The United States Constitution says only a natural born citizen may serve as president of the United States, but the video-taped hearing above of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission demonstrates why that requirement is essentially a dead law. A natural born citizen as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett states that only children born of U.S. citizens are natural born citizens. Barack Obama has always conceded the fact that he was a British subject at birth because of his father's Kenyan citizenship, which meant he was, at best, a dual citizen at birth accepting as fact his birth to a U.S. citizen mother in the state of Hawaii. Dual citizenship is completely incompatible with the concept behind the natural born citizenship requirement.
This past week, the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission heard a complaint challenging Obama's placement on the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot. According to the testimony of a representative of the Secretary of State's office, a presidential candidate need only fill out a statement of candidacy swearing he or she is qualified to be president and pay a $1,000 filing fee in order to get on the ballot. An assistant Attorney General told the Commission the jurisdiction of the Commission hearing a challenge to a candidacy was limited to determining disputes over whether statement of candidacy conforms with the law. Upon the filing of a declaration of candidacy and the payment of a $1,000 filing fee, Obama's statement of candidacy was filed in conformance with the state law requirements according to the assistant Attorney General. The Commission refused to consider evidence tendered in an 80-page complaint submitted and argued by California attorney Orly Taitz explaining why Obama is constitutionally unqualified to serve as president. Taitz stumped the Secretary of State's witness when she asked her if she as a naturalized citizen born in the Soviet Union could file a statement of candidacy and pay the $1,000 filing fee and also make it on to the ballot. The Secretary of State's witness said she would refer it to the Attorney General if a complaint was filed, but as he explained to the Commission, its jurisdiction is limited to deciding whether the statement of candidacy had been filled out properly and the filing fee had been tendered. Oddly, the Commission members met in private to discuss the case with their legal counsel before returning to the room to render a decision. The Commission then unanimously voted to deny the challenge to Obama's New Hampshire candidacy. Audience members, including several supportive state legislators, began shouting "traitors" at the Commission members.
As I've discussed at length in previous posts, every single court challenge to either the candidacies of Barack Obama or John McCain during the 2008 presidential election were dismissed on the basis that the citizen(s) bringing the complaints lacked jurisdiction to challenge a presidential candidate's eligibility. Not a single state or Congress has enacted a law that specifically requires candidates for president to tender evidence of their natural born citizenship or age (at least 35 years old) in order to become candidates for the highest office in the land. As a consequence, citizens are completely without power to enforce the requirement that presidential candidates be natural born citizens. State legislators, such as Sen. Mike Delph, have been mocked and made fun of for proposing state laws that would require presidential candidates to prove their natural born status before their names can appear on a state election ballot. Every attempt to enact such a law to date has been turned aside. Remarkably, there is a higher standard of proof imposed on average citizens desiring to cast a vote in an election than there is for a person seeking to have his or her name placed on a ballot to become a candidate for president of the United States.
The Concord Monitor reports on the hearing here. On the legal decision before the Commission the paper reported:
It was out of the commission's purview, however. Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti told commission members they could only consider whether Obama had filed his declaration of candidacy form in accordance with state law and paid his $1,000 filing fee. Both form and fee were properly submitted by Vice President Joe Biden on Oct. 20, according to Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd.
The five members voted unanimously to keep Obama's name on the ballot.
Their response to the testimony during the hearing angered many of those in the room, including state representatives.
"Unbelievable," fumed state Rep. Susan DeLemus, a Republican from Rochester, walking around the room during a break in the hearing, before the commission took its vote.
"Let's just bury the Constitution now and have a funeral," DeLemus said. "It just makes me want to throw up."