What's Obama's Birther Legal Bill?

Activists charge that Obama has spent millions to silence them in court. Not exactly, say the government’s lawyers.

Tue Jan. 26, 2010 3:00 AM PST

Is President Barack Obama spending millions of dollars to hide the truth about his citizenship?

During Obama's 2008 run for the White House, his campaign and a host of other credible sources repeatedly debunked the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and was thus ineligible to serve as president. But this failed to quell the "birther" movement, whose acolytes have filed more than 60 civil lawsuits challenging the president's citizenship. None of these suits have gone anywhere in court. But birthers say that's because Obama has unleashed a phalanx of powerful lawyers to silence them—spending $1.7 million in the process, according to WorldNetDaily (WND), an enthusiastic online promoter of the birthers' cause.

Given the sheer number of cases, it seems plausible that the president and the government may have been forced to devote real resources to their defense. But in fact the opposite may be true: The birthers' own copious legal bungling could wind up costing them more than Obama will have to spend defending himself.



The birthers have peppered dozens of state and federal courts around the country with legal challenges—against the president and other government officials and organizations who had some role in allowing Obama's name to be placed on the ballot, including the Federal Election Commission, various state election officials, and the US Supreme Court. Some of the suits, particularly those filed by the movement's leading lady, California lawyer/dentist Orly Taitz, have been headlined by members of the military claiming they've been wrongfully made to serve in foreign wars by an illegitimate commander in chief. Most recently, birther attorneys have represented car dealers who charge that Obama is a phony president who lacked the authority to order a restructuring of Chrysler that they say cost them their businesses.

WorldNetDaily has noted that FEC filings show that Obama's presidential campaign has paid out more than $1.7 million since the election to the law firm of Perkins Coie. Until recently, that firm was home to Obama's campaign lawyer, and now White House counsel, Robert Bauer—the very same DC lawyer, says WND, who has defended Obama in many of the birther lawsuits. Ergo, WND concluded, Obama must be devoting that entire $1.7 million to crushing birthers in court. This is a ridiculous claim: Even after an election is over a presidential campaign has plenty of need for lawyers as it winds down operations and meets campaign finance law requirements.

But WND's editors believe they have a smoking gun in a letter Bauer sent on April 3 to John David Hemenway, a DC lawyer representing retired Air Force Colonel Gregory Hollister in a suit against "Barry Soetoro…de facto President in posse." (Some birthers claim Obama is actually an Indonesian citizen who shares his last name with his Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.)

The lawsuit claims that Hollister may be unable to perform his duty to uphold the Constitution if Obama called him out of retirement and ordered him to war, because Obama isn't a natural-born citizen. A US District Court judge dismissed the "frivolous" case and reprimanded the 83-year-old lawyer for filing it. Nonetheless, Hemenway appealed, prompting Bauer to send him a letter warning that Obama would seek sanctions if he pursued the matter.

WND and many of its readers apparently believe this letter proves that Obama has teams of expensive lawyers working round the clock to stomp out the suits and intimidate the underdog plaintiffs and their attorneys. The White House never responded to WND's questions about the legal fees, and Bauer didn't respond to Mother Jones. But the birthers' lawsuits don't exactly seem to be requiring Obama's lawyers—government or private—to burn the midnight oil.

Roger West, an assistant US attorney in the central district of California, represented the government in a lawsuit brought by Taitz on behalf of perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes, asking the court to require that Obama prove he is a natural-born citizen. The case has dragged on for more than a year, mostly because Taitz, a graduate of an online, unaccredited law school, failed to serve the defendants. Judge David O. Carter dismissed the suit in October for a host of reasons, but Taitz has appealed. Yet West says that far from bleeding his office, Taitz and her co-counsel Gary Kreep have assembled such a weak case that he hasn't had to spend much time on it. "I filed one motion that didn't take too long, we've had two hearings and that's it," he says. "It's not like we've devoted some sort of task force to this."

Army Major Rebecca Ausprung handled two of the birther cases against the Department of the Army that disputed Obama's authority as commander in chief to order soldiers to war. Ausprung says she spent a few hours drafting motions and doing research, and she did have to make three short trips to Georgia from Arlington, Virginia. She prevailed in both cases. "The monetary cost to the government in defending these two cases was extremely minimal," she says.

Or consider a case filed by one of the most prolific birther litigants, Philip J. Berg, that went all the way up to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. In November the court dismissed the appeal and ordered Berg to pay the legal costs for the defendants, which included the Federal Election Commission. Here was the government's big chance to recoup its millions. But when the FEC submitted its bill, the grand total came to $20.40. This doesn't include the cost of the time government lawyers spent writing briefs and appearing in court. Yet it's clear that as much of a nuisance as these suits are for the government, that's all they are: a nuisance.

In fact, the plaintiffs may be spending far more time and money on these cases than Obama or the government is, in part because of their failure to abide by basic court procedures. In one of the Georgia cases Ausprung handled, a federal judge sanctioned Taitz in October for $20,000 for, among other things, pursuing a case long after a judge had dismissed it and her own client had discharged her. Taitz has refused to pay the fine.

So far, judges have been remarkably tolerant of the birthers' shenanigans—despite being handed abundant opportunities to throw their petitions out of court. In one case, Taitz allegedly encouraged supporters to contact the judge by phone and mail to lobby for her cause—a glaring ethics violation that he chose to ignore. Another of her cases only went forward because the federal judge basically begged the defendants to let Taitz serve them—the first step in any lawsuit, but one that Taitz had neglected to take for about seven months. The judges' written opinions suggest that by giving the birthers' cases a full airing, they hope to put some of the most outrageous allegations to rest.

But not only have the birthers shown little gratitude to the judges who have indulged them, their court losses have also fueled the conspiracy theories that the judges had hoped to extinguish. Taitz accused US District Judge Clay Land of having improperly discussed one of her cases with Attorney General Eric Holder, and submitted a sworn eyewitness account describing a clandestine meeting in a Columbus, Georgia, coffee shop between the judge and a man with a "trim upper lip mustache, not large of stature and general olive complexion"—whom the source naturally assumed to be the attorney general. On the day in question, however, Holder was making a public appearance 2,000 miles away in Los Angeles. Expect the birthers' theories to become even more far-fetched as their legal endeavors continue to fail.

Stephanie Mencimer is a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. For more of her stories, click here.

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Obama and the USA

From where I am here in Canada I do not understand the USA. You people seem to doing everything possible to undermine your own country. Nobody works for the betterment of your country anymore. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is not an American. His Health Care bill stinks. You know what is the problem in your country. You people do no know what "words" mean. The Health care program is called "Socialist" Are you kidding me.
PLus you all claim to be "Christian" Are you joking. ?! If this is Christian behavior than I have never read the bible. Get going people . I travel a lot and I will tell you. Your country is getting behind and you do not know it.
Vote for people that are willing to do something for your country and are not only concerned about what they can get out of it.
Travel to other countries and look how they fix problems.
Your people are nice people but the way your Government people Govern is no Good and does not serve the country. Stop fighting and get on with with some real work to make your country better.I guess you are not going to do this. Give Obama a break.

As an American, I agree with

As an American, I agree with most of what you're saying. Those who want to make the nation a better place are hindered by the loudmouth, know-nothings who want the nation to fail so that they can say 'I told you so!'

Thank you Sean Baines!!!!

Thank you Sean Baines!!!!

Sean Baines, you are wrong

Obama is not a 'muslim.' Islamic is a religion, just like christianity, just like wiccan. He was *born* (atheist, everyone is born atheist until they're converted against their will long before they're old enough to make a rational decision on their own, then his family converted him to Islam) then they converted to Christianity.

Besides, here in the USA, we have freedom of religion, so even if he *were* muslim, it wouldn't be a problem and he'd still be eligible for the presidency (in theory).

However, just like in the middle east there are radical islamists, here in the US we have radical catholics, which i suspect are the people making these erroneous claims.

Do you really think that Obama could have somehow slipped past all the government officials, to somehow gain the presidency if he were not a natural-born citizen?

Are you really that stupid?

Obama was born in Hawaii, 2 years after the American government conquered Hawaii and assimilated it as the 50th state.

Therefore, he's an American citizen.

Please re-read

He's not calling Obama a muslim.

He's using a rhetorical device, ticking off the baseless accusations that people have made about Obama.

Thank you for your cooperation.

No Person except a natural

No Person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the united states, at the time of the adoption of this constitution shall be eligible to the office of president of the united states.
Natural born citizens are those born in a country to parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens.
Obama Sr. was not an American citizen, thus Jr. is not a natural born citizen. Jr. was not around when the adoption of the constitution was to become the law of this land. There is a differnce in citizen and natural born for the requirement for such office. This is the facts. He is guilty of high crimes and should be prosecuted.

Re "Natural born citizens are

Re "Natural born citizens are those born in a country to parents who are citizens."
Read the 14th amendment:
1. 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.

If you were born in the US, you are a citizen, regardless of parental citizenship.

You are a Natural born

You are a Natural born citizen if one of your parents was, or if you were born in the United States.

So no.

American citizenship is not

American citizenship is not always determined by blood. A person born on american soil to foreign born parents can be considered a natural born citizen of this country via the 14th Amendment : Section 1. 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...

If you are born in the country, you are by definition a natural born citizen.

My Dad was born in Canada, I was born in Downtown Detroit. You saying that I can never be president? Would I be committing a crime by being rightfully elected by the people to serve them?

Also, any person born on foreign soil to parents who are either both US citizens, or at least one who is a Citizen, or at least one parent had lived in the US a minimum of 5 years prior to the birth, and at least 2 of those years where when the parent was older than 14, is considered a US citizen automatically.

Now my question to you is: if a child is born in a foreign country to an American soldier, would that child not be eligible to hold the office of president? What if one parent was not an "american" but the other one was a soldier? Is that child not a citizen? Many would think that unfair, to "punish" a child born to one who serves the country only because they were not born in the continental US.

Back to Obama. This birther movement is nonsense. It's actually pretty funny to read the articles which pop up now and then. It's obvious that the longer this theory is held on to, the less credible it becomes. If Obama was born in Hawaii, he is a natural born citizen of this country. So far no credible proof to the contrary has come forward, otherwise the movement would be more than a fringe right-wing conspiracy.

You need to move on and do something for the betterment of everyone who lives here. Not bicker over sour grapes that a Democrat is in charge of the white house. The Republicans will have their time again, it's cyclical process. Stop whining and move on.

Who really gives a rat's

Who really gives a rat's ass?? He's a thoughtful, progressive leader who deserves to be president, and he sure as hell deserves a lot more cooperation than he's getting. Most of his ideas are for the good of the vast majority of people in our country, and many go farther... to benefit people around the world.

Corporate shill

"He's a thoughtful, progressive leader who deserves to be president,"

Please. He's a lying racist that exploited the deaths of a million middle easterners so that you fools would elect him.

Then he sent more troops into afghanistan. Racist, race-baiting, corporate shill-loving fools.

Natural born is born on US

Natural born is born on US soil , thats territories and all states.

And isn't it odd that all

And isn't it odd that all your baseless accusations weren't picked up on by the legal system. Oh...oops...another conspiricy theory.

You have lost you ever-loving mind

Obamas mother was a citizen of the U.S.
If a child is born in the U.S. under our law they are a citizen, hense "anchor babies".
The only person guilty of high crimes here is you, and your crime is stupidity.

So the Japanese won?

"2 years after the American government conquered Hawaii and assimilated it as the 50th state."

You don't even know where to start, you would think the words 'Pearl Harbor' and the date 'Dec 7, 1941' would have stuck or something but apparently not.

Hawaii did not become a state

Hawaii did not become a state until 1960. From 1898? it was a U.S.Territory.


Hawaii became a state (#50) in 1959. I was there at the time. Big party!

Troublemakers !

I agree! We should support our President who has inherited terrible problems and hard times not of his making.

These people who want to unseat the President may be closet racists who don't care about the welfare of this country and just want to make trouble for the President. Probably, they are all frustrated Republicans who see all of this "noise" as a means of getting their party back in power in the next election.

I'm sure that all of the "birthers" know that if they were successful in their efforts, this would cause violence and race riots in this country, that already has so much pain and trouble to bear ---the war and the terrible recession with its unemployment.

The only thing the birthers do prove is that the democratic ideal of permitting citizens to freely address the courts is still alive and well.

It seems that "politics" is now product for the 24-hr. news media and the losing party immediately starts running for re-election 24 hours a day after their loss. The fire is stoked by media and those "stars" who sit on the sidelines and comment pro and con about the policies of government. At least the media doesn't give much time to the "birthers."

Stephanie Mencimer, I'll give

Stephanie Mencimer, I'll give you a C+ for that article. There are a host of minor errors, but more important, you obviously didn't check with the single most important website that debunks the Birthers, Politijab .

If you had, you would have learned of the Birther Case Scorecard, and learned that Obama only hired personal attorneys in 3 of the 64 Birther lawsuits.

Even if the federal government lawyers were spending a lot of time on these cases (which you accurately reported, they aren't), that would result in no additional expense to the government. Both Roger West and Rebecca Ausprung receive the same salary no matter what cases they work on. Only if President Obama hires personal attorneys does the expense climb, and he hasn't had to hire personal attorneys to work on these cases since he took office.

You missed one other important point, too. Birthers have 3 main theories as to why he's ineligible, of which you mention only one -- that he may have been born in Kenya. Why didn't you mention the theory that he lost his citizenship when he was "adopted" in Indonesia? Why didn't you mention the theory that both your parents must be U.S. citizens for you to be a "natural born citizen"?

All the other MSM outlets that reported this story -- Washington Post, UPI, New York Magazine, Washington Independent, etc. -- contacted us at Politijab to get more accurate and complete information before writing their stories. Before you write about the Birthers again, give us a chance to educate you more fully.

To PJ Foggy

Not that it matters legally, but I'm incensed by the assertion that both parents must be US citizens before you are a "natural born citizen". As if being American has ever been like being a pedigreed dog or thoroughbred horse! Au contraire (or manybe I should use only English idioms?)! What are we if not a bit of a mongrel nation?
I am American, the father of my children is Spanish (from SPAIN!) and one child was born in Spain and one was born in England. We currently live in the states. Why wouldn't they be American? I can only feel the bigotry seeping from peoples' thought processes as they try to justify any other stance.
Realistically, I like to think of them (and myself and husband) as global citizens (as overused as that term may be), but there is no passport for that.
Do the birthers suggest a nouveau caste system where only people with "papers" documenting their American heritage back to some definite point in history lead and the rest of us file in behind, subservient, obedient and inferior?

Yes the Indonesian case

is the most interesting one. Because it isn't obviously bat shit crazy, has real documentation in play and relies on actual legal language and reasoning. In the end the case breaks down given the clear wording of the Nationality Act of 1940, but at least they make you work for it.


I tried to throw some cold water on this even before Obama got into office but I guess you can't keep a good Birfer down.

The Indonesian case

I have never read that Obama was LEGALLY adopted by his Indonesian stepfather. My children from a previous marriage used my second husband's name for a few years at school, but when they turned 18, or got driver's licenses, they resumed their birth names as we never got around to getting them legally adopted. Thus, they were not eligible for support when we divorced. Using a name doesn't make for a legal arrangement. Luckily, we are all friends and step-dad helped with support and is still their dad.

Do you have any information that Barack Obama was legally adopted by Soetoro? Even if he was, how would this change his citizenship? He was a minor. Usually there is some sort of rule that comes into play at legal age time. Choose citizenship or be granted dual citizenship under certain circumstances, which varies for each country.

Bottom line question is: What REALLY motivates these people? I don't think it's really their concern for the country; it has to be a mental illness. Oily Titz is so loony she's actually quite entertaining to listen to!

Immigration and National Act of 1952

"From and after the effective date of this Act a person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by -- (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application, upon an application filed in his behalf by a parent, or duly authorized agent, or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person: Provided, That nationality shall not be lost by any person under this section as the result of the naturalization of a parent or parents while such person is under the age of twenty-one years, or as the result of naturalization obtained on behalf of a person under twenty-one years of age by a parent, guardian, or duly authorized agent, unless such person shall fail to enter the United States to establish a permanent residence prior to his twenty-fifth birthday:"

It wouldn't have mattered if Soetoro had adopted Obama with or without obtaining Indonesian naturalization, with or without Obama's consent, as long as Obama re-established a permanent residence in the US prior to 1986 he would retain his citizenship. And we know where Obama was in 1986, he was a community organizer in Chicago.

You could have a picture of child Obama wrapped in the Indonesia flag with his Indonesian passport in one hand kissing the hand of the President of Indonesia and it wouldn't matter for legal purposes, neither children nor their guardians can simply throw away their citizenship. Obama was born in Honolulu. By 1985 he was settled in Chicago. End of story. He was born and remains a citizen whatever happened or didn't happen in Indonesia.

Here's a cheap and easy answer....

There are just a couple of requirements for POTUS per our constitution... age 35 and natural born citizen. You require no other background, qualification, or abilities.

When I applied for my driver's license I had to show proof of age (16, which was a million years ago) and proof of residence in that state.

Seems all this would go away if Obama would just show us his proof of age and birthplace. How tough is that?

If documented proof is required for a driver's license, shouldn't we expect the same for the highest office in the land?

I am not one who believes one way or the other... but the law is the law and it seems every elected official should prove they meet the minimum legal requirements for the office... whether it be dog catcher or POTUS.

The better question to ask is why did Obama/Whitehouse/government spend a nickel on attorneys to stonewall the request for proof? Just show the proof and be done with this.

You think he hasn't?

"Seems all this would go away if Obama would just show us his proof of age and birthplace. How tough is that?"

You think he hasn't?

It's these rabid retards who refuse to accept the answer.

They'd rather believe that Obama sidestepped every form, every test and somehow swindled everyone in the country in the process and that somehow, SOMEHOW he stole the US presidency.

These people refuse to accept the fact that doddering old McCain lost, and the truth is, it doesn't matter. For every elected official there are 2 dozen appointed employees who never, ever lose their job come the next election cycle.

The office of the president is nothing more than a marionette box. The bankers own the US government thanks to the Federal Reserve, a private company that sits outside of US law. The Federal Reserve CAUSES recessions and depressions on a whim. Look at the virtual handful of obscenely wealthy people who got that much richer under the Bush presidency.

Then when the Federal Reserve faces an audit... they tighten the money supply and cause a recession, so the US government has to hop from one foot to the next to fix it.

Every person in the country who wanted to work could work if they legalized hemp for commercial farming, but OH NO then the DEA wouldn't be able to stuff it's prisons with minorities over possession of a plant that CANNOT BE OVERDOSED ON. Unlike alcohol.

Because it's not a war on (some) drugs, it's a war on minorities to replace outlawed slave labor with prison labor. Read tinyurl.com/1mn
"Well, there it was, you didn't have to look another foot as you went from state to state right on the floor of the state legislature. And so what was the genesis for the early state marijuana laws in the Rocky Mountain and southwestern areas of this country? It wasn't hostility to the drug, it was hostility to the newly arrived Mexican community that used it."

Proof has been shown

Common Sense: Obama has shown proof, he has presented his Hawaiian birth certificate, the one that is accepted by ALL Federal and State agencies as proof of birth and Citizenship in Hawaii, additionally Officials from the Sate of Hawaii have made sworn affidavits that his birth record is accurate and he was born in Hawaii.

The problem is that the "birthers" won't accept it!

Nine large images of Certificate


These are high resolution JPGs, from 1.2 to 2.2 mb in size showing every detail of the Certificate of Live Birth including raised seal, for example this one shows the seal and official stamp:

Other than pin it to his coat I am not sure what Obama could do that he already hasn't.

Do you really believe proof

Do you really believe proof was not supplied long ago? You can see a copy of the birth certificate on a couple of websites. The proof has been supplied but that has not satisfied the shit-stirrers. I think the refusal to except Obama as president goes deeper than origin of birth or the fact that he is a democrat.

This is good news for Obama

The more Obama's opponents look like the kooks they are the better off he is. Elections are contests between two people (and occasionally a third), not between one person and the imaginary ideal.

What this really proves

What this really proves is that the American political system is coming to pieces. It proves that the ambulance chasers have finally caught the ambulance, and there's no body in it. It proves that the lights are on, but somebody's home, and you can't trust them to go to the corner store for a candy bar and come back with the correct change. It proves that the poll that showed that almost 2/3 of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein personally directed 9/11 attacks was correct. It explains why 80% of Americans can't find Washington DC on a map or why they listen to the beauty pageant raps and think that it's totally plausible that there is such a thing as "opposite marriage".

I would like to take the next train out, but I'm too old so I'm stuck here. If I had it all to do over again, I would go to Canada like I almost did 40 years back.


Nice misdirection.

..."During Obama's 2008 run for the White House, his campaign and a host of other credible sources repeatedly debunked the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and was thus ineligible to serve as president."...

The point of the eligibility lawsuits is that the Constitution requires Obama to be a "natural born citizen". Most of the media have for some unknown reason taken it upon themselves to equate being born in Hawaii as meeting the requirements of being a "natural born citizen". Being a NBC also requires both parents not having foreign and/or multiple citizenships (conflicted allegiances).

Assuming Obama was born in Hawaii, he fails to reach the status of a "natural born citizen" because of the Kenyan citizenship and the effects of his British Citizenship of Obama's father.

If you are seriously interested in looking at the law and the cases discussing this aspect, I would direct you to the website of Mario Apuzzo, Esq. at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/

Thank you for your time and consideration of this important issue.


Zach Jones

Thanks for proving my point.

The flying saucer is boarding shortly, please don't miss it.



Freak me out with your

Freak me out with your courtesy and formality Zach...NBC!!! Your world is so small and black and white...lucky you...unfortunate us...
By the way, I believe you may have some allegiance to Englamd with a surname like Jones. And then there is your first name, Zach, which is Hebrew. Heaven Forbid! You may be a Jew! You are of mixed heritage...OMG! Don't trust this man, he is so clearly un-American!!!

Natural Born Citizen

In our Constitution, the Founding Fathers used the term "Natural born citizen" to indicate citizens who had been born on these shores from that date forward, as well as all citizens who had been born or were descended from the original colonists. They went further to indicate also those citizens who had not been born here, but were citizens at the time of the Revolution and chose to stay in the new country, thus affording themselves the ability to continue in government is some cases, as many of them had been born in England prior to their families coming to the colonies.

A natural born citizen is any person born on the soil of this nation. His parentage is not at issue, so the argument about his father is worthless. His mother was an American citizen who gave birth in Hawaii, a state of the union, and therefore, not because of his mother's citizenship, but because of his place of birth, Obama is a natural born citizen. This has been proven and attested to by the officials of the State of Hawaii.

As for the eligibility of presidential candidates based on this criteria alone, John McCain would have been disqualified as a citizen of the United States by virtue of his birth in Panama. However, where both parents are serving in a military base outside of the US, they can file to have their child recognized as a US citizen, and that is what McCain's parents did. This is the only type of case where the parentage of a child must be one or both parents in order to recognize citizenship.

So arguments about the parentage of Obama are irrelevant under our Constitution. He was, and has proven he was, born on US soil. That makes him a natural born citizen, not the fact that his mother was a citizen or his father was not. Unfortunately, this is the crux of the anchor baby problems we face in the illegal immigration issue - the children are recognized as American citizens because they were born here, even though their parents are here illegally. You cannot have it both ways when you argue about citizenship, and that is something that the birthers do not seem to understand.

Re: "documented proof is

Re: "documented proof is required for a driver's license, shouldn't we expect the same for the highest office in the land?"

Obama has already shown the official birth certificate of Hawaii. Yes, the Certification of Live Birth is now the official birth certificate, and it is the only birth certificate that Hawaii sends out. It no longer sends out copies of the original birth certificate. The Certification of Live Birth is accepted as proof of birth in the USA by the US State Department and the branches of the US military.

The Wall Street Journal commented: 'Obama has already provided a legal birth certificate demonstrating that he was born in Hawaii. No one has produced any serious evidence to the contrary. Absent such evidence, it is unreasonable to deny that Obama has met the burden of proof. We know that he was born in Honolulu as surely as we know that Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Ark., or George W. Bush in New Haven, Conn."

Re: "Assuming Obama was born

Re: "Assuming Obama was born in Hawaii, he fails to reach the status of a "natural born citizen" because of the Kenyan citizenship and the effects of his British Citizenship of Obama's father."

The citizenship of either parent has no effect whatsoever on Natural Born Citizen status, which merely means "born in the USA." Since Obama was born in the USA, as his official birth certificate shows, he is a Natural Born Citizen.

I don't think so

I think he was born in Manchuria.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Sad but true

When Obama was elected, I was so happy mainly because I thought that America has come a long way and that racism is declining. I was wrong. All it did was that it brought out racism from hiding.

"Assuming Obama was born in

"Assuming Obama was born in Hawaii, he fails to reach the status of a "natural born citizen" because of the Kenyan citizenship and the effects of his British Citizenship of Obama's father."

Several supreme court cases dating back over a hundred years prove that to be mote.

There is nothing preventing someone who has multiple citizenships from becoming President as they were born to someone from the US who meet certain requirements such as being in the US for a number of years (some debate on how this calcuated) or were born on US soil.

His father's citeznship doesn't matter one whit it was being born on US soil according to the Supereme Court or if not that the mother's citzenship would have been the issue. There are tens of millions of Americans born outside the US that are eligible for being President due to their parents and millions of Americans who have a parent from a different country. Also his father didn't have British citzenship according to the UK when Kenya lost it's status as a British domain, also Obama's Kenyan citizenship expired a few years after he turned 18 since Kenya unlike the US doesn't allow dual citizenship after someone turns a certain age.

Also you do not lose US citizenship because your mother marries a man from a different country. Someone who losses their citizenship has a record of it. There are procedures and rules for how to either reliniquish your citizenship or have it taken away and it is rarely done so.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Natural Born Citizen Clause of Our U.S. Constitution Requires that Both of the Child’s Parents Be U.S. Citizens At the Time of Birth

When interpreting the Constitution, we must decide whether we will look to the document as an original and static one whose meaning has already been established at a given time by the People and its Framers or one that is living and which can be changed over any given time by a court of law. See the address of Justice Antonin Scalia to the 2008 Annual National Lawyers Convention on November 22, 2008, at the Mayflower Hotel, in Washington, D.C. http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/pubid.1193/pub_detail.asp. (advocates originalism rather than living constitutionalism). I submit that Article II’s “natural born Citizen” clause has a fixed and knowable meaning which was established at the time of its drafting and should therefore be interpreted through the eyes of the original Framers that drafted and ratified the clause so as to determine what they intended the clause to mean (original intent theory). I also submit that we should interpret the “natural born Citizen” clause in a way that reasonable persons living at the time of its adoption would have declared the ordinary meaning of the text to be (original meaning theory). This is not living constitutionalism but rather originalism or textualism as applied to interpreting the Constitution. It is this latter approach that I will utilize in this article....Continue Reading at:


Attorney Mario Apuzzo has several well written articles explaining the meaning and addressing the history of court decisions on this subject. If you are interested, please visit his site.

Having a legal background, I've looked carefully at the issue and have come to the same conclusions as Mr. Apuzzo. However, there is the possibility that a court may interpret Article II, Section 1 to allow Obama eligibility. No court thus far has broadened the meaning of 'natural born citizen' to include a person with parents who are not citizens. No court has addressed the merits. No court has dared touch it. This is a politically charged topic that has caused courts to rely on technical legal arguments to avoid allowing discovery. Hopefully, one of the remaining cases will make it to the Supreme Court for a final determination. America and her military personel deserve to know.

All the attorneys and plaintiffs are asking for is to permit full discovery and apply the Constitutional requirements.

Take care.


When interpreting this fella's posts...

... you'll read them best using the light afforded under bridges, as that's where trolls are to be found.

Yes, and even here, when MoJo trolls for them with pieces like this... the birthers will find them.

Having an engineering background, I'd say that the birther case is built on a strong foundation of racial hatred with a framework of Faux lies using layer after layer of resentment from losing the last election in a landslide.

Yep, that's my professional opinion, Zack.


Natural Born Citizen has very specific meanings that have been universally understood (at least by people with brains) to mean the following:

-Born within the territory of the USA, including states, territories, and districts.


Born to a parent who is at the time a US citizen

That's it. As long as you meet one of those criteria, you are a NBC.

The man is the President. He has been for a year, and will be for at least 3 more. COPE WITH IT!! At least now hack-job conservatives know how the rest of us felt during the second half of Dubya's administration.

And you obviously can't have that strong of a "legal background" if you are following this guy's assertions that are based on foreign writers, personal opinions, and legal cases whose conclusions have been reversed or redefined by later cases to leave us with exactly the definition of NBC that I have previously stated. Stating, in effect, "Well I don't think they should have reversed those prior decisions with this case, to I'll ignore it and make my moronic point anyway" is not a valid legal argument. Put down your law books and go back to something more your level... like a pop-up or coloring book.

Controlling authority

Attorney Puzo cites as his controlling authority a 18th century French man writing in French and not specifically about law.

Given that most of the Right does not believe that ANY foreign or international law is or should be binding on the U.S. even in the case of Senate ratified treaties it is very odd indeed that they should seize on this particular treatise as if it were gospel.

As to the citation from Blackstone it is not clear that law or practice ever held that sons took their legal condition from the father, certainly the sons of white slave owners from slave mothers were not as such born free.

Plus if we really got pedantic it is not clear that 'citoyen' at the time of writing of this French treatise meant 'citizen' in the sense of 'citizen of the state' mainly because it is not clear whether France was really a 'state' at all in the modern sense. One was instead a subject of the King of France and a 'citoyen' of Paris.

In any event and in the context of the history of the 'Freedom Fry' it is ironic that these Red White and Blue bleeding patriots have to stoop to the authority of some long dead French guy to make their case.

Zack states: "Attorney Mario

Zack states: "Attorney Mario Apuzzo has several well written articles explaining the meaning and addressing the history of court decisions on this subject. If you are interested, please visit his site."
Apuzzo repeatedly misquotes and or mischaracterizes the law. There are multiple examples of this in his most recent filing, but here are two easy examples, which are easily verifiable:
(1) Apuzzo asserts that Jefferson was one of our most important founders, then declares that the Virginia law drafted by Jefferson

    "provided that even if the child was born on U.S. soil, if his parents were not U.S. citizens, then the child also was not a citizen and would have to naturalized in order to be such."

In fact, the law at issue expressly states:

    "Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that all white PERSONS BORN WITHIN THE TERRITORY of this commonwealth ... SHALL BE DEEMED CITIZENS of this commonwealth, until they relinquish that character in manner as herein after expressed" (emphasis supplied).

In other words, the law drafted by Jefferson expressly held that citizenship was granted upon birth within the territory of the Commonwealth. In other words, Apuzzo expressly said that Jefferson's law did the opposite of what it actually did.

(2) Apuzzo states:

    "Sen Jacob Howard (the framer who co-wrote the Fourteenth Amendment citizenship clause stating in 1866 that the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment excluded persons born in the United States who were foreigners, aliens, OR who belonged to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers." (emphasis supplied)

In fact, Howard actually stated:

    "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons."

In other words, to support his argument, Apuzzo added an "or" where none existed. What Howard said was that foreigners, aliens who are diplomats.

This is just two of many many examples of mischaracterizing the law to support his arguments. Whether these (and other) mischaracterization were made intentionally or not, they demonstrate that Apuzzo's characterization of the law is faulty and cannot be relied upon.

Apuzzo's articles are based

Apuzzo's articles are based more on wishful thinking than law. U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark contains a lengthy discussion of what "natural born" meant to the authors of the Constitution, and the only mention of Vattel is in the dissent.

You'll also notice that even Apuzzo admits that there was no English translation of Vattel that used the English phrase "natural-born" before 1797, a full ten years after the Constitution was adopted, and eight years after it was ratified.

You're trying to create a distinction between "natural born citizen" and "citizen at birth" that was never intended by the authors of the Constitution and has never existed in U.S. law.

I doubt you have any legal

I doubt you have any legal background at all. You don't even know how to spell the word "moot".

Currently, Title 8 of the

Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"

-Anyone born inside the United States *
-Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
-Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
-Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
-Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
-Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
-Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
-A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

So-- if you're born to an American parent, you are an American citizen. The questions raised about President Obama's citizenship are baseless and those perpetuating them simply illustrate their ignorance of the constitution they claim to revere. Unless someone can prove that Mr. Obama's mother and maternal grandparents were not all born in the U.S., citizenship was conferred to him by his mother and her status as a U.S. citizen, even if he was born in a plane over Russian air space.

I've subscribe to MoJo since

I've subscribe to MoJo since Paula Poundstone wrote for the magazine (still subscribing). I rarely bother to visit online however and if you want to know why it's comments like these: "It's these rabid retards who refuse to accept the answer."

That's offensive.

As for the topic? Common Sense is correct, release the birth certificate and it goes away.

Claims that he has are false. That document reflected 2008 not 1962 or whenever he was born.

This isn't a major issue to me but the uninformed may think something valid was released.

No such thing happened.

We use more appropriate terms today (except some MoJo commenters) and the released certificate uses those. It is not an original document nor is it reflective of the era it was supposedly generated in.

I see a lot of stupidity on the left these days and that bothers me more than what some Canadian thinks we need to do. Last time I checked, Canada had their own Bush (Stephen Harper) and a huge mess to clean up.

Lastly, the most obvious reason for Barack Obama not to release his birth certificate is what it says. Not where he was born -- I don't see how he could have been born out of the US. The most obvious reason is because it reflects that he was "illegitimate".

That's one of those terms we no longer see on certificates.

As he himself has admitted, his parents may never have had a ceremony. (Not that it would matter since his father came to the US already married. His parents were not married by US law whether they went before a judge or pastor or not. Bigamy was not recognized in the US when he was born.)

Whatever the reason, the real certificate has not been released.

I find it sad that Mother Jones thinks this article qualifies as journalism but it's been less and less about muckraking in the last three years and more and more of a Democratic Party organ.

"That document reflected 2008

"That document reflected 2008 "

It's called a verified copy printed by the State Health Department upon request. They print a lot of them each year because guess what people lose their copy when they move, it gets old and faded, it gets grape juice splashed on it. Nothing out of the ordinary. You never get the original because it is stored in the records vault. You always get a copy. Nor does every state have the same form nor does a state keep the same form from decade to decade.

June 6th, 2007

is the date on the official copy which can be seen right between the official seal and the official stamp in this high res photo


It's not like they rushed to come up with something after Berg or D'Onofrio were filed, this document was available for inspection in Obama's Chicago lawyer's office for months and months prior to the election.

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