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Court: No need for state to check prez' eligibility
Judge throws out complaint brought on behalf of Keyes
Posted: March 13, 2009
11:45 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
A California court has ruled that apparently anyone can run for president on the California ballot – whether or not they are eligible under the Constitution of the United States.
"Secretary of State Debra Bowen contends that there is no basis for mandamus relief because the Secretary of State has no 'ministerial duty' to demand detailed proof of citizenship from presidential candidates," said Judge Michael P. Kenny. "The court finds this argument persuasive."
His opinion threw out a case raising questions over President Barack Obama's eligibility that had been brought by Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation on behalf of Ambassador Alan Keyes, a 2008 presidential candidate, and others.
That even though, as WND has reported, California in the past has exercised the authority to determine whether presidential candidates are qualified, and remove them from the ballot if they are not.
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The lawsuit explained secretaries of state in California previously have exercised their election authority and have rejected candidates who did not qualify.
"As stated in our previous pleadings herein, former California Secretaries of State have taken legal action to remove individuals from the ballot for failure to comply with the eligibility requirements to serve as President of the United States, although, in those cases, the issue had to do with the 'age' requirement, not the 'natural born citizen,'" the USJF said.
The filing continued with the warning, "If MR. OBAMA is not constitutionally eligible to serve as President of the United States, then no act that he takes is, arguably, valid, the laws that he signs would not be valid, the protective orders that he signs would be null and void, and every act that he takes would be subject to legal challenge, both in Courts of the United States of America, and in International Courts, and that, therefore, it is important for the voters to know whether he, or any candidate for President in the future, is eligible to serve in that office."
The case documents previously explained that in 1968 the Peace and Freedom Party submitted the name of Eldridge Cleaver as a qualified candidate for president, and then-Secretary of State Frank Jordan "found that, according to Mr. Cleaver's birth certificate, he was only 34 years old, one year shy of the 35 years of age needed to be on the ballot as a candidate for president."
USJF explained that "using his administrative powers, Mr. Jordan removed Mr. Cleaver from the ballot. Mr. Cleaver unsuccessfully challenged this decision to the Supreme Court of the State of California, and, later, to the Supreme Court of the United States."
The USJF said similarly, in 1984, Peace and Freedom Party candidate Larry Holmes was removed from the ballot.
Even in the 2008 campaign, foreign-born third-party candidate Roger Calero was removed from ballots in some states, according to elections reports.
The judge, however, dismissed the case on Bowen's arguments and others.
Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 325,000 others and sign up now!
"A traditional writ of mandate can only issue if the respondent has a clear, present, and usually ministerial duty and the petitioner has a clear, present, and beneficial interest in the performance of that duty. … Code of Civil Procedure section 1085 provides that a writ of mandate will lie 'to compel the performance of an act which the law specially enjoins, as a duty resulting from office, trust or station, or to compel the admission of a party to the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which the party is entitled," the judge wrote.
"Petitioners have not identified any authority requiring the Secretary of State to make an inquiry into or demand detailed proof of citizenship from Presidential candidates. Elections Code section 6901 requires the Secretary of State to provide local elections officials with a certified list of the names and party affiliations of candidates nominated by their respective parties to appear on the November 4, 2008 Presidential General Election ballot. Elections Code section 15505 requires the Secretary of State to certify to the Governor the names of the electors receiving the highest number of votes," he wrote.
But there's simply no "clear or present ministerial duty" to require eligibility documentation from presidential candidates.
"Such a duty is not imposed by of Elections Code section 12172.5 which provides that the secretary of state 'shall see that state election laws are enforced,'" he wrote.
The judge also threw out a subpoena issued to Occidental College to provide copies of Obama's records of attendance there.
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama's status as a "natural born citizen." The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "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."
Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama's American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Keyes has been critical of judges' refusal to listen to evidence in the disputes.
"In the final analysis if the courts refuse to respect the Constitution, they are not the judges of their own action. The people must ultimately decide. Which is why I and others will use every outlet to inform them of the injustice being done not just to individuals but to the sovereign people as a whole," Keyes said.
In a commentary on the dispute, Keyes wrote that the suggestion of sanctions against those who bring up the questions, already raised as an issue by Obama's lawyers in his case, "confirms Obama's ruthless determination to destroy anyone who continues to seek the information the Constitution requires.
"Why should they demand penalties against citizens who are simply seeking the enforcement of the Supreme Law of the Land? It is simply because their persistence runs contrary to the will of a supposedly popular demagogue? This smacks of tyrannical arrogance. That Obama thus signals his intent to bring financial ruin on those who won't accept his cover-up of the circumstances of his birth is a tactical escalation," Keyes said.
"As one of the targets of this escalation, I need no more convincing proof of the ruthless disposition so far successfully masked by his empty rhetoric of hope and change. Obviously he means to offer hope only to those willing to surrender their most basic rights. To any who insist on questioning his actions, he offers the drastic change of ruin and destruction. So be it. We shall be among those who learn firsthand the meaning of the sacrifices made by the Founders of our free republic, as they pledged and gave up their lives, their fortunes and the world's esteem," Keyes said.
Although Obama officials have told WND all such allegations are "garbage," here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama's eligibility:
In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog as raising questions about Obama's eligibility include:
Bob Unruh is a news editor for WorldNetDaily.com.