Embedded below is the agenda for the February 2, 2012 meeting of the Illinois State Board of Elections with recommendations from the Hearing Officer and the General Counsel. These recommendations are in the cases of Freeman v. Obama and Jackson v. Obama, both so-called "birther” challenges.
In the Freeman case, Hearing Officer Jim Tenuto wrote:
A copy of the Candidate’s [long form] birth certificate is attached to the Candidate’s Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Objector’s Petition. The Hearing officer finds that the birth certificate clearly establishes the Candidate’s eligibility for office as a “Natural Born Citizen.”
The General Counsel agreed.
In the next case, Jackson submitted an argument similar to that raised in Georgia that a Natural Born Citizen must be born in the United States to two citizen parents. Both the Georgia and Illinois arguments cite the Supreme Court decision in Minor v. Happersett, and both argue against the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Wong. Jackson also argues that Barack Obama was not a Natural Born Citizen because he was born with dual citizenship, US and UK.
Obama’s attorney moved to dismiss stating, among other things, that the challenge was based on an incorrect interpretation of what constitutes a “natural born citizen.”
Jackson wrote in his Motion In Opposition to dismissal:
Because Obama was not born to citizen parent(s), assuming he was born in Hawaii, he has to rely on the Fourteenth Amendment or 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1401(a) to be a “citizen of the United States.” First, that amendment and statute do not provide anyone with the status of a “natural born Citizen,” which status is only obtained by satisfying the American common law definition of the clause as confirmed by Minor v Happersett.
In response to this argument, the hearing officer, with concurrence of the General Counsel, while not addressing any part of Jackson’s argument specifically, concluded that the submitted birth certificate clearly makes Obama a natural born citizen.
I’m sure birthers will point to the “Chicago Mafia” or say that Obama got to these officers; however, I think they should consider the possibility that this is the way normal people react to birther claims, and that they may see more of the same in Georgia a few days hence.