Birthers all wet
I commented that I expected a flurry of ballot challenges just in time to get ahead of reports of a flurry of ballot challenges. The election is just weeks away, so the courts and state elections commissions are having to expedite the process. Several prior cases were dismissed because they were premature, Obama not having been officially names as the Democratic Nominee yet.
First we noted Joe Montgomery’s later withdrawn objection in Kansas, plus Orly Taitz on the scene. Next it was three challenges in Illinois, all overruled by the Illinois State Elections Board today. Now another comes to light (filed Sept. 3) in Vermont by by H. Brooke Paige. Paige is was a Republican candidate for the US Senate from Vermont who lost in the primary. Most disturbing to me is that Mr. Paige is a fellow Lutheran.
Paige v. Condos
Paige says on his campaign web site:
I suppose Paige (photo right) is expressing his dislike for “radical Socialists” by trying to keep Barack Obama off the ballot in Vermont. Paige is representing himself in his lawsuit because he was “unable to secure competent Vermont counsel.” According to rather interesting narrative in supporting documents, no Vermont attorney will willing to represent Paige.
The 24-page complaint (embedded at the end of this article) indicates Paige is a follower of the Prussian/Swiss jurist Emerich de Vattel. It is unusual in a birther lawsuit citing Vattel to explicitly state the edition from which they take their text, but in this case Paige says that it is from 1797, 10 years after the Constitution was drafted. He doesn’t mention, however, that the phrase “natural born citizen” did not appear in the earlier English translations available to the framers.
Paige tells us that he had previously consulted with birther attorney Mario Apuzzo at length. The present complaint shows a rather clear derivation from Apuzzo’s arguments. (I didn’t check whether it is just copy and paste.) That’s a bad sign because the courts have already told Apuzzo that his legal theory is without merit.
Paige cites the following as authority for bringing suit:
- § 4711. Declaratory judgment
- Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure 57 (declaratory judgments — under Rules of Civil Procedure VII. Judgment)
- Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure 65 (injunctions – under Rules of Civil Procedure VIII. Provisional and Final Remedies and Special Proceedings)
[Doc scratches his head]
One of the problems that birthers have with these lawsuits is showing that the defendant, in this case Secretary of State James Condos, has a duty determine a candidates eligibility and to keep ineligible candidates off the ballot. Paige writes (Paragraph 104):
The Secretary of State has the power and authority to refuse to qualify a presidential candidate who has filed documentation with the State of Vermont seeking to be placed on the primary and general election ballot to be voted upon by Vermont voters when the constitutional eligibility of that candidate is objected to by a Vermont citizen…
However, he makes no citation of law at this point.
The second hurdle, of course, is that Paige’s theory is a collage of losers and misrepresented sources consistently rejected by every court to date that has looked at it. To someone who approaches this document trusting, it looks pretty impressive, but it’s all bunk under the microscope. I can see how someone like Paige could get misled, particularly someone disposed to see socialists running the government.
See for yourself: