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Birther ballot case goes to California Supreme Court

But is the California Supreme Court Constitutional?

That’s what was reported by Gerbil Report™ from a press release of the “American Resistance Party.”1 The article, “Are Part Alien Judges Constitutional?” focuses on one newly-appointed associate justice of the California Supreme Court who was born in Mexico. Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar was recently nominated by Governor Jerry Brown to the Court, and confirmed unanimously by the California Commission on Judicial Appointments. Cuéllar has some impressive credentials that can be read in his Wikipedia article, or at the LA Times.

Because they were unable to find anything showing that Cuéllar was a US Citizen, the ARP assumed that he wasn’t. Curiously, the California Judicial Branch Fact Sheet that describes qualifications for judges does not mention any citizenship requirement, nor is it a requirement for admission to the California Bar. Nevertheless, Cuéllar is, according to his Constitution Project biography, a US Citizen. But even if Cuéllar is a naturalized citizen he is not, argues the ARP, constitutionally qualified to be a judge on the California Supreme Court because of some tortured reading of the US Constitution, specifically the 11th Amendment that precludes foreign persons from suing a state.

They assert:

Mr. Cuéllar has failed to prove in any written statement or eligibility statement in the past to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has refuted (sic) his Mexican citizenship. It is his responsibility to do so, if and when, he attains an office that is under the purview of the U.S. Constitution and California Constitution.

The ARP probably is unaware of the oath that naturalized citizens take:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; …

So while not applicable in this particular instance, the ARP do argue that dual citizens (not 100% citizens) cannot serve in any capacity under the California or US Constructions. Their argument seems nonsense. Where were they when Michele Bachmann (Swiss) and Ted Cruz (Canadian) served in the House and Senate (respectively)?

The case in question is Noonan v. Bowen, a long dismissed ballot challenge, being appealed from the Third Appellate District. Edward Noonan and co-appellant Pamela Barnett are being represented by Nathaniel J. Oleson of the US Justice Foundation. The case number is S221700.

Read More:

Update:

The case was denied review.


1Edward Noonan is founder and National Committee Chair of the American Resistance Party.

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14 Responses to Birther ballot case goes to California Supreme Court

  1. avatar
    Smirk4Food October 28, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Where were they when Michele Bachmann (Swiss) and Ted Cruz (Canadian) served in the Senate?

    Bachmann was a member of the House. Don’t scare us like that…

  2. avatar
    Rickey October 28, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    It took me a few minutes, but I was able to confirm that Mr. Cuéllar (I assume that he hasn’t taken office yet) is registered to vote in Santa Clara County, so presumably he is a U.S. citizen.

    Matamoros, the city in Mexico where Mr. Cuéllar was born, is just over the border from Brownsville, Texas, where Orly’s hearing is being held tomorrow. Coincidence?

  3. avatar
    ducktape October 28, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    “Edward Noonan is founder and National Committee Chair of the American Resistance Party.”

    I suspect that Edward Noonan is also the only member of the American Resistance Party.

  4. avatar
    Thomas Brown October 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    ducktape:
    I suspect that Edward Noonan is also the only member of the American Resistance Party.

    Unless you count their secretary, Rhea Statt.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    I try to be generous.

    ducktape: I suspect that Edward Noonan is also the only member of the American Resistance Party.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I knew that. 😳

    Smirk4Food: Bachmann was a member of the House.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    Maybe ARP should stand for the Astro turf Resistance Party.

    ducktape: I suspect that Edward Noonan is also the only member of the American Resistance Party.

  8. avatar
    y_p_w October 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    Rickey:
    It took me a few minutes, but I was able to confirm that Mr. Cuéllar (I assume that he hasn’t taken office yet) is registered to vote in Santa Clara County, so presumably he is a U.S. citizen.

    I suppose it would be possible to falsely attest to being a citizen. Relating to another topic, there is no requirement to present a photo ID or proof of citizenship in California to vote, and in any case most photo ID requirements don’t include having to present proof of citizenship when registering. There are some exceptions such as Arizona.

    As far as this topic goes, there’s no listed qualifications in the US Constitution for a justice of the US Supreme Court. Most state supreme courts require that a justice be a member of the state bar for X amount of years, but not SCOTUS. I’ve also found it interesting in California that a judge is automatically suspended from membership in the California State Bar. You get this message when searching for a judge’s entry in the State Bar database:

    This person is currently serving as a Judge of a court of record and is not considered a member of the State Bar while in office. The only information provided for attorneys currently serving as judges is: (1) name (2) city (3) State Bar membership number (4) date of admission to The State Bar of California. (See Constitution of California, Article VI, Section 9)

  9. avatar
    bob October 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Cuellar has yet to be approved by the voters. Once his term starts, the California Supreme Court will already have denied the petitions.

    Noonan’s hand-wringing is for naught.

  10. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) October 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Still the core of birtherism festers and expands. How long until anyone with a furrin-sounding name will be rejected by these nutjobs because “we have no proof he/she’s a citizen”?

  11. avatar
    justlw October 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    …that he has refuted (sic) his Mexican citizenship.

    But has he flaunted it? Or flouted it, even?

  12. avatar
    Rickey October 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in):
    Still the core of birtherism festers and expands. How long until anyone with a furrin-sounding name will be rejected by these nutjobs because “we have no proof he/she’s a citizen”?

    He has a hyphenated first name! What other proof do the birthers need?

  13. avatar
    The Magic M October 29, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    Rickey: He has a hyphenated first name!

    I think they’re more upset by the strange character in his last name. Maybe upon looking at it at 1000% magnification, it looks like a smiley face.

    And we all know how Baräck Hûsseïñ Ò’bæmá ruined the country, right?

  14. avatar
    bob October 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Noonan can rest easy: SCOCA denied his petition (and Barnett’s).

    …and Cuellar is still teaching at Stanford.