Berg v. Obama and the looming Constitutional Crisis
On September 29th of this year a Federal District Court in Pennsylvania ruled that the Democratic Nominee for President Barack Obama had 72 hours to turn over a copy of his long form "vault" birth certificate to long time Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, Philip Berg.
In the DNC's motion to dismiss they argued Mr. Berg had no "standing" upon which to bring his lawsuit and therefore the Federal Court should dismiss it.
The court refused to accept the DNC's and Mr. Obama's argument instead issuing a ruling that gave numerous statutes and case law which, in the court's judgment, gave Mr. Berg standing.
One such case was the 1998 Supreme Court case of FEC v. Akins. In this case the United States Supreme Court held that Akins, et.al. acting as voters had standing to challenge the FEC for information under the FECA, Fair Election Campaign Act.
The court so eloquently held that "the injury pertaining to voting, the most basic of political rights, is sufficiently concrete."
For a petitioner to have standing the injury, in the eyes of a court, must be sufficiently concrete as to merit a case or controversy. In the case of Akins, et.al. the court sided with the voters.
Although the Pennsylvania court sided with Mr. Berg it wasn't 30 days later, when on October 24, 2008 this same court reversed its own ruling by dismissing Berg's lawsuit for lack of standing.
A careful examination of the court record reveals no introduction of evidence, testimony or affidavits from either Mr. Obama or the DNC. One must wonder aloud what the reasoning was for the court's reversal of its earlier position.
In response, Mr. Berg has filed a petition for Writ of Cert. with the United States Supreme Court requesting the court hear the case on the grounds that Mr. Obama, in one form or another, does not meet the requirements to be President of the United States under the "Natural Born Citizen" clause of Article II in the United States Constitution.
The nature of this case should give every citizen who holds the Constitution in high regard some pause and ask themselves several key questions.
"Why isn't Mr. Obama simply releasing his Birth Certificate?", "Why would the DNC interject itself into this matter?"
and "Why would the Obama team spend upwards of around $800,000 of tax-payer dollars to fight this case in court" and further "If this case was frivolous, why would the US Supreme Court ask for a response from the Obama team on or before December 1st?"
The issue of Obama's birth did not originate on some right-wing blog or in the pages of a conservative publication; rather it was annunciated by none other than Hillary Clinton, Obama's chief rival for the Democratic nomination.
Ms. Clinton first brought this issue to light during the New Hampshire primary, way back in January 2008- some 10 months ago. Since then there have been numerous inquiries into Mr. Obama's birth, prompting an investigation into whether he was born in Hawaii or in Kenya during his mother's trip to visit her in-laws.
This speculation led the State of Hawaii to release a "Certification of Live Birth" to the major media outlets. A copy may still be present on FactCheck.org. This certification, in the eyes of the main stream media, Obama supporters, and the DNC should have been sufficient enough to quell this little story.
However, a key distinction has yet to be made and most likely will not be made in the main stream media (ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, NY Times and a whole host of media outlets). The distinction is this "Certification of Live Birth" is NOT the same as a "Birth Certificate".
A Certification is simply that; a certification that Ms. Dunham gave birth to a live child, one Barak Obama, Jr. A Birth Certificate, as we all know, contains vital information about the child, i.e. weight, length, finger, hand, or foot print along with the signature of the attending physician and/ or the hospital administrator.
The "Certification of Live Birth" lacks all of those elements.
The Obama team argues the Certification is an abbreviated form of the Birth Certificate; however, there are no signatures present on the document.
There is nothing on the Certification which would indicate to any ordinary citizen that the document is indeed legitimate.
So what does all of this have to do with Mr. Obama not being qualified to be President of the United States? Since 1787, Article II has stated that only individuals who are "natural born citizens" may be allowed to serve as President.
If Mr. Obama is shown to have been born in Kenya, or to have relinquished his US Citizenship when he moved to Indonesia and has never regained it, then Mr. Obama sits at the center of a constitutional crisis the likes of which the founder's would have never imagined.
Mr. Obama was duly elected on November 4, 2008. However if the US Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, unless they can distinguish Akins from Berg, the issue of Mr. Obama's citizenship will ultimately be answered. It is unlikely the court will demand Mr. Obama to turn over his records. What they would most likely do in the alternative, is reverse the ruling of the lower court which would then require Mr. Obama to produce his long form birth certificate as he was originally order to do on September 29th.
There are those who will argue that this is a plot to overturn an election simply because one political party lost or a candidate is a sore loser.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear for those who harbor these feelings. There are principles more important than party, more important than a candidate winning or losing, more important than ideology.
That principle is the fundamental rule of law—that which sets the requirements for whom is allowed to serve as President.
What precedent would we be setting if Mr. Obama was allowed to take the oath on January 20th and the issue of his citizenship was still shrouded in a cloud of speculation?
What would stop a foreign national from immigrating to this country, taking up residence here and after 10-20 years setting his or her sights on the Office of President?
This case goes to the very heart of the US Constitution. This is not a democrat issue, a republican issue nor is it an issue of liberal vs. conservative.
It is an issue speaking to the higher principle of law, justice and standing precedence dating back to the conception of our nation. Undoubtedly there will be those who will view this article as inherently racist, that I am writing it because I am unhappy with the outcome of two odd weeks ago.
To those I say your insinuation of those remarks displays a type of ignorance which feeds the monster of dictatorship. If John McCain had been elected President and there were questions as to whether he met the natural born citizen requirement, then I would be espousing the same platitudes.
There will be those who argue that Mr. Obama should be allowed to take the oath and serve, because there is no time to have a new election.
This would be the most dangerous action we as a nation could embark upon. To allow that to occur would be tantamount to destroying the very foundation upon which we chose our elected officials.
If this issue is a non-starter as so many have claimed, then why are we still talking about it? Why hasn't President-Elect Obama held a press conference, showing his long form birth certificate and quieting all of us who are still raising these questions?
A birth certificate can be attained by any citizen within a couple of days or a week at the most.
It defies plausibility to suggest that the President-Elect of the United States cannot have in his possession a certified copy of his long form birth certificate within a couple of hours after his request.
In closing, I would like to add this note. I hope that Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen and is able to take the oath at noon on January 20th.
I am fearful of the events that could possibly transpire if Mr. Obama is found to have been born overseas or without US Citizenship. The mere fact that the DNC and Mr. Obama have not as of yet released a simple document raises the specter that this could be more than a vague possibility.
However, until this issue is decided once and for all it is too important to simply brush off as some wild-eyes conspiracy. It is an issue that requires the same level of devotion and diligence that all assaults on the very fabric of the Constitution require.
Indeed, if the Court rules Mr. Berg does not have standing to challenge Mr. Obama, the question remains "Who among us will have standing?"
This is perilous territory the Court will be entering into, perhaps more dreaded than the "dismal swamp" doctrine prevalent in Contract Law. The court undoubtedly finds itself in an unenviable position.
On one hand they have a looming crisis if they do nothing and let these questions persist; however on the other, they are all too familiar with the criticism the court received during the Bush v. Gore fallout.
In a sense the courts dilemma can be surmised in one simple statement "Which is more important- Upholding the Constitution or Public Opinion?"