One of the attorneys who challenged Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court says he fears that even if the justices declared Obama constitutionally unqualified, he’d simply ignore the ruling and continue issuing orders.
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The comments came today from Leo Donofrio, who led the pack in filing lawsuits over Obama’s 2008 election and his subsequent occupancy of the White House.
He was commenting on today’s hearing before a Georgia administrative law judge on complaints raised by several state residents that Obama is not eligible to run for the office in 2012. That hearing went on after Obama and his lawyer decided to snub the court system and refuse to participate.
A decision from the judge, Michael Malihi, is expected soon.
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The Georgia residents delivered sworn testimony to a court that, among other things, Obama is forever disqualified from having his name on the 2012 presidential ballot in the state because his father never was a U.S. citizen. Because the Constitution’s requirement presidents be a “natural born citizen,” which widely regarded as the offspring of two citizen parents, he is prevented from qualifying, they say.
The historic hearing was the first time that a court has accepted arguments on the merits of the controversy over Obama’s status. His critics say he never met the constitutional requirements to occupy the Oval Office, and the states and Congress failed in their obligations to make sure only a qualified president is inaugurated. His supporters argue he won the 2008 election and therefore was “vetted.”
In Georgia, the law requires “every candidate for federal” office who is certified by the state executive committees of a political party or who files a notice of candidacy “shall meet the constitutional and statutory qualifications for holding the office being sought.”
State law also grants the secretary of state and any “elector who is eligible to vote for a candidate” in the state the authority to raise a challenge to a candidate’s qualifications, the judge determined.
Citizens bringing the complaints include David Farrar, Leah Lax, Thomas Malaren and Laurie Roth, represented by Taitz; David Weldon represented by attorney Van R. Irion of Liberty Legal Foundation;and Carl Swensson and Kevin Richard Powell, represented by J. Mark Hatfield. Cody Judy is raising a challenge because he also wants to be on the ballot.
Donofrio’s case – like the others that have reached the Supreme Court – was refused recognition.
“That President Obama’s attorneys didn’t show respect for the court, the citizens, the secretary of state, and the statutes of Georgia reveals the true character of the administration as being completely and utterly against state’s rights,” Donofrio said. “The federal government is growing out of control with every administration and this action today is a loud announcement that this administration is going to do what it likes, and you can imagine that their response to this judiciary would be exactly the same if this had been the U.S. Supreme Court.”
He said if Georgia does decide to keep Obama off its state election ballots, he won’t appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, “because if he were to lose there, his entire administration would be void, including his appointments to the Supreme Court.”
“If Obama were to appeal in Georgia, only this election is in play, and only as to Georgia’s ballots, but if he loses in Georgia, appealing to the SCOTUS brings in his entire eligibility, and the legitimacy of his current administration,” Donofrio warned.
“My personal belief is that if the U.S. Supreme Court held that he was ineligible, he might simply ignore the ruling, and test the will of the nation, just as he is testing the will of the state of Georgia,” he said.
The White House today was silent about the issue. The Georgia case is far different from the lawsuits over the 2008 election, in which judges virtually unanimously ruled that they could not make a decision that would remove a sitting president, no matter the circumstances.
This hearing was about concerns being raised, as allowed by Georgia state law, that Obama is not eligible for the office of president and therefore should not be allowed on the 2012 election ballot.
“If the judge’s recommendation – and I’ve been told that it’s going to be to disqualify Mr. Obama as a candidate – is followed by the secretary of state, Mr. Obama has got a real problem,” said Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation.
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