Eligibility Judge Backs Off Sanctions Threat
A federal judge who threw out a lawsuit by a retired military officer challenging Barack Obama's eligibility to be president because the subject had been "blogged, texted, twittered and otherwise massaged" now has backed off threats to impose financial sanctions on the officer's attorney.
The attorney, John D. Hemenway, "is 82 years old and takes considerable and justified pride in his patriotic public service and his status as a Rhodes Scholar," the judge wrote, according to a report on the Family Security Matters website written by Hemenway's daughter-in-law, Margaret Calhoun Hemenway.
The judge, James Robertson, opined that John D. Hemenway is "unlikely to repeat the conduct that gave rise to this proceeding, and in his case the permissible alternative sanction of a reprimand will be sufficient," she reported.
Robertson rejected the case brought on behalf of Gregory S. Hollister, a retired military officer who is subject to being recalled to duty and, therefore, would need to know the legitimacy of any order coming from Obama.
In his statement, Robertson ridiculed the complaint, which never had a court hearing, ruling that the eligibility issue had been "blogged, texted, twittered and otherwise massaged."
Hollister is represented by Philadelphia lawyer Philip Berg, who has brought several motions on the eligibility dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court that have been ignored. Hemenway acted as local counsel in filing the action on behalf of Hollister.
Robertson wrote: "The plaintiff says that he is a retired Air Force colonel who continues to owe fealty to his Commander-in-Chief (because he might possibly be recalled to duty) and who is tortured by uncertainty as to whether he would have to obey orders from Barack Obama because it has not been proven – to the colonel's satisfaction – that Mr. Obama is a native-born American citizen, qualified under the Constitution to be president.
"The issue of the president's citizenship was raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and otherwise massaged by America's vigilant citizenry during Mr. Obama's two-year-campaign for the presidency, but this plaintiff wants it resolved by a court," Robertson wrote.
His dismissal ordered the attorney to respond immediately and explain why there should not be financial sanctions. Hemenway complied, correcting the judge on a series of statements.
"These are not frivolous matters, as the learned Judge Robertson has suggested. Possible illegal orders are a matter of great concern to officers in the armed forces. Undersigned counsel himself entered the Army of the United States during WWII and was promoted to Infantry Second Lieutenant preparing for the anticipated landings in Japan which were scheduled for November 1, 1945. But for President Truman’s use of nuclear weapons to end the war, this would have transpired. The legality of orders in and out of combat is of paramount importance," he wrote.
Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 345,000 others and sign up now!
Hemenway continued with a "second point" Robertson raised.
That is, he said, that "the president of the United States had been properly vetted."
"This assumes facts not in evidence and was not addressed. It is clear that the constitutional qualifications of President Soetoro/Obama have not been properly vetted. Judge Robertson even cites an earlier case filed in Pennsylvania by one of the two lead attorneys in this case, in which the judge claimed candidates in the recent presidential election had never been more closely vetted. Nothing was further from the truth. Effectively, the Pennsylvania District Court judge was introducing his own hearsay and opinion into the case as if it were acceptable evidence," Hemenway wrote.
"It is sad to read this court's use of material from the Internet to imply that the issues in the numerous lawsuits filed have been resolved by the 'twittering and blogging' to determine that the litigants are invoking 'conspiracy theorists.' It suggests that the intellectual capacity of this court focused on the issues in the instant suit at a very low level, perhaps for political purposes, such as to win attention from the highest authority when a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States becomes vacant," Hemenway wrote.
In her report, his daughter-in-law said the judge, in his March 25 decision, still has trouble getting things right.
"Judge Robertson reconsidered his previous sanctions threat, possibly fearing monetary sanctions might spark a backlash and give a boost to the grassroots effort to force Mr. Obama to relinquish his records for public scrutiny," she wrote. "He errs in one key respect, alleging that Hemenway is 'unlikely to repeat the conduct that gave rise to this proceeding. …'
"Reprimand aside, Hemenway will continue to seek the truth about Obama's birthplace and citizenship, as will other patriotic citizens who believe no president and no future presidential candidate should be allowed to conceal documents that would prove that he or she is legally qualified to serve," she wrote.
"The judge errs in another respect, saying: 'Many people, perhaps as many as a couple of dozen, feel deeply about this issue, a strong indication that this judge feels he can dismiss the legal merits of the issue by pretending that there is no public interest at stake,'" she wrote.
"He must be unaware that an AOL poll, albeit admittedly unscientific, found that a majority of Americans believe Mr. Obama should release his records to determine his eligibility; that more than 345,000 U.S. citizens have signed an online petition demanding Obama's birth records be released; and that many more are blogging, calling, and writing congressional offices to ask their members of Congress to sign onto Congressman Bill Posey's bill," she wrote.
Posey's legislation would require future candidates for president to be vetted for eligibility, an admission that the last national election's screening process for candidates was substandard, she wrote.
"This is a judge who clearly is letting his skewed perception of public sentiment guide his judicial rulings. It would clearly have been judicially expedient, saving the taxpayers time and money, given the number of eligibility lawsuits filed across the country, simply to direct President Obama to produce an actual birth (or 'vault') certificate and not a COLB (Certification of Live Birth and one that lacks a doctor's signature or hospital name) that has been given to others not born on the island of Hawaii," she wrote.
John D. Hemenway also had suggested that if there were to be sanctions, court rules would allow him to require the release of Obama's birth information.
"If the court persists in pressing Rule 11 procedures against Hemenway, then Hemenway should be allowed all of the discovery pertinent to the procedures as court precedents have permitted in the past," he wrote to the judge.
"The court has referred to a number of facts outside of the record of this particular case and, therefore, the undersigned is particularly entitled to a hearing to get the truth of those matters into the record. This may require the court to authorize some discovery," Hemenway said.
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama's status as a "natural born citizen." The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."
Some of the lawsuits question whether Obama was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama's American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born. Further complicating the issue are the reports he was adopted by an Indonesia man during his childhood and moved to Indonesia and attended school there. There also are questions on what nation's passport he traveled to Pakistan.
Lawyers and plaintiffs in a multitude of lawsuits also have asked why, if a birth certificate actually reflects that Obama was born in Hawaii, has he spent sums estimated by observers of up to $1 million hiring various law firms to keep concealed his birth certificate, his college records and other documentation.
John Eidsmoe, an expert on the U.S. Constitution now working with the Foundation on Moral Law, told WND a demand for verification of Obama's eligibility appears to be legitimate.
Eidsmoe said it's clear that Obama has something in the documentation of his history, including his birth certificate, college records and other documents that "he does not want the public to know."
Although Obama officials have told WND all such allegations are "garbage," here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama's eligibility:
- New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn't properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.
- Pennsylvania Democrat Philip Berg has three cases pending, including Berg vs. Obama in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a separate Berg vs. Obama which is under seal at the U.S. District Court level and Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, (now dismissed) brought on behalf of a retired military member who could be facing recall to active duty by Obama.
- Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.
- Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut's secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.
- Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes headlines a list of people filing a suit in California, in a case handled by the United States Justice Foundation, that asks the secretary of state to refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office. The case is pending, and lawyers are seeking the public's support.
- Chicago attorney Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama's vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.
- Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama's eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama's citizenship. His case was denied.
- In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.
- Also in Ohio, there was the Greenberg v. Brunner case which ended when the judge threatened to assess all case costs against the plaintiff.
- In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama's citizenship. The case was denied.
- In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama's birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia's secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.
- California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters.
In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog as raising questions about Obama's eligibility include:
- In Texas, Darrel Hunter vs. Obama later was dismissed.
- In Ohio, Gordon Stamper vs. U.S. later was dismissed.
- In Texas, Brockhausen vs. Andrade.
- In Washington, L. Charles Cohen vs. Obama.
- In Hawaii, Keyes vs. Lingle, dismissed.