Over the weekend, a Pennsylvania judge threw Phillip Berg’s case against Barack Obama out of court. The Philadelphia Daily News reports:
A federal judge in Philadelphia last night threw out a complaint by a Montgomery County lawyer who claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was not qualified to be president and that his name should be removed from the Nov. 4 ballot.
Philip J. Berg alleged in a complaint filed in federal district court on Aug. 21 against Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission, that Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya.
Berg claimed that the Democratic presidential standardbearer is not even an American citizen but a citizen of Indonesia and therefore ineligible to be president.
He alleged that if Obama was permitted to run for president and subsequently found to be ineligible, he and other voters would be disenfranchised.
U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick had denied Berg’s request for a temporary restraining order on Aug. 22 but had not ruled on the merits of the suit until yesterday.
Obama and the Democratic National Committee had asked Surrick to dismiss Berg’s complaint in a court filing on Sept. 24.
They said that Berg’s claims were “ridiculous” and “patently false,” that Berg had “no standing” to challenge the qualifications of a candidate for president because he had not shown the requisite harm to himself.
In a 34-page memorandum and opinion, the judge said Berg’s allegations of harm were “too vague and too attenuated” to confer standing on him or any other voters.
Surrick ruled that Berg’s attempts to use certain laws to gain standing to pursue his claim that Obama was not a natural-born citizen were “frivolous and not worthy of discussion.”
World Net Daily has some analysis in response:
In a 34-page memorandum that accompanied the court order, the Hon. R. Barclay Surrick concludes that ordinary citizens can’t sue to ensure that a presidential candidate actually meets the constitutional requirements of the office.
Surrick defers to Congress, saying that the legislature could determine “that citizens, voters, or party members should police the Constitution’s eligibility requirements for the Presidency,” but that it would take new laws to grant individual citizens that ability.
“Until that time,” Surrick says, “voters do not have standing to bring the sort of challenge that Plaintiff attempts to bring.”
Berg, the judge ruled, simply didn’t have a case for a particular injury and thus, had no standing to sue.
Surrick’s ruling cites a case deemed similar, Hollander v. McCain, in which it was alleged during the primary season that since he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, John McCain is not a natural-born citizen either. The judge in the Hollander case also ruled a voter cannot sue to prevent an allegedly unconstitutional candidate.
As I understand it, the nutshell is that Surrick is saying there is no real injury to Berg (or anyone) if Obama is actually not a legal American citizen, and he says it’s up to Congress to decide whether or not to force Obama to cough up his records.
Faultline has this summary:
What this means is that our Federal courts do not consider a possible fraudlent filing for the office of U.S. President, possible fraudlent campaign for President and possible fraudlent taking of the oath of office, and stepping into the Oval Office as an “injury” to the people of this country. That’s the bottom line. Until an unqualified person actually takes the office, “we the people” have not been injured.
I have had numerous commenters claiming that the DNC knows his citizenship status – because, as one commenter said “they check these things, you know.” Well, if that is so, why would the Senate not have stepped up with a non-binding resolution declaring his natural born status, as they did on John MaCain’s behalf? How incredible is this?
Once again, that’s the key thing here – if Obama is legit, why doesn’t he just come out with the real document and prove it? And no, he has not done that yet – the documents he’s released so far have been demonstrated to be doctored and incomplete, so there are still some very valid questions for which he needs to answer.
Berg is planning to appeal the decision. Even if Berg’s case goes nowhere, there are several others in place, too, so hopefully one of them will dig something up.
I’ll keep posting updates as I see them. In the meantime, I think it would be height of ridiculousness to elect an illegal alien to the most powerful job in the world, and it is completely fair to question why Obama hasn’t offered the proof of this very significant point.
There’s my two cents.