One of my earliest childhood memories is of my parents talking about Nixon and the Watergate scandal. I remember the newspaper headline: “Nixon Resigns!” President Nixon’s fight against court subpoenas made international news. Yesterday President Obama completely ignored a court subpoena, and the world shrugged.
Obama’s behavior yesterday is even more disturbing than Nixon’s. Nixon at least respected the judicial branch enough to have his attorney’s show up in court and follow procedure. Nixon’s fight in the courts followed existing law. Nixon acknowledged the authority of the judicial branch even while he fought it. Obama, on the other hand, essentially said yesterday that the judicial branch has no power over him. He ordered his attorneys to stay away from the hearing. He didn’t petition a higher court in a legitimate attempt to stay the hearing. Instead he showed complete contempt for the entire judicial branch and for the rule of law. Rather than respecting the legal process Obama went around the courts and tried to put political pressure directly on the Georgia Secretary of State. When that failed, he simply ignored the judicial branch completely.
The rule of law, and our three-branch system of government, now hang in the balance. If the Georgia court issues a ruling on the merits and an order finding Obama in contempt of court, and if that contempt order actually results in real punishment of some kind, then we will still have a Constitutional Republic. If this doesn’t happen, then Obama will have been rewarded for showing complete contempt for the judicial branch.
Understand that the goal of the Georgia ballot challenge was to have a court rule on the merits of the Constitutional question: Does the term “natural born citizen” in Article II of the Constitution, require a Presidential candidate to have two parents that were U.S. citizens at the time the candidate was born? Obama wants to avoid having a court rule on this question. That is why he didn’t show up and ordered his attorneys to not show up. He was hoping that the Georgia court would enter a default judgment rather than rule on the merits. If the court enters a default judgment, Obama will have succeeded in avoiding the Constitutional eligibility question. He will then appeal the default judgment, get the appellate court to suspend the default judgment pending appeal, and then delay the appeal until after the primary. This is undoubtedly Obama’s plan.
If the Georgia Court rules that Supreme Court precedent must be followed and therefore Obama simply does not meet the minimum Constitutional requirements to hold the office of President, then we will at least have succeeded in finding one court in the nation willing to do its job. If that court finds Obama in contempt of court, then we still have three viable branches of government. The Georgia court has the authority to do both of these things. The world should be holding its breath.
Unfortunately the world is apparently unaware that a great Republic is on life support. The Roman Empire died a slow death. It’s death was so gradual that few people living at that time probably noticed the individual events that marked the death throes of that great empire. Apparently the same is true of America. Yesterday marked a stunning turn of events in the constant power struggle between the three branches of our government. Our President openly showed that he believes he is completely above the law. I wonder if the court even noticed its own death certificate. We will see in a few days.