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Avoiding the question

I maintain a page on this web site titled “Recent court rulings on presidential eligibility.” As of this writing the page lists 10 cases with excerpts from the decisions, and in each the Court has said that the children of non-US-citizens can be President. Many of the cases were appealed to their respective state appeals courts, and one to a US circuit court—all decisions affirmed.

Birthers commenting here, and in many other forums, argue that these decisions are dead wrong, that they violate clear precedent from the US Supreme Court. They say that barring a clear statement to the contrary from the Supreme Court (and maybe even not then), Obama is not eligible to be President.

If these cases are wrong, and only the Supreme Court speaks with authority, why have almost none of of these cases been appealed to the Supreme Court? A number of birther lawsuits have been appealed to the Supreme Court, but only one1 where there is clear indication in the decision that the children of non-citizens can become President. Why are the birthers avoiding raising the question to the forum that they say alone can decide it? It would seem to me that the savvy birther attorneys know that the Supreme Court wouldn’t hear the cases, and so they are avoiding the negative publicity of the Supreme Court not seeing them as worthy of consideration.


1In the Farrar case, an application for a stay was made to the Supreme Court (denied by Justice Thomas), but no application was made to appeal the decision of the Georgia Supreme Court; no writ of certiorari was filed. In an attached decision, Mr. Welden appealed the decision of the Georgia Superior Court, but the case was not pursued after being denied by one justice.

39 Responses to Avoiding the question

  1. avatar
    Scientist January 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I have asked Apuzzo several times here why he didn’t appeal Ankeny. Usually he ignored the question; I believe once or twice he responded with some b.s. about it having been a pro se case. I’m not sure what difference that makes-the pro se plaintiffs actually didn’t argue the case any worse than he does and he could have taken over and written the Supreme Court brief himself.

    The argument that Obama is illegitimate unless the Supreme Court says otherwise is of course exactly the opposite of the case. Lower court decisions stand unless overturned, not the other way around. And here, the courts in general don’t even see it as a judicial matter, but rather as a political question for Congress.

  2. avatar
    OReaLY Factor January 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    At one time Kruse indicated that Ankeny had been encouraged by at least one Birther attorney not to appeal for exactly the reason Doc suggests

    To quote (best as I recall) “they wanted to try to limit the definition to Indiana”. Only in Birfistan can the definition of Natural Born Citizen of the United States change from State to State.

  3. avatar
    J.D. Sue January 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Interesting. “Whether children of non-US-citizens can be President” has been the only real legal question raised in any of the birther suits and, as Scientist said, “Lower court decisions stand unless overturned.”

  4. avatar
    Keith January 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    J.D. Sue: Interesting. “Whether children of non-US-citizens can be President” has been the only real legal question raised in any of the birther suits and, as Scientist said, “Lower court decisions stand unless overturned.”

    As I have said repeatedly, the whole “Birther Conspiracy” meme is a stalking horse. The bottom line is to encourage fear, uncertainty, and doubt (‘FUD’ copyright IBM Corporation, 1959) about citizenship civics. We have a reputation in America that civics and social studies are hard, and are not paid attention to by students. This ‘dark’ propaganda machine is trying to take advantage of this embarrassment in many Americans that they didn’t pay enough attention and maybe these guys have something when they talk about stuff that ‘everybody learned in school’.

    If American born children of LEGAL aliens are not natural born citizens, then it is a small step to American born children of ILLEGAL aliens are not citizens at all.

    This is a battle for the “perception of the masses”, and most of the people running the day to day campaign, like Orly, aren’t even aware that they are being punked (probably) by the ‘dark’ propaganda folks. Many more know exactly what they are doing and why.

    Occasionally someone pokes their head up in the guise of a concern troll, even on this very blog, and raises some strawman question that directly reveals what they are on about. After tortuously getting folks to explain natural born citizenship to them for the umpteenth time, they drop the bombshell: ‘so I guess that means you think some ‘anchor baby’ should be President but John McCain should be sent back to Panama’, or some such.

  5. avatar
    AlCum January 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    The birthers are of course highly confused. There is no “clear precedent” from the Supreme Court backing their claim. The cite they usually provide, Minor v Happersett, explicitly contradicts their claim, wherein the court stated it was not deciding the issue.

  6. avatar
    J.D. Sue January 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Keith: As I have said…

    I agree with what you’ve said.

    Plus, I think for the last several years (and longer!) we have been witnessing a profound and broad battle over the 14th Amendment–perhaps our most comprehensive amendment that ratifies the consequences of the Union winning the civil war. For example, it grants rights of citizenship to all persons born in the US… (including “anchor babies”, and not including the unborn); it grants equal protection under the law (e.g., making DOMA unconstitutional); it has been interpreted by the S.Ct. to hold the states to the Bill of Rights (e.g., state governments can’t violate the 1st amendment even though it originally may have restricted only Congress); it restricts insurrection/rebellion; it requires payment of the nation’s public debt; and more…. I find it ironic that so many speak of the Constitution of our nation’s founders, and completely seem to ignore the amended Constitution after the civil war.

  7. avatar
    john January 25, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Birthers are still struggling to try to even determine if Obama was born in the USA. This may be old news but General Paul Vallely was recently interviewed. Here is the link:
    http://obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.com/2013/01/video-major-general-vallely-talks-obama-fraud.html

    Listen at 5:00 minutes. General Vallely says that after Obama released the long form birth certificate, Vallely’s experts determined it was a forgery within 24 hours. So far, we haven’t heard anything regarding the substance of these analyses but Mike Zullo and Cold Case Posse needs to contact General Vallely and find out what he has.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Step 1 is to convert an anonymous expert unto a named expert.

    john: General Vallely says that after Obama released the long form birth certificate, Vallely’s experts determined it was a forgery within 24 hours. So far, we haven’t heard anything regarding the substance of these analyses but Mike Zullo and Cold Case Posse needs to contact General Vallely and find out what he has.

  9. avatar
    Kris January 26, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    Keith: As I have said repeatedly, the whole “Birther Conspiracy” meme is a stalking horse. The bottom line is to encourage fear, uncertainty, and doubt (‘FUD’ copyright IBM Corporation, 1959) about citizenship civics. We have a reputation in America that civics and social studies are hard, and are not paid attention to by students. This ‘dark’ propaganda machine is trying to take advantage of this embarrassment in many Americans that they didn’t pay enough attention and maybe these guys have something when they talk about stuff that ‘everybody learned in school’.

    My absolute favorite comment from these ‘know everything’ people is when they claim that they learned in school (or in their case, skool) that the Constitution states specifically that a natural born citizen must have TWO U S CITIZEN PARENTS. They rant about the stoopid libs who never learned this in skool, are Obots, etc., etc., etc..

  10. avatar
    Keith January 26, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    john: General Vallely says that after Obama released the long form birth certificate, Vallely’s experts determined it was a forgery within 24 hours. So far, we haven’t heard anything regarding the substance of these analyses but Mike Zullo and Cold Case Posse needs to contact General Vallely and find out what he has.

    So what have you been doing for all these months? Vallely’s tripe has been well known from the get go, and is already included in the recycled hash that makes up Corsi’s WND/CCP “reports”.

    You claim over and over and over that you are just repeating other peoples questions and why can’t you just get some answers. The questions have been answered ad infinitum, but you just ignore the answers and press on. If you aren’t going to listen to the answers, what is the point in asking the question? And even more to the point, what benefit do you derive from claiming there has been no answer given when clearly there has been?

    Furthermore, why are you pushing the reset button on your own position? You have been saying for weeks that everything is finished, the last chance is Congressional objections, but now you are saying step one is to use the wayback machine and get Vallely back into the limelight.

    Your screed just isn’t interesting anymore, John. And I use the word ‘anymore’ just to lend some semblance of politeness to my opinion.

  11. avatar
    AlCum January 26, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    john:
    Birthers are still struggling to try to even determine if Obama was born in the USA. This may be old news but General Paul Vallely was recently interviewed. Here is the link:
    http://obamareleaseyourrecords.blogspot.com/2013/01/video-major-general-vallely-talks-obama-fraud.html

    Listen at 5:00 minutes. General Vallely says that after Obama released the long form birth certificate, Vallely’s experts determined it was a forgery within 24 hours. So far, we haven’t heard anything regarding the substance of these analyses but Mike Zullo and Cold Case Posse needs to contact General Vallely and find out what he has.

    What he has? Vallely has nothing. Nor can he. Hawaii has publicly and officially verified the birth certificate. The matter is settled. It is not even possible for for it to be a forgery. You need to wrap your brain around the impossibility of your ludicrous claim.

  12. avatar
    john January 26, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    It would appear that Hawaii is in fact lying if the forgery claims are correct. That is why birthers want to see the original and why Hawaii refuses access.

  13. avatar
    Origuy January 26, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    ” fear, uncertainty, and doubt (‘FUD’ copyright IBM Corporation, 1959)”
    Actually, FUD is a trademark of Sigma Alimentos, a Mexican producer of cold cuts and cheeses. I get a laugh everytime I go into a Mexican grocery. (I’m in San Jose,CA.) It stands for Fino, Unico y Delicioso (Refined, Unique & Delicious).

  14. avatar
    Lupin January 26, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    Keith: As I have said repeatedly, the whole “Birther Conspiracy” meme is a stalking horse. The bottom line is to encourage fear, uncertainty, and doubt (‘FUD’ copyright IBM Corporation, 1959) about citizenship civics. We have a reputation in America that civics and social studies are hard, and are not paid attention to by students. This ‘dark’ propaganda machine is trying to take advantage of this embarrassment in many Americans that they didn’t pay enough attention and maybe these guys have something when they talk about stuff that ‘everybody learned in school’.

    I couldn’t agree more and have stated the same many times here. Orly is a true loon, but Mario strikes me as furthering a political agenda.

  15. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 26, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    john: Birthers are still struggling

    You gain wisdom, child.

    Keith: So what have you been doing for all these months?

    “Months”? It will soon be “years”—literally! The LFBC will, in a mere 3 months, celebrate its 2nd birthday as a public entity. Really, john, how effin’ stupid can you be? ‘Someone’ made a world-shakin’ determination in a mere 24 hours (no mean feat, that) … and proceeded to sit on it through an entire election cycle?!?

    That leaves 2 possibilities:

    • You are a fool, are behind the times, and/or are choosing to be an anachronism (desperately picking and choosing your preferred frame of reference). Time stops for no birfer, john.

    • Obama got to all the ‘experts’, john. Who do you truuuust?!? Who … do … you … trust?

  16. avatar
    Tarrant January 26, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Why would a retired general have a panel of document experts on-call, that could take a look at the issue and come to a full and reasoned conclusion within 24 hours? The answer is he doesn’t have any such panel.

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 26, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    It’s transparent to me that he was referring to the birther experts who appeared on the Internet within 24 hours saying that scanned documents don’t have layers, something that was debunked within 24 hours as well.

    Tarrant: Why would a retired general have a panel of document experts on-call, that could take a look at the issue and come to a full and reasoned conclusion within 24 hours? The answer is he doesn’t have any such panel.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 26, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    And if the forgery claims are not correct, then the Hawaii Department of Health is as clean as the new-fallen snow.

    john: It would appear that Hawaii is in fact lying if the forgery claims are correct. That is why birthers want to see the original and why Hawaii refuses access.

  19. avatar
    Northland10 January 26, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    john: Birthers are still struggling to try to even determine if Obama was born in the USA.

    They are the only ones.

  20. avatar
    UNALIENABLE January 26, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    For the simple minded publishers of distorted screed, concerning American Rights, posted on this blog. Americans have “UNALIENABLE” rights as explained in the Preamble to America’s Constitution. The explanation of the UNALIENABLE rights are at the link below.

    http://freedomisamerica.wordpress.com/nbc-description-and-current-freedom-threats/

  21. avatar
    Yoda January 26, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Keith: As I have said repeatedly, the whole “Birther Conspiracy” meme is a stalking horse. The bottom line is to encourage fear, uncertainty, and doubt (‘FUD’ copyright IBM Corporation, 1959) about citizenship civics. We have a reputation in America that civics and social studies are hard, and are not paid attention to by students. This ‘dark’ propaganda machine is trying to take advantage of this embarrassment in many Americans that they didn’t pay enough attention and maybe these guys have something when they talk about stuff that ‘everybody learned in school’.

    If American born children of LEGAL aliens are not natural born citizens, then it is a small step to American born children of ILLEGAL aliens are not citizens at all.

    This is a battle for the “perception of the masses”, and most of the people running the day to day campaign, like Orly, aren’t even aware that they are being punked (probably) by the ‘dark’ propaganda folks. Many more know exactly what they are doing and why.

    Occasionally someone pokes their head up in the guise of a concern troll, even on this very blog, and raises some strawman question that directly reveals what they are on about. After tortuously getting folks to explain natural born citizenship to them for the umpteenth time, they drop the bombshell: ‘so I guess that means you think some ‘anchor baby’ should be President but John McCain should be sent back to Panama’, or some such.

    A while back I came to the conclusion that the 2 citizen parent bs was not ever about Obama, but that he was a scapegoat as a target. The real political agenda was about the fear that an anchor baby would become president and how that might effect immigration policy. It is rooted in the fear that whites will become second class citizens in this country. I have read enough birther posts and websites to feel comfortable in saying that that is the true goal of the deVattelists, or at least some of them.

  22. avatar
    Yoda January 26, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    UNALIENABLE:
    For the simple minded publishers of distorted screed,concerning American Rights, posted on this blog.Americans have “UNALIENABLE” rights as explained in the Preamble to America’s Constitution.The explanation of the UNALIENABLE rights are at the link below.

    http://freedomisamerica.wordpress.com/nbc-description-and-current-freedom-threats/

    The butthurt is strong with this one.

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 26, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Yeah, I let birthers and right-wing nut jobs post comments here. Open discussion is a progressive concept.

    UNALIENABLE: For the simple minded publishers of distorted screed, concerning American Rights, posted on this blog.

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 26, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    The typography and design of that site is so abysmally bad that someone would have to be a masochist to try to read it. I mean red, yellow and pink text on a black background? It reminds me of a cheap 1960’s night club or the upholstery of a pimpmobile.

    UNALIENABLE: http://freedomisamerica.wordpress.com/nbc-description-and-current-freedom-threats/

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 26, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    And I have been struggling for over 4 years to help them, but as the saying goes: “you can lead a horse to water…”

    john: Birthers are still struggling to try to even determine if Obama was born in the USA.

  26. avatar
    misha marinsky January 26, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    UNALIENABLE: The explanation of the UNALIENABLE rights are at the link below.

    Dr. Conspiracy: The typography and design of that site is so abysmally bad that someone would have to be a masochist to try to read it.

    @UNALIENABLE: It’s called lithium. Look into it.

  27. avatar
    Plantmaster January 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    UNALIENABLE: The explanation of the UNALIENABLE rights are at the link below.

    Dr. Conspiracy: The typography and design of that site is so abysmally bad that someone would have to be a masochist to try to read it.

    @UNALIENABLE: It’s called lithium. Look into it.

    Along with some Xanax and Abilify…;<}

  28. avatar
    Plantmaster January 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    UNALIENABLE: For the simple minded publishers of distorted screed, concerning American Rights, posted on this blog. Americans have “UNALIENABLE” rights as explained in the Preamble to America’s Constitution. The explanation of the UNALIENABLE rights are at the link below.

    http://freedomisamerica.wordpress.com/nbc-description-and-current-freedom-threats/

    My, UNALIENABLE, what big words…do you actually have a clue as to their meaning?

  29. avatar
    Scientist January 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Plantmaster: My, UNALIENABLE, what big words…do you actually have a clue as to their meaning?

    I know-it has something to do with UFOs….

  30. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater January 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    UNALIENABLE:
    For the simple minded publishers of distorted screed,concerning American Rights, posted on this blog.Americans have “UNALIENABLE” rights as explained in the Preamble to America’s Constitution.The explanation of the UNALIENABLE rights are at the link below.

    http://freedomisamerica.wordpress.com/nbc-description-and-current-freedom-threats/

    Sorry but no unalienable is not in the preamble to the constitution, in fact it appears nowhere in the constitution.

  31. avatar
    Stanislaw January 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    It would seem to me that the savvy birther attorneys know that the Supreme Court wouldn’t hear the cases, and so they are avoiding the negative publicity of the Supreme Court not seeing them as worthy of consideration.

    Actually, I think it may be fear of the opposite outcome: that the Supreme Court does hear one of the birther appeals and rules that the Indiana Court of Appeals in Ankeny was correct. If that were to happen, the two citizen parent birthers would be finished for good.

  32. avatar
    Keith January 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    john:
    It would appear that Hawaii is in fact lying if the forgery claims are correct.That is why birthers want to see the original and why Hawaii refuses access.

    A concept that you publicly threw under the bus a long, long time ago.

  33. avatar
    Keith January 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    aesthetocyst: “Months”? It will soon be “years”—literally! The LFBC will, in a mere 3 months, celebrate its 2nd birthday as a public entity.

    24 months – 24 hours.

    A coincidence? I don’t think so.

  34. avatar
    Keith January 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    UNALIENABLE:
    For the simple minded publishers of distorted screed,concerning American Rights, posted on this blog.Americans have “UNALIENABLE” rights as explained in the Preamble to America’s Constitution.The explanation of the UNALIENABLE rights are at the link below.

    http://freedomisamerica.wordpress.com/nbc-description-and-current-freedom-threats/

    For those folks who find it surprising that the Preamble to the Constitution explains something about “unalienable rights”, don’t worry. It doesn’t.

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    There is, of course, such a discussion in the revolutionary manifesto known as “The Declaration of Independence”.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    The purpose of that manifesto is to explain and justify the reason for revolution, it is a call-to-arms.

    The purpose of the Constitution is to describe how the Government works, and that is exactly what the Preamble says.

    It is interesting that in the entirety of the Constitution beyond the Preamble, there is exactly ONE specification that includes a self-justification, inserted specifically because the Framers knew that its purpose is NOT self-evident, and was open to abuse if mis-interpreted. I leave the discovery of that specification to the class.

    I find it sad that some folks actually think they can ‘defend their Constitutional rights’ by having no idea what those Constitutional rights are or where they come from, and cannot distinguish between a framework for government and a manifesto for revolution.

  35. avatar
    donna January 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Stanislaw: If that were to happen, the two citizen parent birthers would be finished for good.

    let’s see what happens as rubio & bojangles move forward with their plans for 2016 – not to mention the new tea party heartthrob, ted cruz, who was born in canada to a cuban father and thinks he can be president

    or does that “two citizen parent” issue only arise for “black” and not “brown” people?

  36. avatar
    AlCum January 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    john:
    It would appear that Hawaii is in fact lying if the forgery claims are correct.That is why birthers want to see the original and why Hawaii refuses access.

    No it is not. The forgery claims are incorrect. It is not even possible for the birth certificate to be forged. Hawaii has certified it and that makes it real. Your claims are impossible,

  37. avatar
    Benji Franklin January 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    john: Birthers are still struggling to try to even determine if Obama was born in the USA.

    John, that’s just a subset of: “Birthers are still struggling to characterize Obama as somehow Constitutionally ineligible to the Presidency.”

    And no aspect of those struggles can compare with the struggle of sane observers to determine if Birthers were even born on this planet.

  38. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 27, 2013 at 2:40 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: It’s transparent to me that he was referring to the birther experts who appeared on the Internet within 24 hours

    The first blog post I am aware of went up within 2 hours. I think it was a guy claiming to be in advertising, in the Atlanta area. He opened the PDF in Illustrator and noted there were layers, etc. Next thing you know, birfers were all Adobe Illustrator fans.

    Let’s see…. oh yeah, Bryan Michael Nixon. Posted at http://bryankeithnixon.com/?p=103 … a blog that no longer exists.

    Decent recap here:
    http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=bryan_michael_nixon_1

  39. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 27, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    Keith: 24 months – 24 hours.

    A coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Perhaps their brains have been supercooled (by neglect?) to the point of experiencing relativistic effects … as in a Bose-Einstein condensate?

    Causing a human to experience time at 1/750th normal speed is nothing compared to making light crawl!

    Perhaps blow dryers could cure birferism? Might be worth a try.