The speculation about President Obama”s eligibility goes on and on, with no reliable access to the truth and with no end in sight. It is time for a new approach.
The Constitution provides: “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.” Art II, Sec. 1. Neither the Constitution nor any federal law defines the term “natural born citizen.” Nor has the Supreme Court provided a definition that covers the questions presented in the Obama case.
In Minor v. Happersett, in 1875, the Supreme Court, made an incidental reference to the issue: “[N]ew citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization. The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.” 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875).
The Obama “Fight the Smears” website has published a digital photograph of a short-form “Certification of Live Birth” issued by the Hawaiian Department of Health that lists his place and date of birth as Honolulu on August 4, 1961. At that time, Hawaii”s practice was to issue also a long-form Certificate of Live Birth which contains more information, including the name of the hospital, or address of the place, where the birth occurred; the identity of the physician or other “attendant” at the birth; and the signature of the parent or other ”informant” certifying the accuracy of the information, etc. President Obama has not given the permission required by Hawaiian law for release of that long-form certificate.
Numerous lawsuits challenging Obama”s eligibility have been rejected by every court involved, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Some are still pending. The rejections have been based on various grounds, including the plaintiff”s lack of standing to sue and other specified and unspecified procedural grounds. No court has agreed to decide any of those suits on the merits.