First ReadAmerica's Right tells about the Christian Science Monitor taking an interest.
From NBC’s Pete Williams
When the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court meet on Dec. 5th, in their regular private conference to decide which cases to hear, two lawsuits that have captivated a segment of the blogosphere will be up for discussion.
Both urge the court to consider claims that President-elect Obama is not qualified to be president, because he is not a natural-born American citizen.
Persistent concerns about the qualifications of both major party candidates rank among the oddest aspects of 2008's historic campaign.
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that "No person except a natural born citizen" is eligible to be president.
Pennsylvania lawyer Philip Berg claims that the circumstances of Obama's birth are vague and that he may have been born in Kenya. Obama's mother, Berg asserts, later flew to Hawaii to register the birth.
Leo Donofrio, a New Jersey lawyer, contends that election officials in his state failed to ensure that only legally qualified candidates were placed on the ballot. Obama may have been born in the United States, Donofrio argues, but "natural born" status depends on both parents being American citizens. Obama's father was Kenyan.
The justices are unlikely to take up these cases for a host of reasons, not the least of which is the invitation to overturn the results of an election in which more than 66 million Americans voted for Obama. An equally high hurdle is the issue of whether Berg or Donofrio have the legal right to sue claiming a violation of the Constitution.
The Obama campaign had hoped to end the controversy last spring by releasing his actual Hawaii birth certificate. But that prompted further questions about its authenticity, which were compounded when state authorities in Hawaii said they could not vouch for it, because they were constrained by the privacy laws.
Then, on Oct. 31st, the director of Hawaii's Department of Health issued a statement, proclaiming that he had personally seen and verified that the state has "Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record," which shows that he was born there.
Barack Obama has one election still to win before he moves into the White House, and by all accounts he’s a shoo-in. The Electoral College – that curious body created by the Founders to put one extra check on the popular vote – meets Dec. 15 to elect the president.What's fascinating to me in all of this is that the other side assert their certitude based on the honesty and thoroughness of George Bush and his cronies. They claim that if Obama was not a citizen, then most certainly the Bush Administration would have discovered the truth by now. Never mind that those same Liberal Democrats claim Bush couldn't find WMD or al-Qaida in Iraq. Why the sudden trust in the veracity of GW Bush?
But across the US, a small band of Americans convinced that Mr. Obama is not a natural-born citizen, as the Constitution requires of presidents, are lobbying Democratic electors to take one last look at the notion that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii.
The idea that Democratic electors would deny Obama the presidency strains the bounds of credulity. But the lobbying campaign points to the endurance of conspiracy theories pertaining to US presidents – and revives longstanding questions about the Electoral College itself.
“This does point out the frailty of the Electoral College system,” says Michael Mezey, an expert on the election process at DePaul University in Chicago. “The fact that in most states electors could make the decision to vote for somebody else … is a real vulnerability in the process. [Many Americans], in fact, tend to be amazed that these electors are real people.”
Here in North Carolina, the secretary of state’s office has fielded about 50 requests for names and contact numbers of electors – all public information. The last time so many people sought to contact electors was in 2000, amid a bid to urge electors to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore, who had won the popular vote.
“Most of the world thinks this is settled except for a few conspiracy theorists,” says North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. “In the 2000 election … Republican electors felt under siege, and I expect the Democrat electors may end up feeling the same way [this time].”
Wayne Abraham, a Democratic elector in Greensboro, N.C., says he’s received three letters – two signed, one not – and one phone call about Obama’s citizenship.
“I was surprised, but I’m not worried about it,” he says, dryly. “As I said to the lady on the phone, I figured that the Bush administration had ample opportunity to investigate Senator Obama, and if they had discovered he was not truly a citizen they … would have let us know.”
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.