In case you haven’t been following it, some Georgia-based Birthers, the dumbasses that believe President Barack Obama either has a forged birth certificate or isn’t a natural-born citizen, had filed a legal challenge against his placement on the ballot in the March presidential preference primary. In accordance with state law, the challenge, not matter how absurd it was, had to move forward to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who would examine its merits and then issue a non-binding recommendation to the Secretary of State, currently Brian Kemp.
But there was, unsurprisingly, drama along the way with this particular challenge. President Obama’s lawyer, Michael Jablonski, believed the challenge was ridiculous and should be thrown out. He made a motion to dismiss a subpoena of President Obama, but ALJ denied the request. As you can imagine, Birthers ran with this, claiming that President Obama had been ordered to appear at the hearing or possibly face default judgment. This was an incredibly misleading assertion, but it certainly got their hopes up.
It turns out that they got excited for nothing as Judge Michael Mahili issued his ruling yesterday stating that President Barack Obama is indeed a natural-born citizen:
In a 10-page order, Judge Michael Malihi dismissed one challenge that contended Obama has a computer-generated Hawaiian birth certificate, a fraudulent Social Security number and invalid U.S. identification papers. He also turned back another that claimed the president is ineligible to be a candidate because his father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of Obama’s birth.
With regard to the challenge that Obama does not have legitimate birth and identification papers, Malihi said he found the evidence “unsatisfactory” and “insufficient to support plaintiffs’ allegations.”
A number of the witnesses who testified about the alleged fraud were never qualified as experts in birth records, forged documents and document manipulation and “none … provided persuasive testimony,” Malihi wrote.
Addressing the other claim that contends Obama cannot be a candidate because his father was never a U.S. citizen, Malihi said he was persuaded by a 2009 ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals decision that struck down a similar challenge. In that ruling, the Indiana court found that children born within the U.S. are natural-born citizens, regardless of the citizenry of their parents.
Obama “became a citizen at birth and is a natural-born citizen,” Malihi wrote. Accordingly, Obama is eligible as a candidate for the upcoming presidential primary in March, the judge said.
It’s pretty obvious what the term “natural-born citizen” means, at least to the reasonable among us. But if you need more clarification, Doug Mataconis lays out what really shouldn’t need explaining:
There are only two classes of citizen under the Constitution, people who are citizens from birth and people who become citizens through naturalization. It’s rather obvious from context that when the Founders used the term “natural born citizen” in the Constitution, they did so to limit eligibility for the Presidency to those people who were citizens from the time they were born. The first Congress clarified this matter even further when it passed the first naturalization law, which provided that “”The children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond the sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural-born citizens of the United States.” This is why someone like John McCain or George Romney was eligible to be President; McCain was born to American citizens in the Panama Canal Zone, Romney’s parents were American citizens who had fled to Mexico and stayed there until the Mexican Revolution in 1912. The 14th Amendment further clarified this by providing that anyone born in the United States, other than the child of a foreign diplomat, was a citizen from birth regardless of parentage. In 1898, in United States v. Wong Kim Ark that the Supreme Court definitively stated that people born of immigrant parents in the territorial United States are citizens from birth, in other words they are natural-born citizens. All Judge Malihi had to do was applied this law and history to the facts, and the finding was rather straightforward. Barack Obama was born in the United States, his mother was a U.S. Citizen. Therefore, under at least two legal theories he is a natural born citizen. Any argument to the contrary is simply utter nonsense.
The Birthers pushing the case are appealing Judge Mahili’s decision to Secretary Kemp, which will not doubt be denied/dismissed in due time.