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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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John McCain – natural born citizen

John McCain

This is the second in a new series of articles examining the citizenship of American presidents and presidential candidates. In the first I demonstrated that our first president, George Washington, was a natural born citizen. Here we look at John McCain, 2008 Republican candidate for president. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 to two US citizen parents.

To forestall possible objections, the McCain campaign requested an opinion from Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe and former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson. That opinion appears as Appendix A to an article by Gabriel Chin (Chin disagrees that McCain is a natural born citizen). The US Senate took up a resolution (S. Res. 511) that declared John McCain a natural born citizen. The resolution, sponsored by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, passed unanimously.

John McCain’s eligibility was challenged in a lawsuit filed by Fred Hollander (Hollander v McCain). Just before this suit was dismissed for lack of standing, Hollander introduced a fake birth certificate alleging that John McCain was born in the Republic of Panama. Hollander is the best known, but not the only lawsuit to be filed alleging John McCain was not a natural born citizen. Others include the Pennsylvania case filed by Carmon Elliott.

In the federal court for the Northern District of California, Markham Robinson filed suit against California Secretary of State Bowen (Robinson v Bowen et al) seeking to prevent McCain from appearing on the November ballot. In his order in the case,  federal judge William Alsup went beyond dismissing the case for lack of standing and wrote about the underlying issue of McCains’ eligibility: Continue Reading →