I met Mr. Strunk in Atlanta and he struck me someone who is very much bound up in conspiratorial thinking, and my impression was that he was wound up way too tight. The decision from Judge Arthur Schack in Kings County New York in the case of Strunk v. New York State Board of Elections (and many others) is not going to help Strunk’s confidence in the legal system. Waxing literary, Judge Schack aptly wrote:
If the complaint in this action was a movie script, it would be entitled The Manchurian Candidate Meets The Da Vinci Code.
The latter part of that description comes from the Vatican’s inclusion in the vast conspiracy network alleged in the suit. The Manchurian Candidate movie is discussed in the “Decision and Order” (the original version with Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury is a great film by the way). The full text of the “Decision and Order” is embedded at the bottom of this article, so I won’t quote extensively what you can read for yourself. Suffice it to say that Judge Schack was not at all kind or sympathetic towards Mr. Strunk: “frivolous” is one of the nicer descriptive terms.
Just a few things warrant special attention. First, Judge Schack specifically rejected Strunk’s two US born parent theory of presidential eligibility. The Judge wrote:
Plaintiff STRUNK cannot wish into existence an interpretation that he chooses for the natural born citizen clause. There is no arguable legal basis for the proposition that both parents of the President must have been born on U.S. soil.
The second is that the Court has ordered that Strunk be barred from filing further lawsuits against the defendants in New York without leave of the court, and that he may be liable for the defendants’ costs (hearing next week).
The third item of interest is the Judge’s opinion that courts have no business hearing cases about presidential eligibility, writing:
If a state court were to involve itself in the eligibility of a candidate to hold the office of President, a determination reserved for the Electoral College and Congress, it may involve itself in national political matters for which it is institutionally ill-suited and interfere with the constitutional authority of the Electoral College and Congress. Accordingly, the political question doctrine instructs this Court and other courts to refrain from superseding the judgments of the nation’s voters and those federal government entities the Constitution designates as the proper forums to determine the eligibility of presidential candidates.
Here is the Decision and Order:
Strunk has filed a response.