

    Why, when no other candidate has ever presented a birth certificate?

    It seems you have already made up your mind as well. Doctor C. supports what he says. I appreciate that.

    I don’t believe I have ever insulted anyone on this site. I have provided evidence concerning the questions I have. You may disagree with my application of the evidence, but I don’t deserve your insults.

    And that is all I have to say tonight.

  121. avatar
    Expelliarmus May 19, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    charo: And for what official purposes would a campaign need them? I can’t think of any

    Duh!

    Try this… I will try to take it real slow.

    Obama wanted copies of his birth certificate on hand in case any officials in any capacity required proof of citizenship to get onto a primary ballot.

    It would have been a lot easier to order several copies of the birth certificate than to research the laws of every state to determine whether any required such document. in addition to the affidavits required in any state – especially given the fact that primary ballot access is often governed by party rules as well as state laws, and laws and rules are always subject to amendment.

  122. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    charo: Why, when no other candidate has ever presented a birth certificate?

    How do you know this?

    Man you’re pathetic… Have you no self respect?

  123. avatar
    charo May 19, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Except for this, since you seem to be hammering me and I didn’t catch everything until now:

    “So you are just looking for some smear and you refuse to accept logic and reason and instead insist that we accept your worst case’ scenario.”

    I have never insisted that anyone accept what I say. I am certainly in the wrong place if I am looking to smear the President.

  124. avatar
    charo May 19, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    ” Why, when no other candidate has ever presented a birth certificate?

    How do you know this?”

    Oh MAN! According to many people on this site!

    I need to go…

    Go ahead with the insults if it makes you feel complete…

  125. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    Expelliarmus: Obama wanted copies of his birth certificate on hand in case any officials in any capacity required proof of citizenship to get onto a primary ballot.

    That’s too complex for Charo, who would rather accept some myths about Obama’s COLB showing something about his father.

    Of course, nothing of this would really affect Obama’s natural born status, so all we have now is an attempt by Charo to ‘smear the president’ with some poorly argued claims.
    I find that truly sad…

  126. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    charo: Oh MAN! According to many people on this site!

    Are you misrepresenting what others have stated?

    You are now confusing: Presented birth certificate to the public versus presented a birth certificate to state officials or other entities.

    You’re truly logic impaired my friend, but still too tempted to respond after you said ‘goodbye’
    Fascinating how you have abandoned any appeal to logic and reason here.

  127. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    charo: ” Why, when no other candidate has ever presented a birth certificate?
    How do you know this?”Oh MAN!According to many people on this site!I need to go…Go ahead with the insults if it makes you feel complete…

    Is that why you continue to ignore logic and reason to ‘smear the President’?

    Fascinating.

    Troll…

  128. avatar
    richcares May 19, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    “Why would the campaign request a COLB for a passport for Obama?”
    .
    he had a passport so this is a phony question, when Obama threw his hat into the ring, he requested his COLB to submit with his application for his nomination. You can check Dem HQ on that.
    .
    the COLB issue is over and only birthers follow it. Birthers are on a path to NOWHERE!
    .
    if tou don’t like Obama find and support a candidate of your choice for 2012, the birther issue is a complete waste of time and won’t be part of now or 2012.

  129. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    charo: I have never insisted that anyone accept what I say. I am certainly in the wrong place if I am looking to smear the President.

    That just does not make sense at all…

    Void of logic and reason, we have no choice but to reject your foolish claims but I am interested why you refuse to accept logic and reason and instead, based on a premise that something must be wrong with the COLB, you insist that anything is interpreted in that light…

    Absence of evidence causes you to jump to conclusions. Why?

  130. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    richcares: “Why would the campaign request a COLB for a passport for Obama?”

    That was one of my suggestions as Charo seemed to be incapable of scenarios as to why Obama’s campaign would have requested any and all records to be collected.

    When issues about his citizenship arose, the COLB came in handy but that hardly means that the COLB was obtained to counter expected citizenship questions.

  131. avatar
    Greg May 19, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    charo: I do understand rushing to get information out quickly, but unable to wait for the phone to be answered (often there is an opportunity to leave a voice mail) seems odd.

    A lawyer’s first instinct is to redact. Redact first, ask questions later.

    Internal Hillary memos painted Penn’s preferred strategy as one of defining Obama as somehow foreign or un-American. Any competent political strategist on Obama’s side would see that as a very real potential strategy from any opponent. Getting a birth certificate could have been something they did in anticipation of eventually putting it out there to re-Americanize Obama.

  132. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    charo: Except for this, since you seem to be hammering me and I didn’t catch everything until now:

    I am holding you accountable for your statements. That’s all. When you pretend to be interested in people answering your questions, and you then reject them right-away without much of any argument, you show a disrespect for logic, reason and an honest discussion.

    []. Romans 1:22

  133. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    charo: “I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama’s citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor wrote in a June 12, 2008, e-mail.

    See it for yourself here. *(except that it is not there)

    I don’t what happened to the Politifact copy of the COLB or why they said it was obtained in 2008, but it was the same as all the rest of them with the 2007 date bleeding through. The only differences between the various COLB versions (Fight the Smears, Daily KOS, PolitiFact, FactCheck) is cropping and resizing. FactCheck.org says that their copy online is as it was received. Vietor sent the same email and attachment to FactCheck.org and their copy is still online here:

    http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/has_obamas_birth_certificate_been_disclosed.html

    You do so well and then you up and say something like: “The only thing that is making sense to me is that there is something inconsistent with the COLB released on the internet and the information contained in the vital records.”

    That is the thing that makes the least sense. Mundane things happen. Fantastic things rarely happen. The most sense is looking for a mundane answer, like Politifact got the date wrong and never fixed it.

  134. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Greg: A lawyer’s first instinct is to redact. Redact first, ask questions later.

    Nor did the redacting change the relevant facts as evidenced by the document. It’s a red herring.
    []

  135. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    charo: And for what official purposes would a campaign need them? I can’t think of any unless it is for some kind of verification, but what would the campaign have to verify?

    The obvious answer is age and natural born citizenship. We do not know one way or another whether a COLB was submitted to a state or if the Obama campaign thought they MIGHT need to prove eligibility in some state. There are certainly enough people around that think that states ought to ask for proof!

  136. avatar
    charo May 19, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    Doc,

    Politifact not correcting an error is a possibility but it is out character for the nature of the site.
    If a state has required a birth certificate for proof of eligibility, I have not heard of one. If some are and some aren’t (then maybe this federal law would resolve the issue) if there is inconsistency. I have never heard of one state requiring a birth certificate to prove eligibility. I thought that was the proposed Arizona law was of first impression.

    H.R.1503 – Presidential Eligibility Act

    To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include with the committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution.

    It is difficult not to respond to an attack, but to continue any further here would make me the unbalanced person of which I am accused.

  137. avatar
    charo May 19, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    My grammar was horrible, but I can’t redact… I am only human.

  138. avatar
    charo May 19, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    “22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”

    I guess if I were an idol worshiper and claimed to be wise, I would be deeply ashamed.

  139. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    charo: Politifact not correcting an error is a possibility but it is out character for the nature of the site.

    Thus you jump to the most unlikely conclusion rather than accepting a far more likely one.

    All because your belief that something MUST be fishy with the COLB.

    And thus enslaved by your premise you are forced to reject any interpretation or fact that would contradict it.

    I find that a foolish position.

    Have you informed the site that there may be an error? Have they responded to your inquiry?

    So many presumptions. And even if the document was provided in 2008, this does not mean that the document could not have been obtained a year earlier to prepare for Obama’s run for office?

  140. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    charo: I guess if I were an idol worshiper and claimed to be wise, I would be deeply ashamed.

    You are worshipping your ‘idol’ which is a foolish presumption…

    Perhaps you should be ashamed..

  141. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    charo: If a state has required a birth certificate for proof of eligibility, I have not heard of one.

    Note what I said: I stated that there are states which require the candidate to make a statement of eligibility, it would thus be reasonable that the campaign prepared itself to answer any question.
    Which is why any and all documents were collected.

    What’s your ‘hypothesis’?

  142. avatar
    NbC May 19, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I don’t what happened to the Politifact copy of the COLB or why they said it was obtained in 2008, but it was the same as all the rest of them with the 2007 date bleeding through.

    DId they say it was obtained in 2008?

  143. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    NbC: DId they say it was obtained in 2008?

    They said that Janice Okubo said that someone requested a copy in June 2008 (and presumably obtained it). I think it most likely that Okubo was wrong or misquoted because the COLB was printed in 2007 and it doesn’t make sense for Obama to order one in 2008 when he already had a copy.

  144. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    I haven’t followed the whole discussion, but it seems the issues boil down to 2:

    1. Is the COLB a faithful representation of the information in the Hawaiian data base?
    The answer cannot be other than yes. Sure, with modern technology a skilled forger could create a realistic-looking document saying almost anything. But what would the responsible officials do when such a document was called to their attention? Investigate the crime? Almost certainly. Ignore it. Possible, but unlikely. But issue public statements verifying it? Certainly not. That would make them accessories to a felony committed against their own state. At best, it would be a career-ender, at worst, it would subject them to prosecution. And to what gain? The Governor is a Republican and the lesser officials are either her appointees or career bureaucrats. Pride that a Hawaii-born person would be President? I’m sure they’re proud, but would anyone go to jail for that? Bribes? Well, I suppose that is always possible, but you would need to bribe everyone from the Governor down to the clerks in the department. And your opponents could always come around and offer bigger bribes to spill the beans. That’s simply not credible and there is no evidence to suggest it. So we have to conclude that the COLB fauthfully represents the records in Honolulu.

    2. Are the records in Honolulu accurate? charo has intimated “something funny about the father”. Presumably, she means that perhaps Barack Obama Sr is not the father. But the records will reflect as the father whomever the mother named, whether or not she is correct, in error or deliberately named the wrong person. So, won’t be able to resolve that question based on the records. I will point out that if Barack Obama Sr. is not the President’s father, then the odds strongly favor the father being a US citizen, since the large majority of males in Hawaii would be US citizens. So that possibility wouldn’t exactly help the birther cause.

    As far as ordering COLBs in 2007, it would seem prudent for any campaign to assemble a dossier of information on the candidate, so that any questions can be answered quickly. A birth certificate would be a very reasonable thing to include amongst those documents and given that it takes a few weeks to process a request for a certificate, having some at the ready seems sensible. Did other campaigns in 2008 or previously do that? I don’t know, but, naively, if I were running a campaign, it’s what I would do.

    Finally, about candidates being asked for birth certificates. The proposed Arizona law (not enacted) REQUIRED the Secretary of State to ask for a birth certificate. However, inder cirrent laws, no Secretary of State is forbidden from using their discretion to ask for documents from any candidate. Have they ever done so? We know that the California Secretary of State once denied a place on the ballot to Eldridge Cleaver based on his age and was upheld on court. They must have somehow attempted to verify his age before striking him from the ballot. So, I would say that there is reason for any candidate to think they might have to verify their bona fides.

  145. avatar
    yguy May 19, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I found it in under 20 seconds.

    With such awesome google fu, I’ll bet you have to fend the girls off with a baseball bat. 8)

  146. avatar
    yguy May 19, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Greg:
    Here’s an extended excerpt:It seems to me that Madison wasn’t objecting to the delegation of ALL the war powers, but of ANY of the war powers, individually. Each, as he noted, was explicitly granted to the Congress for a reason.

    First of all, I see no objections there, just explanation. Second, what he is justifying there is the general idea of dividing the martial power between the two branches; so for the life of me I can’t figure out how you infer from any of it a repugnance for the idea of Congress authorizing military action by other means than a “declaration of war”.

  147. avatar
    Greg May 19, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    yguy:
    First of all, I see no objections there, just explanation.

    Allowing the executive to wage war without Congressional approval would strike at “the fabric of our Constitution,” and “at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.”

    That’s not an objection to letting the executive declare war?

    Second, what he is justifying there is the general idea of dividing the martial power between the two branches; so for the life of me I can’t figure out how you infer from any of it a repugnance for the idea of Congress authorizing military action by other means than a “declaration of war”.

    Can we agree, at least, that Madison is saying that Congress must get us into war, whether it is by formal declaration of war or by a less formal means. That the Founders saw the only time the executive could engage in war without some Congressional authority was in “repel[ling] sudden attacks,” as Madison said during the Constitutional Debates?

  148. avatar
    SFJeff May 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Thinking about the Declaration of War versus Congress authorizing use of force via the War Powers Act(I think I have this right).

    In Vietnam for example, you have a President- actually Presidents- essentially going to war without Congress’s authorization- but Congress did eventually support the Presidents decision.

    But what if there was a reverse situation? What if Congress wanted to go to War but the President didn’t? It is my contention that if Congress declared War the President would be obligated under the Constitution to wage war.

    This to me is the crux of it- a Declaration of War is the decision by our legislative branch to commit the United States to a state of War with another nation. Without a declartion of war, the decision to go to war is the Executives decision to commit the United States to war, merely with the consent of the legislative branch.

  149. avatar
    Greg May 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    In 2002, Congress authorized Bush to pursue negotiations with Iraq, and if he thought the negotiations had failed, to use military force against Iraq.

    In 2003, three soldiers, various parents of soldiers and 12 members of Congress, sued for an injunction against the possibility of war, arguing that the AUMF required action within the confines of a UN security counsel approval and also that a conditional grant of power like this was violative of the separation of powers – that it delegated the power to declare war unconstitutionally to the President. The court found that the issues were not ripe for adjudication. 74 constitutional law scholars signed an amicus brief arguing the unconstitutionality of the grant.

    Clearly, then, it is not just people who “don’t know the first thing about the Constitution” who made this argument. In fact, it is likely that most people who know more than the first thing about the Constitution have learned a significant portion of that from one of the signatories to the brief, Erwin Chemerinsky. (I know, I know, you know better, yguy, and the mere fact that they disagree proves that they don’t know anything about the Constitution.)

    Compare that to the academic support for any of the birther’s constitutional claims. Does anyone else hear crickets? Not even the Eagle Forum, which wrote an amicus brief telling the Supreme Court that Hamdi was not a citizen because his parents were merely guest workers in the States when he was born have seen fit to throw their weight behind the birther theories. The constitutional theories of the birthers are advanced by a poker-player/lawyer, a dentist/lawyer, and a DUI lawyer. None claimed to be a Constitutional lawyer before 2008.

    In response to WTF, I put together a list of a few dozen articles supporting the notion that it is universally believed in the legal community that natural born citizenship includes the children of aliens. Every military lawyer asked agrees that there is no possibility of Lakin getting discovery, because the eligibility of the President is simply not relevant to his defense. (De facto officer doctrine anyone?)

    There was some real, bona fide debate about whether the AUMF was constitutional. There is universal agreement among those who know something about the Constitution (and knew it before 2008) that Obama, since he was born here, is a natural born citizen.

  150. avatar
    yguy May 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Greg:
    That’s not an objection to letting the executive declare war?

    No one here is arguing for that.

    Can we agree, at least, that Madison is saying that Congress must get us into war, whether it is by formal declaration of war or by a less formal means. That the Founders saw the only time the executive could engage in war without some Congressional authority was in “repel[ling] sudden attacks,” as Madison said during the Constitutional Debates?

    This appears to be the complete quote:

    Mr. MADISON and Mr. GERRY moved to insert “declare,” striking out “make” war; leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.

    They wanted to give the CiC more power than he would have had with the “make” option, so it’s not clear that they had in mind limiting the CiC to strictly defensive action – which would have excluded Reagan’s bombing of Tripoli, for instance, unless that somehow doesn’t fall within your operating definition of “making war”.

    So no, I can’t quite hang with your interpretation.

  151. avatar
    yguy May 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Greg: The court found that the issues were not ripe for adjudication. 74 constitutional law scholars signed an amicus brief arguing the unconstitutionality of the grant.
    Clearly, then, it is not just people who “don’t know the first thing about the Constitution” who made this argument.

    Non sequitur. The major holding in Wickard v Filburn was patently insane, and it was agreed to by 9 Justices who, if they knew the first thing about the Constitution, clearly found it expedient to forget it long enough to assent to such a travesty of justice.

  152. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    yguy: The major holding in Wickard v Filburn was patently insane, and it was agreed to by 9 Justices who, if they knew the first thing about the Constitution, clearly found it expedient to forget it long enough to assent to such a travesty of justice.

    So is the argument that since Wickard has not been overturned, this is proof that the Supreme Court continues in its ignorance of the Constitution?