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Donald Trump and the “perfect storm”

Hardly had the words left the mouth of Ted Cruz that he was a candidate for president, than Donald Trump expressed doubts about his eligibility. Trump said:

It’s a hurdle and somebody could certainly look at it very seriously. He was born in Canada … if you know … and when we all studied our history lessons … you’re supposed to be born in this country. So I just don’t know how the courts would rule on it. But it’s an additional hurdle that he has that no one else seems to have.

Well, Mr. Trump, perhaps you are the one to settle the issue. Trump famously suggested that he could take credit for Obama’s release of his long-form birth certificate in April of 2011. Can Trump also settle the question of what “natural born citizen means” in 2016?

The questions raised about the American-born Obama represented legal issues that were long settled, said several court decisions. One court said that it was not necessary to re-invent the wheel. I believe that is why none of the birther appeals to the Supreme Court were heard—there was no controversy. That cannot be said for the foreign-born Ted Cruz. I know of no clear legal precedent that the courts could apply.

Several birthers suggest that the Cruz candidacy is nothing more than attempt to settle Obama’s eligibility (not that birthers are interested in settling anything except that they are right). From Birther Report:

As I said before, I think Ted Cruz is a good guy. I keep hoping that this is his way of exposing Obama by making the question national debate.

— WingCommander

Early in the Obama controversy, I found a 1968 law review article by professor Charles Gordon that led me to expect a judicial solution to shutting up the birthers. What I did not take into account was the fact that Obama’s candidacy raised no legitimate legal questions. Gordon wrote:

Under the presidential qualification clause of the Constitution, only “natural-born” citizens are qualified for this highest office. It is clear enough that native-born citizens are eligible and that naturalized citizens are not.

“Clear enough,” he says. Gordon’s paper was written in the context of a possible run for president by George Romney, born in Mexico. The Gordon article applies to Cruz, not Obama. Gordon raises several scenarios where the definition of “natural born citizen” might be adjudicated. One is the case of a rival candidate suing in state court to keep a foreign-born opponent off the ballot. This was, of course, tried by birthers, but sloppily, and not with a plaintiff who was a viable candidate as plaintiff. The vast majority of birther eligibility lawsuits were dismissed for lack of standing.

Donald Trump, should he formally announce, for President would be considered a (struggling for a word here) “legitimate” challenger to Cruz. Trump could certainly hire a competent lawyer and the case would get national attention. Especially if Trump could get a favorable ruling in a state court, this would be a situation ripe for a federal declarative judgment.

So, Mr. Trump, will Trump v Cruz go down in the history books as the case that defined “natural born citizen”?

Legal expert Donald Trump says Canadian birth may be problem for Ted Cruz

Speaking to reporters in West Des Moines, Iowa, Trump addressed the issue head on, reports the Dallas Morning News.

“He’s going to have to solve that problem. It could end up in litigation. It could take a long period of time.… It’s certainly a stumbling block that he has that other people don’t have,” Trump said, suggesting that Cruz might only be able to put any doubts to rest by going to court.

“Perhaps he’s going to have to go in for declaratory judgments. Perhaps he’s going to get rulings from some group of electioneers. He’s going to have to do something. Because it is a problem that a lot of people have been mentioning,” Trump said. “He’s going to have to get it resolved one way or the other. And I hope he gets it resolved in a positive way because I think he’ll add a lot.”

“Electioneers”? I thought he said “Mouseketeers.” Sorry about that.

Birther litigant David Farrar is all over the comments on this story, as he is pretty much any time the topic appears above a comment box. I left this reply:

Farrar can go all day like a lumberjack, but in the end he lost his case in Georgia, and so has every other person who made a similar argument.

Obama’s fake fake Columbia ID

Some idiot at USA Today named Melanie Eversley wrote about a series of tweets on Ebola from idiot Donald Trump yesterday, including a reference to this one:

Readers probably know that the name Barry Soetoro appears on a 1968 Obama school registration entry from Indonesia, when he was living with his mother and step father Lolo Soetoro. The idiotic thing was how the reporter explained the Sotoro reference:

In one [tweet], he made reference to the name Barry Soetoro, which appears on Obama’s Columbia University identification card.

Even birthers know that the Columbia student ID with the Soetoro name is a fake. Gerbil Report™ said in response to the USA Today story:

the Columbia University ID card floating around the internet with Obama’s picture and name Barry Soetoro on it is without a doubt a fake.

So I tweeted in response:


Will USA Today issue a correction?

Donald Trump still a birther

Just for historical completeness, I note the recent remarks by birther Donald Trump who is still displaying his orangutanian heritage as a birther. Trump said at a Republican gathering in New Orleans (as reported in The Daily Beast):

I would have been totally happy about that [Obama born in the US]. In fact, I would have probably preferred it because that would mean we would have a president for whom everything was fine.

Trump then said that he thinks Obama lied about being born in Kenya to get favorable treatment in college. Trump previously offered millions to see Obama’s college records.

Trump had raised conspiracy theories last year about the death of Loretta Fuddy.

News coverage:

Obama v. Trump?

I was thinking about Donald Trump yesterday afternoon at the Mall. I was shopping for a bag, and visited several stores. Although I was right in front of the entrance, I decided not to go into Macy’s specifically because of their connection with Donald Trump. I don’t want to encourage a business relationship involving Trump because I think that any thing that makes Trump more visible is bad for the Country.

Time Magazine reported last week that Trump has taken another step to endear himself with the nut jobs, and alienate himself from folks like me (the intelligent and virtuous sort). The Attorney General of New York is suing Trump to recover $40 million in damages for alleged fraud, connected to “Trump University.” AG Schneiderman claims Trump U. collected tuition, but never delivered the lessons they promised.

Those allegations are either true or not. What makes this a nut job issue is that Trump said that Obama ordered Schneiderman to bring the suit presumably in retaliation for Trump’s investigation of the the President’s birth certificate.

Donald Trump: still birthin’

Real estate mogul, TV personality, perennial presidential candidate wannabe and birther was on ABC and talked birth certificate with ABC’s Jonathan Karl. When Karl tried to show Trump as not serious as a candidate for President, he pulled out the birth certificate issue, and Trump reiterated his wimpy doubt language, when asked where Obama was born: “I have no idea.”

Trump doesn’t seem to have a clue about Ted Cruz either. I guess that makes Trump an equal opportunity Bozo.

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