Friday, August 22, 2008

Philadelphia Lawyer Files Lawsuit To Block Obama Candidacy

A prominent Democratic Philadelphia attorney, supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton and avowed Bush-hater, Philip Berg, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania yesterday seeking to block Sen. Barack Obama's nomination as the Democratic candidate for president based on Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution requiring a president to be a "natural born citizen." Berg's lawsuit contains an explosive allegation that Obama was actually born in Kenya. Berg's complaint alleges that Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, had travelled to Kenya while she was pregnant and was not allowed to board a plane to return back to her home in Hawaii until after she gave birth to Barack Hussein Obama II. Obama's father was a Kenyan citizen. Berg's complaint cites an online story by journalist Wayne Madsen claiming that the GOP sent an opposition research team to Mombasa, Kenya, which succeeded in locating a certificate registering Obama's birth at a maternity hospital in Kenya. The lawsuit also cites school records in Jakarta, Indonesia, which show Obama's name as "Barry Soetoro", lists his citizenship as Indonesian and identifies his religion as Islam. Berg's lawsuit asks the Court to grant a temporary restraining order blocking Obama from seeking the presidency until the issues surrounding his citizenship can be determined. America's Right blog says of Berg:

Berg is a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate, former chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery (PA) County, former member of the Democratic State Committee, and former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania. According to Berg, he filed the suit--just days before the DNC is to hold its nominating convention in Denver--for the health of the Democratic Party."I filed this action at this time," Berg stated, "to avoid the obvious problems that will occur when the Republican Party raises these issues after Obama is nominated."
The case has been assigned to Judge R. Barclay Surrick. He was appointed to the federal bench in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. Berg is hard-charging partisan. He once called on the GOP-appointed Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore to voluntarily disbar themselves.

UPDATE: Judge Surrick denied Berg's request for a temporary restraining order at an emergency hearing this afternoon according to America's Right blog, which reports:

As for the hearing, the temporary restraining order was denied by the Hon. R. Barclay Surrick, but the subject can once again be breached once everyone is served. He acknowledged that some issues in his background could serve to hinder credibility, and promised to address those issues with me soon. He also acknowledged that Judge Surrick asked why, after months of this information circling around the Web, he waited until the week before the convention to file suit." I told him that somebody had to," he said.

Berg, according to the blog, denies he is acting on behalf of Sen. Clinton. Berg has posted all documents related to his filing at


M Theory said...

I knew that story had teeth, Gary. You think the Indy Star will cover this story?

artfuggins said...

Good ...this get this silliness out of the way and shut the wingnuts up!!

M Theory said...

Drudge doesn't even have this story up yet. Good work, Gary.

Shofar said...

BO could have solved all of this quite a while ago by simply being forth coming in providing proof of his eligibility to run under Article II.

This has been what I and many others have been harping on. To borrow from Jerry Mcguire, "Show me the papers!"

All BO had to do is show that he qualified under Article II and put to rest all the debate. HE CHOSE not to provide the documentation (he was in Hawaii in the past 30 days and could have gotten a COLB while there and presented it to the world). He may very well assist in bringing down the Dems and progressives by his own ego and self-centeredness.

If only his supporters would stop and see what he is doing to his party. If only they would open their eyes to the infighting and culture of hostility he is generating. But again it is his persona and not his character, qualifications or record that come to the forefront.

Anonymous said...

Gary R. Welsh said... is affiliated with the Annenberg Foundation of William Ayers fame. Both Obama and Ayers strong ties to the organization calls into question anything posted on that site. Further, the TexasDarlin blog has noted discrepancies in this COLB being held in the photos. The Annenberg files on Obama and Ayers have been blocked by researchers attempting to find out more about Obama's close association with the admitted terrorist Ayers. FactCheck also coincidentally updated the information on the COLB the very day the lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania.

vrajavala said...

Why hasn't Obama put all his documents public, including his medical records.
I believe he has some serious psychiatric issues as well.
His mother was an atheist, with obviously not many scruples about good vs. evil. She got knocked up at 18. I don't believe that she was not pregnant again until 1970. i thin she had abortions and that Barry knew about these things and she did some evil things to make him the baby killer that he is today.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Artfuggins. I also believe that nothing will come of it in the end. I asked why someone had not filed a lawsuit months ago. I don't believe there was an ounce of truth in his "someone had too" statement. If anything, it was a perfectly timed political move, and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Also, for all you legal gurus out there, the denial of a temporary restraining order is usually a sign of a weak case. Because, as Mr. Berg even cited in his Memorandum in Support of his request for Temporary Restraining Order, the person seeking the Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction must prove "(1) there is reasonable probability that Plaintiff will succeed on
the merits; (2) they will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of relief; (3) there will be
little or no harm to the Obama if relief is granted; and (4) the public interest demands a
grant of relief. See, e.g. Swartzwelder v. McNeilly, 297 F.3d 228, 234 (3rd Cir. 2002). . ."

Thus, I am curious to see if the Judge's denial at the emergency hearing will ultimately end as a denial of the entire Petition. I bet the Judge rules that there is no "reasonable probability" that Mr. Berg's lawsuit would prevail.

PS, I thought the Memorandum was crap, quoted news articles and web reports as fact in support of his position. Very strange read, it felt like a blogger sued based solely on speculation. It read like rhetoric, was filled with hearsay, and did not actually cite a record that had been submitted to the Court to even refer to for the emergency hearing. It made me question the strength of even the most basic assertions of fact. Indeed, he did not attach a single document to his Complaint, and only gave one web address showing Obama's Birth Certificate.

But, as Gary appropriately points out when I post an opinion like this, I am not an attorney, so I am not sure what will happen. I can tell you I am excited in happened because I think it will end the controversy once and for all so Gary can stop talking about it!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Berg's Motion for TRO had no supporting affidavits. Not sure what litigation experience he has, but it's inconceivable that he could actually think he could get an order w/o notice to the other party without any affidavits. It is not always a given that the denial of a TRO will be followed by the denial of a permanent injunction, but if the initial filing is any indication of Berg's legal acumen, it is probably a safe bet he will fail in his efforts. He is also bypassing a state-by-state challenge approach. He named Obama, the DNC and the FEC as defendants. After next week, the DNC will certify Obama's nomination to the 50 states. There is a legal process for challenging the state certification, but the state election authority would be the appropriate defendant rather than the FEC. The denial of the TRO in this case means there is no way there will be a hearing on a permanent injunction before Obama is nominated next week. That's why the judge complained to him for waiting so close to the convention to file the suit.

Anonymous said...

Gary, as for your bash, even McCain cites its conclusions in support of one of his commercials. See McCain's Ad "Maybe." See:

So which is it? Should we believe or not believe

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think Texas Darlin had some good questions about the FactCheck claims:

1. What took the campaign so long to show an actual document to the media?

2. What other media did the campaign offer to show the COLB to, and have any others seen it and touched it, handled and photographed it? Or only Annenberg-owned Factcheck?

3. Why did the campaign go to such trouble to digitally black out the certificate number when it could have stuck a piece of solid black tape over the number, especially since, as Factcheck reported, they were in such a hurry?

4. Why did Janice Okubo tell a reporter that the COLB was ordered “this month” (June 2008 ) if it was ordered in June 2007?

5. Since Factcheck is seemingly in the business of helping the Obama campaign fight smears, did Factcheck ask the campaign about the rumor that Republicans are holding Barry Soetoro’s birth certificate? If so, what was the campaign’s response? If not, why not?

And finally…

6. How did Factcheck end up getting this access? Did they ask the campaign, or did the campaign offer to show it to Factcheck? The article is mysteriously vague on that point: “FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate.”

Gary R. Welsh said...

Polarik, one of the document experts who found the original document posted on FightTheSmears to be a total fraud holds to that position until the actual document shown in that picture is scanned and uploaded for further analysis.

CactusBloom said...

I'm glad I found this site. You and America'sRight are the only sites I've found where there is any kind of intelligent discussion about this lawsuit. (Indeed, there aren't very many places where the suit is even acknowledged.)

When I first learned that the suit had been filed, I was overjoyed. But then I read the complaint and my heart sank. I'm not a lawyer, but I was a paralegal for a topnotch litigation firm for 25 years and I've worked researching, drafting and proofing litigation for all those years.

I have to say that this is possibly the most substandard pieces of work that was actually filed that I've ever come across. I knew it wasn't ever going anywhere. How could it? I was astonished that Berg would sign the thing, especially after naming himself as plaintiff.

You know, I was convinced that the Obama citizenship issue was definitely not aboveboard. My thought was that it could have been so easily quelled by merely producing true and correct documents. Why wouldn't Obama want to get the issue totally out the way and behind him? Unfortunately, the papers filed with the court did nothing to reinforce my belief; if anything, they foster the impression that Berg has no evidence whatsoever to back up the allegations. I've begun to fear that maybe nobody has any evidence whatsoever to back up the nagging suppositions.

What a shame that the first and only such suit turned out to be such a dud.

vrajavala said...

cactusbloom, I don't know what you mean. We have a photograph that is verified by AP of his student records with his name Barry Soetoro and his nationality Indonesian. also forensic experts have looked at the birth certificate on his fightthesmears website.. here is my article with all the links Obama's Dual citizenship problem
I believe there is substantial evidence and you know what? The RNC has all this information and is waiting to drop it after the convention. so, I thank Mr Berg for doing this now.

Unknown said...

Obama's mother's original Social Security Number Application'sssapplication.html