A Georgia judge issued a subpoena to Obama to arrive in court on January 26 to provide proof that he is eligble to be on the ballot. Neither Obama nor his lawyers showed up at the hearing and now the lawyers, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution "said the president should be held in contempt for not complying with a subpoena".
The lawyers are expected to submit briefs by February 5th and the judge will make a ruling sometime after that.
Here are the two arguments that the lawyers in the case raised:
- One contended an 1875 Supreme Court opinion says only a “natural born citizen” — someone born in the U.S. and whose parents were U.S. citizens — can be president. (Obama’s father, who was from Kenya, was not a U.S. citizen.)
- The other alleged Obama’s birth, social security and passport records are forgeries.
I must admit that I was not aware of the 1875 Supreme Court opinion. Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico — heck he even ran for President. What are the rules about this? If the Supreme Court opinion is to be followed then Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio are each ineligble.
Let me fact check. I plugged in "1875 supreme court opinion natural born" and ended up on a Cornell University Law site that spoke about the Minor vs Happersett.
They did not prove anything either way. All they say is there is no doubt that someone born in the US to US citizen parents are themselves US citizens but they make no claims as to what the status is of a child born to a non-citizen.
The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens…the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also… Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.
By stating their opinion "it is not necessary to solve these doubts" only means they have left this to be determined at a later more appropriate time.
According to ABC,
If George Romney was born in Mexico, how could he run for president?
It is clear that naturalized citizens cannot qualify for the office of president, but there is no clarification in the U.S. Constitution pertaining to people born to U.S. citizens in a foreign country, and there is no definition of a “natural-born citizen.” Some experts have challenged the idea that foreign-born children of U.S. citizens are “natural-born” because citizenship is conferred upon them after birth.
The term "natural born" is ambiguous according to the story by ABC and the Supreme Court ruling. We probably need a firm definition of what being natural born is. I am not a birther nor am I challenging the President. It feels late to be doing so but what I want to see is this term being defined for the sake of clarity going forward.
The nation should not be divided on the president’s background now or at any point in the future. A definition on this will allow us to focus on the more important things in the future.