Judge Terry Lewis dismissed the eligibility case against Barack Obama on Monday “with prejudice.” The ruling of the judge was called by the attorney for the plaintiff, Larry Klayman, “intellectually dishonest” and so poorly written it makes an appeal “relatively easy.” Mr. Klayman is representing the plaintiff, Democrat Michael Voeltz, in the case.
Those following the story remember that Obama’s attorneys did not argue for Barack Obama’s eligibility, but they argued instead that Obama was not the Democrat party nominee just yet. Judge Lewis agreed with that assessment. However, what is most interesting is what Terry wrote in his ruling.
Judge Lewis wrote that Florida law handles every office the same except the Office of President of the United States. Lewis wrote,
“If the plaintiff was challenging the candidate’s eligibility for any other office, his analysis would be correct and these provisions would apply. The Office of President of the United State, however, is treated differently under Florida law. In every other political office, any person can qualify to run as a Democrat or Republican in a primary election if she receives the greatest number of votes, she is, by law that party’s nominee for the general election. Candidates for these other offices are required to file certain documents and pay a qualifying fee (or sufficient petitions) during a specific time period.”
Terry rejected the plaintiff’s arguments on three grounds.
Following the above, Lewis wrote that Obama could not be challenged because the Democrat party has not yet made him their nominee. This was the very argument that Obama attorneys made. Remember, they did not argue his eligibility, but rather argued, “How dare you question the eligibility of someone who is not even the party’s nominee?” He writes, “The respective major political parties determine their nominee at a national convention pursuant to rules that the parties draft and approve. The Presidential Preference Primary Election in Florida is an integral part of that process for the parties, but as it relates to Florida law, there is no qualifying and no certification of nomination of the candidate as a result. Thus, under Florida law, Mr. Obama is not presently the nominee of the Democratic Party for the office.”
The second issue Judge Lewis referenced was that it was not the Florida secretary of state’s job to determine a presidential candidate’s eligibility. The judge quoted Florida law and wrote, “The secretary of state has no affirmative duty, or even authority, ‘to inquire or pass judgment upon the eligibility of a candidate to hold office for the nomination for which he is running.”
Finally, the judge ruled that Barack Obama should be considered a natural born citizen, but then really dropped the ball here. He completely misunderstood the argument for natural born citizen and a simple U.S. citizen born on U.S. soil. He writes, “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens,” and he cites Minor v. Happersett. “However,” he continues, “the United States Supreme Court has concluded that ‘every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States.’ Other courts that have considered the issue in the context of challenges to the qualifications of candidates for the office of President of the United States have come to the same conclusion.” He then references Hollander v. McCain.
He continues in the ruling, “Those born ‘in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ have been considered American citizens under American law in effect since the time of the founding and thus eligible for the presidency.”
“The decision issued today by Judge Terry Lewis was poorly reasoned and written,” Klayman claims. “It goes against prior Florida Supreme Court precedent in particular, thus making our chances on appeal great. In any event, Plaintiff Micheal Voeltz filed a new complaint today for declaratory relief, which will, in addition to his appeal, now proceed forward. In short, we remain confidant that if the Florida courts ultimately decide to obey their own election law, we will prevail in the end.”
“He basically said that a presidential candidate can never be nominated under Florida law, ever, and that’s just wrong,” Klayman continued. “He made our appeal relatively easy, because he flies in the face of the Florida statute and also a Florida Supreme Court case. There’s nothing on which for him to come to this conclusion. The law is clear here that Obama was nominated for office.”
Klayman says the judge has misunderstood the ‘natural born citizen’ requirements. “The judge equated being a ‘citizen’ with a ‘natural born citizen’ and cited no authority to conclude the two terms are the same,” Klayman said. “He quotes other state’s cases, where judges reached that conclusion, but that’s not precedent for him. What other courts said in lower cases means nothing to him.”
Klayman was also aggravated at the judge’s claim that he bore the “burden of proof” but would not allow his team “discovery,” which would have allowed him to obtain some of those documents that have been requested for years concerning Obama’s birth and citizenship status with regards to Indonesia. This further requires to shake one’s head when Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his team had signed an affidavit which claimed that Obama’s birth certificate, Social Security Card and Selective Service Registration Card were fraudulent and that to their knowledge there has not been any evidence put forth to prove that Barack Obama was actually born in the United States.
In the end, Klayman claimed that the Judge, being a Democrat, did not want to be on the “hot seat” by his own party and declared they would file an immediate appeal claiming, “The main thrust of the judge’s decision is contrary to how the Florida Supreme Court has already ruled on when a candidate is nominated.”
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