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Tightening things up

Dr. Conspiracy

Before the article, this disclaimer. There is far and above enough evidence for any rational person to be assured that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. The “crisis” that the birthers talk about is not a grass roots uprising caused by President Obama’s refusal to release a different version of the birth certificate he released back in 2008. The “crisis” is an engineered one, started and fanned by right-wing media types and pro-Israel operatives, finding resonance with racists, disaffected Hillary Clinton Supporters, right-wing partisans and folks who generally don’t believe anything the government says. If it weren’t the birth certificate, it would be something else.

That said, it has come to light that the process by which we determine eligibility of our candidates for president is not as stringent as it might be. The chance that a major party candidate for president would be certified by a state party is very small, and the chance one would be nominated smaller still, and certification by the national party vanishingly small. However, it is always possible that a minor party candidate might slip through the cracks and, while not electable, might take votes away from a major party candidate and sway the election. (I suspect a lot of folks in South Carolina will be voting Green this year, and I don’t mean Alvin.)

State laws today typically require political parties to certify the eligibility of their candidates. With such a precedent, I find it hard to believe that States do not have the power to command further documentary evidence, say a birth certificate. It couldn’t hurt.

48 Responses to Tightening things up

  1. avatar
    Greg October 7, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    With such a precedent, I find it hard to believe that States do not have the power to command further documentary evidence, say a birth certificate.

    In the Commonwealth where I practice, any registered voter may object to the filing of nomination papers by a candidate. At that time, it goes before the state ballot commission. Past challenges have included that the candidate was ineligible for the office. Here are the office’s powers:

    The commission shall have jurisdiction over and render a decision on any matter referred to it, pertaining to the statutory and constitutional qualifications of any nominee for state, national or county office…

    The commission may summon witnesses, administer oaths, and require the production of books, records and papers at a hearing before it upon any matter within its jurisdiction.

    You have to file your objection within 3 days of the end of the filing period, and you have to pay a $25 filing fee. So, the birthers would have to have acted quickly.

  2. avatar
    charo October 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    The date of that document states

    Last modified: March 17, 2010

    What is the date of the law? I thought maybe the above date was when it was put online.

  3. avatar
    Greg October 7, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    It’s the date that the statute set was recompiled. It’s recompiled every year. The law was the same in 2008.

  4. avatar
    Daniel October 8, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    The problem is that the certifying authority does not rest with the States, but rather with Congress.

    Further difficulties arise when you understand that the State ballot really has nothing to do with the Presidential Candidate. Despite the names on the ballot in most states, individual voters are voting for the election of the electoral college, not for their choice for President.

    In essence, until the electoral colleges are chosen, the State has little or no authority as regards to Presidential candidates.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 8, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Daniel: Further difficulties arise when you understand that the State ballot really has nothing to do with the Presidential Candidate. Despite the names on the ballot in most states, individual voters are voting for the election of the electoral college, not for their choice for President

    While technically true, in practice states control access to the ballot, and without that a candidate will get no electoral votes from the state.

  6. avatar
    Black Lion October 8, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    More fun from WND…

    David Kupelian’s Inexact Birther Argument
    Topic: WorldNetDaily

    David Kupelian tries to clear things up in his Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column:

    For the record, this is exactly what I – and Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi and Aaron Klein and pretty much every other journalist at WND – believe. After exhaustive research, we don’t know where he was born, and neither do you.

    Well, not exactly. Let us refresh Kupelian’s memory about what Klein wrote in his book “The Manchurian President”:

    Aside from the “natural born” debate, there is the question of whether Barack Obama has ever provided documentation that proves he was born in the United States. Understandably, given the unusual and complex story of his origin, there is ample speculation that he may have been born in Kenya. However, as of this writing, the authors find no convincing evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other than Hawaii, his declared state of birth.

    That’s exactly what Aaron Klein has stated in a WND-published book, which WND just can’t quite be bothered to tell its readers about on its own website.

    http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/

  7. avatar
    Black Lion October 8, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    WJC Has New Birther Conspiracy to Peddle
    Topic: Western Journalism Center

    It’s not enough for the Western Journalism Center to have a new falsehood-laden Obama attack book to sell — it also has a creative new birther conspiracy to peddle.

    The unnamed writer of an Oct. 4 WJC blog post — presumably Steven Baldwin, author of the aforementioned falsehood-laden book — states that “I started my investigation and analysis by deeming nearly every assertion as open to question, including the claimed identity of Mr. Obama’s parents. A certificate that a child was born to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama in Honolulu on 4 August 1961 might be true; but, assuming it’s true, it does not necessarily follow that Mr. Obama is that child.” He goes on to claim that the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign is “intentionally ambiguous” and that “it is impossible to tell from the certification whether the purported parents named therein are Mr. Obama’s birth parents or his adoptive parents.”

    Yes, the WJC is about to push the idea that Obama was adopted. Here is the evidence:

    However, on 22 July 2009, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, issued a statement by which she goes about as close to the brink as she can, without violating her legal obligation to keep the adoption confidential, to tell us that Mr. Obama was adopted. Her statement is quoted in the book “The Manchurian President” on page 76. (It’s amusing that the authors of that highly informative book fail to pick up on Dr. Fukino’s effort to disclose Mr. Obama’s adoption without violating legal restraints; they say on page 77 that her statement “told us nothing new.”)

    Dr. Fukino’s statement refers to Mr. Obama’s “vital records” in the plural. He was not dead, so she must be referring to two birth certificates, the original that named birth parents and an amended certificate naming adoptive parents.

    Moreover, data in the certification of live birth must have been taken from the amended certificate, for Dr. Fukino also says that the records verify that Mr. Obama is a “natural born American citizen.” If the original birth certificate showed Obama the Luo to be a birth parent, it would have proved the opposite.

    Dr. Fukino is very clever. She has tipped us to an adoption without explicitly disclosing an adoption, which would be unlawful. She has also let us know that Mr. Obama’s birth parents were U.S. citizens, which makes baby Obama a natural born U.S. citizen at birth. This leaves open the possibility that he lost American citizenship thereafter.

    You read that right: the WJC has declared Obama to be adopted because Fukino said “vital records” instaead of “vital record” — even though “vital records” is the standard colloquial use and it’s unnatural to use the singluar. Indeed, the department’s website has an entire page on “vital records” discussing all the documents her department handles.

    But the WJC isn’t done conspiracy-mongering. It builds on the above to speculate why Obama won’t “confirm” he is a “natural born U.S. citizen”:

    He might maintain that it would be to avoid family scandal and damage to the reputations of others, or to prevent the disclosure of his own illegitimate origins. In all probability, however, that there are two main reasons –

    First, neither of Obama’s birth parents is of recent African origin. Mr. Obama’s whole political career has been based on being the son of a black Luo tribesman, with kith & kin in today’s Africa. Mr. Obama’s gross misrepresentation that he is black is arguably election fraud. An American black told Laura Ingraham the other day that a black will forgive one many a fault if he’s black. Wonder what they would think if he is, for example, the son of a Caucasian father and a predominantly Polynesian mother, with perhaps Portagee overtones, who just pretends to be black to get votes and denigrate opponents as racists.

    Secondly, the Kenyan birth myth and other false notions about his birth and its constitutional consequences distract attention from his real citizenship problems, his probable loss of U.S. citizenship by forfeiture, disclaimer, renunciation, sedition, or some combination of the foregoing. He is trying to replicate the experience of Chester Alan Arthur, who was helped in distracting attention from the fact that his father William was not yet a U.S. citizen when Chester was born, by successfully rebutting false charges that Chester himself was born outside the U.S. By my hypothesis, Mr. Obama can prove eligibility at birth, but became ineligible by loss of citizenship thereafter.

    This message only scratches the surface, but shows clearly what is likely needed to confirm Mr. Obama’s status as natural born citizen at the time of his birth: Hawai’i’s vital records of him and his DNA along with, perhaps, DNA analyses of others.

    As we’ve previously noted, the release of the full birth certificate would never be enough for Obama-haters like Joseph Farah and the WJC. Now they want a sample of his DNA — something never demanded of any other presidential candidate.

    http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/

  8. avatar
    Daniel October 8, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    While technically true, in practice states control access to the ballot, and without that a candidate will get no electoral votes from the state.

    The problem would come in if a state refused to place a candidate from either of the two main parties on the ballot, and then Congress might be faced with how to deal with it.

    I’m not sure myself, but many have specualted that Copngress might not accept the votes from that electoral college.

    Personally I doubt we’ll see it happen in our lifetimes. State election officials aren’t idiots, even if the elected officials in a state might be.

  9. avatar
    BatGuano October 8, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Black Lion: A certificate that a child was born to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama in Honolulu on 4 August 1961 might be true; but, assuming it’s true, it does not necessarily follow that Mr. Obama is that child.”

    isn’t this the part where gregory peck and david warner go to the cemetery and find the coffin filled with the bones of a jackal ?

  10. avatar
    Black Lion October 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    BatGuano: isn’t this the part where gregory peck and david warner go to the cemetery and find the coffin filled with the bones of a jackal ?

    I believe so….maybe they think that Obama has 666 tatooed on his body…They are still implying that he is the antichirst as proposed in the Book of Revelations…

  11. avatar
    sfjeff October 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    “his probable loss of U.S. citizenship by forfeiture, disclaimer, renunciation, sedition, or some combination of the foregoing.”

    I have to admit- this is my favorite part of their fictional story- they not only don’t know why he lost his citizenship(but its ‘probable’) they don’t even know the only ways someone can lose their U.S. citizenship.

  12. avatar
    NBC October 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    sfjeff: “his probable loss of U.S. citizenship by forfeiture, disclaimer, renunciation, sedition, or some combination of the foregoing.”

    I have to admit- this is my favorite part of their fictional story- they not only don’t know why he lost his citizenship(but its probable’) they don’t even know the only ways someone can lose their U.S. citizenship.

    Exactly… Ignore for the moment that under US precedent it’s almost impossible for a child of Barack Obama’s age to lose, forfeit, or renounce his citizenship.

    This shows how shallow the logic and reasoning is behind the argument that intend to remove a duly elected president using unconstitutional means.

  13. avatar
    Loren October 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    The 2008 Presidential election did, in fact, give us a poster child for greater scrutiny of candidate eligibility. But it’s not Obama; it’s Roger Calero.

    Calero was born in Nicaragua, to Nicaraguan parents. He’s not even a U.S. citizen *now*; he’s just a resident alien. And yet he still ran for President under the Socialist Workers Party.

    Now on the plus side, most states didn’t allow Calero on the ballot, and the party substituted another candidate. But five states DID permit Calero to appear on their ballots: Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. A sixth, Connecticut, recognized him as a write-in candidate.

    Calero doesn’t deny his birth or his lack of citizenship, so unless he fibbed on the applications, I can think of six states that may need to take a closer look at who they let appear on ballots.

    Unfortunately, with the Birthers harping on Obama, rather than the very legitimate problem demonstrated by Calero, it’s hard to argue that there some limited reforms may be needed.

  14. avatar
    Black Lion October 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I guess we have some new news from Bigfoot Ed Hale…

    http://gretawire.forums.foxnews.com/topic/ed-hale-finds-obama-kenya-birth-certificate

    holy canoli
    Member
    He will announce the specifics when he regains his radio station, but Ed has sent out an email to supporters announcing he has Finally gained physical possesion of Obama’s Kenyan Birth Certificate.

  15. avatar
    bob October 8, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Let’s say candidate eligibility was a pressing concern.

    If one wanted to propose genuine election reform (and not nuetral-sounding-but-obviously-aimed-at-Obama legislation), a modest proposal would be for every candidate for a federal office to supply the FEC with documentation demonstrating their eligibility. That’s 537 federal elected offices. Two major parties, some more minor ones; a half a dozen or so candidates per party; multiplied for every office for every election.

    So: Every two years, the FEC gets to collect and maintain 10,000+ birth certificates.

    Your tax dollars at work!

  16. avatar
    NBC October 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Another Ed Hale failure…

    Just a prediction based on historical evidence

    Black Lion: I guess we have some new news from Bigfoot Ed Hale…http://gretawire.forums.foxnews.com/topic/ed-hale-finds-obama-kenya-birth-certificateholy canoli
    Member
    He will announce the specifics when he regains his radio station, but Ed has sent out an email to supporters announcing he has Finally gained physical possesion of Obama’s Kenyan Birth Certificate.

  17. avatar
    aarrgghh October 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Black Lion: I guess we have some new news from Bigfoot Ed Hale…
    … He will announce the specifics when he regains his radio station, but Ed has sent out an email to supporters announcing he has Finally gained physical possesion of Obama’s Kenyan Birth Certificate.

    oh goodie, here we go again … [drumroll]

    allow me to quote some less-than-enthusiastic freepers commenting on the upcoming “birther: obama’s secret”:

    “And you’re keeping it secret until next January. Right.”

    “If a person had that information, they’d have an ethical imperative to release it ASAP.”

    “At which time they’ll put it on E-Bay.”

  18. avatar
    Bovril October 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    aarrgghh,

    That’s not the Ed Hale one, yours is is a link to an anti birfer who was trying to punk himself some birfoons.

    My post on Fogbow….

    ——————————————————-

    Looks like folks are a little too quick off the mark here

    If you go to his site and blog you will quickly see he is certainly no Birfer, quite the opposite, much mocking of RWNJ’s on site. For example, “World according to the Texas Board of Education”

    1620 – The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. They fled England because of persecution from secularists.

    1700s – A group of Africans came to America by themselves and offered to work for some of the settlers for free.

    1773 – The Boston Tea Party was headlined by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

    1775 – 1783 – During the Revolutionary War the American colonists fought for their freedom from King George III who was trying to establish a death tax.

    1787- The United States Constitution was written by Pat Robertson. The first amendment established America as theocracy where church and state are one in the same.

    1788 – The Constitution was ratified by all thirteen colonies, except for Massachusetts, because they were not part of the “real American.”

    1800s – Through manifest destiny God told American’s to move westward and take over all the land they could find. The Indian’s told the settlers they could have their land as long as the Indian’s could have a few reservations with casinos on them.

    1800s – Labor unions began to take hold and oppress the unfortunate factory owners.

    1836 – Some of the Mexican drug cartels attacked brave Americans at the Battle of the Alamo.

    1861 – 1865 – The Northern States attacked the Southern States for no good reason in the War of Northern Aggression.

    1865 – The Ku Klux Klan was formed to welcome black people to the neighborhood with festive barbeques.

    1920 – God decided that women were mature enough to vote.

    1939 – 1945 – We fought the French in WWII.

    1950 – 1953 – We won the Korean War.

    1959 – 1975 – We won the Vietnam War.

    1958 – 1968 – Under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., black people created civil unrest and started to oppress white people.

    2001 – On September 11 Iraq & Saddam Hussein attacked us in New York and Washington, DC.

    2003 – We freed the people of Iraq and were greeted as liberators.

    2008 – A Kenyan born communist man became President of the United States.

    2010 – He passed a healthcare bill to kill babies and old people.

    This is a punk’d scenarion and all his African footage was probaly shot in Cameroon where he spent almost 3 weeks on vacation.
    [url]
    http://www.carlchristman.com/africa/%5B/url%5D

  19. avatar
    Tarrant October 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    I think one of my favorite birther tactics is the “I have evidence, it’s concrete and proves everything we believe, but I’m not going to show it until (some future date).”

    The Atlah Ministry guy said he had reams of evidence that the FBI had been targeting him and that Obama had been a CIA operative…but that he’d only reveal it at his show trial, months ahead of the day he said he had collected the evidence. He spent the time in between complaining that Obama “goons” were intimidating him trying to get him to destroy the evidence he had.

    Last week I noticed on freep someone mentioned that he had about half a dozen affidavits from judges talking about corruption in the various court cases and how they were pushed to rule on the various Motions to Dismiss. Of course, he wasn’t showing them, he was waiting for “more of them to come in” (how many more do you need than 6?).

    The “Hawaiian Elections Clerk” said he had evidence about and would testify that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but would only show it if called to testify about it.

    And of course this movie, claiming they went to Kenya, got Obama’s original Kenyan birth certificate, and uncovered evidence that his Hawaiian birth was fraud by the hospital…but the movie won’t be out until 2011 so HA.

    In each case the birthers said things like “I hope you have a gun!” and “Bless you, keep safe or Obama’s goons will get you! I can’t wait for the (day in the future when the evidence was promised to be released).”

    Few to none ask the completely logical question “If you really had concrete evidence, why hide it? Why risk those ‘goons’ coming to get you when you could stop it right now?” (although, in a rare moment of sanity, quite a few are asking with regard to that movie).

    One doesn’t generally announce “I have all the answers! Finally, I have the smoking gun that will let us succeed in our goal and get Obama out of office tomorrow!…or it would if I showed it but unfortunately I’m going to wait 4 months.”

  20. avatar
    Majority Will October 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Tarrant: I think one of my favorite birther tactics is the “I have evidence, it’s concrete and proves everything we believe, but I’m not going to show it until (some future date).”The Atlah Ministry guy said he had reams of evidence that the FBI had been targeting him and that Obama had been a CIA operative…but that he’d only reveal it at his show trial, months ahead of the day he said he had collected the evidence.He spent the time in between complaining that Obama “goons” were intimidating him trying to get him to destroy the evidence he had.Last week I noticed on freep someone mentioned that he had about half a dozen affidavits from judges talking about corruption in the various court cases and how they were pushed to rule on the various Motions to Dismiss.Of course, he wasn’t showing them, he was waiting for “more of them to come in” (how many more do you need than 6?).The “Hawaiian Elections Clerk” said he had evidence about and would testify that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but would only show it if called to testify about it.And of course this movie, claiming they went to Kenya, got Obama’s original Kenyan birth certificate, and uncovered evidence that his Hawaiian birth was fraud by the hospital…but the movie won’t be out until 2011 so HA.In each case the birthers said things like “I hope you have a gun!” and “Bless you, keep safe or Obama’s goons will get you!I can’t wait for the (day in the future when the evidence was promised to be released).”Few to none ask the completely logical question “If you really had concrete evidence, why hide it?Why risk those ‘goons’ coming to get you when you could stop it right now?” (although, in a rare moment of sanity, quite a few are asking with regard to that movie).One doesn’t generally announce “I have all the answers!Finally, I have the smoking gun that will let us succeed in our goal and get Obama out of office tomorrow!…or it would if I showed it but unfortunately I’m going to wait 4 months.”

    For some of them it’s probably a “ring up the PayPal” tactic. So many birthers are immoral cowards.

  21. avatar
    aarrgghh October 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Tarrant: I think one of my favorite birther tactics is the “I have evidence, it’s concrete and proves everything we believe, but I’m not going to show it until (some future date).” …

    lucas smith proves that you can still keep the same scam going, upping the jackpot even long after you’ve shown all your cards …

    “Many individuals, both my supporters and harsh critics alike, have repeatedly requested that I provide authentication of the CPGH document. I would like to be able to comply to these requests to the best of my ability. Well, I have developed what I believe is a practical and effective plan for authentication of the document. So this is a great opportunity for these folks to show their true commitment to this challenge …”

  22. avatar
    aarrgghh October 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Bovril: aarrgghh,That’s not the Ed Hale one, yours is is a link to an anti birfer who was trying to punk himself some birfoons. …

    yes, i know that. i’m making a comparison between some freeper and birfer responses to these overplayed scams …

  23. avatar
    sfjeff October 9, 2010 at 3:33 am #

    Back to Doc’s original topic…..

    While I don’t know the legality of it, I think a state could set up a reasonably unbiased system to establish eligibility- and if there were really a legal question, they could make it voluntary- and then publish who presented clear evidence of eligibiity and who doesn’t.

  24. avatar
    Sef October 9, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    sfjeff: Back to Doc’s original topic…..While I don’t know the legality of it, I think a state could set up a reasonably unbiased system to establish eligibility- and if there were really a legal question, they could make it voluntary- and then publish who presented clear evidence of eligibiity and who doesn’t.

    A voluntary requirement is not a requirement.

  25. avatar
    J Maine October 9, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy,

    Here is something I can’t understand. Perhaps anyone else could venture a response, as well.

    How could you be against what the “crazy” Arizona legislature is doing regarding citizenship, especially given the points about

    1) Calero
    2) No one checks for eligibility (proven by Calero being on AND that the National Register admits this)

    ???

    If Obama is legit and has nothing to hide, why would anyone be against such a measure? Being against it is a tacit admission, since there is no reason for it, being against it is being against the Constiution, flat out.

    I don’t know what Obama’s birth status is but I do know that by his actions he’s the least transparent person with the least transparent administration I’ve ever seen. That’s a fact. Shall we list the ways? It’s quite unfathomable.

  26. avatar
    J Maine October 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    NBC citizenship, that is

  27. avatar
    Arthur October 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    J Maine: I don’t know what Obama’s birth status is but I do know that by his actions he’s the least transparent person with the least transparent administration I’ve ever seen.

    If you don’t know what Obama’s birth status, and if you don’t believe his administration is transparent, perhaps you should take off the blinders known as birtherism.

  28. avatar
    obsolete October 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    J Maine, I am not Doc C, but a couple points.
    I don’t think anyone here minds a fair system that doesn’t open it self up to abuse (see birther Sharon Meroni and her abusive tactics in Illinois).
    Something that required a sworn statement and a certified birth certificate seems reasonable to me. Would that satisfy the birthers though? To demand more and different types of birth certificates would be unconstitutional in violating the full faith & credit clause. In other words, Obama’s Hawaiian COLB would pass (the real paper, not the online jpeg, of course).

    I think you are mistaken about your claims that “he’s the least transparent person with the least transparent administration I’ve ever seen.”. First of all, he promised a transparent administration, not person info. Just because he doesn’t submit to 20 DNA swabs a day from deranged birthers doesn’t mean he his admin is not much more open than the last one. No president has released more personal info then him (although some have had more info leaked to the press) or a birth certificate (point us to one online for any other President?). I think you may be drinking the foxaid.
    Although he certainly has some room for improvement in this area, I’m sure we can agree that when, on his first day in office, he signed that Presidential Executive Order to remove heavy restrictions placed on all Presidential records by the Bush Admin, that was a good start, no?

  29. avatar
    Majority Will October 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    J Maine can’t admit he’s scared to death of all dark skinned people.

  30. avatar
    Northland10 October 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    I can certainly find agreement in tightening a process to avoid the ability to “slip through the cracks.” However, it appears that creators of the constitution had faith that the electoral system for the president would be sufficient to prevent an unqualified or ineligible candidate from entering into the office.

    From The Federalist, No. 68:

    Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias.

  31. avatar
    obsolete October 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    In other words, yes, the system does tend to work and weed out those who should not be candidates. So far, no one has come close who was ineligible, except for McCain.
    (/joke) 😉

  32. avatar
    Sef October 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    obsolete: In other words, yes, the system does tend to work and weed out those who should not be candidates. So far, no one has come close who was ineligible, except for McCain.
    (/joke)

    And if McCain had won the election & had been confirmed by Congress he would be President. No court in the land would have anything to say about it. The same is true of Calero. This little fact is totally independent of anything the Constitution says. If Congress says someone is President only Congress can say otherwise.

  33. avatar
    Billy October 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Sef: “The same is true of Calero. This little fact is totally independent of anything the Constitution says. If Congress says someone is President only Congress can say otherwise.”

    That has to be one of the most idiotic comments I ever read.

    Sef, What do you consider to be “unconstitutional”?

    It’s obvious that Sef has no understanding of the supremacy clause, nor the Court’s holding in Marbury, but I am interested to see if any of the members of the legal profession who frequent this site share the same view.

  34. avatar
    Sef October 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Sef:
    And if McCain had won the election & had been confirmed by Congress he would be President.No court in the land would have anything to say about it. The same is true of Calero. This little fact is totally independent of anything the Constitution says.If Congress says someone is President only Congress can say otherwise.

    I am certainly not implying that this is a good state of affairs, only that this is the way our system currently operates. The Constitution has an explicit mechanism for confirming & removing a President so that means that these decisions are totally left to Congress.

  35. avatar
    Sef October 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Sef:
    I am certainly not implying that this is a good state of affairs, only that this is the way our system currently operates.The Constitution has an explicit mechanism for confirming & removing a President so that means that these decisions are totally left to Congress.

    PS: If Marbury v Madison were relevant we would not have had so many birther lawsuit failures.

  36. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    J Maine: If Obama is legit and has nothing to hide, why would anyone be against such a measure? Being against it is a tacit admission, since there is no reason for it, being against it is being against the Constitution, flat out.

    I’m a little confused by your remark since you addressed your question to me. The subject of my article is precisely my support for some reasonable mechanism for insuring that candidates on state ballots are eligible. I would be opposed to something based on birther misrepresentations of vital statistics law and practice.

    Let me re-emphasize what I said in the article. The Obama controversy is not about birth certificates, it is about smearing Barack Obama. A birth certificate would solve nothing for birther activists.

  37. avatar
    gorefan October 9, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    J Maine: Shall we list the ways?

    Please do. I imagine most of what is on the list is either rumors, half-truths and outright lies. I still cannot understand why anyone needs to see the President’s college transcripts, as if what he got in English 101 has any bearing on eligiblity.

    And his kindergarten records. Really. You need to see his kindergarten records?

  38. avatar
    obsolete October 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    gorefan: And his kindergarten records. Really. You need to see his kindergarten records?

    Yes, imagine J Maine looking over a pile of Obama’s kindergarten records with red pen and frowny stickers in hand…

  39. avatar
    sfjeff October 10, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    Oh I imagine Maine will publish one of the Birther lists of all the things, real and imagined, that President Obama hasn’t handed over to anybody who stomps their feet and demands them. Birthers also like to claim that any records protected by privacy laws were ‘sealed’ by President Obama

    My favorite is when they claim he hasn’t released his adoption records.

    And of course they never respond when asked to show any previous President that has provided their twisted laundry list.

  40. avatar
    AnotherBird October 10, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    J Maine: If Obama is legit and has nothing to hide, why would anyone be against such a measure? Being against it is a tacit admission, since there is no reason for it, being against it is being against the Constiution, flat out.

    Nothing to hide? I think this situation is reverse. This Constitution argument is a place that those have a weak argument hides. The right of issuing birth certificates and maintaining them are the states responsibility. The State of Hawaii has confirmed they have his birth certificate. Nothing will change this fact.

  41. avatar
    dunstvangeet October 10, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    Billy: It’s obvious that Sef has no understanding of the supremacy clause, nor the Court’s holding in Marbury, but I am interested to see if any of the members of the legal profession who frequent this site share the same view.

    Read the background of Henry Clay. He served his first term in the Senate (between December 29, 1806, and March 4, 1807.) all before he was 30 years of age, and therefore was ineligible to hold the office which he served. In fact, when he took office, he was 29 years, 8 months and 17 days old. He was sworn into that seat. Guess what. The sky didn’t fall. The walls of our Republic didn’t come crashing down. And I doubt that they would if John McCain was sworn into office.

    And while you’re reading the constitution, you might want to read the portion about removing a sitting President. It’s a process that requires 218 Representatives, and 67 Senators. I suggest that you start lobbying now.

  42. avatar
    Tarrant October 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I do have some, slight, issue with the possibility of passing a law that requires candidates to demonstrate eligibility, and that is the possibility of using it for political gain (I keep thinking of Cuccinelli in Virginia claiming before his election that he might use the power of his office to go after Obama’s records for…no reason at all, and his continued subpoena-ing of climate change documentation to harass state universities). The little thing in the back of my mind says “What if a candidate ever showed what was really a valid birth certificate but an opportunistic governor decided to claim that it was forged to cause damage to said candidate?” Even if it was later found to be untrue, it could often be well after an election before the ‘facts’ come out, or simply too late for the damage to be undone.

    The as has been pointed out, eligibility is not really the issue. I see it as similar to some of the “Voter ID” kinds of laws some (mostly on the right) are pushing for – the goal there often isn’t to prevent “ineligible voters” from voting – there are remarkably few of those – but rather to give an avenue to disqualify voters, either through lack of an ID (which, in many such laws, the states charge for or make otherwise difficult to acquire, which I think should be illegal), or by giving the opportunity to “challenge” the ID they do show (ooo, a typo! – DON’T LET THAT GUY VOTE!), forcing them to fill out a provisional ballot (which is easy to later disqualify and often isn’t counted unless there’s a ‘need’ to), and in the process slowing down the whole voting process if challenges are frequent.

    In these “eligibility law” cases the objective isn’t to strengthen existing law by verifying candidates but trying to find any desperate last-ditch (and ultimately futile) method of getting Obama, or some other future “undesirable” off the ballot. Hence why many birthers, while initially applauding the proposed Arizona law, were disheartened and even protested when they saw that it didn’t require the famous LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE and no other form of documentation (Full Faith and Credit and prima facie evidence notwithstanding) and that it didn’t “require” their “Vattel two-parent natural born citizenship” as part of the law. They wanted the law written in such a way as to disqualify Obama, not to truly apply across the board to any candidate.

    There’s a reason to date candidates for practically any office have simply had to certify they were eligible and it was up to voters to decide whether they wanted that candidate in office, with no “board” or “officer” deciding whether they were eligible – because one could see a day where the “board” decides not to certify someone as eligible simply because they don’t want them running (look at Iraq’s “De-Baathification Board” which has spread to removing candidates that they simply don’t like or that the government doesn’t want running, that have no connection to Saddam Hussein). There’s also reasons why felons can be restricted from voting but in many cases are not forbidden for running for office – because otherwise “Opportunity convictions” could disqualify candidates.

    While birthers often argue “But what if Osama bin Laden’s son was born on a flyover stop in the US and had natural born citizenship and OH MY GOD NOW HE’S PRESIDENT” but it ignores the intervening step that said candidate would have to actually be elected into office by the public, and the odds of such a thing are lower than those of being struck by lightning repeatedly.

    If enough members of the voting public don’t believe someone is eligible I actually believe they won’t elect them. There was some controversy over Obama during the campaign, he produced documentation, the end (for most people). Had he refused to do anything, it’s possible the public would have said “Hey, wait a minute.”

    I’d say keep it that way.

  43. avatar
    misha October 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Tarrant: If enough members of the voting public don’t believe someone is eligible I actually believe they won’t elect them. There was some controversy over Obama during the campaign, he produced documentation, the end (for most people). Had he refused to do anything, it’s possible the public would have said “Hey, wait a minute.”
    I’d say keep it that way.

    That’s exactly my feeling.

  44. avatar
    Rickey October 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    J Maine: How could you be against what the “crazy” Arizona legislature is doing regarding citizenship…If Obama is legit and has nothing to hide, why would anyone be against such a measure?

    Because it was poorly drafted, failed to identify what evidence would be required, and failed to include any criteria for confirming eligibility.

    I don’t know what Obama’s birth status is but I do know that by his actions he’s the least transparent person with the least transparent administration I’ve ever seen. That’s a fact. Shall we list the ways? It’s quite unfathomable.

    Not necessary to make a list. We already know that no one has seen his kindergarten records.

  45. avatar
    Rickey October 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Sef:
    And if McCain had won the election & had been confirmed by Congress he would be President.No court in the land would have anything to say about it.

    And I feel confident in saying that if McCain had won the election, none of us here would have filed a lawsuit challenging his eligibility. We would have accepted him as our President, and if we didn’t like it we would have worked to oust him in 2012.

  46. avatar
    Northland10 October 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Rickey: And I feel confident in saying that if McCain had won the election, none of us here would have filed a lawsuit challenging his eligibility.

    Whenever there were those I did not want elected were elected, I always thought we should just move on, support where possible and disagree when they did something we disagreed with. I found I was disappointed by those, from “my side” who would go after the elected person soon after they entered office, even before they had a chance to do anything disagreeable. With the latest election, however, it appears even more extreme as there were those blaming the President for everything almost the day after his election.

  47. avatar
    Arthur October 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Rickey:
    And I feel confident in saying that if McCain had won the election, none of us here would have filed a lawsuit challenging his eligibility. We would have accepted him as our President, and if we didn’t like it we would have worked to oust him in 2012.

    Speaking of Senator McCain, there’s a fascinating profile of him in “Vanity Fair.” Among other things, the author hazards a guess about how things would be if McCain (and Sarah Palin) had been elected.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/11/mccain-201011

  48. avatar
    Rickey October 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Arthur:
    Speaking of Senator McCain, there’s a fascinating profile of him in “Vanity Fair.”

    Thanks for the link.