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Judge Jeff Masin gets second crack at “natural born citizen”

Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin is known to readers here as the judge who heard the 2012 challenge to Obama’s primary ballot position in New Jersey from Nicholas Purpura and Theodore Moran. The video of that hearing, with Mario Apuzzo representing Purpura and Alexandra Hill representing Obama, provided a few great moments of entertainment as certain weighty issues were debated such as the eligibility of Mickey Mouse to appear on the New Jersey Ballot, and whether Judge Masin had a coffee mug with Obama’s birth certificate on it (he didn’t, but I do).

In the end, Judge Masin ruled that Obama’s nomination petition was not defective, Obama had no obligation to prove his eligibility, and that in general the children of aliens born in the United States were natural born citizens.

Judge Masin had no trouble determining Obama eligible if born in the United States, citing Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana and the Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Wong Kim Ark. As birthers try to revive their anti-Obama arguments, we might do well to remember Judge Masin’s citation from Wong:

[The] law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, . . . every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born. The same rule was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established.

But it’s 2016, and a new presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, is challenged in New Jersey, and Judge Masin is assigned to the case.

Of the challengers writes:

One of the challenges was brought by three South Jersey citizens, and the other by a law professor who lives in Maryland and is running for president as a write-in candidate in New Jersey. Both parties argued that because Cruz was born in Canada, he is not a natural-born citizen, making him ineligible for the presidency.

Professor Williams said that he was motivated to bring the challenge after reading about the unresolved candidacy of Mexican-born George Romney.

This time around Judge Masin does not have “several decisions that could be cited” nor the clear precedent from the Supreme Court in US v. Wong Kim Ark. Obama was born in the US and Cruz in Canada. The Ankeny decision specifically did not address persons like Cruz, saying in a footnote:

We reiterate that we do not address the question of natural born citizen status for persons who became United States citizens at birth by virtue of being born of United States citizen parents, despite the fact that they were born abroad. That question was not properly presented to this court. Without addressing the question, however, we note that nothing in our opinion today should be understood to hold that being born within the fifty United States is the only way one can receive natural born citizen status.

The only direct citation would be in the recent case in Pennsylvania by Judge Pellegrini, which Masin noted was the only case he knew of. I for one an looking forward to what he decides. The “final decision” rests with the New Jersey Secretary of State, Kim Guadagno. The final decision is subject to review by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Natural born citizen case reaches the US Supreme Court

Where it will likely not be heard


Utah resident Walter Wagner has appealed the dismissal of his case against Ted Cruz to the US Supreme Court (case no. 15-1243). The dismissal was on the grounds that Wagner had no standing to sue. He still lacks standing.

New Jersey

In other Cruz eligibility news, CDR Kerchner reports a new ballot access challenge in New Jersey filed by Victor Williams, a Republican write-in candidate for president. Williams cites New Jersey statute 19:23-15 on primary candidate petitions, a provision that provides that the candidate must certify eligibility and must agree to accept the nomination. That requirement, however, would seem not to apply to the presidential primary. As we learned from Mario Apuzzo’s spectacular loss in a New Jersey Obama eligibility case filed by Nicholas Purpora, Mickey Mouse could run for president in New Jersey. The statute that is applicable to presidential primaries in New Jersey is 19:25-3, and since that statute does not even require the consent of the candidate to be on the ballot, one could infer that the candidate has no other duties in preparing the petition, such as certification of eligibility.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Following is an excerpt from a very long comment flagged as spam here on the blog:

{Hi|Hello|Hi there|What’s up}, I {log on to|check|read}
your {new stuff|blogs|blog} {regularly|like every week|daily|on a regular basis}.
Your {story-telling|writing|humoristic} style is
{awesome|witty}, keep {doing what you’re doing|up the good work|it up}!|
I {simply|just} {could not|couldn’t} {leave|depart|go away} your {site|web site|website} {prior to|before} suggesting that I {really|extremely|actually} {enjoyed|loved} {the standard|the usual} {information|info} {a person|an individual} {supply|provide} {for
your|on your|in your|to your} {visitors|guests}?

Is {going to|gonna} be {back|again} {frequently|regularly|incessantly|steadily|ceaselessly|often|continuously} {in order to|to} {check up on|check out|inspect|investigate cross-check} new posts|
{I wanted|I needed|I want to|I need to} to thank you for this {great|excellent|fantastic|wonderful|good|very good} read!!
I {definitely|certainly|absolutely} {enjoyed|loved} every {little
bit of|bit of} it. {I have|I’ve got|I have got} you
{bookmarked|book marked|book-marked|saved as a favorite} {to check out|to look at} new {stuff you|things you}

Blowback from the Confession of Dr. Conspiracy

I got a rather curious message on my answering machine just now. The caller identified himself with a name that would be familiar to some readers here and said he was calling with questions about an article I published, “The Confession of Dr. Conspiracy.” He said that what I had done was “illegal,” and he had some questions from his attorney.

The phone call was along the same lines as an email I also got, which follows (omitting identifying information):

[Y]ou prepared an article entitled "The Confession of Dr. Conspiracy" which you are indicating was published on the internet by accident. Please send me via e-mail any and all information concerning me, or about me, that may have been included in that article. You will also be receiving a cease and desist letter from my attorney.

I have no intention of getting tangled up with this fellow, and I won’t be calling him back. I replied by email that I would respond directly to his attorney.


Birther smear dodges FEC complaint

The Federal Elections Commission has rejected a complaint against Joel Gilbert, responsible for the smear film, “Dreams from My Real Father,” that was mailed to millions of potential voters in swing states during the 2012 election cycle. The film alleges that the President’s father is Frank Marshall Davis. The complaint is based on the fact that the persons who funded the effort have not been disclosed. The complaint is MUR 6779.

At this point, I am leaving this article in skeletal form, pending further information, and not knowing whether it will be appealed or not.

My general view is that when it comes to political money, more disclosure is better than less.

Sibley’s failsafe fails

And it’s a doozey…

imageI wrote earlier about the purported client list of  Deborah Jeane Palfrey (the “DC Madam”) that birther Montgomery Blair Sibley says he got while representing her in civil proceedings. He says that Verizon, in response to a 2007 subpoena, provided not only phone numbers, but 815 names, addresses and social-security numbers of escort service customers. Sibley says that he is under a court order not to release them (although phone numbers without names have been online since 2007). He wants that order lifted and has petitioned the Supreme Court to that end.

Sibley’s failsafe

imageUS News and World Report reported yesterday that Sibley placed the bombshell file, which he said could upend the presidential race, online with a 72-hour timed release automatic publication trigger should something happen to him and he is unable to turn it off. (Perhaps Sibley was influenced by the “suicide” of his client after her conviction.)

Sheer terror

It was sometime around the end of last year, as I was thinking about my blog’s 7th anniversary that I wrote a tell-all article called “The Confession of Dr. Conspiracy” that I thought I too would put on auto-publish so that it would appear automatically the day after this blog is scheduled to close, January 21, 2017. I did that, and to my utter amazement and sheer terror, the article appeared in advance of the set publication date. There is a bug in the WordPress 4.4 (and subsequent) remote procedure call API for article publication when the future publication date is near midnight. (I wrote about this at the WordPress forum here.) I quickly expunged my article and it never made the news feeds, nor the Wayback Machine and as far as I know, no one ever saw it. I learned my lesson: don’t put something online unless you want it read.

Sibley’s oops

I guess Sibley isn’t an avid follower of my comments on the WordPress forum, because the same thing (or something similar) happened to him at  the stoke of midnight or thereabouts tonight. The article with a link to the 815 escort customers went live, and I happened to be looking at his blog when it happened. I’m glad I saved a copy because ten minutes later it was gone (I guess that means that Sibley is still alive).

My quandary

I’m a straight arrow kind of guy, and if there is a court order to keep this material private, even if I’m not a party to anything, I think I should do so. Nevertheless, there is a significant entry in that log (actually more than one). For now, all I will say is that “President Sanders” is sounding pretty good right now.