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Lindsay oral arguments: peppered with “birther”

Orly Taitz has obtained an unofficial transcript of the oral arguments from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Peta Lindsay, et al v. Debra Bowen. Like 1968 Peace and Freedom Party presidential candidate Eldridge Cleaver1, Lindsay was too young to become President of the United States, and like Cleaver, she was refused a place on the California Ballot because of her age. The lower court dismissed Lindsay’s lawsuit.

Appellants argue that the US Constitution provides that under the 20th Amendment only Congress may decide presidential qualifications, the eligibility of a president-elect to become president. Under the political question doctrine, a court would decline to intervene when the Constitution explicitly assigns a role to another branch of government or to the democratic process. The State of California argues that Congress’ role in deciding eligibility is not exclusive and that case law gives states broad authority in the conduct of elections, including the power to prevent a ballot from being cluttered by frivolous candidates. Both parties cite Elections Code Section 6720, that says:

6720.  The Secretary of State shall place the name of a candidate upon the Peace and Freedom Party presidential preference ballot when the Secretary of State has determined that the candidate is generally advocated for or recognized throughout the United States or California as actively seeking the presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party or the national party with which the Peace and Freedom Party is affiliated.

Appellants say this requires the Secretary of State to place the Peace and Freedom Party candidate on the ballot. Bowen argues that an obviously ineligible candidate cannot be considered “generally advocated.”

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Challengers bustin’ out all over

Photo of Pamela Barnett with Pastor ManningJune is still a few months away, but birther ballot challenges are bustin’ out all over (and I’m running out of snappy headlines). It’s the June 5 California Primary, this time, with Edward Noonan, Sharon Chickering, George Miller, Tony Dolz, Neil Turner, Gary Wilmott and familiar birther activist, and former Orly Taitz military plaintiff, Pamela Barnett taking on the veteran birther lawsuit defender, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. (Barnett is shown here in a photo with Pastor James David Manning during his Blood of Jesus v. Obama mock trial in Harlem.)

California Secretary of State Debra BowenThe venue is the Sacramento County Superior Court and the defendants are Secretary of State Bowen, Barack Obama and the Obama campaign committee Organizing for America. Bowen (pictured left) says that she will be in court on April 20 to present her response and assert that the Petitioners “fail to state a cause of action.”

The Petitioners seek [link to text of the petition] to keep Obama from raising money in California in addition to removing him from the ballot. The Petition is filed under the State’s Elections Code §13314 (text following). Petitioners cite the historical precedent of the removal of Eldridge Cleaver from the ballot in 1968 (ineligible because of age) by then Secretary Frank Jordan.

The Petitioners argue that Barack Obama should be barred from the ballot because his father was not a US Citizen, citing Minor v. Happersett for a definition of “natural born citizen.” Petitioners assert that the Secretary of state has a “ministerial duty” to investigate possible fraud related to the eligibility of Barack Obama.

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