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Paige and Vogt fail at the Supreme Court

Folks reading comments here already know that the Supreme Court published decisions today: H. Brooke Paige and Douglas Vogt came up losers. The Supreme Court will not take up their cases.

If you want to read more, check out RC’s article, “It’s a twofer at the Supreme Court.”

Apuzzo submits SCOTUS appeal in Paige case

A document has surfaced on the Internet which appears to be a petition for writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court in the case of H. Brooke Paige v. James Condos, Vermont Secretary of State. In this case Paige, with some assistance from Mr. Apuzzo, argued that US Presidents must have US citizen parents. The lower court rejected that view, saying:

While the court has no doubt at this point that Emmerich de Vattel’s treatise The Law of Nations was a work of significant value to the founding fathers, the court does not conclude that his phrase–”The natives, or natural born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”–has constitutional significance or that his use of “parents” in the plural has particular significance. This far, no judicial decision has adopted such logic in connection with this or any related issues. In fact, the most comprehensive decision on the topic, Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana, examines the historical basis of the use of the phrase, including the English common law in effect at the time of independence, and concludes that the expression “natural born Citizen” is not dependent on the nationality of the parents but reflects the status of a person born into citizenship instead of having citizenship subsequently bestowed. The distinction is eminently logical.

I wrote why the Supreme Court is unlikely to grant cert in my article: “Why the US Supreme Court will not hear the Paige case,” so I won’t repeat that discussion here.

At this point, a search of the Supreme Court docket does not show the case, nor is there a case number on the petition document uploaded 7 hours ago. Nothing at Apuzzo’s blog yet. Paige writes on his Constitutional Reset blog that the petition was filed yesterday (March 6).

Read more:

Vermont Supreme Court rules birther appeal moot

H. Brooke Paige was one of many birthers who unsuccessfully sought in court to remove Barack Obama from the 2012 ballot. His argument was that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen because his father was not a US Citizen. The lower court dismissed Paige v. Condos, saying in 2012:

While the court has no doubt at this point that Emmerich de Vattel’s treatise The Law of Nations was a work of significant value to the founding fathers, the court does not conclude that his phrase–”The natives, or natural born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”–has constitutional significance or that his use of “parents” in the plural has particular significance. This far, no judicial decision has adopted such logic in connection with this or any related issues. In fact, the most comprehensive decision on the topic, Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana, examines the historical basis of the use of the phrase, including the English common law in effect at the time of independence, and concludes that the expression “natural born Citizen” is not dependent on the nationality of the parents but reflects the status of a person born into citizenship instead of having citizenship subsequently bestowed. The distinction is eminently logical.

The Vermont Supreme Court, noting that the election is over, has rejected an appeal from Page to the decision and declared the question moot—Obama cannot run for President again. The Court noted that Paige lacked standing to bring a suit in the first place, because he showed no particular and individual injury, and also that the Court has no power to grant the relief demanded by Paige, writing:

…a declaration by this Court with regards to plaintiff’s “natural born Citizen” argument would have no impact on the qualification-related laws and orders to which plaintiff refers, since a ruling by this Court would bind no other state or federal presidential election authority.  Whatever the merit of his argument, plaintiff’s cure in the form of declaratory relief is futile and so beyond this Court’s constitutional jurisdiction.

In the court of original jurisdiction, defendants argued:

… the Secretary of State does not have the authority to determine a presidential candidate’s eligibility

That is very close to the question before the Alabama Supreme Court of whether the Secretary of State has a duty to determine a presidential candidate’s eligibility. In the Alabama case (McInnish v. Chapman), the question is of a more general nature, and the Court may well not consider it moot. However, contrary to birther expectations, there will be no trial of Obama’s eligibility before any Alabama court.

Read more:

Paige tries to lay down the Law to the Vermont Supreme Court

It was a good day for Justice in Vermont!
– H. Brooke Paige

Photo of a stack of Copies of the Law of Nations from Press photoH. Brooke Paige tried to impress the Vermont Supreme Court yesterday with a thick pile of books1 that he at one point attempted to approach and hand to them, violating their personal judicial space, and according to the Burlington Free Press, raising some alarm.

Paige wanted to make it clear to the justices that he was not one of those crazy birthers, saying:

Don’t pay any attention to them. The birther argument is just a sheer flight of fancy.2

Paige is one of those crazy Vattelians. Like other cranks, Paige focuses just on what supports his theories, interpreting the evidence as if the theory were fact, and excluding everything against it, and so cannot objectively evaluate evidence. The judges were more interested in the law. Reportedly birther attorney Mario Apuzzo, who has argued classic birther conspiracy theories on behalf of Charles Kerchner, helped Paige with his arguments.

The Vermont Superior Court previously rejected Paige’s definition of “natural born citizen,” repeating the conclusions of many other courts on this question.


1Vattel’s The Law of Nations

2Quote of the Day for sure

Vermont judge tosses crank “natural born citizen” suit

Superior Court judge Robert Bent found the suit Paige v. State of Vermont “interesting” but fatally flawed for lack of standing and jurisdiction. In addition, the central thesis of the complaint was that US Presidents must have US citizen parents is just wrong, the judge writing:

The expression “natural born citizen” is not dependent on the nationality of the parents but reflects the status of a person born into citizenship instead of having citizenship subsequently bestowed.

Read the article at the Burlington Free Press.

Read the decision here:

Continue Reading →

Paige denied injunction

H. Brooke Paige filed a lawsuit to keep Barack Obama off the November ballot in Vermont. Judge Robert Bent of the Vermont Superior Court was having none of it, reports the Burlington Free Press, refusing a request for a preliminary injunction barring Obama from the ballot, saying:

The court has been presented with a radically insufficient basis on which to issue a temporary or even a preliminary injunction

The judge cited, among other reasons, that the Plaintiff hadn’t even served President Obama with the complaint. While not ruling on the substantive argument of Paige’s complaint (the twofer theory that Obama’s non-citizen father makes him ineligible), the judge didn’t seem very sympathetic to the idea, saying:

The myriad versions of the claim that President Obama is ineligible for office because he is not a ‘natural born citizen’ have been litigated throughout the country exhaustively. They have never succeeded, usually on standing or jurisdictional bases.

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