FAIL repeated: Challenges to Obama’s eligibility

Some weeks ago we visited six hurdles that the case against Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency would have to overcome to disqualify him.

All six hurdles still remain.  No one has made any serious response to any of the six.

Above the West Entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court is engraved Equal Justice Under Law

Above the West Entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court is engraved "Equal Justice Under Law"

But the Birth Certificate Obsessed (BCO) people go on and on.

Let me note that the six hurdles still stand — six reasons why the objections to Obama’s eligibility will fail:

  1. Obama has a U.S. passport (claims that he doesn’t have a passport were put to rest when it was revealed, in March 2008, that State Department workers had illegally accessed his passport records).
  2. Because we know Obama has a U.S. passport, we can be quite sure his draft status was verified before it was issued — which puts to bed any issue about his registering for the draft (which he wouldn’t have been required to do in any case until 1980 — draft registration had been suspended in 1973 until the Afghanistan/Soviet crisis).
  3. Obama’s a lawyer; the National Conference of Bar Examiners, or the Illinois Bar, would have checked on any problems that surfaced when verifying his fitness to practice law.
  4. Obama was a U.S. senator; as a matter of course, the FBI does a background check on every U.S. senator to verify they may view top secret material. Security clearances are absolutely necessary for members of the Intelligence Oversight Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Armed Services Committee.  Obama was a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, chairing the subcommittee that deals with U.S. relations with NATO — a post that requires top secret clearances.
  5. Obama has been getting the full national security briefing every day that the president gets; CIA and Homeland Security would have to verify his top secret clearances, and then some.  There is absolutely no indication that this top, top check was not carried out.
  6. Perhaps most important, Obama posted an image of his birth certificate on-line in June; experts who checked the actual document verify it is real, and therefore authoritative.

Each of these six circumstances creates a rebuttable presumption that Obama is a citizen, and a natural born citizen under the somewhat ambiguous requirements of Article II of the Constitution.  In order to make a case that Obama is ineligible, contestants would need to make a strong showing, with clear evidence, to rebut the presumptions created by by these official actions.

Professional poker player Leo Donofrio has made no such evidentiary showing, anywhere, at any time.  Nor has any other Obama critic presented any evidence to overcome any of these six presumptions.

Recently a poster named Carlyle complained that my previous post had been unknown to him. While I posted trackbacks to his post at Texas Darlin’, that blog censors my posts and trackbacks, and thereby deprived this BCO from knowing about the facts (indeed, trackbacks are automatic, since Texas Darlin’ is also a WordPress blog; the only way the trackbacks and comments don’t show up at TD’s blog is because she censors them).  With some fury, Carlyle and others found that post from November 27 and complained I was unfair to them.  However, none has presented any serious challenge to the six hurdles.

How can I be unfair when they won’t make a case?

Here, below the fold, is an example of the heated and off-target responses I’ve gotten.  Of course, I offer comments as we go.

A poster who goes by the handle SonOf1776 said:

You are dead wrong about the BC. Even the Hawaiin government does not accept “Certification”, only “Certificate”.

They say:
In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green. This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL.

But don’t take my word, go read it for yourself. I have seen this on several Hawaii gov sites, this one happens to be the one I found just now first:

The problem here is that Hawaii DOES allow the Certificate of Live Birth for almost all official purposes (otherwise, why would they bother to issue them, with a stamp of certification that the State of Hawaii swears it’s correct?). The section of the law So1776 refers to, deals with people who are applying for a special status in Hawaii, to be considered part of the native Hawaiian people.  Enrollment as a Native American also occurs in many other states, and that enrollment frequently requires more than the proof that one is a natural born citizen of the U.S., since not all natural born citizens of the U.S. are also Native Americans.

Check around the State of Hawaii websites, you’ll quickly see that a “certificate of live birth” is sufficient, for example, to get a Hawaiian identification card.  It’s incorrect to say Hawaii won’t honor the certified COLBs it issues — Hawaii does honor them for almost all purposes, except for establishing Native American status.  Obama isn’t trying to get himself enrolled as a Native Hawaiian, to get a Hawaiian Homelands homestead.

It’s highly ironic that Obama critics would miscite Hawaiian law to this section.  Much of the case law they claim would deny Obama’s eligibility grew out of attempts to deprive Native Americans of citizenship, or voting rights, or other rights.  Either it’s very sloppy citing by them, or it’s racist beyond all belief.

What is more, I never saw an ammended “Certification”. I know I saw someone else saying that they put that somewhere but nothing official. So we don’t even know what it looks like or even if there is such a thing. Got a link to that information?

I don’t know to what he (she?) refers here.  Birth certificates in most states can be amended for adoptions, restating the facts but listing the adoptive parents as parents.  To my knowledge, the place of birth must still be listed accurately even on these amended certificates.

However, there is no allegation that Obama was adopted at birth, in 1961.  This birth certificate would be unaffected by that procedure.  Under U.S. law, the document makes the case that Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen, born on U.S. soil to a U.S. citizen parent.

Most states actually allow foriegn residents to obtain BCs. You couldn’t very well go to DMV for a DL with a green card and your chinese BC. All states do ity differently. Some are more lax than others. Hawaii was very lax at that time, only barely having become a state.

This is clearly not the case with Obama.  Moreover, there is no indication that Hawaii was ever lax in granting birth certificates; Hawaiian native parentage has been important for various legal reasons since the U.S. annexed Hawaii in 1898.  Both whites and native Hawaiians have had great reasons to keep birth records very accurate.  I can find no authority which concurs with this bizarre claim that birth records were “lax” in 1961, due to statehood or any other reason.

Now here is the kicker, and the reason the BC is such an issue.

We have friends (not in Hawaii) who adopted a foriegn born child many years ago, They were able to get the child naturilized citizen status, but I don’t remember when. I saw this childs BC from the state they live in (not Hawaii). It is a computer generated short form like 0Bams “certification”. It says the child was “born in the state they live in” and not in the actual country of birth. If they went to the courthouse, I’m sure they could order a certified copy of the long form, and that would show the real country of birth. They told me they had to have the original foriegn BC translated and that notarized to get it.

That is why we want to see the real deal and that is why 0Bama has spent upwards of $2.1M to fight it. What is he hiding. Nobody except Nobama knows.

There is no allegation that Obama was adopted from a foreign set of parents in 1961. All evidence shows he is the natural-born son of a U.S. citizen, born on U.S. soil in Honolulu, in the Great State of Hawaii. These last three paragraph do not apply to this case.

I can find no indication that Obama has spent anything at all defending his birth records.  In the cases in the Supreme Court, the U.S. Solicitor General has been defending the Federal Election Commission and state officials, who are the usual respondents in these cases.

BCOs like So1776 don’t appear to be very good at providing solid documentation of anything, especially these wilder claims.

Have some kool-aid Eddie. We will sooner or later find out what it says and then maybe we will have something to really argue about.

And if you really are dumb enough to believe that without all the black voters, many of whom voted multiple times that 0bumba had any chance to win then I feel real sorry for you. THe kool-aids on me.

I see.  It’s an issue of race with this fellow.  Under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, considerations of race are inappropriate in this case.

I also see that the poster has no facts, so he tries to infantalize my name, and he starts turning President-elect Obama’s name into a joking appellation, in order to make laughter to cover the absence of fact.  These childish pranks have absolutely no bearing on the issues.

One more thing, did you know that 53% of Americans think the BC issue has merit and only 41% think it diesn’t? The poll has a statistic of over 100,000 people. You can see this poll here:

So, at 41%, you are in the minority here Ediie.

I didn’t say it’s not an important issue.  I said there are more important issues.  Also, I challenged SonOf1776 to produce evidence to back the claims he makes.

Though he claims it as an important issue, on Obama’s eligibility to hold office, he makes no case at all against it. He fails to answer even one of the six hurdles the challenges must overcome (he claims he’s not running, so he doesn’t need to evidence his claims . . . bizarre, and again, childish).

The war in Iraq is an important issue, too.  But that doesn’t mean every poker player in Las Vegas can go to court and sue the president to stop the war.

Most of these cases will fail on standing, as most already have at the trial court level (the Supreme Court has rejected two challenges, without comment).  There is no injury shown, which is always a barrier to standing.  If the alleged plaintiffs could demonstrate real, serious evidence that there is a question of eligibility, and that evidence made a clear case against the six hurdles I’ve listed, I suspect a judge might ignore the standing issue in order to let the case proceed.

But as we’ve seen in responses at this blog, and others, there is very thin evidence that Obama’s not fully qualified.  And when we bother to check out the best the critics can offer — like the reference to Hawaiian law above — we most often find they have misapplied the law, or they simply got the facts wrong.

One of these cases is scheduled for conference at the Supreme Court in early January. [See the post from SSFC below for a discussion on the Supreme Court’s separate Rule 11.]    There is an interesting note in the docket that says simply “Rule 11.”

Rule 11b of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is the rule that requires attorneys to affirm, by their signature, that claims in any filing are truthful and accurate, and that the suit is not a nuisance suit.

11. b.  By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper — whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it — an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:

(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;

(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;

(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.

This is the rule that the courts would use to slap down these suits as frivolous, or as nuisances, or simply to straighten out lawyers who think they can make any wild claim without evidence against another party.

I’m not sure why the Court adds the note “Rule 11” to the docket listing (nothing I personally litigated ever got close to the Supreme Court and I’m not wise to the ways of their docket), but I wonder whether they are getting ready to slap down these nuisance suits and deliver sanctions to the lawyers who attempt to fog up the courts and history with them.

The Birth-Certificate-Obsessed may get a nasty surprise for their long-continued frippery.

There may be another surprise:  Some argue that Congress is the place to decide issues of eligibility, not the Supreme Court.  It’s an interesting and carefully-thought-out argument.

23 Responses to FAIL repeated: Challenges to Obama’s eligibility

  1. […] FAIL repeated:  Challenges to Obama’s eligibility […]


  2. Lottie says:

    Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the photo(shop). Glad you like it, though.

    I vote for not telling them. That could be rather entertaining, at least for a little while. Ha!


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Great photo(shop), Lottie. Thanks for the link!

    Watch them howl about that. Let ’em howl for a few months before telling them that the mountain won’t support any additions.

    Or, maybe don’t tell them at all. Their ignorance of geography may drive them to an early senility, and that might slow their posting some — or at least lend some sense to it.


  4. Lottie says:

    But, just to establish that Obama is greater than any president of the past, and much more patriotic, maybe the Supreme Court should. Do you think?

    See, I keep saying that they don’t think these through very well. ;-)

    Not too shabby. Ha!


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    I suppose one could say that the Supreme Court is not about to grant an honor to Barack Obama that it did not grant to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton. But, just to establish that Obama is greater than any president of the past, and much more patriotic, maybe the Supreme Court should. Do you think?

    Maybe this is all a stealth campaign to get Obama put on Mt. Rushmore. That would make more sense, frankly.


  6. Lottie says:

    That’s what I tried explaining to her as well — that dismissals are a statement of sorts. She wants to hear the words, “According to the Constitution, Barack Obama is eligible to serve as President of the United States.”

    She said that would satisfy her, but why would it? If the Supreme Court is involved in a government conspiracy/cover-up, as she also alleges, then why would she believe them even if they said exactly what she wants to hear? It makes as much sense as her citing Orly Taitz’s website to support Orly Taitz’s claims.

    The whole thing is irrational on so many levels that it seems impossible to address all the logical flaws and inconsistencies.

    Thanks for your input. It helps to talk about it with other rational folks.


  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for the comments, Lottie.

    Here’s what I posted over at Love and More:

    There is a general rule in debate and logic that is raised to hard and fast rule in legal actions in the U.S.: “He or she who asserts, must prove.”

    There are no fewer than six clear presumptions that Obama is eligible, including his perfectly valid birth certificate from the State of Hawaii, his U.S. State Department-issued passport, and the fact that both the FBI and CIA have vetted him to see that he’s trustworthy to show the great secrets of the U.S. to. (I blogged about it at my blog, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub — go there and search for “Obama.”)

    Consequently, if someone wishes to assert that Obama is NOT eligible, it will require the presentation of some extraordinary evidence just to get over the threshhold into court.

    Do you have that evidence? None of the cases presented in federal court have come accompanied by any affidavits or presentations of evidence that get beyond the first face (prima facie) case required to get into court.

    I can allege you’re a martian come to this planet in search of manly flesh, too. But no one is required to believe that — especially the courts — unless I present some solid evidence to that point.

    Since Obama has met all the basic criteria of eligibility, it is not his duty to persuade you. You must present evidence of a lack of eligibility, just to get the case going.

    Got any evidence?

    What would a statement look like about Obama’s eligibility, if it came from the Supreme Court?

    The strongest statement would be simply “Certiorari denied.”

    The next strongest would be dismissal of a case at least one member has brought to the full Court for consideration. So far there are four such dismissals. Four times they Court has spoken — how many will it take before the Obama critics get the message? How thick are they?

    Look for summary judgments against the critics’ cases. Summary judgment means that, even if all the claims of the party were true, the other side wins. Didn’t at least one of the Obama cases get summary judgment, in favor of Obama’s eligibility?


  8. Lottie says:

    Sorry, I messed up the link. Here it is.


  9. Lottie says:

    We’re up against an obvious mental block where these people are concerned. I’ve been round and round with one of them until I just can’t do it anymore. When I stopped commenting on her blog, she started emailing (“obsessed” is right!).

    I finally told her that it’s her conspiracy, and she can feed it.

    She wants to know why the Supreme Court doesn’t just come out and say that Obama is eligible to serve. When I told her that it is not the function of the Supreme Court to make such statements, she posted this.

    Apparently if the Supreme Court won’t offer an opinion, we should just go over their heads to the media. Or something. I don’t quite know what to make of it to be honest, but she does demand that we prove her wrong.

    Does it surprise you to know that she’s also a creationist? :lol:

    Thanks for a great blog. I’ve been reading here for nearly a year and never worked up the nerve to comment until now.


  10. Der Kaiser says:

    I just want to thank Ed for his time and effort in these beautiful posts. A true treasure to read and enjoy. Thanks.


  11. Mike says:

    Hehehe… Smackdown.


  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Roland Hall,

    I’ve listed six ways Obama’s been vetted. You’ve offered no rebuttal to any of the six.

    No forensic expert would dare suggest that an online image was a forgery. Too much difficulty with imaging. And if you check, you’ll discover that those offering opinions are not forensic experts, and have never been through voir dire to testify on such documents in any court (now, if you’ve got credentials on someone other than those we’ve seen, I’d love to see the credentials and the opinion; but I doubt you can provide either). It’s a hoax to claim Obama’s certified birth certificate is a forgery. I don’t like hoaxes.

    My thread is based largely on what we know to be accurate from legal procedures that have already occurred, and which are well documented in official papers or in popular media, such as the granting of a U.S. passport to Obama, and his licensing by the Illinois Bar. Those are not conjectured, but facts in evidence to which you would need to offer extraordinary evidence to rebut. You offer no evidence at all. You are claiming that his bar license was issued in error, as was his passport, as were his top secret clearances. You’re alleging very broad and deep incompetencies over a 28-year period, by a series of state and federal agencies, each of which has elaborate procedures to prevent the sorts of errors you allege. You’d better have extraordinary evidence to document such a sweeping claim.

    Where is your documentation? Nowhere.

    With a nod to your snark, let me say that if you think Obama’s never been vetted, you don’t know much about opposition research. Put in a call to Gary Maloney’s office, let me know when he says he didn’t do his job, and no one else on the Republican side did, either.

    If you have some way to distinguish between “certificate” and “certification” in a way that would make a material difference in this issue, or in the certified copy of the birth document the State of Hawaii issued, by all means let us in on the information.

    According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a certificate is “a document in which a fact is formally attested.” Certification is “the act of attesting.” Either way, we have an attestation that Obama is who he says he is, and that he is a natural born citizen of the U.S. If you’re trying to claim lawyers have some secret language about what these words mean, you’re off on a wild goose chase through a dictionary no court in the nation knows about.

    (By the way, Black’s Seventh Edition, the latest I have here at home, says a natural born citizen is “A person born within the jurisdiction of a national government.” That would be Obama, born in Honolulu. (see “citizen”))

    If you’ve got serious evidence that might tend to rebut any of the six points, please bring it.

    Otherwise, your post reminds me of the old Greek aphorism that “the empty vessel makes the most noise.”


  13. Roland Hall says:

    It’s hard to tell if there’s more BS in this post in B. Hussein’s rhetoric. When things are not as they should be, they are as they shouldn’t be. The fact is he has NEVER been vetted. Attorneys don’t lie, B. Hussein is not hiding anything, the government can be trusted, etc. The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. The more you repeat a lie, eventually it will become normal and appear to be true.

    Your whole thread is conjecture. Forensic experts have proven the online versions(3) are all forgeries. You also need to educate yourself on the difference between CERTIFICATION and CERTIFICATE, then adjust your rants. B. Husseins forgeries list CERTIFICATION. Pull your head out of your ideology and get some fresh air.


  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Hadn’t thought of that. You’re right. That makes sense.

    Thanks for the information.


  15. SSFC says:

    Ed, while I agree with what you say, I think you’re mistaken about which Rule 11 the Court is citing. I’m going to repost here what I wrote in response to your comment on this subject at Overlawyered:

    I’m not an expert in reading Supreme Court dockets, but I believe you have the wrong set of Rules in mind. Federal Civil Procedure Rule 11 is, as you say, the rule that provides for sanctioning an attorney who brings a case not grounded in law or fact, the sort commonly referred to as “frivolous.”

    However, Supreme Court Rule 11 (the Court has its own set) deals with petitions for writs of certiorari which seek to bypass Courts of Appeal on questions that are of such urgency that the regular process cannot be followed, as in, for instance, the question of whether Barack Obama is eligible to be inaugurated as President before January 20, 2009. I think that’s the rule that is cited on the docket, rather than the general federal rule on sanctions for frivolous suits.

    You can find the Supreme Court’s rules, and Supreme Court Rule 11, here:

    Note that I agree with your opinion of these suits in general, and am in no way a birth certificate truther.


  16. Mike says:

    Good post, Ed, as usual.

    It bears mentioning as well that the wingnut requests for Obama to “release the vault copy” are pretty damned illegitimate and disingenuous, given that Hawaii State law does not allow this to be done.


  17. kindlingman says:

    Thanks for reminding us that the power of the internet can be used to create lies that will need refutation over and over and over again.
    Texas Darlin’s posts on Obama’s citizenship will be around a long time and will likely need rebuttal for the next eight years.


  18. Ed Darrell says:

    Why won’t you accept the official, certified copy from the State of Hawaii, Jackscrow? If you won’t accept the official documents, certified as accurate, what should make us believe you’d accept anything else, or that your purposes are anything but malicious nuisance?

    What right do you have to invade Mr. Obama’s privacy, especially when he’s already met the letter and spirit of the law?

    Why should your prurient interest have any legal effect here?


  19. jackscrow says:

    Simple. It comes down to this:

    Why won’t Mr. Obama show the copy (which practically everyone says is on file) of his original Long-form Birth Certificate and the information on it and put this to rest?

    My contention is that it is not a revelation of the place of birth that he is concerned about (and in this case there might not BE a Long-form BC on file), but that there is some piece or pieces of information on that Org. Long-form BC that he does not want to become public knowledge.

    I think there is info on that form that is not consistant with some of the personal history that Mr. Obama has claimed. And that is the reason.


  20. bernarda says:

    Obama was born on U.S. soil so is a natural-born citizen, unlike McCain who was born in the Canal Zone which is not U.S. soil.


  21. I Igor not understand how he able to not show birth certificate. Igor produce “vault” obama birth certificate at More bleivable than one DNC goon post on “independant, nonprofit nopolitical” websites


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