Local News Coverage of Georgia Obama Ballot Access Challenge

by Phil on 01/26/2012

CBSAtlanta: Judge considers whether to keep Obama on the ballot (no video)

WSBTV: Local news videos (“Birther hearing held against President Obama”) (not embeddable)

MyFoxAtlanta:

Judge Considers Whether to Keep Obama on Ballot: MyFoxATLANTA.com

11Alive:

February 5 is when briefs from both sides must be submitted.

-Phil

phil [at] therightsideoflife [dot] com

There are 29 comments in this article:

  1. 01/27/2012jc says:

    The second clip is a PERFECT example of exactly why this interpretation is not being taken seriously. The reporter makes a glaring error in saying that the claim is that because Obama’s father was not a citizen, Obama is not a citizen. So then everyone gets confused and thinks ‘birthers’ are idiots, when the issue is obviously differentiating between citizenship and natural born citizenship.

    Did you ever imagine that this would come so close to home when you started this blog, Phil?

    West Virginia also allows challenges, but even more broadly because the challenger does not have to be a resident of WV nor is there a deadline.

  2. 01/27/2012Phil says:

    jc,

    Even though it took a while to understand the process, we all eventually learned to go dust off the books on law and realize that the time to challenge a candidate’s eligibility is at the start of a campaign, not when they’re essentially being sworn in.

    Candidly, I had been a staunch advocate of the State-based challenge aspect of all this, especially once I saw the federal-based cases roll in over the past few years where the Plaintiffs never had a chance to make a reasonable challenge based on legitimate technicalities such as standing, subject matter jurisdiction, and the like.

    As you’ve mentioned, it is great to see this occurring in GA. I am very sorry that the Obama Administration has seen the ballot challenge issue as being essentially so beneath them that no representation, advocacy or any other concerned individual even showed up in Court on this issue.

    Let’s think about it this way: What if the past three years’ plus worth of legal challenges had never occurred — would they still have stayed away, in spite of the fact that this is a legitimate ballot challenge brought from concerned citizens?

  3. 01/27/2012bob says:

    It isn’t a legitimate ballot challenge, as it based entirely on lies.

    At this point, it is fair to say the campaign made a political choice not to dignify the carnival with his presence.

  4. 01/27/2012Phil says:

    bob,

    It isn’t a legitimate ballot challenge, as it based entirely on lies.

    This is an example of a completely irrational statement.

    Why?

    Because if “[i]t isn’t a legitimate ballot challenge,” then SoS Kemp would not have actually followed the State law by submitting the challenge to the Administrative Law judge. However, to date, nothing “illegitimate” has occurred with this challenge insofar as following the letter of the Georgia statute governing this particular process.

    Secondly, if “it is based entirely on lies,” then we’ll see that the Judge will make a recommendation to SoS Kemp that the case is irrelevant with respect to Obama’s eligibility. However, since even you have already admitted that even Obama’s alleged birth certificate has been entered into evidence, then, by definition, the case cannot be “based entirely on lies,” because you claim that the birth certificate is legitimate.

    Further, if this process is illegitimate, then I would have expected that Mr. Jablonski, Obama’s GA-based attorney, would have already made claims that the process, per se, is bad and wrong, and that therefore SoS Kemp is not acting according to the law.

    It would appear to me that you simply don’t like the idea that those with whom you disagree are actually moving forward on a case that could potentially politically damage Obama. That’s fine, as that’s your prerogative, but for your particular claim to be true would mean that the Administrative Hearings Judge as well as the Secretary of State’s office should be sued for an illegitimate ballot challenge.

    I don’t think so.

  5. 01/28/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    You write that you are sorry the Obama Administration didn’t bother to send a representative to the hearing. First, the Obama Administration would not be participating in an election challenge. I’ve no doubt that it was the Obama 2012 campaign that made the decision.

    A decision that I applaud, by the way. An administrative hearing is a fact-gathering process. The facts related to whether the candidate meets the qualifications under Georgia law (which incorporates the eligibility requirements under the Constitution). It is not an inquisition to investigate all the mysteries that the birthers seem to think surrounds candidate Obama’s upbringing and inconsistencies in Accurint reports they have rummaged through.

    There is absolutely no requirement that a party to an administrative hearing be present or present evidence. What evidence would have been offered by Team Obama anyway? Remember, his case is that he was born in the United States. The first two attorneys offered proof of that in the form the COLB and LFBC, and moreover, when asked by the judge if they were representing those copies to be authentic reproductions of the originals, both attorneys (wanting their evidence to be admitted) readily agreed. Thus, the fact of birth in the United States was established by the plaintiffs. Nothing more needed to be added — Team Obama’s proffered proof would be cumulative.
    As for Orly’s presentation, she put on lots of razzle dazzle about … something. But nothing disproved the American birth.

    I understand you are not a legal professional. You don’t see things the way attorneys do. You want to second guess legal strategy, but you do so without the benefit of any understanding of evidence, burden of going forward, burden of persuasion, and ultimate burden of proof, nor how to meet those. Lots of defendants have won their cases without putting on one speck of evidence because the plaintiff made their case for them. This is just another example of that.

  6. 01/28/2012bob says:

    This is an example of a completely irrational statement.

    Oh the irony.

    These three ballot challeges are based entirely on lies: President Obama was born in Hawaii (as demonstrated by the evidence actually introduced at yesterday’s hearing and the noticeable lack of contradictory evidence), and birth within the United States is sufficient for natural-born citizenship. (And President Obama’s COLB is not the basis for any of these challenges; it was admitted as evidence to support two of the challenges.)

    That the Secretary of State complied with state law and referred the challenges to an administrative law judge (who conducted a hearing as required by law) does not alter that these challenges are based on nothing but lies.

  7. 01/28/2012Phil says:

    GeorgetownJD:

    You write that you are sorry the Obama Administration didn’t bother to send a representative to the hearing. First, the Obama Administration would not be participating in an election challenge. I’ve no doubt that it was the Obama 2012 campaign that made the decision.

    Good point.

    A decision that I applaud, by the way. An administrative hearing is a fact-gathering process. The facts related to whether the candidate meets the qualifications under Georgia law (which incorporates the eligibility requirements under the Constitution). It is not an inquisition to investigate all the mysteries that the birthers seem to think surrounds candidate Obama’s upbringing and inconsistencies in Accurint reports they have rummaged through.

    I don’t disagree, except on the last point. There’s never been a case that has allowed actual evidence into the case. This would be the first time.

    There is absolutely no requirement that a party to an administrative hearing be present or present evidence. What evidence would have been offered by Team Obama anyway? Remember, his case is that he was born in the United States. The first two attorneys offered proof of that in the form the COLB and LFBC, and moreover, when asked by the judge if they were representing those copies to be authentic reproductions of the originals, both attorneys (wanting their evidence to be admitted) readily agreed. Thus, the fact of birth in the United States was established by the plaintiffs. Nothing more needed to be added — Team Obama’s proffered proof would be cumulative.
    As for Orly’s presentation, she put on lots of razzle dazzle about … something. But nothing disproved the American birth.

    Of course there’s “no requirement that a party to an administrative hearing be present or present evidence.” Once again, I don’t disagree. However, I am still opinionated about it, which is my prerogative here in the court of public opinion.

    Secondly, even I don’t completely dispute the notion that Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Hawaii. I have often wondered about the validity of birth certificates of different forms, but that’s a different question altogether. This is also the reason why, incidentally, and has been backed up now by two interviews by Carl Swensson, that there has been a separation, as it were, of the different cases due to the fact that Dr. Taitz has wanted to bring in what she feels is a portfolio of evidence on numerous other issues. That is, of course, her prerogative in a hearing such as this.

    I understand you are not a legal professional. You don’t see things the way attorneys do. You want to second guess legal strategy, but you do so without the benefit of any understanding of evidence, burden of going forward, burden of persuasion, and ultimate burden of proof, nor how to meet those. Lots of defendants have won their cases without putting on one speck of evidence because the plaintiff made their case for them. This is just another example of that.

    I’m sorry if you feel that my opinions are “second guess[ing] legal strategy.” Obviously, attorneys can represent their clients in whatever way they feel is necessary to stand a better chance at winning a case. I don’t think you can point to a single instance on my blog, since the end of 2008, where I have been anything less than appreciative — sometimes taking heat from the very side with which I tend to align myself — of the Judiciary. Yes, sometimes decisions are maddening, and sometimes I think they’re better for the People than what the People really wanted (most notably the concept of impeachment, which I went on and on very much supporting the notion that such an act is wholly and solely a power of the Legislative, not the Judicial). Nevertheless, I have always, always, always supported what I term “legitimate technicalities” such as standing, subject matter jurisdiction, and various other burdens that Plantiffs must meet in any given case before their actual case can be heard. Notice also that I’ve very much admitted that they’re frustrating at times, but they are, nevertheless, accepted aspects of legal procedure.

    Feel free to insinuate that somehow I might disdain the Judiciary and its many myriad processes. You would be wholly wrong if this is the case, but you have every right to your opinion.

  8. 01/28/2012Phil says:

    bob,

    Well, sorry, but there are those of us who fundamentally question whether or not such a birth is considered natural born with respect to the presidency, as altogether heinous as you have always thought that perspective to be. That’s OK; that’s my prerogative; I’m sure you probably think I live in a dreamworld in this respect.

    In fact, questions have even come up as to whether Mitt Romney is natural-born citizen. And based on the cursory research I’ve done, to date, I’m about 75 – 80% certain that he is.

  9. 01/29/2012bob says:

    Well, sorry, but there are those of us who fundamentally question whether or not such a birth is considered natural born with respect to the presidency, as altogether heinous as you have always thought that perspective to be.
    The choice to remain ignorant is your choice.

  10. 01/29/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    Where did I insinuate that you disdain the Judiciary? I stated that you don’t understand litigation strategy. Phil, I get the distinct impression that you don’t comprehend what I write.

    Lawyers — good ones — are always thinking three steps ahead. In this case, what appears to you to be a default is one aspect of a larger defense. It gave the ALJ several options, the most severe of which was to enter a default order (not a default judgment, an order). Under the OSAH a default order can close the record to further submissions of evidence by the defaulting party. It does NOT hand the other party a victory, as many (birthers) believe. But while it cuts off the record for the defaulting party, it also constrains the issues that the ALJ must decide.

    In this case it sounds like the judge offered a default order, probably something along the lines of “The defendant is not going to show, I can close the record and rule that he failed to meet his burden of showing eligibility.” However, the plaintiffs were not satisfied with that. They came to Atlanta for an evidentiary hearing and by golly they were going to present evidence. So they declined the judge’s offer, and proceeded to put on their “merits” case. In so doing, they introduced the very evidence that establishes that Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen under long established law. They are banking, of course, on Judge Malihi buying into their (mis)interpretation of Minor v. Happersett. He may well agree with them, and the SOS may accept that recommendation, in which case this matter is headed to the judicial courts where the question will settled, and not in the way the birthers want. Or Judge Malihi may feel that he, as a low-level administrative judge, does not have authority to decide the constitutional question and will go with the understanding shared by the judiciary. In which case this matter is headed to the judicial courts on the challengers’ appeal.

    In the appeal, the factual record goes up. The record in this case includes the birth certificate that the plaintiffs submitted as evidence — over no objection, I might add — which is uncontroverted evidence of a Hawaiian birth. The record contains exactly the what Team Obama wants, and they didn’t have to participate in the freak show to get it.

    So Jablonski’s strategy paid off and will continue to pay off on the inevitable appeal.

    Strategy. Nothing to do with disdaining the judiciary.

  11. 01/30/2012sharon2 says:

    In the appeal, the factual record goes up. The record in this case includes the birth certificate that the plaintiffs submitted as evidence — over no objection, I might add — which is uncontroverted evidence of a Hawaiian birth. The record contains exactly the what Team Obama wants, and they didn’t have to participate in the freak show to get it.

    So Jablonski’s strategy paid off and will continue to pay off on the inevitable appeal.

    Strategy.
    ***
    Why would plaintiffs object to evidence they want in? Two of the plaintiffs aren’t disputing the evidence. The other, well, does it really matter? Any time you treat the judge disrespectfully, you have made yourself look bad, especially when you should have the argument won handily. Jablonski did not KNOW what would actually be in the record when he choose not to show up.

  12. 01/31/2012bob says:

    In fact, questions have even come up as to whether Mitt Romney is natural-born citizen. And based on the cursory research I’ve done, to date, I’m about 75 – 80% certain that he is.
    Oh: You’ve seen Romney’s birth certificate? How many layers does it have? Is the seal embossed or debossed? Any smiley faces?

  13. 01/31/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    Sharon sez, “Jablonski did not KNOW what would actually be in the record when he choose not to show up.”

    Nonsense. Yes, he did know. A trial lawyer knows what evidence the opposing party MUST offer in order to satisfy all the elements of their claim. Good lawyers (so we’re not talking about Orly, understand?) frequently prepare their own cases by working backwards — constructing the case from the other side’s point of view. So he/she will ask himself/herself, “If I were the plaintiff, what admissible evidence would I need to made my prima facie case, and who, as witnesses, would I need in order to get that evidence authenticated and introduced?” After the, he/she turns attention to the evidence necessary to rebut or impeach the other party’s evidence.

    Jablonski KNEW that in order for Hatfield and Irion to lay a factual foundation for their legal argument they has no choice but to introduce a copy of the birther certificate. True, he knew that they could offer only a non-certified copy, but if they wanted their exhibit to be admitted and considered by the judge, they would have to agree that the copy is an authentic replica of the birth certificate on file in the State of Hawaii. Unless they offered the BC, their case was sunk.

    So there was no need for Jablosnki to offer up anything. Hatfield and Irion would do all the heavy lifting to establish, as a matter of fact, the very same thing that Jablonski would have to establish. Under those circumstances, he did not need to be present — it would not matter that the record might be closed as a consequence — so he didn’t grace the Barnum & Bailey act with his presence.

  14. 01/31/2012sharon2 says:

    You assume what would happen as a matter of course. That is risky business. You also assumed that two of the three attorneys must have known what they were doing (strategy). I think we agree that Orly is not in this equation.
    “so he didn’t grace the Barnum & Bailey act with his presence”

    I wonder if professors teaching professional responsibility would tell their students to not bother showing up for “B&B” events, after first speaking disrespectfully about the judge? That is kind of Orlyesque.

  15. 02/1/2012sharon2 says:

    I wonder why a person named GeorgetownJD initiates her comment as a teenaged “texter” would? Some subtlety involved?

  16. 02/3/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    And I wonder why someone who has never attended law school presumes to know what professors teaching professional responsibility would tell their students.

  17. 02/3/2012sharon2 says:

    Did I post my CV? I don’t seem to recall doing that. I suppose you are familiar with the adage don’t ask a question that you don’t know the answer to?

  18. 02/3/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    Apparently Mr. Jablonski’s instincts were right. His client prevailed.

  19. 02/4/2012sharon2 says:

    Be disrespectful and don’t bother showing up if you feel that you will be entering a circus. Your instincts guarantee your win.

  20. 02/4/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    Now you are catching on. Good for you.

  21. 02/4/2012sharon2 says:

    Interesting to see an attorney encouraging disrespect. Good for you.

  22. 02/4/2012bob says:

    Interesting to see an attorney encouraging disrespect.

    Taitz’s behavior is extremely unbecoming.

  23. 02/5/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    Bob, Sharon likes to have the last word. Let her. She’s angry because the birthers finally got their long awaited hearing “on the merits” and though they presented their case unopposed and without objection to the hearsay and inadmissibilty of their so-called evidence, they still lost. The judge found the evidence to be lacking in credibility and the legal argument contrary to established principles. Sharon is lashing out and I’m the bullseye of her target because I (like you) predicted the outcome.

    C’mon Sharon. We’re letting you have The Very Last Word. Give it your best sh[o]t.

  24. 02/5/2012GeorgetownJD says:

    Phil, please correct my tyop. Tiny keyboard on this Android.

  25. 02/5/2012sharon2 says:

    Taitz’s behavior is extremely unbecoming.

    I totally agree.

    C’mon Sharon. We’re letting you have The Very Last Word. Give it your best shit.

    You know since you have resorted to speaking in this manner, you have lost control.

    I am not going to excoriate Judge Mahili for his decision. He could have accepted or rejected the Ankeny opinion since it was not binding. If an appeal moves forward, then the appellate court will render its decision. Maybe this will reach the Supreme Court, maybe not. If it does, there will be FINALITY of the issue, which is what I personally would like to see, no matter which way it goes. Many say it is already final. I don’t agree.

    People who exhibit your haughty attitude promote division in this country. I don’t have any direct evidence, but I believe your excrement exudes odor just like that of the “little” people.

  26. 02/5/2012sharon2 says:

    Taitz’s behavior is extremely unbecoming. (Bob)

    C’mon Sharon. We’re letting you have The Very Last Word. Give it your best shit. (GJD)

  27. 02/5/2012bob says:

    Maybe this will reach the Supreme Court, maybe not.
    The U.S. Supreme Court is not going take a case to affirm the sitting president’s ability to run for re-election.

  28. 02/5/2012sharon2 says:

    It would be an unlikely case of first impression, but how the appeal advances could lead to framing several issues in a way that gets the case before the Court. The NBC issue may be indirectly resolved with strong dicta or the old footnote comment that is supposed to be tangential, but often says a lot.

    It looks like there will be an appeal from Van Irion. Stay tuned, as I ‘m sure you will.

  29. 02/5/2012bob says:

    The appeals will be fruitless, and the case will never be heard by SCOTUS.
    The only interesting issue is how far the plaintiffs will get by March 6.