Nothing is more important than enforcing the Constitution.
~ Philip Berg, petitioner – Philip J. Berg v. Barack Obama, et al. (2008)
As President-elect Barack Obama ascends to the presidency of the United States, there still remains a looming cloud above his head like the sword of Damocles. If and when that sword will fall plunging America into a constitutional crisis depends on a number of desperate and remarkable variables.
Before I get into these variables, let’s examine what the Constitution says. What are the requirements to become president? Section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution states that a president must:
- be a natural born citizen of the United States;
- be at least 35 years old;
- have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years.
The inevitable constitutional crisis regarding Obama, of course, revolves around his inability (or unwillingness) to produce an authentic Hawaiian birth certificate with the raised certificate stamp that the Federal Elections Commission can independently verify.
I know there are those who say Obama has produced an authentic birth certificate and posted it on his website, but experts and amateurs alike quickly found numerous errors in that document and deemed it a forgery (and a bad one at that).
Philip J. Berg, a Democratic operative and former deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania, has assumed the tragic role of Prometheus, ascended Mount Olympus, the abode of Zeus, and has launched a one-man campaign to force Obama to verify his U.S. citizenship by suing the senator, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission, to verify that indeed he is worthy to be president of the United States by producing a real birth certificate.
Here are some of the unanswered issues hanging over the head of President-elect Barack Obama and the question of his American citizenship cited in an earlier article by WND news editor Drew Zahn:
- The allegation that Obama was born in Kenya to parents unable to automatically grant him American citizenship;
- The allegation that Obama was made a citizen of Indonesia as a child and that he retained foreign citizenship into adulthood without recording an oath of allegiance to regain any theoretical American citizenship;
- The allegation that Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery and that he may not be an eligible, natural-born citizen;
- The allegation that Obama was not born an American citizen; lost any hypothetical American citizenship he had as a child; that Obama may not now be an American citizen and even if he is, may hold dual citizenships with other countries. If any, much less all, of these allegations are true, the suit claims, Obama cannot constitutionally serve as president.
- The allegations that “Obama’s grandmother on his father’s side, half brother and half sister claim Obama was born in Kenya,” the suit states.”Reports reflect Obama’s mother went to Kenya during her pregnancy; however, she was prevented from boarding a flight from Kenya to Hawaii at her late stage of pregnancy, which apparently was a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight. Stanley Ann Dunham (Obama) gave birth to Obama in Kenya, after which she flew to Hawaii and registered Obama’s birth.”
- The claim could not be verified by WND inquiries to Hawaiian hospitals, since state law bars the hospitals from releasing medical records to the public;
- Even if Obama produced authenticated proof of his birth in Hawaii, however, the suit claims that the U.S. Nationality Act of 1940 provided that minors lose their American citizenship when their parents expatriate. Since Obama’s mother married an Indonesian citizen and moved to Indonesia, the suit claims, she forfeited both her and Barack’s American citizenship.
Unfortunately, just 10 days before the election, a court of appeals judge threw out Berg’s lawsuit challenging the veracity of Obama’s U.S. citizenship status on technical grounds. Judge R. Barclay Surrick, a Jimmy Carter-appointed judge, amazingly (and with a tinge of irony), stated his opinion in part:
In a 34-page memorandum that accompanied the court order, the Hon. R. Barclay Surrick concludes that ordinary citizens can’t sue to ensure that a presidential candidate actually meets the constitutional requirements of the office.Surrick defers to Congress, saying that the legislature could determine “that citizens, voters, or party members should police the Constitution’s eligibility requirements for the Presidency,” but that it would take new laws to grant individual citizens that ability.
“Until that time,” Surrick says, “voters do not have standing to bring the sort of challenge that Plaintiff attempts to bring.”
Judge Surrick, quoting from Hollander, concludes, “The alleged harm to voters stemming from a presidential candidate’s failure to satisfy the eligibility requirements of the Natural Born Citizen Clause is not concrete or particularized enough to constitute an injury.”
Surrick also quotes Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, which stated, in part, “The Supreme Court has consistently held that a plaintiff raising only a generally available grievance about government – claiming only harm to his and every citizen’s interest in proper application of the Constitution and laws, and seeking relief that no more directly and tangibly benefits him than it does the public at large – does not state an Article III case or controversy.”
Constitutionally speaking, Judge Surrick’s reasoning is completely illogical and a total dereliction of his duty as a judge to substantively address this most vital constitutional controversy. Instead, in a gutless manner, Surrick dismissed Berg’s complaint 10 days before the elections on a technicality of standing, which to any rational person begs the question: If Philip J. Berg as an American citizen, a respected Democratic operative and former attorney general of Pennsylvania doesn’t have the “standing” to bring this type of lawsuit against Obama, then who in America does have standing? The good judge in all 34 pages of legal mumbo jumbo didn’t bother to answer this pivotal question.
That Berg’s complaint is not “concrete or particularized enough to constitute an injury” is an amazing admission by any person that went to law school and even more so given the fact that Surrick is a respected appellate judge!
I am somewhat hopeful that Berg will successfully appeal Surrick’s outrageous decision to 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the United States Supreme Court if necessary, even if technically he doesn’t have standing to hold Obama accountable to the Constitution. Why? Because this is America, and out of 300 million people, someone should give a damn enough about this republic to make sure the person who holds the highest elected office in the land holds it legitimately based on the black letter text of Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.Unless and until Obama’s citizenship question is definitively put to rest, then the proverbial sword of Damocles will continue to dangle precariously over his head and America will face 50 lawsuits from all 50 states demanding that President Barack Obama prove that he is an authentic American citizen according to the U.S. Constitution.