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Birther plaintiffs say they didn’t get a Fair decision

Just as debunked conspiracy theories don’t die when logic dictates that they should, so birther conspiracy theory lawsuits don’t seem to end when the courts dismiss them. Case in point is Fair v. Walker in Maryland.

This case, the long caption of which is Tracy A. Fair and Mary C. Mitlenberger1 v. Robert Walker, Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Elections, et al. (President Obama is one of the defendants), is one of the leftover election lawsuits from 2012 that I wrote about in my article “Fair gets Obama hearing.” The issue raised was whether the Maryland General Assembly members should be removed from office for voting for something that removed the requirement that candidates swear they were eligible, that the law be changed back to what it was, and Obama be barred from the ballot in Maryland forever (plus some other stuff). The case was dismissed because it was filed later than the date on which the statute required candidates for the ballot to be certified. The original suit (based on a faulty knowledge of Maryland law) was filed in time, but the amended complaint was too late. The legal term is “laches,” a burden on a party because of delay.

Plaintiffs appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals and lost; however, they have now filed for reconsideration, citing among other things, “new evidence.” One wonders how there could be “new evidence” about when primary ballots for the 2012 election had to be certified. The specific new evidence was attached to a motion for judicial notice linked below, which seems to consist of some old stuff (Vattel, etc.) This all seems to be something related to their original claim, which of course could not be heard because it was dismissed. In all fairness (no pun intended), they allege other reasons for reconsideration, and dump a very long list of cases. Plaintiffs stated at the outset that they couldn’t find a real lawyer to take their case. I would just offer one suggestion to pro se plaintiffs: do not start an argument with the words, I do not understand how….

To the best my knowledge, the decision of the Court of Special Appeals was not published.


1Added to Birthers A to Z list.

Fair gets Obama hearing

imageThere is a certain market saturation with Obama eligibility lawsuits, 151 of them as of this writing. Once a cottage industry, ballot challenges can now be built from a kit. It’s hard to get excited about any one of them any more since they are pretty much the same and meet the same fate. I could almost write a generic article, substituting the actual case number in the graphic on the right and saying something like “the case, alleging that Barack Obama is ineligible to the Presidency because of [being born in Kenya, having a fake name, having an alien parent, losing his citizenship as a child] was dismissed for [lack of standing, failure to state a claim, wrong jurisdiction, failure to join essential parties].”

Sometimes there’s a hearing to add a little drama to the story, and that’s the case in Maryland today with the ballot challenge case of Fair v. Walker. In the complaint Maryland residents Tracy Fair and Mary Miltenberger allege that election officials were negligent by not requiring a signed statement from Barack Obama stating that he was eligible. The suit also alleges Obama is not eligible for “all of the above” from the birther checklist. That said, it’s hard to tell whether the suit is about Obama’s eligibility, or whether Maryland law requires presidential candidates to certify their eligibility. There is a great deal of both in the complaint.

In today’s hearing on motions to dismiss before the Carroll County Circuit Court, Plaintiffs submitted a new document in opposition which the judge has taken into consideration. I wasn’t able to view the document in Firefox, but the Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers worked OK. The opposition to the motion to dismiss at 43 pages was longer than the complaint.

The particular issue of what Maryland law requires in the way of candidate certification, I will let the court untangle without my comment. As for any claim that Barack Obama is ineligible:


The case was dismissed. I could change the title to “Obama wins Fair hearing.”