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Notre Dame law professor dives into birther waters

Charles E. Rice, professor emeritus of the University of Notre Dame Law School has an article widely repeated on birther web sites about Barack Obama’s eligibility.

Partisan

I am suggesting that Professor Rice has not taken on his topic, Barack Obama: Is he or Isn’t he an American citizen?, out of academic curiosity, but as an anti-Obama partisan. Rice’s official biography includes: “He served for eight years as State Vice-Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party.” Rice is no friend of Barack Obama either, as evidenced by this article on Rice’s book, titled What Happened to Notre Dame? that includes this opening paragraph.

When the University of Notre Dame announced that President Barack Obama would speak at its 2009 Commencement and would receive an honorary doctor of laws degree, the reaction was more than anyone expected. Students, faculty, alumni, and friends of Notre Dame denounced the honoring of Obama, who is the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world. Beyond abortion, Obama has taken steps to withdraw from health-care professionals the right of conscientious objection.

Whatever, the reason, the partisanship of Professor Rice is evident from his opening paragraph, which I am sure didn’t come from his law school credentials:

The speculation about President Obama”s eligibility goes on and on, with no reliable access to the truth and with no end in sight. It is time for a new approach.

Here he’s saying that the State of Hawaii is unreliable and President Obama is unreliable.

Substance

OK, what about substance? The fellow is, after all, a law professor.

A lot of what Rice says is simply to catalog the current state of affairs in terms of claims made by doubters of Obama’s eligibility.  Rice himself is noncommittal:

I suggest no conclusion as to whether Obama is eligible or not.

But on the other hand, he says:

But the citizens whom the media and political pundits dismiss as “birthers” have raised legitimate questions.

Rice fails to say which of those issues are the legitimate questions, except to say [erroneously] that Obama releasing records would be a “first step” in resolving the questions. If Rice were posting such material on this web site, we would probably label him a “concern troll.”

Rice quotes Minor v Happersett (a birther favorite), but he does not assert a definition of “natural born citizen” based on it, and even though he suggests that Congress might look into whether the Constitution should be amended to clarify that definition, it appears that the doubts and questions he repeats are more about where Obama was born based on Rice’s conclusion:

The American people do not know whether the current president achieved election by misrepresenting, innocently or by fraud, his eligibility for that office.

Fraud could only follow from a misrepresentation of a place of birth.

Rice uses the larger part of his article to argue that a Congressional investigation is an appropriate venue for resolving the issue. He uses a rather ironic precedent with a citation from Woodrow Wilson. After accepting the rationale for the courts rejecting the “birther” lawsuits, Rice wrote:

The courts are not the only entities empowered to deal with such a question. A committee of the House of Representatives could be authorized to conduct an investigation into the eligibility issue. The classic formulation of the Congressional role is Woodrow Wilson”s, in his 1884 book Congressional Government:

Here’s the irony. Woodrow Wilson appointed Edward S. Corwin to the faculty of Princeton where he became the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and the author of many books including The President: Office and Powers 1787-1957 in which Corwin wrote:

Should, then, the American people ever choose for President a person born abroad of American parents, it is highly improbably that any other constitutional agency would venture to challenge their decision–a belief supported  by the fact that Mr. Hoover’s title to the presidency was not challenged although he had not been fourteen years a resident of the United States immediately preceding his assumption of office.

The Rice article is essentially a political smear from a leader of a conservative political party, who just happens to have academic credentials. He goes “full birther” when he kisses the fake travel ban to Pakistan and repeats the foreign student at Occidental College rumors:

To ascertain the facts, compelling by subpoena the production of all the available records relevant to Obama”s eligibility, including the complete Hawaiian records of his birth; his passport records to ascertain whether he traveled to Pakistan in 1981 on an American or other passport; the records from Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School to determine whether Obama described himself as a foreign student; and such other records as may be relevant. The disclosure of such information to the public would be an appropriate exercise of Congress” “informing function.”

In addition to the smear, a somewhat academic argument is made for a Congressional investigation. Congress has a history of investigating political smears. I have no argument against such an investigation; let the Republicans in Congress hang themselves with the stupidity of it.

I do not, however, see why the birthers are salivating over this article. Here is a legitimate professor of constitutional law who is full ready to throw President Obama under the bus, but who refuses to assert the two citizen parent theory for a natural born citizen. That’s gotta hurt.

 

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28 Responses to Notre Dame law professor dives into birther waters

  1. avatar
    john March 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    “He goes “full birther” when he kisses the travel ban to Pakistan and repeats the foreign student at Occidental College rumors:”

    He doesn’t state that there was Pakistan travel ban. Regardless if there was one or not, we still don’t know what passport Obama used when he went. Also as such, we still don’t know if Obama applied for foreign aid at Occidental College because the records remain sealed by Obama’s refusal to release them.

    [John: no, he doesn’t state that there was a Pakistan travel ban. In fact he just blows smoke and asserts nothing on his own. Does this guy write for WorldNetDaily? Doc.]

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Ouch!: It was first published at Renew America on 2-27.

    Thanks.

  3. avatar
    richCares March 4, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    “…applied for foreign aid at Occidental College because the records remain sealed by Obama’s refusal to release them.”
    the list of foriegn students is available also the aid recepients are listed. Why doesn’t a lazy birther go look, oh I know, Obama is not listed!

  4. avatar
    Wile E. March 5, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    Dr. C says…”I do not, however, see why the birthers are salivating over this article. Here is a legitimate professor of constitutional law who is full ready to throw President Obama under the bus, but who refuses to assert the two citizen parent theory for a natural born citizen. That’s gotta hurt.”

    That’s a mighty powerful point, made even more-so when you consider the fact that this is coming from a guy who believes that entire cities have been literally destroyed by an interventionist god for not acting right….and who considers Terri Schiavo’s death to have been an execution. This is not a man who is afraid to go out on a limb over something he really believes in.

    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/keane/100526

  5. avatar
    JD Reed March 5, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    Looks like the good law prof emeritus has no problems with a fishing expedition. If there was no travel ban to Pakistan in 1981 — and there wasn’t — there’s no reason to suspect that Mr. Obama traveled on anything but an American passport. The false travel ban was asserted in the first place to “prove” that Mr. Obama had to have had a passport other than American., It’s the height of chutspah to demand the passport anyway. Same with the foreign student notion. Prof. Rice is suggesting that the president’s records be subpoenaed on mere suspicion ginned up from rumors that have utterly no established facts to support them.
    Sometimes one’s fervent political beliefs can override everything else, resulting in seeing everything through the lens of confirmation bias.

  6. avatar
    John Reilly March 5, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    I concur with Prof. Rice that Notre Dame (our neighborhood school) should not have invited a pro-choice speaker. The abortion issue simply is not open to debate at Notre Dame. However, I suspect the good professor did not apply such standards to prior pro-choice speakers. Especially if they were white Republicans.

    One wonders where he stands on Mr. Gingrich, a relentless adulturer. (Last I checked, that’s still on the top ten list. At least our priest thinks so.) On do we forgive Mr. Gingrich like forgiving President Bush’s youthful indiscretion with cocaine. I’m a believer in the power of forgiveness, as most aptly taught by the Pope in forgiving his unsuccessful assassin. But Prof. Rice, I think, only forgives Republicans. Mr. Obama’s youthful indiscretions can never be forgiven. Especially the indiscretions which are simply made up.

    Prof. Rice has a double standard. Scholarship goes out the window when it comes to getting the scary Black guy out of the White House. He’s much like Southeners who applied literacy tests solely to keep African-Americans from voting. As with all Birthers, President Obama must answer to not only a higher and different standard, but a standard which keeps moving. And that’s racism, plain and simple.

  7. avatar
    aarrgghh March 5, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    John Reilly:
    Mr. Obama’s youthful indiscretions can never be forgiven. Especially the indiscretions which are simply made up.

    lines worth repeating.

  8. avatar
    US Citizen March 5, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    This just illustrates that ODS is not restricted solely to the feeble minded.
    Hatred will justify anything.
    Luckily those that participate in public discourse of such beliefs can be assured of tenable resistance and eventual discredit.

    They’re like fountains of idiocy.
    The more they spout, the wetter they become.
    Sooner or later, they’re all washed up.
    (See also: Orly Taitz)

  9. avatar
    Whatever4 March 5, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    richCares:
    “…applied for foreign aid at Occidental College because the records remain sealed by Obama’s refusal to release them.”
    the list of foriegn students is available also the aid recepients are listed. Why doesn’t a lazy birther go look, oh I know, Obama is not listed!

    Can we get a link or cite for that please?

  10. avatar
    Lupin March 5, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Rice is an outright lunatic and a great embarrassment to ND. More than ever in his case “Emeritus” means “senile”.

    My favorite quote from one of his speeches is a rant about the Enlightenment concluding with “The link is clear between the premises of the Enlightenment and of contraception and such evils as pornography, promiscuity, divorce, in vitro fertilization, cloning and others.”

    Most Republicans only want to turn the clock back to the 19th century. Rice wants to turn it back to the 17th century.

    Why would anyone pay attention to that dribbling gasbag is beyond me.

  11. avatar
    MichaelN March 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Here’s what it seems might have happened for Fukino to change her ambiguous & deliberately misleading statement from ‘I have seen the vital records’ to ‘have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record”
    Hawaiian Revised Statutes.

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

    (b) Proof of legal residency shall be submitted to the director of health in any manner that the director shall deem appropriate. The director of health may also adopt any rules pursuant to chapter 91 that he or she may deem necessary or proper to prevent fraudulent applications for birth certificates and to require any further information or proof of events necessary for completion of a birth certificate.

    (c) The fee for each application for registration shall be established by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 91. [L 1982, c 182, §1]

    Yes I know it was enacted in 1982.

    Consider that Obama was not issued a Hawaiian BC from day one, granny may have lodged her statement claiming home birth in Hawaii and it got filed, and subsequently a newspaper listing entry was generated.

    So it was ‘filed’, but not ‘approved’, waiting some form of verification that quite possibly was not forth-coming.

    Later down the track Obama finds a need to have some form of evidence of Hawaiian birth, so he gets issued the COLB still marked as ‘filed’ but still no ‘approved’, this suffices for the time being, hence Fukino’s ambiguous first statement ‘vital records’ and NOT ‘birth certificate’ at THAT TIME.

    With the presidential election looming, Obama goes to Hawaii and applies for a birth certificate to be issued under 338-17.8

    All he needs to ‘prove’ is that ‘that the legal parents’ ‘had declared the Territory or State of Hawaii as their legal residence for at least one year immediately preceding the birth or adoption of such child’.

    So granny signs an affidavit attesting to Obama’s parents’ residency requirements & granny had CONNECTIONS from way back.

    Granny as the astute banker, etc that she was, had a high degree of credibility & trustworthiness in Hawaii.

    HDoH accepts granny’s affidavit as ‘good enough for me’, so Obama gets his application in the system for issuance of a ‘real’ BC, hence Fukino came out with her follow-up statement where she could safely say ‘birth certificate on file’

    So the ‘birth certificate’ may have been issued on the sole affidavit of granny, and Obama may very well have been born ‘out of state’, and to a British subject to boot.

    It is also highly possible that Obama refuses to produce this BC for scrutiny, because it will have notations revealing the basis of it’s issue.

  12. avatar
    obsolete March 6, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    Another work of crappy fiction by MichaelN.

  13. avatar
    G March 6, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    Wile E.: That’s a mighty powerful point, made even more-so when you consider the fact that this is coming from a guy who believes that entire cities have been literally destroyed by an interventionist god for not acting right….and who considers Terri Schiavo’s death to have been an execution. This is not a man who is afraid to go out on a limb over something he really believes in.
    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/keane/100526

    Wow. That crazy rant by Rice has all sorts of crazy mixed in. Only four paragraphs in and he’s already invoked Godwin’s Law and started making hyperbolic Nazi comparisons… I should have stopped reading there. The guy’s bona fides here show he’s nothing but an easily discredited extremist RW religious nut seething with hatred for anyone who doesn’t share his worldview. Ooh… and he brags about how he’s a Tea Partier… Not surprised at all that he’s a birther concern troll at all.

    John Reilly: Prof. Rice has a double standard. Scholarship goes out the window when it comes to getting the scary Black guy out of the White House. He’s much like Southeners who applied literacy tests solely to keep African-Americans from voting. As with all Birthers, President Obama must answer to not only a higher and different standard, but a standard which keeps moving. And that’s racism, plain and simple.

    Exactly.

    US Citizen: This just illustrates that ODS is not restricted solely to the feeble minded.Hatred will justify anything.Luckily those that participate in public discourse of such beliefs can be assured of tenable resistance and eventual discredit. They’re like fountains of idiocy.The more they spout, the wetter they become.Sooner or later, they’re all washed up.(See also: Orly Taitz)

    Well said.

    Lupin: Rice is an outright lunatic and a great embarrassment to ND. More than ever in his case “Emeritus” means “senile”.My favorite quote from one of his speeches is a rant about the Enlightenment concluding with “The link is clear between the premises of the Enlightenment and of contraception and such evils as pornography, promiscuity, divorce, in vitro fertilization, cloning and others.”Most Republicans only want to turn the clock back to the 19th century. Rice wants to turn it back to the 17th century.Why would anyone pay attention to that dribbling gasbag is beyond me.

    Agreed.

  14. avatar
    G March 6, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    MichaelN: Here’s what it seems might have happened for Fukino to change her ambiguous & deliberately misleading statement from I have seen the vital records’ to ‘have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record”

    Wow, MichaelN… your post has completely nothing to do with the blog topic at all.

    More than that, it has nothing to do with reality.

    FAIL on all levels.

  15. avatar
    Greg March 6, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    Here’s an option, Michael.

    Obama sends $10 to Hawaii along with the form to get a “birth certificate.” He gets back the COLB.

    He posts the COLB online and wins the election.

    He refuses to produce any other form because:

    1. Birthers are Republicans and even if he convinced them of his Hawaiian birth, they wouldn’t vote for him.
    2. Any Tom, Dick or Harry that sent in $10 and a signed form to Hawaii would get back a COLB.
    3. The Governor of Hawaii, a Republican, vouched for his COLB. The Director of the DOH of Hawaii vouched for his COLB.
    4. Every media outlet, including virulent Obama-haters like Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck, have said that birthers are morons.
    5. Every candidate that has been associated with birthers has been dealt an ignominious defeat – see JD Hayworth.
    6. Birthers are likely the cause of the retention of at least two Democratic seats – Mike Castle and Harry Reid.

    Your theory requires a lying grandma, a lying public official, a cover-up spanning both political parties and that your legal interpretation of Hawaiian laws is correct (what’s the birther track record in court?).

    My theory requires only things that are demonstrably and utterly true.

    Occam’s razor says I’m right and you’re spinning tales.

  16. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 6, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    MichaelN: Granny as the astute banker, etc that she was, had a high degree of credibility & trustworthiness in Hawaii.

    That must have really hurt you – to say something good about President Obama’s Grandmother… Although you did do it in order to accuse her of fraud and she is on the president’s ‘white’ side so I guess it’s probably okay – but you want to be careful not to compromise your unthinking bigotry against everything having to do with President Obama…

  17. avatar
    Scientist March 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    John Reilly: I concur with Prof. Rice that Notre Dame (our neighborhood school) should not have invited a pro-choice speaker.

    So, does that mean the Biology Department at Notre Dame (or Georgetown) or any other Catholic university) can’t invite me to speak on cancer immunology because I am pro-choice? I think there is a distinction between what Catholic doctrine says about abortion or any other topic, in which area you can argue that Notre Dame should uphold Church teachings, and discussions of what US public policy should be. There are many things that the Catholic Church considers sinful that are not illegal. Should Notre Dame require that all law professors teach that not attending Mass should be a criminal offense?

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Scientist: Should Notre Dame require that all law professors teach that not attending Mass should be a criminal offense?

    This is what Rice said on his Notre Dame bio page:

    At Notre Dame Law School, a student who wants to do so can place the study of law in the context of Catholic moral and social tradition. And that student can take advantage of the spiritual resources readily available at Notre Dame.

  19. avatar
    sfjeff March 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    “So the birth certificate’ may have been issued on the sole affidavit of granny, and Obama may very well have been born out of state’, and to a British subject to boot.”

    What is so amusing is that Dwight Eisenhower’s Birth Certificate was accepted without question under the same circumstances. Even today, no one doubts Dwights BC, even though it was issued 50 years after the fact based upon the sole affidavit of his brother- who was 3 years old when he was born- and regardless of the fact that Ike was born only a few hundred miles from the border of Mexico- a much easier border to have reached than Kenya.

    So let me restate what Michael says: We should be suspicious of President Obama’s story because his birth certificate might- I say might- show it was issued just like Eisenhower’s birth certificate, even though no one was ever suspicious of Eisenhowers BC.

    And this is all based simply upon Michael’s embrace of Birther fictions without a single piece of evidence to support his theory.

  20. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    sfjeff:
    “So the birth certificate’ may have been issued on the sole affidavit of granny, and Obama may very well have been born out of state’, and to a British subject to boot.”

    What is so amusing is that Dwight Eisenhower’s Birth Certificate was accepted without question under the same circumstances. Even today, no one doubts Dwights BC, even though it was issued 50 years after the fact based upon the sole affidavit of his brother- who was 3 years old when he was born- and regardless of the fact that Ike was born only a few hundred miles from the border of Mexico- a much easier border to have reached than Kenya.

    So let me restate what Michael says: We should be suspicious of President Obama’s story because his birth certificate might- I say might- show it was issued just like Eisenhower’s birth certificate, even though no one was ever suspicious of Eisenhowers BC.

    And this is all based simply upon Michael’s embrace of Birther fictions without a single piece of evidence to support his theory.

    I would add that this also proves that Michael is bigoted against President Obama for some reason… What might that reason be, Michael? Did President Obama do you wrong somehow? Or is it just because he’s a ______?

  21. avatar
    John Reilly March 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    As has often been observed on this site, those who think that President Obama has not disclosed enough about his birth ought to set forth in detail how they had that position when only white people were running for President. Those who think the President should disclose his kindergarten records ought to post the articles they wrote demanding that President Bush disclose the facts concerning his drug use or military service.

    Folks now know that outright racism is no longer acceptable in polite society. (In the military, where about 25% of the active duty members are Black, one quickly learns that his or her life might depend upon the skill and courage of the man or woman next to him.) Thus, since they can’t simply say that a Black man can be President, they just make stuff up. New standards never before imposed on anyone.

    Making up scenarios under which President Obama was born at home, or in Kenya, is racist, plain and simple. Impugning the integrity of Dr. Fukino or Governor Lingle as part of that racism is just plain wrong.

  22. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny March 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    sfjeff: Even today, no one doubts Dwights BC, even though it was issued 50 years after the fact based upon the sole affidavit of his brother- who was 3 years old when he was born- and regardless of the fact that Ike was born only a few hundred miles from the border of Mexico- a much easier border to have reached than Kenya.

    No one doubts? Well, count me out.

    There is evidence that Eisenhower was not born in Denison, as this BC claims, but in Tyler. (OK, that is still Texas, not Mexico, but still…)

    First, until his mother mentioned Denison to journalists during WWII, Ike had always claimed it was Tyler.

    Second, we know the Eisenhowers firt lived in Tyler, then went to Denison for a short time (all the while,, Ike’s father was working for the rail road company) before returning to Abilene, Kansas.

    Well, a document has come up, proving Ike’s father bought a house in Tyler AFTER Ike’s birth.

    http://books.google.be/books?id=WK2eSY4KaY8C&pg=PA75&dq=eisenhower+place+of+birth+tyler&hl=nl&ei=Mf9zTav8EouLhQfKj5FL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&sqi=2&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Of course, it does not really matter, because Ike was a dual citizen at birth.

    And do not forget the residency requirement..

    When you usurp, make it clear to everyone you usurp.

    What do you mean, nobody ever questioned Ike’s eligiblity?

  23. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    John Reilly:
    As has often been observed on this site, those who think that President Obama has not disclosed enough about his birth ought to set forth in detail how they had that position when only white people were running for President.Those who think the President should disclose his kindergarten records ought to post the articles they wrote demanding that President Bush disclose the facts concerning his drug use or military service.

    Folks now know that outright racism is no longer acceptable in polite society.(In the military, where about 25% of the active duty members are Black, one quickly learns that his or her life might depend upon the skill and courage of the man or woman next to him.)Thus, since they can’t simply say that a Black man can be President, they just make stuff up.New standards never before imposed on anyone.

    Making up scenarios under which President Obama was born at home, or in Kenya, is racist, plain and simple.Impugning the integrity of Dr. Fukino or Governor Lingle as part of that racism is just plain wrong.

    I would argue that racism is only one (although the most predominate one) of the types of bigotry that drives Obama Derangement Syndrome – some people might hate him because he is a Democrat or because he is male or other reasons. I think it takes a sort of ‘critical mass’ of anti-Obama bigotry to trigger ODS – racism may be the most efficient fuel for that fire, but it is far from the only one…

  24. avatar
    sfjeff March 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    I don’t think it is all racism either- however I think that Obama’s opposition did a very good job of promoting lots of different buzz words to get people to think he was ‘other’ than American- Muslim, Arab, Communist, Socialist, Gay, Drug User, Kenyan, African- all semi-legitimate prejudices in our polite society- all very good excuses for those who are very adament that it is pure coincidence that the only President that they have ever demanded proof of eligiblity just happens would have been required to ride at the back of the bus in Selma in the 1950’s.

  25. avatar
    The Magic M March 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    > Those who think the President should disclose his kindergarten records ought to post the articles they wrote demanding that President Bush disclose the facts concerning his drug use or military service.

    The most inconsequential part is that, while some birthers may replay to the above with something like “I wasn’t aware of these constitutional issues until recently”, still none of them even asks which laws that GW Bush signed might be “null and void” should he not be able to prove his eligibility.
    It’s ironic that, in a way, the birthers support what they usually denounce, i.e. the de facto officer doctrine. They behave as though everything GWB’s potential ineligibility might have caused does not matter anymore because he’s no longer president.

    Of course, the true reason for the double standard is that GWB’s first names were not “Ghemal Wokolele” and the only pigmentation in his face was a slight reddish…

  26. avatar
    Rickey March 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    John Reilly:
    I concur with Prof. Rice that Notre Dame (our neighborhood school) should not have invited a pro-choice speaker.The abortion issue simply is not open to debate at Notre Dame.

    I’m curious about this. Should Notre Dame also not invite speakers who are pro-contraception? Is the Vatican’s ban on contraception open to debate at Notre Dame?

    Mr. Obama’s youthful indiscretions can never be forgiven.Especially the indiscretions which are simply made up.

    Well said. That should be a candidate for quote of the day.

  27. avatar
    Vince Treacy March 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    This is an online opinion piece by a professor. It is not a law review article or note. It was not vetted (spaded) by the student or professional editors of any law review or legal publication.

    It is very weak, for the reasons well spelled out here by Doc and the commenters.

    My first question was whether a con law prof at a real law school had finally endorsed the crank constitutional theories that a natural born citizen must have two citizen parents, or that dual citizenship at birth disqualified a person from natural born status. The prof seems unaware of these notions, or unwilling to discuss them. So those theories are still without any law school support. Another cup of bitter tea for Leo and Mario.

    The column somehow manages to discuss the issue of natural born citizenship without mentioning the Fourteenth Amendment or Wong Kim Ark. The discussion of the House’s investigative power over a President’s qualifications relies on views that Woodrow Wilson later modified, and somehow seems to miss the sole power of impeachment of a President that is granted to the House. Why justify the investigatory power as a power implied as part of legislative authority, when the power to impeach is an express power?

    The prof is a little vague on the long versus short form. Noting the “short-form” COLB posted by the Obama website proving birth in Hawaii in 1961, he writes that “At that time, Hawaii’s practice was to issue also a long-form Certificate….”

    Also?

    The long-form was the only form issued in 1961, but the COLB, for the past ten years, has been the only form now issued by Hawaii. The State did not “also” issue any other forms in 1961.

    The article is nothing more than political wishful thinking. The House Republicans know that they have the power to investigate the birther issue, and have known it since November 2010. They have just decided not to investigate.

    Because there are no “legitimate questions” that Obama was born in the United States, is a natural born citizen, and is the President of the United States of America.