If memory serves me right, Super Tuesday was March 6, and that was the day of the Georgia Presidential Preference Primary. Nevertheless, David P. Welden, represented by his Tennessee attorney Van R. Irion, filed an appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court appealing Welden’s loss challenging Obama’s place on that ballot, and filed it on March 7.
Welden’s case was dismissed by Fulton County Superior Court judge Cynthia D. Wright, provoking some strong accusations of judicial misconduct by Irion. (See my article: “Tennessee attorney attacks Georgia courts.”) Those accusations are absent in this appeal, which claims “reversible error” in the Superior Court decision.
Two of the errors alleged by Irion involve whether under Georgia law anyone can challenge a presidential candidate’s eligibility, one is a question of proper service and one is of wider interest:
The Secretary of State erred in finding that the term “natural born citizen,” as used in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, includes all person’s born on U.S. soil without regard to the citizenship of the parents of the person born on U.S.soil.
Irion homes in on the fact that the Administrative Judge concluded that he could hear the complaint, while the Superior Court said otherwise. Irion urges the Georgia Supreme Court to affirm the Administrative Judge’s view, and that in any case a precedent would be a good thing to have (and so the GA Supreme Court should take the case). Irion appeals to the common law sense definition of “natural born” citizen.
Irion then invokes Marbury v. Madison (anytime I see the case of Marbury v. Madison cited, I get worried that some serious legal crackpottery is coming) to support a principle of Constitutional construction that argues that the 14th Amendment could not have affected the natural born citizen clause in Article II of the Constitution (failing to recognize that those born in the United States – except slaves and Indians – were always our natural born citizens, without regard to the citizenship of their parents and not relying on the 14th Amendment). Irion then goes on to claim that the Superior Court relied on dicta from US v. Wong, and that Minor v. Happersett actually defines natural born citizen as a necessary part of its decision – neither of which is accurate.
What is not clear is what Mr. Irion expects the GA Supreme Court to do, or what effect reversing the Superior Court would have now that the election is over.
Here is the text of the appeal: