The Georgia presidential eligibility case of Terry v. Handel was decided in October of 2008, before I started my career as Dr. Conspiracy, and I had not read the decision until today, a decision that was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, and let stand by the Georgia Supreme Court.
Mr. Terry sought to force Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel to investigate candidate Obama’s eligibility in the General Election. The Superior Court said:
The Secretary of State of Georgia is not given any authority that is discretionary nor any that is mandatory to refuse to allow someone to be listed as a candidate for President by a political party because she believes that the candidate might not be qualified. See O.C.G.A §§ 21-2-172 to 21-2-200.
This is one of the long list of cases that Obama’s attorney Jablonski mentioned in a footnote in his Motion to Dismiss the 2011 Georgia ballot challenges. Jablonski, however, does not discuss Terry, although it would certainly seem on point. In his later letter to Secretary Kemp asking for the hearing to be canceled, Jablonski did reference Terry, saying:
Indeed, regardless of the collapse of proceedings before the ALJ, the original hearing request was defective as a matter of law. Terry v. Handel, 08cv158774S (Superior Court Fulton County, 2008), appeal dismissed, No. S09D0284 (Ga. Supreme Court), reconsideration denied, No. S09A1373. (‘The Secretary of State of Georgia is not given any authority that is discretionary nor any that is mandatory to refuse to allow someone to be listed as a candidate for President by a political party because she believes that the candidate might not be qualified.’)
Kemp did not address Terry in his response denying Jablonski’s request.
Judge Malihi, however, used very different reasoning than the Superior Court did in his order not dismissing the case, saying:
Accordingly, this Court finds that Defendant is a candidate for federal office who has been certified by the state executive committee of a political party, and therefore must, under Code Section 21-2-5, meet the constitutional and statutory qualifications for holding the office being sought.
The section of the 2006 Georgia Code cited by Judge Malihi specifies the challenge process in Georgia, and includes this:
If the Secretary of State determines that the candidate is not qualified, the Secretary of State shall withhold the name of the candidate from the ballot or strike such candidate´s name from the ballot if the ballots have been printed.
At this point, I am at a loss to understand why the Superior Court said what they said in 2008.