Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's Citizenship Issue: Update

Here is an update on this story I published a few days ago.

Judge Barclay Surrick has dismissed Philip Berg's lawsuit challenging Obama's eligibility for office of President of the United States.
In a 34-page memorandum and opinion, the judge said Berg's allegations of harm were "too vague and too attenuated" to confer standing on him or any other voters.

Surrick ruled that Berg's attempts to use certain laws to gain standing to pursue his claim that Obama was not a natural-born citizen were "frivolous and not worthy of discussion."

The judge also said the harm Berg alleged did "not constitute an injury in fact" and Berg's arguments to the contrary "ventured into the unreasonable."
I am not a lawyer; thank God for that. However, I have a problem with this not because it got thrown out, but, rather, the way in which it was thrown out.

Lacks standing? Berg, a lawyer and US citizen, has a question. Whether or not he has ulterior motives for filing such a suit is irrelevant. He asks only that Obama produce a valid birth certificate. When a judge shoots down that request on the grounds that Berg lacks standing to basically ask a question, that is just wrong. Berg, you, me - any American citizen has the right to ask for a ruling of clarification on any issue such as this.

The judge in his ruling said, essentially, this issue is no big deal. Nothing to see here...move along...

Jeff Schreiber, a lawyer-blogger, has analysis on the issue of "standing."

Here's something interesting:
So, who does have standing? According to the Hon. R. Barclay Surrick, that's completely up to Congress to decide.
If, through the political process, Congress determines that citizens, voters, or party members should police the Constitution’s eligibility requirements for the Presidency, then it is free to pass laws conferring standing on individuals like Plaintiff. Until that time, voters do not have standing to bring the sort of challenge that Plaintiff attempts to bring in the Amended Complaint.
Two things strike me as odd. First, on an issue of legality to hold the highest office in the land, the judge states that only Congress should determine who is worthy of policing the Constitution. Pardon me for being a citizen.

Second, this judge is more than happy to defer to Congress - the LEGISLATURE - on this issue which affects every American. Yet, on special interest issues like civil rights, judges are more than happy to rule from the bench.

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7 Comments:

Blogger smrstrauss said...

See:

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

Which reads in part:

“Born in the U.S.A.
August 21, 2008
Updated: August 26, 2008

The truth about Obama's birth certificate.

Summary

In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."

We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.”

Now turn from the evidence that he was born in Hawaii. For the allegation that he was not born in the USA to be proven, there also has to be evidence that he was born somewhere else. The current claims are that he was born in Kenya.

What evidence exists that he was born in Kenya? Is there a Kenyan birth certificate? No. And I've done a search of Kenyan news online via Google and find that NO Kenyan media has ever reported that Obama was born in Kenya. Is there a record of Obama's mother having traveled to Kenya? Or even traveled outside the USA in the year that he was born? NO.

So the court's dismissal of the case before it got to reviewing the facts is just a way of cutting through the clutter. I'm sure that in this case the lawyer had no standing to sue because I've seen an earlier case against John McCain being eligible for being president because he was born outside the USA (on a naval base in Panama), and that was thrown out because the people who brought it had no standing to sue either.

In any case, there is evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii. There is NO evidence that Obama was born in Kenya.

2:45 PM GMT+13  
Blogger Joe Ramen said...

Sorry, mate, I've already looked at FactCheck; I'm way ahead of you, and I am not convinced of their impartiality.

Jerome Corsi apparently has some proof that Obama's mama did travel to Kenya the year that Obama was born.

And the issue here is a legitimate birth certificate showing that Obama was born in the US - not proof that he was born in Kenya (if we had a Kenyan BC there would be no need for an inquiry). If FactCheck got ahold of it, how is it that nobody else has, and why is Obama so reluctant to release it - along with his school records?

Just have a press conference and get it over with. Why the reluctance on Obama's part, and why a motion to dismiss? I mean, if he has nothing to hide, one would think he would be more than willing to show true transparency.

And the issue about McCain being born in the Panama Canal Zone was just a matter of ignorance on the part of the people who brought the suit. Anybody with a brain knows that the Canal Zone was, at the time, a US territory, like Guam or any US embassy around the world, and as such is considered US soil.

3:49 PM GMT+13  
Blogger Oldcatman said...

Ditto on the Canal Zone---I had 2 first cousins that were born in the canal zone ( 55 plus years ago) because my aunt & uncle were stationed there.

I remember the family discussing citizenship and the law is very clear.

At this point, I wouldn't trust a
birth certificate copy--as copies can be made to read anything.

Birth records are somewhere--hell, I can still get a copy of my birth certificate
from California for the cost of the copy.

5:06 AM GMT+13  
Blogger Joe Ramen said...

Allow me to correct myself. When McCain was born the Canal Zone was not yet a US territory, but it fell under US authority and was still regarded as US soil. Anybody born there is considered constitutionally to be a US citizen.

4:30 PM GMT+13  
Blogger smrstrauss said...

This just in:


State declares Barack Obama's Hawaii birth certificate is genuine

By Associated Press
6:43 PM EDT, October 31, 2008

HONOLULU (AP) _ State officials say there's no doubt Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said Friday she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate.

Fukino says that no state official, including Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, ever instructed that Obama's certificate be handled differently.

She says state law bars release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest.

===
(and this slightly different account:)

Friday, October 31, 2008 - 11:51 AM HAST (That means Hawaii/Aleutian Standard Time)

Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate confirmed
Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed on Friday what Barack Obama has been saying all along: the presidential candidate was born in Honolulu.

“There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate,” said Chiyome Fukino. “State law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.”

Citing her statutory authority to oversee and maintain Hawaii’s vital records, Fukino said she has “personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

“No state official, including Gov. Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii,” Fukino added.

Lingle, a Republican, has been campaigning on the Mainland for Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu. He graduated high school at Punahou School in 1979.

End quote:

These two versions of the same report seem clear enough. The birth certificate is on file in Hawaii and it is valid.


However, the opponents of Obama simply will not give up. I have seen one Web comment that went along these lines: "It could have been a valid Kenyan birth certificate on file in Hawaii that the Hawaii official was talking about."

Laughable, of course, why would a Kenyan birth certificate be filed in Hawaii?

Oh, and as to the claim that Obama's grandmother said that she had been present at his birth in Kenya. Well, that all stems from Corsi and Philip Berg, who claim to have an audio tape of her saying that. But Berg and Corsi have never played that tape for anyone. And they have not shown any other evidence, such as Kenyan documents, either.

5:51 PM GMT+13  
Blogger smrstrauss said...

The certificate (or certification, whatever) of live birth has been accepted as legal proof of Obama's birth in Hawaii by a court in Virginia. (Monday. See: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2123806/posts)

After Berg, several other cases against Obama on the natural born citizen issue were brought in other states.
While most of them just did what the Berg case did, which was to rule that Berg had no standing to sue, some of the others looked at the “evidence” - and concluded that the stuff was absurd.

In Ohio, for example the judge (magistrate) said:

“(Neal) presented no witnesses but himself. From that testimony, it is abundantly clear that the allegations in [Neal]’s complaint concerning “questions” about Senator Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen” are derived from Internet sources, the accuracy of which has not been demonstrated to either Defendant Brunner or this Magistrate … Given the paucity of evidence… this Magistrate cannot conclude that Defendant Brunner has abused her discretion in failing to launch an investigation into Senator Obama’s qualifications to hold the office of President of the United States. ” See:
http://www.oxfordpress.com/hp/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/10/31/ws103108obamasuit.html

In Virginia, which was just ruled on Monday, the judge went further and said that the certificate of live birth was good proof that Obama was born in Hawaii, and there was NO proof presented that he was born anywhere else.

Here is a report from a web posting that is not official, of course, but it seems accurate mainly because the fellow who posted it was AGAINST Obama. He is disappointed, but accepts the ruling. You can find this post at : (
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2123806/posts)

(Note that sometimes the author correctly puts COLB correctly and sometimes he types it as CLOB, but he means certificate of live birth throughout.)

Quotes:

The Court made the following findings:

1. The Certification of Live Birth presented to the court is unquestionably authentic.

The court noted that the certification had a raised seal from the state of Hawaii, had a stamp bearing the signature of the registrar of vital statistics. The court found “wholly unpersuasive” any of the internet claims that the birth certificate was altered in any way. Furthermore, the document itself was accompanied by an affidavit from the State Health Director (of Hawaii) verifying that the document is an authentic certification of live birth. The court held that there could be no doubt that the document was authentic unless one believed that the state of Hawaii’s health department were in on an elaborate and complex conspiracy – and that there is not a shred of evidence that this is the case.

2. The Certification of Live Birth establishes that Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen.

The affidavit of the State Health Director states that the information on the CLOB is identical to the information on the “vault” copy of the birth certificate, and that both documents establish that Mr. Obama was born in Honolulu. The Court noted that the CLOB is valid for all citizenship purposes. The court noted our argument that the COLB is not valid for determining citizenship, but referred us to Hawaiian law that states otherwise. “There is no difference between a certificate and a certification of live birth in the eyes of the state. For instance, either can be used to confirm U.S. citizenship to obtain a passport or state ID.” The court found that Hawaiian law makes the COLB valid for all purposes with the exception of determining native Hawaiian heritage for certain state and federal benefits. The court held that if Mr. Obama were born elsewhere and the birth registered in Hawaii, the “place of birth” line on the COLB would reflect that fact. The court stated that there could be no doubt that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and that any argument to the contrary was fanciful and relied on completely unsubstantiated internet rumors.

3. For that reason, 8 U.S.C. §1401(g), which at the relevant time provided as follows:

“The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: ***(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:…..
is irrelevant to this matter, as Mr. Obama was conclusively born in Hawaii.

4. Mr. Obama did hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and Kenya until he became an adult. When Barack Obama Jr. was born Kenya was a British colony. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.’s children: “British Nationality Act of 1948 (Part II, Section 5): Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth.” In other words, at the time of his birth, Barack Obama Jr. was both a U.S. citizen (by virtue of being born in Hawaii) and a citizen of the United Kingdom by virtue of being born to a father who was a citizen of the UK. Obama’s UK citizenship became an Kenyan citizenship on Dec. 12, 1963, when Kenya formally gained its independence from the United Kingdom. The court noted that Chapter VI, Section 87 of the Kenyan Constitution specifies that:

1. Every person who, having been born in Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963…

2. Every person who, having been born outside Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall, if his father becomes, or would but for his death have become, a citizen of Kenya by virtue of subsection (1), become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963.
Thus the court held that as a citizen of the UK who was born in Kenya, Obama’s father automatically received Kenyan citizenship via subsection (1). So given that Obama qualified for citizen of the UK status at birth and given that Obama’s father became a Kenyan citizen via subsection (1), thus Obama did in fact have Kenyan citizenship in 1963.

However, the court further held that the Kenyan Constitution prohibits dual citizenship for adults. Kenya recognizes dual citizenship for children, but Kenya’s Constitution specifies that at age 21, Kenyan citizens who possesses citizenship in more than one country automatically lose their Kenyan citizenship unless they formally renounce any non-Kenyan citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance to Kenya. The court held that there was no evidence that Mr. Obama has ever renounced his U.S. citizenship or sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4, 1982.

The court held that there was no legal requirement that Mr. Obama renounce his Kenyan citizenship or affirm his U.S. citizenship in order to maintain his status as a natural born citizen.

5. Mr. Obama did not lose his U.S. Citizenship based on the acts of his parents, including adoption by an Indonesian citizen. The Court held that no action taken by the parents of an American child can strip that child of his citizenship. The court cited to the 1952 Immigration & Nationality Act, Title III, Chapter 3, Sections 349 and 355, which was in effect in the late 1960s when Obama went to Indonesia, and which stated that a minor does not lose his US citizenship upon the naturalization of his parents or any other actions of his parents, so long as the minor returns to the US and establishes permanent US residency before the age of 21. Thus the adoption of Obama did not serve to strip him of his U.S. citizenship. The fact that Indonesian law does not allow dual citizenship is irrelevant, as U.S. law controls. Furthermore, the Court held that traveling on a foreign passport does not strip an American of his citizenship. The Court noted first that there was no evidence that Mr. Obama traveled on an Indonesian passport (Mr. Berg and others we reached out to for evidence never provided any evidence of this claim or any other of the claims we could have used some proof of.) Nonetheless, the court held that such travel does not divest an American of his citizenship.

The Court makes other holdings and findings that I won’t bother you with here. Needless to say, the decision is wholly against us. The court finds the claims against Mr. Obama’s citizenship “wholly unpersuasive and bordering on the frivolous, especially in light of the complete absence of any first-hand evidence on any critical issue” and further classifies it as “conspiracy theory of the lowest sort, fueled by nothing than internet rumor and those who truly want to believe egging each other on.”

I like the part about “conspiracy theory of the lowest sort.”

Repeat: “The court held that if Mr. Obama were born elsewhere and the birth registered in Hawaii, the “place of birth” line on the COLB would reflect that fact. The court stated that there could be no doubt that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and that any argument to the contrary was fanciful and relied on completely unsubstantiated internet rumors.”

4:13 PM GMT+13  
Blogger Joe Ramen said...

Thanks for the info.

7:26 PM GMT+13  

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