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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.

Documents:


1Added to Birthers A to Z list.

Birther publishes Obama accomplice list

The conspiracy grows

I got the link from a pretty messed-up article at Orly’s place, “ObamaNazi regime is sensoring (sic) everything, including the new ‘aider and Abetter Central’ (sic) Tracy is asking the public to ad (sic) the names of people they suspect to be accomplices of ObamaNazi regime.” Orly, never one to respect private emails, identified “Tracy” as the creator of the new web site, UnslaveAmerica. Apparently this wasn’t meant as a secret, because Tracy Fair’s well-known online persona, KenyanBornObama, is the Twitter feed on the site and it links to the documents in her birther lawsuit in Maryland that name her.

The “sensoring” part is a claim that Tracy’s emails promoting her site are bouncing, but not the one to Orly. Here’s a puzzle for Tracy: If the “ObamaNazi” regime is trying to prevent Tracy getting the word out about her web site, and Tracy lists me as one of the “aider and Abettors” of that regime, then how can I be promoting the site in an article here? It’s a pickle™.

imageUnslave America is the usual compilation of birther stuff, plus Federal Reserve and Illuminati conspiracy theories. It carries on one of Tracy’s themes, naming enemies; she does this on a page “Central aid and abet list.” The list contains the media and the federal government plus a Fogbow segment that is almost the same as the “Good” list here (another example of birthers reversing the meaning of good and evil). She links to her personal exposé videos that name names to go with the screen names. Others on her list are less likely candidates, including Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and US Representative Steve King of Iowa.

Commenter strikefighter said something on this blog back in 2009 that is even more true today:

So, at this point, is there anybody, other than the birthers, who is not part of the conspiracy?

Clicking around looking for something new, I found a Mr. Hyde version of my Debunker’s Guide, called the “OBAMA INELIGIBILTY EVIDENCE DATABASE,” a compilation of Vattelist material. The challenge is often laid down to birthers to name one child born in the United States to alien parents that needed to be naturalized. This database has one, from the case of IN RE THENAULT 47 F.Supp. 952 (1942). The mother was a US Citizen and the father a French diplomat (hereby creating an exception under the 14th Amendment jurisdiction requirement).  The Court ruled that the children could become naturalized US Citizens through through the petition of their mother according to the law regarding foreign-born children of US mothers in effect at the time. The Circuit Court said:

Although these children in a geographical sense were born within the United States, by virtue of the status of their father at that time, they became subject to the jurisdiction of the French Republic as effectively as though they were born within its territorial limits and outside those of the United States.

Unslave America also includes the ubiquitous birther PayPal donation button.

It’s a shame that Tracy doesn’t use her video and graphic skills for something that benefits people. Until that happens, I have a new entry for the Bad list, Unslave America.

The Obots ate my homework

The issue of Obot judicial bias has been raised just recently in the wake of two decisions that went against the birthers. The first was Jordan v. Reed in Washington state about which John, a commenter here, wrote:

Wow! This is by far the most biased and ridiculing court decision to date. The decision should be appealed and completely tossed out as it contains so much bias and ridicule and slander as to lack any real legal credibility. Is this judge a member of the Fogbow or something?

Tracy Fair, writing about her dismissal on August 23 wrote something similar:

WHAT A TOTALLY BOGUS DECISION
(IT’S LOOKS LIKE THE OBOTS WROTE THIS DECISION!)

Conspiracy theorists have a hard time understanding people who disagree with them. They are so certain about their conclusions that they believe they should be obvious to anyone, and therefore anyone who disagrees must be willfully ignoring the facts, or worse, in on the conspiracy. In these two instances, birthers blame judicial bias for the birther losses.

What birthers do not understand is that there’s no requirement for a presidential candidate to prove eligibility in Washington or Maryland. The burden of proof, assuming for a moment that the court had jurisdiction and could decide eligibility, is on the plaintiffs to show that the candidate’s not eligible. Even if birthers could prove Obama’s birth certificate a forgery (which it isn’t) and his social-security number stolen (which it isn’t) and his Selective Service registration a fake (which it isn’t), they still have absolutely no proof that Obama was born outside of the United States. For birthers, “questionable documents” = “born in Kenya” but that’s not how a legal argument works. When it comes to positive evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, all the birthers have is hearsay and a recording of Obama’s step grandmother that really says he was born in Hawaii. That gets the birthers nowhere.

So birthers, it’s not the Obots’ fault that you lost and the problem is not with the judge. The problem is your lack of supporting law and evidence. Stop blaming the Obots and take responsibility for your own failures. Stop whining.

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:

Update:

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

Fair v. Walker (formerly v. Obama) Take 2

The undated “Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgement (sic) and Injunctive Relief” may have been filed in Carroll County, Maryland, in the lawsuit, Fair v. Obama Walker. The most concise indication (in a very not concise complaint) of what the lawsuit is about is found in the specific relief being sought:

We respectfully request the following judgement (sic):

1. Law 8-502 be invalidated, so not to infringe upon the rights of the people.
2. Law 5-302 be followed, to restore faith and the rule of law in our election system.
3. That all candidates be required to sign under oath that they fill the requirements.
4. The members of the General Assembly that voted for this 8-502 law be censured and removed from office and prevented from running for office in the future, because they have failed to follow the U.S.Constitution, the Maryland Constitution, Article 1 Sec 7 and their own oath of office. Article 1 Sec 9.
5. A new election be held in November 2012 to elect new members of the General Assembly, the Governor and Attorney General.
6. The Secretary of State be instructed to follow 5-302 starting with this election.

If one central issue can be identified in this 40-page filing, it is that Maryland law requires that all candidates file a “certificate of candidacy”, but elsewhere requires that for the presidential primary ballot, a candidate only be generally recognized as a candidate. Maryland law Title 8, Subtitle 5, Section 8-502 Candidates for President – Primary election mandates that:

The Secretary of State shall certify the name of a presidential candidate on the ballot when the Secretary has determined, in the Secretary’s sole discretion and consistent with party rules, that the candidate’s candidacy is generally advocated or recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in Maryland….

That is, under this section a candidate for President must be placed on the ballot according to this provision. However Title 5 Subtitle 3 Section 5-301 states that one may become a candidate only upon filing a “certificate of candidacy” (note that this section excludes national party candidates for President in the general election). Title 5 appears to cover primary elections. The State has taken the more specific mandate in Title 8 as controlling and Ms. Fair wants the court to make Title 5 controlling.

I note one further provision of Maryland law: Title 5 Subtitle 6 Section 5-601 – Candidates qualifying (referring to Qualifications for Primary Election Ballot):

The name of a candidate shall remain on the ballot and be submitted to the voters at a primary election if: 

(1) the candidate has filed a certificate of candidacy…

… or

(2) the candidate has qualified to have the candidate’s name submitted to the voters in a presidential primary election under Title 8, Subtitle 5 of this article. 

Not being a lawyer, I don’t know how this will be sorted out by the court. I assume the court will quickly dismiss the part about throwing legislators out of office and turn the motion into a writ of mandamus, and based on 5-601 it would seem to me that the clear intent of the Legislature was that in the case of a Presidential primary election that 8-502 controls. (5-601 is cited in the Complaint along with huge dumps of Maryland statutes, but not addressed specifically.) The word “Constitution” appears 65 times in the Complaint, but I don’t see how either the Constitution of the United States or that of Maryland allows Ms. Fair to receive the relief sought.  This is what you would usually expect, that the Secretary of State of Maryland knows the law better than a pro se plaintiff.

An essential flaw with this “Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgement (sic) and Injunctive Relief” is that it seeks to remove from office persons who are not named in the lawsuit (those named are Robert Walker (Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Elections), Linda H. Lamone (State Administrator of Elections), John P. McDonough (Maryland Secretary of State) and Jared DeMarinis (Director of the Candidacy and Campaign Finance Division, Maryland State Board of Elections).

Apparently the Complaint was accompanied by 9 exhibits, many of which deal with President Obama’s eligibility. One notes that the suit itself makes no request that an eligibility determination be made, and so this is irrelevant.

The Maryland Primary is April 3. In my opinion, this case is:

Doomed

Fair v. Obama

Before starting this article, I refer readers to the site’s editorial policy, which says:

Posting personal information about private individuals is prohibited.

However, when someone files a lawsuit that is a matter of public record, they change from being a private individual to a part of the story itself. So with some reluctance, I publish this article about a lawsuit filed in Maryland, a ballot challenge against Barack Obama by Tracy Fair. I will, however, not embed the 52-page complaint on this page (and thereby display its personal information) but just link to it on Scribd. A further awkwardness is that Ms. Fair is banned from this web site, and is not able to make any comments or complaints about my treatment of the subject. Bans are always a troublesome compromise solution.

Fair v. Obama was filed towards the end of January in the Circuit Court in Carroll County, Maryland. Barack Obama has 90 days from date of service (whenever that is) to file a written response to avoid a default judgment.

Fair alleges Barack Obama is not eligible for the Office of President, and thereby should not be on the ballot. Her grounds for non-eligibility are claims that (hyperlinks refer to topical articles on my web site):

  1. Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen.
  2. Obama is using an alias instead of his alleged adopted name (Barry Soetoro). His Illinois Bar Application is mentioned.
  3. Obama’s social-security number is from Connecticut.
  4. Various statements from Africans suggesting Obama was from Kenya.
  5. Obama was born a dual citizen.
  6. Obama’s birth certificate is alleged to be a forgery by “experts.”

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