In the wake of the 2008 U. S. Presidential Election some bemoaned the lack of eligibility checking for presidential candidates. Some asserted that there is a “big gaping hole” in the process that led to confusion, turmoil, and, in their view, an ineligible President taking office. Some said that the process is broken and needs to be fixed.
Several state legislatures considered legislation that would establish procedures to vet presidential candidates at the state level, including requirements that candidates present documents and give oaths. None became law. Challenges in at least 18 states were filed alleging that various presidential candidates are ineligible to appear on the ballot, or that state officials have failed in their duty to perform a rigorous eligibility screening for all presidential candidates. Over one hundred failed lawsuits, petitions and challenges later, things are essentially where they began.
I believe that the system is not broken; rather, the confusion and turmoil is solely due to the failure of those suffering the confusion and experiencing the turmoil to read and understand the U. S. Constitution. Our Constitution sets up a two-stage process to ensure that only an eligible individual assumes the office of President of the United States.
The first responsibility in selecting an eligible President lies with the citizens of the United States. Citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to speak and to assemble peacefully. At no time in our history has it been easier for an individual to reach large numbers of other voters; the Internet indeed makes speech free. The Constitution also grants freedom of the Press, who have the resources to research, to investigate, interview, and get priority access to Freedom of Information Act material. Candidates can, and do investigate each other in microscopic detail and have ample resources to publish what they find. At any point, should it be suspected that a candidate for President is not eligible under the Constitution to serve in the Office, the opportunity is there to lay that concern before the voters in the election process.
It may be argued that private individuals, the Press, and opposition candidates are limited in what they can do in their investigation. Some records are closed by law, the public lacks subpoena power and they cannot compel testimony under oath. It may be argued that a misguided public could elect a popular candidate they know is ineligible. The Constitution provides an answer to this unlikely contingency. Under the Twelfth Amendment, at the time the votes of the Electoral College are counted, an objection by a single Senator and a single member of the House of Representatives will trigger an investigation by Congress into a candidate’s eligibility, and the Twentieth Amendment provides an exact procedure to handle the situation where the President-elect fails to qualify. (Take a moment to recall the many difficult political investigations done by Congress in the past.) Congress has the resources, the staff and the power to subpoena documents and compel testimony under oath.
Under our Constitution, the voters choose electors who by proxy select our President. No U. S. President elected by the voters has ever been found ineligible to serve under the Constitution. The system has worked for over 200 years. In the extremely unlikely situation that a future candidate should be elected President who was ineligible, who better than the Congress is qualified to settle the question?
While some may be dissatisfied with the outcome of the 2008 election, the process worked – the opposition just failed to make their argument. The case for ineligibility was out there for the voters to decide and they decided in favor of eligibility. Members of Congress were petitioned to investigate the 2008 Election on account of eligibility concerns before certifying the results. All the members of Congress voted to certify.
I think we have an elegant and effective vetting process for the office of President of the United States. It is much more streamlined than hundreds of lawsuits and a myriad of inconsistent state legislation.
This is not my idea, by the way. Judge William Alsup (pictured below) of the Northern District of California wrote in Robinson v. Bowen, a case in which the plaintiffs sought to exclude Senator John McCain from the 2008 ballot in California:
It is clear that mechanisms exist under the Twelfth Amendment and 3 U.S.C. § 15 for any challenge to any (presidential) candidate to be ventilated when electoral votes are counted, and that the Twentieth Amendment provides guidance regarding how to proceed if a president elect shall have failed to qualify. Issues regarding qualifications for president are quintessentially suited to the foregoing process. Arguments concerning qualifications or lack thereof can be laid before the voting public before the election and, once the election is over, can be raised as objections as the electoral votes are counted in Congress. The members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are well qualified to adjudicate any objections to ballots for allegedly unqualified candidates.
Your gloss on the well-established Presidential vetting process is clear, concise, and factual. No sane, rational human being could take exception to the way you have stated it.
Cue the Birthers’ objections to it in 10… 9… 8…
To be perfectly honest, if you had asked me 3 years ago, I might have agreed that things were broken. That was because I didn’t understand how things were intended to work, and my mind was somewhat polluted by a context the birthers created. Having a two stage filter where the first stage alone has always worked gives me an extremely high level of confidence in the process.
Ahhhhhhh but Doc, the whole process (according to the Birfoons) is wholly flawed……I give you Dr K(H)ate who just posted a long threaty screed on this EXACT point… 😎
A few selected gems…..
This post will look far off into the future, and assumes for the moment that none of the legal and proper efforts Constitutionalists have undertaken since 2008 to have Barrack Obama Soetoro investigated and removed from office based on his lack of constitutional eligibility will have worked.
My last batch of irony meters melted when I got to that one….
Obama has used tax dollars, drugs, weapons, or CIA threats to bribe Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan, the muslim community, individual states, and so many others to keep silent about his illegality
But no one challenged the electoral college vote, in fact I heard Nancy Pelosi was so drunk with power that she rushed the vote improperly, aided and abetted by VP Dick Cheney, without the requisite analysis of citizenship status or calling for objections. All those who could have challenged this vote were too afraid to do so, and yes that includes Ron Paul.
Seems Dr K(H)ate has forgotten that Ron Paul is her Golden Haired Boy for Prez….
She meanders sediiously for a while then gets to a swathe of wonderful and of course Constitutionally illegal ways to MAKE everyone follow her view of insanity…
The fact that she just spent a page burbbling on about the Constitution and the 12th Amendment then proposes subverting all the above eludes her…..
It ends with a reminder that Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio are equally bad for being of furrin blood and stuff…..
Looks like my just posted taxonomy of Birfers is right on the nose with Dr K(H)ate with this one……Definitely one of The Mad…..8-)
Great post Doc.
There’s nothing one can do about the real crazies.
When all of the Birtherism first started, my contention was that the way the system worked was that the leader of the party basically vouched for the candidate’s eligibility and that was it unless a fellow member of Congress questioned it. That never happened so Obama was, and remains, eligible.
Move over Bloom, now we have Bovril’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Dissonance.
The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 68
I thought that Judge Carter’s ruling in Keyes v. Obama was very thorough in discussing this. As we stand right now, millions will be spent by both parties, special interests, press, etc. digging into the lives of both Romney and the President, as well as their families. As I’ve told many blowers, they have absolutely no proof that the President wasn’t born in Hawaii, so they can present their case and let the ultimate court in this country decide…the voters.
Shouldn’t that be Ensure, not Insure…
Exactly. The two stage filter is not only great in that it works, it’s better in that it’s not doctrinal.
The first stage is the opinion of the voters. Legal loopholes can often lead to miscarriage of justice, but the filter of the people has no legal dogma, and so cannot be loopholed. The easiest way for any candidate to eliminate the opposition is to point out to the electorate if the opponent is not eligible to hold the office. I’d have a tough time imagining anyone clearly not eligible surviving an election, and the idea that the birthers promote, that Obama’s opposition was bullied into silence is ridiculous. What opponent in an election would give up a sure bet on gaining power over bullying?
The second stage is even better. If, by some chance, the fist stage fails, and an unqualified candidate gets elected, then the law kicks in, and a big bunch of people who have a reasonably good knowledge of the law, at least some of whom are not happy with the election results, are given the opportunity to say “nope”.
No legal dogma, no loopholes, a big nod to democratic principles…. the FF were clearly wiser than many of us.
I shall place it with my previous dissertation on “Birtherism….Disease, Viral infection or Parasitic Infestation”… 😎
I think in the Birther mindset, Congress aren’t a bunch of people with good knowledge of the law. I think to them, the law is like the Ten Commandments, holy and infallible and only true if they came from the Founding Fathers.
“Ensure” would be unconstitutional.
I don’t see that an ineligible candidate being elected is necessarily a “failure”. Two of the disqualifications are temporary — age and residence. If a candidate who is almost old enough or almost a resident for 14 years be elected, then the Vice President-elect would become President until the President-elect qualifies. I don’t have a problem with that. Even natural born citizenship is a disability that could be removed by constitutional amendment while a President-elect waited to assume office.
Raises an interesting hypothetical …. passing an amendment designed to make a candidate ineligible between the general election and the electoral college process. That’s only 60 days, and would require 38 states and all of Congress to move in lock step. The ultimate dirty politics. A possible safeguard against a trojan horse candidate.
Doc – Your description of the process as “elegant” is itself an elegant essay. I have always, however, thought of the process as a 3-stage process. I would add the state “ballot access” process as stage one. As you mentioned in an article a few days ago, there is still some question out there about the ultimate authority of a state or SOS to rule someone off of the ballot for President (or in a primary) because of lack of “qualifications.” However, it can not be denied or overlooked that this has happened, and may, depending on the state statutes and interpretations of them by courts, be fully consistent with state law, as well as logical to the extreme as a species of “ballot access” cases that are within a State’s constitutional authority over federal elections. Art. II, Sec. 1, cl. 2; Art. I, Sec. 4, cl. 1 (with respect to congressional elections, but expanded by SCOTUS). So, you have a guy like Abdul Hassan who admits that he is not a “natural born citizen,” but rather is naturalized, and the Secretary of State of Colorado wrote him that he is not eligible to be on the Colorado ballot. (Letter of August 12, 2011) I think that it a proper exercise of authority of a SOS to avoid ballot overcrowding, fraud, and voter confusion. I assume it will be upheld, and such action would be the first “vetting” in the process (along with challenges properly brought to courts under state challenge procedures such as we have seen this cycle).
And thanks, Doc, for the well-written explanation. As you say here, and many of us have said, the system is not flawed, and does not need correction. It’s beautifully written in its redundancy and allowance for flexibility. There’s no need to attempt to account for all possible cases when a general procedure will work. Basic systems design.
Of course it would be more reassuring to the paranoid to have all possibilities enunciated and considered. But that’s impossible, and any such attempts to solve the imagined problem would create new, real problems. They’d muck up the system, and just add more layers to the crazy onion. More nodes on which to anchor conspiracy. This is what keeps birthers busy dreaming up their classification systems!
And no matter how detailed and fleshed out any attempt came to be, any legitimate, Constitutional codification of hyper-specific eligibility would never include the lines the wingers are looking for … the ones proscribing certain political parties, name origins, skin pigmentations, religious affiliations, and political alignments … after all, there are only so many hyper-right WASPs named John Smith in the world.
How? With Obamacare! No more denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions, everyone is eligible!
(I’m with Bovril: “insure” = “arrange for compensation in the event of damage, loss or injury”
“ensure” = “make certain”)
I thank the Founders everyday for my Federal Tranquility Insurance.
The document says ‘insure’. Meaning and usage wanders over time. Particularly with the intervening explosive growth of the insurance industry!
They only insure Tranquility for your Domestics. You need a special rider for anything else.
You like “insurance”
I like “esurance”
You say “Obama”
I say “Yo Momma”
Obama! Yo Momma!
Let’s call the ‘lection off.
I call you “birther”
You call me “obot.”
I say you’re crazy
You call me a robot.
Le’ts call the ‘lection off.
Unlike certain Presidential candidates, domestics is all I got.
Sounds like my exciting weekend plans. Them are real domestic. Bleh.
I pray the Washingtonian regulations, barring the insurance of foreign entanglements, remains in effect.
Very well stated, Doc. Pretty much the best I’ve read on the subject.
Apart from the question of whether a state excluding a candidate from the ballot is constitutional, I ask whether it is useful. Historically a handful of candidates who had no chance of election have been excluded from the ballot. What public good was served by excluding them? The outcome was the same.
In Lower Alabama where I grew up, we didn’t have “ensure.” Heck, in my home town you couldn’t even go out for pizza.
How about Slim Fast?
The Birthers are found of invoking the founders in supporting their claims. So, I thought, why not check out state election laws from the early years. So far, in Maryland, back in the 1790s, I have come up short in finding their “candidate vetting process.” The laws mainly covered things like districts, redistricting, electing electors, the election judges and the pesky part about paying the various players (electors per diem pay, not the bribes and such they may have happened in Maryland in later years).
The official defense contractor standard for weapons-system alinement manuals and so on is to use “insure” for “make sure that…” Same with “aline” instead of “align.”
Maybe Doc picked up the habit of “insure” from some experience with Government standards? At any rate, it now carries both meanings, according to Uncle Sam at least.
I have reviewed the Oxford English Dictionary, and the usage of “insure” in the article’s title and text is correct.
This article has been updated to be a bit more concise. If you quote the article, please use this newer version. Nothing of substance has been changed.
To those who believe the system currently in place is inadequate, I ask, what do you propose as alternative? Some committee of notables to decide who runs and who doesn’t (like the Guardian Council in the Islamic Republic of Iran)? But who would serve on such a committee and why should we trust them more than we trust the voters (ourselves) and Congress? How would one ensure (or insure) that they did not decide on a political basis (or would be perceived to do so)? Just look at the recent mess in Egypt. Or judges? What makes anyone think they would do any differently? As the 100+ birther cases have shown, they have not come to any different conclusion than the voters and Congress did. Besides, do we really want elections decided by judges? Are they not just as political as anyone else; i.e. the 5-4 majority in Bush v. Gore?
How we insure an eligible President?
The insurance companies have 800 numbers. Why not call up a few and get some quotes?
“Because I’m your brother-in-law, I’m going to help you plan your insurance program.”
Birthers have a number of times pointed out that Dick Cheney did not call for objections during the counting of the electoral votes (not sure why they throw in Nancy Pelosi, as the Constitution clearly sets this as something presided over by the President of the Senate, i.e. the Vice President, except that they probably want to find a way to blame Democrats rather than invite questions as to why Dick Cheney would have tried to prevent objections). This is true, but they ignore the fact that objections have to be submitted in writing, and clearly no one had submitted anything to Vice President Cheney at the time. That doesn’t excuse the fact that he forgot, but it’s unlikely that it affected anything.
There are some birthers that claim that there were people ready to object but because no objections were asked for they didn’t do anything. I completely discount this claim because were it true, said Representative/Senator pair could have come out immediately following the certification and complained, or simply raised a point of order during the counting and said “Mr. Vice President, you have not called for objections” and I’m sure he would have. If I was somehow there and planned to object, and none were called for, you can bet I’d go to the media afterward and point it out, not keep it a secret shared between me and just a select group.
Then there are the crazier birthers that claim that since no objections were asked for the certification didn’t count and we’re actually still back on January 7th, 2008, with no valid President at all. Butterdezillion is fond of this theory, which is all one needs to know to know that it’s bullshit. Yes, Mr. Cheney should have called for them, but given no one complained at the time that no court, even then, would have required him to go back and do so just to make the process legal.
The Blue Book Grammar Lady says it should be “ensure”. I think any modern editor would change your title but since it is your blog you make the call.
If we’ve lost the OED what hope is there for humanity?
How have you been? I wondered if you noticed this: http://johnmalcolm.me/2012/04/19/obama-lawyer-admits-in-court-birth-certificate-on-white-house-website-is-a-forgery/
Now, that is all over the internet, but only on very small news outlets and blogs … but you know, I’m just wondering why none of the main stream media has that, but actually I’m not surprised. I mean come on. These main steam news outlets have their noses so far up Obama’s a$$ they can’t breath.
Now personally, if I’d have been defending the authencity of Mr. Obama’s long form birth certificate, I’d be kind of embarrassed.
I think is a shame that the gentleman threw every one that worships at his feet defending his antics under the bus. But I can’t wait to see how this act of forgery will be explained away, or made not relevant.
I hope your weekend is good.
Steve: Thanks for pointing this out.
I found an article on presidential eligibility, that is relevant. Thanks for visiting.
Except for the fact that it is you who have been PUNKED. Again! Ms. Hill said no such thing. She admitted that a .pdf posted online has no legal import, which everybody with an IQ higher than navel lint already knew. But you read on a RWNJ website she said it, so it MUST be true! “Tremble in your boots, Doc! Let the frog-marching begin!” Holy Mike, that would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic.
I love the triumphal tone when you lugnuts emerge from a dung-heap clutching a piece of broken glass and shout “I told you this was a diamond mine!” Really, spend a couple bucks someday and buy yourself a clue.Y
Boy, I can’t wait ’til Romney releases HIS LFBC so we can find 100 anomalies that prove it’s an obvious forgery. What… you’re not going to demand the same level of documentation as Obama? Why, what a surprise.
Interesting, Steve. Did you read the material on the link you provided?
Did you miss the fact that the lawyer you refer to as “the gentleman” is a woman?
Did you miss the fact that there is no quote from the record supporting the assertion?
Other than that…………….
Steve…..considering this is both old news- and has already been debunked multiple places including Snopes….
The question I have for Birthers- why do you consistantly embrace Lies?
Because at their core, birthers are fascists.
It’s not lies that are embraced, it’s the question of weather Barak Husssein Obama is elegible to hold the office of United Stated President. His Birth Certificate is actually irrelevant. The question is, does he qualify under Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution? Is he a Natural Born citizen? Please read this link in it’s entirety. http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/minor-v-happersett-is-binding-precedent-as-to-the-constitutional-definition-of-a-natural-born-citizen/
This will give you an idea of the real arument.
George Romney was born in Mexico. Please provide proof he was an American citizen.
Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the stores just aren’t carrying the same quality of birther that they used to?
It’s no arument (sic) at all, whatever that is.
Isn’t birther Leo the Paraclete giving up his law license?
In which peer reviewed law journal has Leo’s erroneous fantasy on Minor v. Happersett been published?
“All of our Presidents have, to date, been born in the 50 states. Notably, President Obama was born in the state of Hawaii, and so is clearly a natural born citizen.”
– former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
“The question is, does he qualify under Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution?”
According to our relevant legal authorities and history, the answer is yes.
misha: George Romney was born of American citizens in Mexico. They were not there on vacation. They had fled the United States due to polygamy laws in the U.S. His American citizenship would have passed on to him, but because he was not born on American soil, he would not have been natural-born. He did not fit the precedent set in MInor v. Happersett: “that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case, it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.” George Romney, being born of American citizens in Mexico, made him of a different class. As McCain would have been if Panama was not controlled by the U.S.
Barak Obama is also different. His father is a Kenyon citizen. His mother American. Even born in Hawaii, he is not natural-born according to the above definition of natural-born citizen and this is what truely diqualifies him to hold the Office of President according to Article 2 Section 1 of the United States Constition.
Most of the people on this blog are familiar with birther arguments regarding Minor v Happersett. Suffice it to say, these arguments are incorrect. For example, see:
Your definition of what constitutes a natural-born citizen is not the definition used by any of the three branches of government. Saying that you’re right and everyone else is wrong doesn’t change things.
As misha asked, provide proof and please use the birther standard of proof. You do know the birther standard of proof, right?
He is. And the weather doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Indeed it does. Leo Donofrio. Wow!
This has been a long enduring disagreement. For those that have not read it. The Dissent on the Wong Kim Ark case.
Uh huh. And unsurprisingly, some rabid birther bigots still think Dred Scott was a good decision.
Actual precedent and the law stand and our President is a natural born citizen.
Obscure, irrelevant, erroneous opinions from obscure New Jersey birthers are nothing more than fuel for political smears and rampant bigotry.
To the other replys,
I do not know the “birther standard of proof.” I do not contest George Romneys citizenship, just his natural-born citizenship. The citizenship that allows one to be Commander in Cheif. He was born of American citizens in a foreign country and on the principle of jus sanguinis, he is an American citizen. Not natural-born. Mexico is just his place of birth, the United States is his Country.
Barak Obama is trying to produce his Hawaiian birth cirtificate to brove he is an Americian citizen based on jus soli because that is how the Supeme Court has interpreted citizenship.
But that may not be the intent of the Founding Fathers. Please read: http://h2ooflife.wordpress.com/jus-soli-origins/
Thanks for your replies
Maybe you should understand what the dissenting opinion means.
The Texas Rangers were in the World Series, but they did not win the World Series. As such, they have no claim to the title World Series Champions.
Whether they were the best team last year is debatable.
If you are trying to say that a disagreement should disqualify an eligible person from being President, then we would never have a President.
Why do you say “trying”?
It’s very important that you learn the birther standard of proof.
bob j: Not at all. The dissenters lost. Only they had an opinion also. My opinion on the matter doesn’t change the current law on natural born citizen. Only I agree with them that there is an equally valid argument to the interpretation of the founding fathers meaning of natural born. Is it jus sanguinis or jus soli?
Nonsense. The state of Hawaii vouches for the President’s Hawaiian birth certificate. That’s what states do. Birthers don’t respect the law. That’s disgusting.
That and a few bucks will get you a cup of coffee.
Your opinion is foolish and irrelevant.
In practice, it is mostly jus soli (Obama et al.) and sometimes jus sanguinis (McCain et al.).
What you want doesn’t matter. As of now, anyone born here is a natural born citizen except
for children of diplomats or invading armies.
Since the President was born in Hawaii, he is a natural born citizen.
Will the law change some day? Of course it’s possible.
Does it change the fact that the President was born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen?
No, it does not and never will.
The Weekly World News has more credibility and entertainment value.
The one he posted has concerns of authenticity. Even with the help of the Governor of Hawaii, the original paper one is proving to be elusive. I do not follow that storey too much.
Jjan: Is Mitt Romney a natural born citizen, qualified to be our president? His father was born in Mexico, and never gave proof he was a US citizen.
Please state yes or no, and why.
Exactly. your opinion does not change the current law. A dissenting opinion does not change the law. So what is your argument?
There is a huge difference between; I don’t think he should be eligible, and he is not eligible.
That is what the birthers fail to see. Even the Founding Fathers knew they could not see into the future, which is the reason for the 3 branches.
I hate when people say ” The Founding Fathers didn’t mean for…”
That is bull. The Constitution is a living document. There are safeguards in place that have stood the test of time. The Founders trusted in the intelligence of Americans to do what is best for everyone. They trusted the checks and balances. It has worked pretty well. For every Plessy, there is a Brown. For every Scott there is a Wong. And for every Minor, there is a 19th amendment.
In your next post, it would helpful if you could provide quotations from the founders that support your interpretation of natural-born citizenship. Dr. C. can add them to this page:
which includes, among other things, the dissent in Wong Kim Ark.
Thank you in advance for providing me and others with this important information.
Only birthers question its authencity. All three branches of government, at various levels, do not. Birthers question its authenticity because they don’t want Obama to be president and have allowed their antagonism to cloud their judgment.
I thought you said you didn’t know the birther standard of proof. You’re demonstrating it flawlessly.
Maybe you missed it when copies were made and handed out to the press, and some like Savannah Guthrie even took photos of it?
Have you read Hawaii’s official web page about it?
Gee, I could have never guessed…
Frequently Asked Questions about Vital Records of President Barack Hussein Obama II
(note that the state of Hawaii refers to Mr. Obama as President Barack Hussein Obama II)
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Only in a parallel universe…..far, far away.
I like that.
Can I steal it?
And so was John McCain. So what?
So then you agree that Obama is eligible to hold the office of President of the United States according to “the current law on natural born citizen”?
I second it.
No it doesn’t.
Really, it doesn’t.
Some morons are arguing about a computer file format, but they cannot and have not tried to impeach the information on that computer file.
The information on that computer file, the only thing that is relevant gives the date and location of President Obama’s birth.That information has been corroborated from several independent sources including contemporary newspaper reports.
The computer file is not a birth certificate, and no one has ever claimed that it is. It is an image of a birth certificate. There is no controversy about this fact, only the birthers pig-headed indifference to reality.
Seeing you have focused on the birth cirtificate I will offer my own thoughts on the matter.
To get a picture ID where I live, I MUST produce an original birth cirtificate or a certified copy, not a computer file. That is not to prove citizenship, it’s just ID.
To fulfil the requirements of the Constitution that a person must be a natural born citizen to hold the office of President, it seems only reasonable that thier identity and citizenship be documented. It would also seem reasonable that the verification of that documentation be stricter that for me, an average citizen getting an ID.
The information on Obama’s birth cirtificate is accurate and true? As someone said to me
And I have no doubt that when Barack Obama got his passport to travel overseas at age 6 his original birth certificate was presented also and when he got his first driver’s license, the same.
However, not in over 200 years has any candidate been required to prove his citizenship in order to run for President. It’s not our way.
As a voter, you are entitled to ask for any proof you want, and you may withhold your vote if you aren’t satisfied. That is your right, and that is the law. If you want something else, lobby for a constitutional amendment.
A birth certificate is not properly used to prove ID, since there is nothing on it that shows that the person hold it is the person named on it. In fact the vast majority of vital records fraud is someone using a legitimate birth certificate that belongs to someone else.
As for “prove it” I learned long ago that birthers are immune to proof. What ever proof is offered, the birthers just throw it on the ground, stomp on it, and they repeat “prove it.”
The fist is an assumption. Reasonable, but not necessarily true.
President Chester A. Arthur in 1880 had a similar problem with questions of his citizenship, but that is as you said over 200 years ago.
Third point you are correct, but I personally wouldn’t vote for Obama for other reasons that are off topic here.
Jus soli citizenship is based on the land of birth and jus sanguinis is citizenship based on parentage. In the oral arguments of Tuan Anh Nguyen v. INS (No. 99-2071), Supreme Court Justice Scalia made it clear that his view is that natural born citizenship, the requirement to be president, is based on jus soli (birth in the United States).
The birthers have an argument to the contrary but it is not “equally valid.” Essentially what the birthers argue is the losing side in US v. Wong. The vote in the Supreme Court in Wong was 6-2, so perhaps that is a measure of the relative merits of the two arguments. However, now that Wong has stood as precedent for over 100 years, the birther argument is in a weaker position that it was in 1898.
I hope that clears it up.
They did tighten the rules to obtain a copy birth cirtificate. When I lost all mine, I needed a photo ID to get the BC copy and a BC to get the ID. Was fun.
The photo ID requirement is there to prevent someone from getting a birth certificate that doesn’t belong to them. Usually a young person’s parents get their first birth certificate (using their ID). Today in most all jurisdictions, you can order a birth certificate online without any official ever seeing an original of your photo ID. Refer to the vitalchek.com web site for the rules where you live.
In my own case, I never had a birth certificate until I was in my 40’s when I applied for my first passport. I didn’t have a birth certificate to get my drivers license, but that was a long time ago in a rural town where everybody knew everybody. I know I didn’t have to show an original photo ID to get that birth certificate because I ordered it by mail. Maybe I had to provide an image.
An opposition lawyer, A. P. Hinman, claimed that Chester Arthur was born in Canada, but the story never caught on and warrants little more than a footnote in Arthur’s biography.
Hinman even wrote a book titled How a British Subject became President of the United States. What is interesting, however, is that while one can make the inference that Hinman knew the citizenship status of Arthur’s father (Irish), the premise of the book is solely the claim that Arthur was born in Canada (which historians agree isn’t true).
See my article:
I would agree that Obama presenting a birth certificate for his driver’s license is an assumption. As for the passport, I think it’s pretty much a certainty. How do you think it could be otherwise?
Obama has both jus sanguinis and jus soli. His father was Kenyan. Therefore his father would have givin him duel citizenship. I have just begun reaserching this and am not yet prepared to argue it. But the United States currently recognises jus soli as the grounds for citizenship. John McCain on the other hand was by jus sanguinis. We cannot have a double standard. Therefore the same applies to Obama. My question then is, is that relavant?
I will search it and find out. If it is a sound arguement, I may agree. If not I will dismiss it.
And that is the birther standard of proof. I used “prove it” to make that point.
Here is the relevant, legal authority with proof: http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/obama.html
Proving he is not with credible, reality based evidence is your burden and your hatred and suspicions are obnoxious and irrelevant.
He was given the legal right to engage in mortal combat with a declared adversary?
And the United States went to war in Iraq because someone of legal authority with proof said they had WMD. They were never produced.
Likewise Hawaii says they have Obama’s birth cirtificate. A phisical birth cirtificate has not yet been produced. All that needs to be done is produce that and the issue would be silienced forever.
Yes Very bizzar. Daul citizenship would seem to create a conflict of interests.
Do you hear a buzzing noise zooming over your head?
And that’s exactly what the State of Hawaii provided the President and that was shown to the media at a White Housepress briefing. The “computer file” is the scanned image of it that was made available to the public on the White House website. You do understand the difference, don’t you?
The State of Hawaii says the information is accurate and true. What else do you want?.
That kind of comparison is known as a false equivalence. It is completely nonsensical and absurd.
“All that needs to be done . . .”
Your personal satisfaction is not required and is not in the Constitution.
“That kind of comparison is known as a false equivalence. It is completely nonsensical and absurd.”
Unless of course you have some kind of credible evidence that the Hawaii DOH was working with Saddam Hussein in a conspiracy that involves the President’s birth in 1961.
I’ll stick with it’s an asinine comparison in the mean time.
The first certified copy was of the original document…..copied from the bound file.
How do you know that what is in that book of birth records isn’t a forgery? Hmm????
A common birther trait is this arrogant requirement of personal satisfaction with regards to their doubts. But that’s dishonest since obviously nothing will suffice. It’s a fool’s trap.
No, he doesn’t.
If it was the dissenters’ argument, then it was not “equal” in validity, now was it? They lost.
“That kind of comparison is known as a false equivalence. It is completely nonsensical and absurd.”
It is not false equivalence. It is the principal that is compared. They both had legal witnesses and both have failed to provide physical evidence.
So by your reasoning, if you are charged with murder, the prosecutor only needs to allege someone else also committed a similar murder to prove you are guilty.
You have no idea what you’re talking about.
Not at all sir. That is simply a case of majority rules. A minority’s argument isn’t weakened because the majority doesn’t agree with it.
Jjan: Would you be so kind as to explain why your opinion matters to anyone other than yourself?
Thank you very much..
No, he did not attend Kenyon College. He went to University of Hawaiii and Harvard.
Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were duel citizens.
Welcome to the year 2100.
Ron Paul was also French and German when he was born. Triune citizenship.
And Thomas Jefferson actually held a French passport when he was elected.
But were they duel citizens like Hamilton and Burr?
Paranoid birther demands are not a legal requirement for eligibility to the office of President.
You seem like a reasonable fellow, but your comment below is utterly and completely ridiculous.
The State of Hawaii provided a certified copy of the physical birth certificate, and has attested to its authenticity in public statements. Anyone who still has questions after that is not operating on a rational basis. For those not operating on a rational basis, nothing is going to silence them.
I don’t know how someone is going to provide you a physical document, and I mean you personally and individually. That means that every person who doesn’t take a carbon 14 dating sample and isn’t a world-renowned forensic document expert has to rely on what someone else says about the inspection of the physical document.
If birthers say that Dr. Onaka, Dr. Fukino and Dr. Fuddy who have all looked at the physical document and reported that it is in the file are lying, why should they not say that some forensic expert is lying too? Birthers say that the entire Congress is afraid of Obama, that the CIA will murder anyone who puts forward proof of Obama’s ineligibility, that all Federal judges are corrupt. In a world where everybody is lying and the only truth is that Obama is ineligible, evidence has no meaning.
If you think that anything will silence the birthers, you are deluded.
By the way, why don’t you get a browser with a spell checker in it. Your spelling is atrocious.
But the minority argument is null and void in a court of law.
I’ll try again: When are you going to demand the same from Mitt Romney, whose father was born in Mexico?
George Romney’s father was a polygamist, so we don’t know who his biological mother was. George Romney also never set foot in the US until age 6.
The argument in the Dissent is that the naturalization power of Congress and the Treaty making power of the President make it possible for the children of a foreign national born in the United States not to be a citizen of the United States if that is prohibited by law or by treaty. In particular for US v. Wong, the Chinese Exclusion Act said that the Chinese could not become citizens.
There is no current law or treaty that would preclude Barack Obama from becoming a US Citizen at birth, therefore the dissenting argument in US v. Wong does not apply to the current instance.
I wonder if you read the dissent yourself.
Some advice for Jjan: You better think twice before trying to argue points of law with someone who has the handle “Georgetown JD”. You might end up making a fool of yourself.
“I’ll try again: When are you going to demand the same from Mitt Romney, whose father was born in Mexico?
George Romney’s father was a polygamist, so we don’t know who his biological mother was. George Romney also never set foot in the US until age 6”
That would be a valid argument to demand validation as with Obama. His father was a Kenyan. Maybe we will have Joe Biden as President next year?
It has nothing to do with where fathers were born. Either every candidate must show a birth certificate or none. Simple fairness and equity.
Were Obama 1 went to Univerisity is irrelevant to his citizenship. He was Kenyan.
Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were not presidents. Therefore irrelevent to this conversation also.
“Either every candidate must show a birth certificate or none. Simple fairness and equity.”
I listened to a discussion on the BBC about the Dreyfus Affair and the parallels with the Birthers and their false accusations are many. During the discussion one historian said something that sounds familiar to anyone who has ever engaged with a Birther,
“The reason why the case against Dreyfus was so strong was that there was no evidence at all and therefore it couldn’t be disputed.”
podcast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ioth/all — scroll down
is your first language English?
it is not a dig, but you seem unable to grasp nuance. Your overall command is good, but there are some red flags.
You said he was Kenyon, which is a college in Ohio
When you mis-spell every second word, how can you expect people to pay any attention to what you say?
You mentioned “duel citizens”. They were citizens who fought a duel in Weehawken, NJ. Burr shot Hamilton, who died from the wounds. Burr was Vice President and Hamillton would almost certainly have been President had he lived.
You REALLY need to w ork on your spelling.
Obama 2, Rmoney 0. So you should vote for Obama unless Rmoney shows 2, or perhaps 3 certificates.
Current law says none. So you have no business asking Obama for anything. And if you do, you must ask the same of Rmoney.
I do not need to see Obama’s birth cirtificate. But because of the controversy, showing it to a Judge would do. Then again, you are right here as well: “If birthers say that Dr. Onaka, Dr. Fukino and Dr. Fuddy who have all looked at the physical document and reported that it is in the file are lying, why should they not say that some forensic expert is lying too? Birthers say that the entire Congress is afraid of Obama, that the CIA will murder anyone who puts forward proof of Obama’s ineligibility, that all Federal judges are corrupt. In a world where everybody is lying and the only truth is that Obama is ineligible, evidence has no meaning.”
That is preceisly what I have to sift through. Evidence matters to me. Not peoples opinions.
Birthers keep ignoring the fact that there is no groundswell of opinion that questions Obama’s eligibility and they’ve made zero progress on their quest to manufacture one.
They are like a four-year old asking “Are we there yet?” every two minutes on a eight hour car ride.
The form to request a Province of Ontario certified BC says that only 1 copy will be provided. How will Mittens provide copies to all 57 states?
Evidence matters to me. Not peoples opinions.
the above is a quote from Jjan, who previously stated a liking for a dissenting opinion of WongKim.
Jjan, Do you get it now?
Hence the motto of this blog: fishing for gold coins in a bucket of mud. It’s a fruitless task to expect to find gold coins in a bucket of mud; so too, it is a fruitless task to sift through birther websites and expect to find objective evidence or rational argument. I’m not saying you shouldn’t engage in this quixotic adventure Jjan, but people have been doing it for over three years and all they’ve brought back are crank legal theories, distortion, and fabrication. Meanwhile, Obama is still president and the courts and Congress continue to support his status as a natural-born citizen.
What “evidence” would convince you Obama was born in Hawii?
If, for the sake of discussion, you were allowed to view the original birth certificate in Hawaii would that satisfy you?
Make that Hawaii.
Good, thank you. Spelling. Natural-Born citizen, citizen and naturalized are all spelled different and have different meanings. The Constitution appears to make a distinction between them. Citizen and naturalized have all the benifits of the Constitution except for holding the office of President. The 14th Amendment “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” We all know that, but natural-born is still not defined.Until a Supreme Court decision or legislative statute settles the matter, jus soli remains but only one way of interpreting the eligibility clause.
you are crazy, stupid, or messing with the people here( I am really hoping for the later. seriously). Whatever the case may be; I am done with you circular tangents.
Your last post deserves consideration in the irony meter destruction hall of fame.
You must have seen the glow.
Stop for a second and consider why, even after seeing the word “certificate” spelled with an e, you continue to use an i to write the word “cirtificate.”
Would you not consider this some sort of mental block?
You can see the word repeatedly spelled correctly, yet continue to spell it another way.
Perhaps this is also how you see evidence pertaining to Obama.
Despite seeing it, despite most people agreeing with it, something inside your head goes the other direction.
It’s like a mental condition or learning disorder.
A failure to grasp information and apply it.
You seem to suggest that that there are three classes of citizens: natural-born, naturalized, and citizen. I’ve seen this triune proposal advanced on birther websites; for example, some say that Marco Rubio is a “citizen of the United States,” because his parents were not naturalized when he was born on U.S. soil. Do you agree with this idea and on what do you base your agreement?
Jjan is just pretending to be a stupid Birther. His/her spelling and syntax stereotypical of Birthers comes and goes like a bad actor’s accent.
Just for your information, I do not dispute Obama’s birth cirtificate. A birth cirtificate establishes place of birth and parentage. I’m concerned with the eligibility clause.
I totally fail to comprehend how people do not understand that “Citizen” is a class composed of “Natural-born Citizens” and “Naturalized Citizens”. I am sooooo glad that my chosen profession was not as a teacher. And I have much compassion for today’s teachers who must put up with all this numb-skullery.
Your citation doesn’t dispute the current President’s eligibility.
Exactly what is it about the clause and Obama that concerns you?
The link you provided specifically notes that he is fine because he was born in the U.S. The writer seems to be suggesting we revisit the issue of persons born to at least one U.S. parent who are born outside the U.S.
i have no concerns at all. I am happy as a clam. Everything’s coming up roses. You can be happy too, if you will just allow yourself to be.
That will be a big problem for Romney and may force some birthers to vote for Obama, no matter how reluctantly. So, at last, I may see pro-Obama birthers thanks to Mitt’s refusal to release ANYTHING AT ALL.
There is no state in the union that requires a birth certificate to prove identity. The president has a driver’s license and he has a US passport, those are good enough.
In most states if you’re the candidate of a major political party it is the responsibility of the political party under state election law to document eligibility.
Other candidates and other political parties can challenge any candidate’s eligibility. Pres. Obama’s eligibility has been legally challenged many times however no challenge has proven successful. In fact in the current round of ballot challenges to Obama, judges or state elections commissions in 10 states have already declared him to be a natural born American citizen. The best-known of those challenges are the ones in Georgia involving Judge Malihi and Sec. of State Brian Kemp.
Birth certificates are filed with the jurisdiction in which a person is born. No one has an original birth certificate. All birth certificates in private hands are certified copies.
I think you are confused about how human’s reproduce (at least before surrogate mothers). It might not be always certain who the father was, but the mother is the one with the baby in her womb — every time.
So when are the demands for Romney going to start? Let’s get the ball rolling.
“George Romney’s father was a polygamist, so we don’t know who his biological mother was. George Romney also never set foot in the US until age 6.‘
You attributed this to Jjan. I was the one who wrote it initially. George Romney had US citizenship because a claim was made that he was born outside of the US, to two US citizens. Since George Romney’s father was a polygamist and George was born at home, it would be simple to state that the mother was Martha, a US citizen, rather than Mercedes, a Mexican national.
I was asking Jjan when the same demands were going to be made about Willard Mitt Romney. I also want to know what happened to the tape of the interview with Seamus Romney, at the end of the trip to Canada. It has mysteriously disappeared.
Though Scientist’s point was your spelling of dual/duel, Aaron Burr was not only Vice President, he was very nearly President as he and Jefferson tied the Electoral College and it took some 36 ballots in the House of Representatives to elect Jefferson (making Burr the Vice President as this was before the 12th Amendment). This helped in setting up the American tradition of Vice Presidents shooting somebody.
Besides spelling, I suggest you might want to do a little refresher in basic American History and civics, especially if you are going to attempt to argue Constitutional Law.
Doc is apparently tired of explaining this to everyone who comes on here asks this question (and I don’t blame him one bit) so I’ll try it on.
Rest assured that there is no double standard. What there is is two different birth scenarios: born on American soil and not born on American soil. jus soli applies when a child is born on American soil; jus sanguinis applies when a child is born overseas to American citizens.
There are two (2) kinds of citizenship in the USA, count’em two: natural-born and natural-ized. This distinction is clear from the Common Law as inherited from our former Colonial masters and emphasized by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The rule of thumb in America is that citizenship conferred ‘naturally’ due to place of birth (jus soli) is Natural-born; while citizenship conferred legislatively due to act of Congress is Naturalized. Thus a synonymous word for Natural born is “Native born” and a synonymous word for Naturalized is “Natural Made”.
The only legal difference between a natural born and an naturalized citizen is the eligibility to the office of President (and Vice-President). If it were not for that provision, there would be no reason to make the distinction, thus there is no need to make even further distinctions.
The classification of citizen into natural-born and naturalized is similar to the classification of children into natural and adopted. Your son or daughter is either your natural child, or your adopted child, there is no third choice (you may treat your unadopted step-son or nephew as your son, but they are not legally your child).
Natural born citizens are those persons who are citizens at the instant they are born; Naturalized citizens are those persons who are granted citizenship later in life.
Several birth scenarios can ‘bestow’ Citizenship at birth. The most simple, straight forward, and common is “Born on American Soil (and not the child of a foreign diplomat or invading army)”. This is jus soli and the only reference to the citizenship status of the parents is that the parents must not be foreign diplomats or members of an invading army. The parents can be citizens or not citizens or one citizen and one non citizen, it doesn’t matter; if the child is born on American soil under American jurisdiction, then the child is a Natural Born citizen, period.
President Obama was born on American soil under American jurisdiction; he is, therefore, a natural born citizen of the United States.
There are certain other persons that are considered Natural Born citizens even though they are born overseas. Persons born overseas to 2 Citizen parents (and in some circumstances to just 1 citizen parent) are also considered “Citizens from Birth” and thus “Natural Born”. There is a technical scholarly debate about the ‘rightness’ of this interpretation, and while the overwhelming majority opinion holds these folks to be, the subject remains open to debate because although citizenship is ‘from birth’ it is granted only by act of Congress.
John McCain’s situation is more complicated than President Obama’s. He was born overseas (in the Panama Canal Zone) to 2 citizen parents, and was afforded citizenship due to his parent’s status. This is jus sanguinis and remember, is only effective due to act of Congress, so one side of the technical argument would claim that McCain is naturalized, not natural born. His situation is further complicated by the fact that Congress declared the Canal Zone as American soil for the purposes of birth right citizenship only after McCain was born.
So McCain’s circumstances put him squarely in a legal gray area. While the majority opinion maintains he is a Natural Born Citizen, it remained debatable, and therefore a possible political drawback. Congress chose to remove the doubt from the political debate and declared that they considered McCain a Natural Born Citizen and would not hear any objections based on that issue should he win the Electoral College vote. While not settling the matter once and for all, it established a precedent that will be difficult to ignore by future Congresses faced with similar circumstances.
This then is the takeaway: there is no debate about the jus soli natural born citizenship; Obama did not require a Congressional affirmation of his citizenship. The debate is only about jus sanguinis and whether it confers natural born citizenship, thus McCain did require a Congressional affirmation.
Jjan… another concern troll… what’re the odds…
I didn’t address this in the previous comment as it was already too long.
You are correct, President Obama did, at birth, have both jus soli citizenship and jus sanguinis citizenship, and at birth he was a dual citizen.
It is important to realize however, that the jus soli citizenship was American citizenship (and therefore under American practice, Natural Born American Citizenship).
The jus sanguinis citizenship was Kenyan (or perhaps British or what ever the specific technical legal authority was at the time) provisional citizenship. Under Kenyan law, President Obama had until his 21nd birthday (I think) to positively confirm his desire to be a Kenyan citizen. Since he did not do so, he lost any vestige of dual citizenship at that time. He is no longer a dual citizen.
But it is even more important to realize that the fact that Kenya grants citizenship to the children of its citizens that are born overseas has no bearing what-so-ever on who or how the USA confers citizenship. The USA is not concerned with which people other countries do or do not consider to be citizens. If it did, and if dual citizenship disqualified a person from ‘natural born citizen’ and thus the President it would be tantamount to allowing foreign countries to decide who could be President of the United States.
Suppose North Korea chose to make the descendants of every soldier who fought in Korea between 1950 and 1960 a citizen of North Korea. Millions of Americans would be dual citizens and not know it and would, if dual citizenship were a disqualifier, be unable to be President.
The takeaway is that disqualifying dual citizens is giving unconstitutional power to foreign governments. Why would you even consider that a possibility, have you no respect for the American Constitution or American sovereignty?
Did you miss the following statement by Professor Whit?
“Although the Constitution does not go on to define a “natural born Citizen,” the term is understood to mean a person born in the United States or born abroad to parents who are both American citizens. In Obama’s case, his father was not an American citizen. If he had been born abroad he would have been ineligible for the presidency. “
He doesn’t say that just having a non-citizen parent makes him ineligible,
I think it is more accurate to think of this in the context of an option to obtain UKC or Kenyan citizenship. (Like a stock option, you don’t own it until you exercse the option.) So, until age 23 Obama could have exercised the option to go to a Kenyan consolate/embassy and say he wanted to become a Kenya citizen. There is no evidence that he ever did this.
Did you miss the following statement by Professor White?
“Although the Constitution does not go on to define a “natural born Citizen,” the term is understood to mean a person born in the United States or born abroad to parents who are both American citizens. In Obama’s case, his father was not an American citizen. If he had been born abroad he would have been ineligible for the presidency. “
He doesn’t say that just having a non-citizen parent makes him ineligible,
I have no problem with that view, and I defer to your probably correct age limit of 23.
I just wanted to add here, that the USA also grants what I called ‘provisional’ citizenship to children born overseas to parents only one of which is an American citizen, and those children also have to do some ‘positive’ action to confirm their American citizenship. That process has no bearing on whether or not the birth country considers the child a citizen or not.
…and if Obama had been born abroad, we’d have had our first female president. 😉
And Mario Apuzzo would now be arguing that Vattel said a woman could never be the Commander in Chief.
Birthers evade that issue at all costs. Either they claim “if Obama is given a free pass, why not Romney?” (thereby trying to invert the actual burden-of-proof issue as in “Romney can show his once Obama has shown his”) or they try to claim there is no controversy over Romney’s records (although, by the birther definition, just making that argument should be “controversy” enough).
The most hilarious denial can be witnessed every time WND trumpets the alleged non-eligibility of potential VP candidates Rubio and Jindahl. Whenever such an article is published, at least half of them thinks that *Democrats* are questioning their eligibility and write angry postings to the effect of “why are they doubting Rubio and not Obama?”, not realizing it is WND, not Democrats, who do the Vattel dance about Rubio. *duh*
Actually, Jjan has no moral right, or any legal right enforaceable by law, to demand more than the law specifies regarding Mr. Obama’s birht documentation as it pertains to his eligibility to continue as, or seek re-election as, POTUS. It’s within his (her?)sound discretion, of course, to vote against Mr. Obama for “eligiblilty reasons” that exist in his head but not in law. But since Jjan surely was going to vote against Mr. Obama anyway, that’s unsatisfactory to him/her . But some situations, Jjan, simply do not provide the relief to a situation you face…
If, and I do mean IF, you have actual concerns and are truly trying to research the subject, do not read blogs by people who have been involved directly in the birther cases. Read the decisions of the cases which have been decided. Read decisions in cases not about Obama’s eligibility (there is a link above to “Case Citations” above under “Docket” that is a nice resource). Read articles in legal journals and texts. Doc here writes well thought out and documented articles. If you go over his linked material, it actually contains the information as he described it.
Also recommended is John Woodman’s site “Investigating the Obama Birth Mysteries.” John started out skeptical about the NBC eligibility thing (before he’d done any research) and is a life-long Conservative. Read Doc and read John, and you can get a good impression of the objective realities from both a guy who voted for BHO and a guy who wouldn’t vote for him for a million bucks.
Thank you everyone for your replys. I work during the week and do not have time to research everything, bit I will return Saturday.
When you return, let us know what you have done about Willard Mitt Romney’s BC and the rest of the documentation you demand of Obama. George Romney was born in Mexico, ostensibly to US citizens. George Romney did not set foot in the US until he was 6.
Let’s see some action.
Yes, the Joint Session of Congress is there to certify the votes. However, Congress’s only job is to consider the VOTE and validity of each vote. Eligibility qualifications of the candidate for POTUS represent only theorecticial prospect of the process. A member of Congress could bring up a question of eligibility about the candidate for the POTUS. However, in Obama’s situation, the question invovles Constitutional interpretation of Article 2 Section 1 and is NOT Congress’s job. As for Obama’s birth in Hawaii; that is a factual dispute which requires obtaining the ORIGINAL hardcopy BC from Hawaii. An image or PDF of a Birth Certificate is never and can never be relied upon as anything credible as is the case with Obama’s birth certificate.
So whose job is to check the eligibility qualifications of a candidate for POTUS? As is stands right now; nobody is. The system is broken. My opinion is that it should be each and every state who should keep a check of the eligibility qualifications which is why the birther bills are so important.
I don’t think it’s broken at all, and I detailed how it works in my article:
Having 50 individual state determinations would be a mess, besides being unconstitutional.
So you admit that Congress can bring up and adjudicate the question of eligibility.
It’s funny that you say that Congress shouldn’t be interpreting the Constitution, while in another comment you say that the 50 states should determine eligibility, which would involve interpreting the Constitution. You seem to be putting forward a rhetorically convenient, but inherently contradictory position.
The question in 1876 was at its heart a constitutional question — how much power the states have in saying who their electors are. The Commission that Congress created to resolve the issue involved 5 members of the House, 5 of the Senate and 5 from the Supreme Court. Do you think such a commission couldn’t reasonably interpret the Constitution, and wouldn’t you agree that they could be given subpoena powers and investigate paper birth certificates and microfilm to their heart’s desire?
I believe that the only reason you think the system is broken is because the 2008 election didn’t go your way. You and the rest of the birthers are just sore losers. Your not getting your way is not a constitutional crisis as far as I am concerned.
So President Obama’s eligibility requires (a) the original hard copy birth certificate, and (b) an independent determination by each state. I suppose we can fly the birth certificate around to each state, but it is clear that John never thinks about the logistics.
And I understand that John thinks a copy won’t do. Perhaps he can point us towards a copy as a starting point of Gov. Romney’s birth certificate, so that when Gov. Romney is elected, we can have a head start about avoiding the mess of determining eligibility.
And John, don’t we need the candidates to swear that, after being born here, to two natural born citizens who can trace their heritage to Pochohantus, don’t we need them to also swear that they don’t have dual citizenship (Switzerland is an exception to this rule)?
Rather than flying the birth certificate from state capitol to state capitol for review, perhaps we could require the candidates to drive it from place to place. Then we could see if they drive American cars, put dogs in crates, use self-service gas. That’s a real good use of resources.
And, of course, once 50 states verify that President Obama is eligible, the goal posts will move. Perhaps the President has to visit each Congressional District as well.
Any other requirements, John?
And, by the way, John, each and every state asked to determine President Obama’s eligibility so far has determined him to be eligible. For those states, is the new rule you are proposing best two out of three? Does he need to go back to those states?
The images and PDFs have been made available because it would be rather impractical to send a certificate to every single voter. The Certificate of Live Birth was inspected in 2007 [2008. Doc] by FactCheck. When Obama obtained a certified photocopy of the original certificate last year, journalists were given the opportunity to view and inspect the document, including the seal thereupon.
If a Representative and a Senator believed that Obama had lied about his eligibility, then they could raise an objection at the electoral vote count on the basis that the Obama votes were not properly and lawfully cast for someone capable of being constitutionally elected. The Republicans had the opportunity to do this at the counting of the electoral votes in January 2009 and they will have the opportunity again when the electoral votes are counted in January 2013, whether or not a majority of such votes are for Obama.
I would imagine that a member of Congress who threatened to raise an objection in the absence of seeing the certificate might be given an appointment at the White House so as to save Congressional time.
As far as I am aware, no President prior to Obama made his birth certificate public. The mere process of public discourse provided further evidence and information beyond that which has ever been necessary. Please explain why you think Obama has a case to answer.
There is no factual dispute. Given the complete lack of any evidence the President was born elsewhere, We The People (which is much, much larger than your, We The Whiners group) were satisfied that the President was born in Hawaii. For the reasonable person, to change that opinion requires some type of proof to the contrary.
The system itself was never broken. The majority of Americans, the Electoral College, the Congress and, it would appear the courts, believed Obama to be born in Hawaii and also knew his father from Kenya was not a barrier to NBC. Therefore, his eligibility was proven to the degree necessary.
Sorry John, your problem is not the Obama is ineligible, your problem is that you are quite wrong.
I’ve asked you this question several times in different threads on the blog and you’ve never answered but I am, if nothing else, persistent. So here it is again…………
For the sake of discussion let’s say you could view the “ORIGINAL hardcopy bc” what exactly would you be looking for that would enable you to settle the matter in your mind?