By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Lawsuits demanding proof of President-elect Barack Obama’s citizenship status are proliferating throughout the nation with legal action now pending in at least 15 states.
The controversy surrounds the problem of Obama’s original birth certificate which no one has been able to view, and which the Obama camp and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has consistently refused to produce.
While Obama claims he was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961, evidence points to Kenya as the place of his birth. Sarah Obama, Barack’s paternal grandmother, is on tape saying, “I was in the delivery room in (Mombosa) Kenya when he was born Aug. 4, 1961.”
If Barack was born in Kenya as his grandmother insists, even though his mother was an American citizen, U.S. law says she would have had to be a citizen for 10 years with at least five of those years being after the age of 14 in order for him to qualify for citizenship. Obama’s mother was only 18 at the time of his birth, meaning she missed the deadline by one year.
However, a birth notice does appear in a Honolulu newspaper dated Aug. 13, 1961, but Sarah Obama claims this is because Barack’s mother wanted to return to Hawaii for the baby’s birth but was too pregnant and the airlines refused to let her fly. She was forced to give birth in Mombasa, then flew home immediately afterward and registered her son’s birth in Honolulu. A U.S. Senator was able to get a hold of a duplicate birth certificate, but it was a duplicate (not a hospital birth certificate) and date stamped Aug. 6, two days after Obama’s birth.
Even if Sarah Obama is wrong and Obama was born in America, there is yet another problem with his citizenship. According to Obama’s own testimony, he lived and went to school in Indonesia while living with his mother and stepfather, Lolo Soetoro. Citizenship is a prerequisite for any child to attend school in Indonesia. Obama also listed Soetoro as his father on his Indonesia school records which means if Obama had U.S. citizenship at the time, he would have lost it when he either attended school or was adopted by an Indonesian man or both, which the evidence seems to suggest. The fact that he was adopted is evidenced by his enrollment in school as Barry Soetoro.
What has ignited this controversy is not just the questionable circumstances of Obama’s citizenry but his dogged refusal to set the record straight by producing a valid birth certificate. His only response to these questions has been to post a “Certificate of Live Birth” on his website which many believe is a fake. When lawyers and/or the press attempted to gain access to his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii and from Kenya, the documents were sealed.
As a result, lawsuits to force the matter are springing up all over the country, led by an attorney from Pennsylvania named Philip J. Berg. When a lower court dismissed his suit due to a lack of standing, he appealed to the Supreme Court. As of this date, the Court has ruled that Obama and the Democratic National Committee must produce a valid birth certificate by Dec. 1.
Because Obama’s election is not official until after the Electoral College meets on Dec. 15, and the Constitution says only a natural born citizen is eligible to serve as president, pressure is building to resolve the issue one way or the other.
Litigation is now pending in as many as 15 states, including Ohio, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Hawaii. Unconfirmed reports say litigation may also be pending in Utah, Wyoming, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Texas, California and Virginia. Just as in Berg’s case, all of the confirmed cases were reportedly dismissed due to the plaintiff’s lack of standing, without the court actually investigating the complaint.
However, the legal landscape may be changing now that former Ambassador Alan Keyes, who was on the November ballot as the American Independent Party presidential candidate, has decided to bring suit against Obama. This makes Keyes the first case in which the plaintiff is a candidate who claims he may have lost the presidency illegitimately to Obama, thus giving him sufficient standing and prompting a court to actually investigate the complaint instead of dismissing it.
“Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void, Petitioners, as well as other Americans, will suffer irreparable harm in that an usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal,” Keyes wrote to the Sacramento Supreme Court.
“An unprecedented and looming constitutional crisis awaits if a President elected by the popular vote and the electoral vote does not constitutionally qualify to serve in that capacity,” he says.
In response to questions about why the suit was being filed, Keyes commented, “I and others are concerned that this issue be properly investigated and decided before Senator Obama takes office. Otherwise there will be a serious doubt as to the legitimacy of his tenure.
“I hope the issue can be quickly clarified so that the new President can take office under no shadow of doubt,” concluded Keyes. “This will be good for him and for the nation.”
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