(Anyone who calls his blog: “A Place to Ask Questions and Get the Right Answers,” assuming by “right” he means “correct” rather than “right wing,” has already pled guilty to the charge of arrogance.)
In Friday’s installment of “right answers” Mr. Apuzzo offers a new article titled: All That Is Wrong with Georgia State Judge Michael M. Malihi’s Decision that Putative President Obama Is a “Natural Born Citizen.”
Apuzzo starts off with the big lie (highlighted in blue):
Ignorance of the record is no excuse. I was in the court room in Atlanta on January 26 and I saw plenty of evidence Obama was born in the United States. The case presented on behalf of Mr. Welden included Exhibit 1: Birth Certificate, Barack Obama, II. In his presentation, attorney Van Irion referred to the Certificate and relied on its contents to show that Barack Obama, Sr. Was born in Kenya. See Hearing Transcript beginning on Page 5:
Q Showing the witness what has been marked for identification as Plaintiff’s 1. Are you familiar with that document?
A Yes. (The document referred to was marked for identification as Plaintiff’s Exhibit Number 1.)
Q What is it?
A It’s the birth certificate that I downloaded from the WhiteHouse.gov website. It’s a birth certificate professed to be of Barack Hussein Obama
Q And do you see an item on line 8 — I’m sorry, excuse me — on item 11. Can you read that?
A Yes, item 11 says the birthplace is Kenya, East Africa.
Q And that’s referring to —
A That is the birthplace of the father.
MR. IRION: Move to have exhibit marked for identification Plaintiff’s Exhibit 1 into the record.
JUDGE MALIHI: Plaintiff’s 1 is in the record. (The document, heretofore marked as Plaintiff’s Exhibit Number 1, was received in evidence.)
So what part of “received in evidence” does Mr. Apuzzo not understand? The certificate was entered into evidence and relied upon by the Plaintiff’s argument. It shows Barack Obama born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
It gets worse, however. Orly Taitz was the great font of evidence against her own case. In addition to several copies of the already-submitted Hawaiian long-form birth certificate, she offered something new, and this came in Exhibit 7, a Freedom of Information Act response from the U. S. Department of State. It’s on page 123 of her Exhibits.
Look at what it says: "birth in Honolulu, Hawaii, Aug. 4, 1961." (You know, I swear I can see "kerning" in that type. Look at “si” in “considered”.)
Of course, Mr. Apuzzo was in such a hurry to carry out damage control and get an article up the same day as the Judge’s ruling that I suppose he didn’t actually have time to read these rather lengthy Exhibits, even though he made claims about it.
Those in the courtroom were treated to a video presentation by Orly Taitz showing the Indonesian school registration form for “Barry Soetoro.” It also states that the President was born in Hawaii. It is possible that this document didn’t get entered into the record, but it was mentioned in testimony and shown to the Court.
Mr. Hatfield (so that we can see that evidence of Obama’s birth in Hawaii was presented in all three cases) submitted Exhibit 6, and elicited testimony from Kenneth Allen that Exhibit 6 was a true copy of a FOIA response from the Immigration Service. This is from that Exhibit:
Look at what it says: “They have one child born Honolulu on 8/8/1961.”
So why would Mr. Apuzzo publish something that is so blatant a lie?
It rests on what the definition of “is” is.
In the Clinton case, the President said “there is no sexual relation” (if memory serves me right) allowing the reasonable listener to understand something different from the truth, although technically perhaps not a lie. Here Clinton means means “is now” rather than “ever has been.” In the case of Mr. Apuzzo, the careful reader who reads his entire paper (and birthers are not known for reading things carefully) might see that when Apuzzo says that there is no “evidence” before the court, what he means that there is no “probative evidence”. He might make an argument based on the judge’s comments on Orly Taitz’s presentation:
The Court finds the testimony of the witnesses, as well as the exhibits tendered, to be of little, if any, probative value.
However, that remark applies solely to Orly Taitz’s case, not the witnesses of Welden, Powell and Swensson, where a reasonable foundation was laid for the President’s long-form birth certificate. Testimony stated that the certificate came from an official government web site.
I do not know if the judge saw the State Department determination that Obama was born in Hawaii from the Allen FOIA, and it certainly had no probative value in Orly’s contentions that the President’s birth certificate is a forgery, he committed social-security fraud and goes by a false name, but Mr. Allen testified that Exhibit 7 was a true copy of his FOIA response from the Department of State. I think a sufficient foundation was laid that this document was an official US Government document. So despite Apuzzo’s weasel words, he fails to mitigate his lie. There was probative evidence submitted that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, and the Judge recognized at least one piece of it. I also note that the Defense also sent a copy of the Certificate to the Court.
The Ankeny case
Now that we have established Mr. Apuzzo’s disregard for truth and accuracy, why should we even pay attention when he says:
upon close analysis, we can see that Ankeny is far from persuasive on the definition of a “natural born Citizen.” …But an analysis of that decision shows that it was incorrectly decided as to its definition of an Article II “natural born Citizen.”
A three-judge panel in the Indiana Court of Appeals who wrote it found it persuasive. The Hearing Officer and Legal Advisor, and the Illinois Board of Elections found it persuasive just this past Thursday. Judge Malihi in Atlanta found it persuasive on Friday. A federal judge (in the Tisdale case) made an argument similar to Ankeny two weeks ago deciding a ballot challenge in Virginia. What foundation has Apuzzo laid supporting himself as an expert witness? Birthers always say the courts are wrong when they rule against them. What’s significant when another one says the same thing?
In support of his contention, however, Apuzzo uses his second big lie:
[The Indiana Court’s decision in Ankeny] as to what a “natural born” Citizen is has no historical or legal support.
I refer the reader to the decision of the court itself and in particular to pages 14-17 for a refutation of the lack of historical or legal support. And in any case, Apuzzo’s objection is silly because any court in the land may safely rely on the United States Supreme Court, and the Indiana Court of Appeals did reply on the US Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Wong. I suppose Apuzzo thinks the Supreme Court is wrong too.
How does Apuzzo justify this obviously false statement? One need look very carefully at his unique definition of “historical or legal support.” For example, any normal reader would consider a Supreme Court decision “legal support.” However, Apuzzo limits “historical or legal support” to the following:
- Discussion of Framer’s original intent
- Discussion of the purpose for inserting the clause
- Independent historical research
- Sources from the Founding Period
There are many problems with that definition of “historical or legal support.” The most obvious is that the cases cited are legal support, without question. Also by citing US v Wong and using it for “guidance”, anything in Wong is reasonably part of the support of the decision. Apuzzo is complaining that the Court in Ankeny didn’t re-argue a case already decided by the Supreme Court.
Apuzzo’s limited definition is of little practical use, since there is no record from the Constitution Convention of any explanation of the reason for inserting the clause. Scholars generally refer to contemporary rumors that the convention was going to invite some foreign royal to be King of the United States, or that there were concerns about a foreigner coming to the United States, naturalizing, and buying his way into office. The John Jay letter is instructive, but of little value since it doesn’t define a “foreigner, ” but surely Jay didn’t consider George Washington a “foreigner” even though Washington’s father died a British subject. Further there is no need for “independent research” by a state court when the research has already been done by the Supreme Court in the case relied upon. Apuzzo uses a sham definition, and even then his conclusion is still false.
Why take the trouble to write this?
One crank lawyer, more or less, doesn’t matter very much. What matters, though, is that sections of Apuzzo’s article are being cut and pasted all over the Internet. People in droves are mindlessly saying that the Indiana Court decision had no historical or legal support, when it actually did. Birthers are mindlessly repeating that no evidence was in the record showing Barack Obama born in the United States based on Apuzzo’s lie. That I find most annoying.