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Mark Hatfield’s error

Photo of Mark HatfieldMark Hatfield, the attorney for plaintiffs Powell and Swensson in the Georgia Ballot Challenge, wrote the Georgia Secretary of State asserting that Judge Malihi made an error. Hatfield argues that no evidence was presented in his case upon which one might conclude that Barack Obama was born in the United States or that his mother was a US citizen, important factors in determining his eligibility as President of the United States. While both Taitz and Irion submitted copies of the President’s birth certificate in their cases, Hatfield did not, and Hatfield says that what the other attorneys submitted cannot be used to decide his case. Hatfield wrote:

Simply put, a review of the record in my clients’ above-captioned reveals no evidence of Defendant’s place of birth and no evidence of Defendant’s mother’s citizenship at the time of Defendant’s birth.

Putting aside the Alice in Wonderland suggestion that Judge Malihi might rule Obama eligible to be on the ballot in one case and ineligible in another, let’s look at the substance of his claim about the evidence.

Exhibit 6

So let’s go back to the hearing transcript in Hatfield’s case. Exhibit 6 was introduced into evidence on page 17 of the transcript. Mr. Kenneth Allen testified that Exhibit 6 was “the disk I received from the Citizenship and Immigration Services with 181 pages of documents and an introductory letter from – you know, from the department.” It is described as a true copy of the FOIA response Mr. Allen received in response to a 2011 request.

Looking at Exhibit 6, on document page 34, we find the phrase “USC [United States citizen] spouse to go to Wash State University next semester” dated 8/31/1961 (the month of Barack Obama’s birth). And following that: “They have one child born Honolulu on 8/4/1961. Barack Obama II child …” So it appears that Mr. Hatfield did submit some evidence both that Obama’s mother was a US Citizen at the time of his birth and that her son was born in Honolulu.

image

On page 39 we have additional testimony of the mother’s citizenship status in a Memo for File:

Mrs. McCabe, University of Hawaii, Foreign Student Advisor, called on 4/10/61 and reported that BARACK H. OBAMA, a student at the University since 1959 was married on February 2, 1961 to Stanley Ann Dunham, a United States citizen from Seattle, Washington …

image

We have, thereby, documentation that Stanley Ann Obama was a US citizen both shortly before and after the birth of the President. Mr. Hatfield is mistaken as to what he submitted.

So here we have a document that says Obama was born in Honolulu and that he was still living there just 27 days after his birth. Maybe this isn’t the best evidence, but certainly evidence that would lead any reasonable person to assume that he was born in Hawaii. Mr. Hatfield, having not even suggested that there was any emergency international travel to have Barack Obama delivered in Kenya, cannot expect the Judge to imagine on his own the fantastic birther “flight to Africa” scenarios and fraudulent birth registration schemes.

Just as Jablonski failed to show up to argue against the cases presented against the President, Hatfield failed to argue against the evidence that he himself presented that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to a US Citizen mother and is at least 35 years of age.

OOPS!

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32 Responses to Mark Hatfield’s error

  1. avatar
    ASK Esq February 11, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    The actual point is, it doesn’t matter what Hatfield submitted. Malihi separated the cases for argument, but he made one ruling. Is Hatfield suggesting that Malihi should have found that Obama was born in the US for Irion, and then said he wasn’t for Hatfield?

  2. avatar
    Northland10 February 11, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Am I missing something? Before the “Child living with mother” part, it says:

    They have one child born Honolulu on 8/4/1961 – Barack Obama, II,…

    That sounds like he submitted evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii, unless he argues that Obama was born in another Honolulu.

    [The article has been updated to point this out. Doc.]

  3. avatar
    donna February 11, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    you might be interested in the dsouza interview of the brit author firstbrook

    firstbrook spent weeks at a time over the course of a year with obama’s family members and friends in kenya and detailed how preposterous it would have been for obama to have been born in that part of kenya where there was ONLY a military airport

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/297941-1

  4. avatar
    Zachary Bravos February 11, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Assuming that Mr. Hatfield is correct, then he has not introduced any evidence that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. The court has ruled correctly that his father’s birth does reflect upon his status as a natural born citizen. There being no other basis for disqualification in the record, the finding of natural born citizen will be upheld.

    Mr. Hatfield is trying to take advantage of Obama’s absence and he would be correct if the burden was still upon Mr. Obama to prove his status as a natural born citizen. I understand Mr. Hatfield’s position. He asserts that the burden is upon Obama to prove his qualifications. Mr. Hatfield’s client has objected, therefore Mr. Obama has to come to court to prove that he is qualified.

    The problem is that his client has provided no basis upon which the court could find that there is any issue regarding Mr. Obama’s qualifications. The bare assertion that he is not qualified will not suffice and the only issue he raises is the irrelevant birthplace of his father.

    The better view is that by being placed on the ballot by his party and their representation that he is qualified, Mr. Obama has already initially established his qualification and it would be up to the challenger to provide some arguable basis for disqualification. Mr. Hatfield has failed to do that.

    If he were correct then every candidate in every state would be required to show up before a tribunal and present his qualifying papers in person. If perchance he missed a court hearing – say because he was occupied with killing an enemy of the United States- then he would be off the ballot in that state.

    It would be helpful for the ALJ to rule on the burden of proof issue but at this point there is more than enough in the record to sustain his findings. Mr. Hatfield will lose.

  5. avatar
    bob February 11, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Zachary Bravos:
    The problem is that his client has provided no basis upon which the court could find that there is any issue regarding Mr. Obama’s qualifications. The bare assertion that he is not qualified will not suffice and the only issue he raises is the irrelevant birthplace of his father.

    I agree. There was no evidence of President Obama’s residency presented at the hearing. But no one challenged Obama on this basis, so Malihi did not address this issue in his recommendation.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    No. In my haste to scan 181 pages of hard-to-read material, I overlooked it (as did Mark Hatfield, apparently). I have updated my article to take this information into account. I thank you greatly for your observation.

    Northland10: Am I missing something? Before the “Child living with mother” part, it says:

  7. avatar
    Majority Will February 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Northland10: That sounds like he submitted evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii, unless he argues that Obama was born in another Honolulu.

    Not that it helps his case, but apparently there is a Honolulu, North Carolina that is south of Greenville.

    They probably have excellent barbecue there.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    NORTH Carolina BBQ? Surely you jest.

    Majority Will: They probably have excellent barbecue there.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    So you are saying that a ballot challenge in Georgia is like a quo warranto suit — the burden of proof is on the one being challenged, but a minimal threshold must be met by the challenger before the challenge can go forward?

    I agree that having squandered his default ruling, Hatfield is still trying to take advantage of Jablonski’s no show.

    Zachary Bravos: The problem is that his client has provided no basis upon which the court could find that there is any issue regarding Mr. Obama’s qualifications. The bare assertion that he is not qualified will not suffice and the only issue he raises is the irrelevant birthplace of his father.

  10. avatar
    John Potter February 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    The desperate attempts to split up the cases is legal schizophrenia! There were challenging 1 candidate who has 1 life story. He has presented that he is qualified, it is up to the challengers to questions that version of events, not present multiple alternatives. One ruling ruled them all, and found them all to be bunk.

    I’ve come across assertions that Orly should have objected to evidence presented by the first two attorneys. IANAL, but why/how would she object to testimony or evidence being presented that is either A) from her own side or B) part of a case she isn’t party to? If the birthers had been objecting to each other, imagine the free-for-all.

    The ultimate result was the natural outcome of the birthers “throw it all at the wall” strategy. No suprise some bits of poo contradicted other bits of poo.

    Instead of presenting a narrative theory that counters Obama’s birth story, and building a case to support that theory, they present a collection of allegations, and ask dubious questions. This will create doubt among the biased and fuel conspiracy theories, but won’t prove anything.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Sorry, I had a flashback to the Lord of the Rings there.

    John Potter: One ruling ruled them all

  12. avatar
    Majority Will February 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    NORTH Carolina BBQ? Surely you jest.

    Surely not! (It is subjective of course.)

    Excellent example:

    Bill Spoon’s Barbecue
    5524 South Blvd. (Tyvola Rd.)
    Charlotte, NC 28217

    From zagat.com:

    “North Carolina is home of pulled pork covered in a snappy, vinegar-based sauce, and Bill Spoon’s Barbecue dishes out some of the best in the country. Founded in 1963, this family run joint not only serves up their famous pork, but in true North Carolina style they make hushpuppies and Brunswick stew, you know, for the side.”

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Mustard, man, mustard!

    Majority Will: vinegar-based sauce

  14. avatar
    John Potter February 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Sorry, I had a flashback to the Lord of the Rings there.

    😉

    Yes, the birther version, in which Hatfield, Van Irion, and Taitz are elven kings, and Malihi is spokesmen for The Dark Tower, The Dark Tower* nestled in the Beltway Mountains to the east from which Obama, the Dark One, corrupts the land and hatches fouls plots for the enslavement of the Free Peoples of the West. Upon the seat of power in SCOTUS sit nine wraiths in black robes, once great kings (and queens) of men, now mindless thralls of the Dark Lord, tasked with crushing the hopes of those who dare to birth ( 😛 ) a dream in these dark times.

    * Having seen the Dark Tower, I report it to be neither dark now tower-ish, but rather squatty and white.

  15. avatar
    Majority Will February 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Mustard, man, mustard!

    No argument there. I don’t think I’ve ever refused barbecue sauce of any kind – Memphis, Piedmont, Texas, etc.

  16. avatar
    JackOL February 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    How about pages 85-86?

    “The applicant’s United States citizen wife resides at 2234 University Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaiii, with her 6-year old United States citizen son by a prior marriage.”

    Incidental mentioning of son on pages 101 & 117. All these pages cited are duplicated elsewhere in the release.

  17. avatar
    G February 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Agreed.

    Zachary Bravos: The problem is that his client has provided no basis upon which the court could find that there is any issue regarding Mr. Obama’s qualifications. The bare assertion that he is not qualified will not suffice and the only issue he raises is the irrelevant birthplace of his father.
    The better view is that by being placed on the ballot by his party and their representation that he is qualified, Mr. Obama has already initially established his qualification and it would be up to the challenger to provide some arguable basis for disqualification. Mr. Hatfield has failed to do that.
    If he were correct then every candidate in every state would be required to show up before a tribunal and present his qualifying papers in person. If perchance he missed a court hearing – say because he was occupied with killing an enemy of the United States- then he would be off the ballot in that state.
    It would be helpful for the ALJ to rule on the burden of proof issue but at this point there is more than enough in the record to sustain his findings. Mr. Hatfield will lose.

  18. avatar
    G February 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Well said!

    John Potter: The desperate attempts to split up the cases is legal schizophrenia! There were challenging 1 candidate who has 1 life story. He has presented that he is qualified, it is up to the challengers to questions that version of events, not present multiple alternatives. One ruling ruled them all, and found them all to be bunk.

    🙂

    Dr. Conspiracy: Sorry, I had a flashback to the Lord of the Rings there.

  19. avatar
    G February 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    When I BBQ for myself, I tend to prefer mustard-based bastings as well…

    Dr. Conspiracy: Mustard, man, mustard!

  20. avatar
    Majority Will February 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    G:
    When I BBQ for myself, I tend to prefer mustard-based bastings as well…

    I like to stick to two basic truisms. Never refuse a breath mint or good barbecue.

  21. avatar
    G February 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Sage advice! 😉

    Majority Will: I like to stick to two basic truisms. Never refuse a breath mint or good barbecue.

  22. avatar
    Keith February 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    You guys are making me salivate.

  23. avatar
    Tarrant February 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    This is similar to Orly Taitz’s complaining that maybe the judge should have accepted the birth certificate image for Van Irion’s case, but then ruled it a forgery for hers.

    The President was either born here, or not born here (note to birthers: he was born here). The certificate either is, or isn’t real (note to birthers: it is real). It would be ridiculous for him to make contradictory rulings.

    It seems to me that Hatfield would be perfectly happy with the judge ruling that Orly didn’t prove that two parents are necessary for NBC, but that he did, somehow coming to completely different conclusions on the law on the same issue.

    Even without a birth certificate, the judge can generally take judicial notice of commonly accepted facts – for example, look up President Obama in Encyclopedia Brittanica and it’s going to say he was born in the United States. If Hatfield said “He was born on Mars, and he isn’t here to object so you have to accept it as true!”, well, the court doesn’t work that way.

    Of course, Hatfield is just upset he lost to…nobody. Before the hearing he wasn’t talking about how the President would have to prove his birthplace. Both he and Van Irion’s case were quite clearly based on Minor – they said that more than once. It’s only now they’ve lost on that issue that the “Oh, but wait, how can you really say he WAS born in the US, even if Minor isn’t the relevant case law?” IMO, Orly can make that argument – she, while wrong, DID clumsily challenge the BC itself, but gave no realistic or believably scenario where it wouldn’t be true – if everything he’s ever said about his life is a lie, Orly, then what IS the truth? For anyone to believe you you can’t just say “I can’t say because he’s hidden EVERYTHING that he EVER DID in his ENTIRE LIFE and FABRICATED A NEW STORY.” The judge just didn’t believe her.

  24. avatar
    Rickey February 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Tarrant:
    IMO, Orly can make that argument – she, while wrong, DID clumsily challenge the BC itself

    I agree. The general rule is that you cannot raise new issues on appeal. Hatfield never made the argument to Malihi that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., so I don’t see how he can make that argument in his appeal. Unfortunately for him, he has to leave it Orly.

  25. avatar
    Rickey February 11, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    I should add that in another thread GeorgetownJD has pointed out that Hatfield cannot appeal Kemp’s decision. Apparently he has to file a new lawsuit in Superior Court and I suppose that he can then raise any issues which he believes to be relevant.

  26. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    I like stories like this because it’s an example of what has been happening for the past 3 years. The more you dig, the more evidence you find that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. When we started there wasn’t any readily available evidence beyond the President’s birth certificate (sufficient as it was and still is). But then we found the newspaper announcements. Then we got address confirmation. Then we got Barbara Nelson’s conversation with Dr. West who commented on Obama’s musical name. Obama’s passport appeared with his birthplace, Honolulu, Hawaii. Then of course, we got the long form with the hospital and physician name. In the Allen FOIA from the State Department we had a memo to the file that Obama was born in Hawaii. In Allen’s FOIA from Immigration we got even more references, one from the very month of Obama’s birth saying he was born in Honolulu.

    It all makes a very neat package and it gets better and better.

  27. avatar
    Whatever4 February 12, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I like stories like this because it’s an example of what has been happening for the past 3 years. The more you dig, the more evidence you find that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. When we started there wasn’t any readily available evidence beyond the President’s birth certificate (sufficient as it was and still is). But then we found the newspaper announcements. Then we got address confirmation. Then we got Barbara Nelson’s conversation with Dr. West who commented on Obama’s musical name. Obama’s passport appeared with his birthplace, Honolulu, Hawaii. Then of course, we got the long form with the hospital and physician name. In the Allen FOIA from the State Department we had a memo to the file that Obama was born in Hawaii. In Allen’s FOIA from Immigration we got even more references, one from the very month of Obama’s birth saying he was born in Honolulu.

    It all makes a very neat package and it gets better and better.

    There’s also the Birth Index from Hawaii, where Barack Obama II appears in the correct one, doesn’t appear in the incorrect one, and none of them contain Maya’s name (meaning she doesn’t have a HI BC).

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/Obamas_birth_is_easily_verified_but_few_choose_to_do_so.html?id=120561054

    We also have Stig’s mother. Stig Waidelich, who was born within hours of Obama, appeared on CNN getting his COLB. Rporters started calling Stig’s mother (Monica Danielsson). http://www.thelocal.se/33472/20110429/ And http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/26/cnn-birther-investigation-no-doubt-president-obama-was-born-in-hawaii/

    Stig’s mother is Scandinavian and had never seen a black baby before.

    I’ve gathered quite a few links and images on “Who knew Obama?” It was driving me nuts that birthers kept claiming that no one knew Obama, that no classmates or teachers or friends have come forward, that there’s no pictures. Well, except for a few hundred. http://www.thefogbow.com/special-reports/people-remember-president-obama/friends/

  28. avatar
    chancery February 12, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    NORTH Carolina BBQ? Surely you jest.

    Stop calling me “Sh….

  29. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter February 12, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    I think William Shakespeare had something relevant to say about this:

    Default Lies Not In Our Stars. . .

    http://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/default-lies-not-in-our-stars/

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  30. avatar
    G February 12, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Although we all agree that the optics of the story and how it played out sure come across that way…

    …It bears clarification that what the judge actually offered to the the Three Birther Stooges was *not* a default “judgment”, but just a default “order”, as this was only an administrative hearing and never an actual trial.

    It is certainly hard to figure out what exactly a “default order” could entail in this particular situation and what could be written up in a recommendation. It also remains unclear if this would somehow shift the burden of proof to the defense (Jablonski). Further, as his recommendation only goes to the SoS to take into account, along with whatever else the SoS has at disposal in order to make official rulings, it is even more unclear if even that scenario could play out in a way that legally justified removing Obama from the ballot.

    We’ll simply never know, because the Three Birther Stooges did throw away their best option to at least have some *slight* hopes of having him removed via a technicality of non-compliance. Then again, the Three Birther Stooges were right in recognizing that such a technicality would be fairly easy to overturn on Appeal…

    The bottom line is that this crazy GA circus only provided the Birthers with the very slim chance of a temporary “political propaganda victory” at best. As they never had any “merit” to any of their claims from the get-go, the long term results of Obama’s eligibility to be on that ballot were never really in much real doubt, even in this bizarre and quirky situation.

    But yeah, now that the Birthers have to try to sue the SoS to appeal this… a ruling based upon evaluating their “merits” and finding them lacking… they are really up the creek without a paddle and have lots of egg on their faces.

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter: I think William Shakespeare had something relevant to say about this: Default Lies Not In Our Stars. . .http://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/default-lies-not-in-our-stars/Squeeky FrommGirl Reporter

  31. avatar
    y_p_w February 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    G: The bottom line is that this crazy GA circus only provided the Birthers with the very slim chance of a temporary “political propaganda victory” at best. As they never had any “merit” to any of their claims from the get-go, the long term results of Obama’s eligibility to be on that ballot were never really in much real doubt, even in this bizarre and quirky situation.

    I still don’t understand why anyone thought the cases were considered separate. Granted they did have docket numbers, but I thought the whole point of the hearing wasn’t to adjudicate three claims separately but for the judge and eventually the SoS to come up with one conclusion.

    What they were expecting seemed to be some sort of logical fallacy. Have one judge look at the evidence separately, and maybe he can come to a conclusion that Obama’s father wasn’t a US citizen for the pseudo-Vattel argument, while he can simultaneously come a conclusion that it’s a fake document. So case 1 – eligible, case 2 ineligible.

    Granted – that’s possible in separate criminal cases under different judges and different juries. Don’t parties ask for cases to be separated all the time? I’ve heard of plenty of times where there’s logical fallacies all the time, and where evidence allowed in a previous trial for the same alleged crime by multiple people was disallowed.

  32. avatar
    G February 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Agreed. In the end, there could only be one result – on the ballot or not. Regardless of how many cases there are or how “separate” they wish to be considered, it all has to roll up to one final decision. Therefore, it is simply ludicrous to believe that mulitple, contradictory results could materialize and that the findings of one could in any way be “ignored” in the big picture.

    y_p_w: I still don’t understand why anyone thought the cases were considered separate. Granted they did have docket numbers, but I thought the whole point of the hearing wasn’t to adjudicate three claims separately but for the judge and eventually the SoS to come up with one conclusion.