ITS TIME TO STOP THE BS

OBAMA MUST STAND UP NOW OR STEP DOWN

By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
October 29, 2008

NewsWithViews.com

America is facing potentially the gravest constitutional crisis in her history. Barack Obama must either stand up in a public forum and prove, with conclusive documentary evidence, that he is “a natural born Citizen” of the United States who has not renounced his American citizenship—or he must step down as the Democratic Party’s candidate for President of the United States—preferably before the election is held, and in any event before the Electoral College meets. Because, pursuant to the Constitution, only “a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of th[e] Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President” (Article II, Section 1, Clause 4). And Obama clearly was not “a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of th[e] Constitution.”

Whether the evidence will show that Obama is, or is not, “a natural born Citizen” who has never renounced his American citizenship is an open question. The arguments on both sides are as yet speculative. But Obama’s stubborn refusal to provide what he claims is “his own” country with conclusive proof on that score compels the presumption that he knows, or at least strongly suspects, that no sufficient evidence in his favor exists. After all, he is not being pressed to solve a problem in quantum physics that is “above his pay grade,” but only asked to provide the public with the original copy of some official record that establishes his citizenship. The vast majority of Americans could easily do so. Why will Obama not dispel the doubts about his eligibility—unless he can not?

Now that Obama’s citizenship has been seriously questioned, the burden of proof rests squarely on his shoulders. The “burden of establishing a delegation of power to the United States * * * is upon those making the claim.” Bute v. Illinois, 333 U.S. 640, 653 (1948). And if each of the General Government’s powers must be proven (not simply presumed) to exist, then every requirement that the Constitution sets for any individual’s exercise of those powers must also be proven (not simply presumed) to be fully satisfied before that individual may exercise any of those powers. The Constitution’s command that “[n]o Person except a natural born Citizen * * * shall be eligible to the Office of President” is an absolute prohibition against the exercise of each and every Presidential power by certain unqualified individuals. Actually (not simply presumptively or speculatively) being “a natural born Citizen” is the condition precedent sine qua non for avoiding this prohibition. Therefore, anyone who claims eligibility for “the Office of President” must, when credibly challenged, establish his qualifications in this regard with sufficient evidence.

In disposing of the lawsuit Berg v. Obama, which squarely presents the question of Obama’s true citizenship, the presiding judge complained that Berg “would have us derail the democratic process by invalidating a candidate for whom millions of people voted and who underwent excessive vetting during what was one of the most hotly contested presidential primary in living memory.” This is exceptionally thin hogwash. A proper judicial inquiry into Obama’s eligibility for “the Office of President” will not deny his supporters a “right” to vote for him—rather, it will determine whether they have any such “right” at all. For, just as Obama’s “right” to stand for election to “the Office of President” is contingent upon his being “a natural born Citizen,” so too are the “rights” of his partisans to vote for him contingent upon whether he is even eligible for that “Office.” If Obama is ineligible, then no one can claim any “right” to vote for him. Indeed, in that case every American who does vote has a constitutional duty to vote against him.

The judge in Berg v. Obama dismissed the case, not because Obama has actually proven that he is eligible for “the Office of President,” but instead because, simply as a voter, Berg supposedly lacks “standing” to challenge Obama’s eligibility:

regardless of questions of causation, the grievance remains too generalized to establish the existence of an injury in fact. * ** [A] candidate’s ineligibility under the Natural Born Citizen Clause does not result in an injury in fact to voters. By extension, the theoretical constitutional harm experienced by voters does not change as the candidacy of an allegedly ineligible candidate progresses from the primaries to the general election.

This pronouncement does not rise to the level of hogwash.

First, the Constitution mandates that “[t]he judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution” (Article III, Section 2, Clause 1). Berg’s suit plainly “aris[es] under th[e] Constitution,” in the sense of raising a critical constitutional issue. So the only question is whether his suit is a constitutional “Case[ ].” The present judicial test for whether a litigant’s claim constitutes a constitutional “Case[ ]” comes under the rubric of “standing”—a litigant with “standing” may proceed; one without “standing” may not. “Standing,” however, is not a term found anywhere in the Constitution. Neither are the specifics of the doctrine of “standing,” as they have been elaborated in judicial decision after judicial decision, to be found there. Rather, the test for “standing” is almost entirely a judicial invention.

True enough, the test for “standing” is not as ridiculous as the judiciary’s so-called “compelling governmental interest test,” which licenses public officials to abridge individuals’ constitutional rights and thereby exercise powers the Constitution withholds from those officials, which has no basis whatsoever in the Constitution, and which is actually anti-constitutional. Neither is the doctrine of “standing” as abusive as the “immunities” judges have cut from whole cloth for public officials who violate their constitutional “Oath[s] or Affirmation[s], to support this Constitution” (Article VI, Clause 3)—in the face of the Constitution’s explicit limitation on official immunities (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1). For the Constitution does require that a litigant must present a true “Case[ ].” Yet, because the test for “standing” is largely a contrivance of all-too-fallible men and women, its specifics can be changed as easily as they were adopted, when they are found to be faulty. And they must be changed if the consequences of judicial ignorance, inertia, and inaction are not to endanger America’s constitutional form of government. Which is precisely the situation here, inasmuch as the purported “election” of Obama as President, notwithstanding his ineligibility for that office, not only will render illegitimate the Executive Branch of the General Government, but also will render impotent its Legislative Branch (as explained below).

Second, the notion upon which the judge in Berg v. Obama fastened—namely, that Berg’s “grievance remains too generalized to establish the existence of an injury in fact,” i.e., if everyone is injured or potentially injured then no one has “standing”—is absurd on its face.

To be sure, no one has yet voted for Obama in the general election. But does that mean that no one in any group smaller than the general pool of America’s voters in its entirety has suffered specific harm from Obama’s participation in the electoral process to date? Or will suffer such harm from his continuing participation? What about the Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton as their party’s nominee, but were saddled with Obama because other Democrats voted for him even though they could not legally have done so if his lack of eligibility for “the Office of President” had been judicially determined before the Democratic primaries or convention? What about the States that have registered Obama as a legitimate candidate for President, but will have been deceived, perhaps even defrauded, if he is proven not to be “a natural born Citizen”? And as far as the general election is concerned, what about the voters among erstwhile Republicans and Independents who do not want John McCain as President, and therefore will vote for Obama (or any Democrat, for that matter) as “the lesser of two evils,” but who later on may have their votes effectively thrown out, and may have to suffer McCain’s being declared the winner of the election, if Obama’s ineligibility is established? Or what about those voters who made monetary contributions to Obama’s campaign, but may at length discover that their funds went, not only to an ineligible candidate, but to one who knew he was ineligible?

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