Federal judge cites lack of standing, dismisses Obama eligibility case
By Linda Bentley | October 21, 2009
CAMDEN, N.J. – On Oct. 20, U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle, for the District of New Jersey, granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint challenging President Barack Hussein Obama’s constitutional eligibility as a “natural born citizen,” filed by Attorney Mario Apuzzo on behalf of Charles F. Kerchner, Jr. and three other plaintiffs on the grounds they lack standing to pursue their claims.
Assuming the allegations were true for the purposes of deciding this jurisdictional motion, Simandle said the injury, if any, suffered by plaintiffs is one that would be shared by all the American people.
And, because defendants have not adequately established that the President is truly a “natural born citizen,” plaintiffs allege President Obama is not a “natural born citizen” and therefore is an illegitimate president.
Simandle notes, “These alleged harms apply equally to all United States residents. In fact, plaintiffs’ complaint repeatedly acknowledges that the injuries they allege are generally applicable to ‘the people.’ As explained above, the Supreme Court has consistently held that this generalized harm is not sufficient to establish standing under Article III.”
To distinguish themselves from the rest of the citizenry, Simandle said, “Plaintiffs point out that Mr. Kerchner and Mr. Nelsen have both taken oaths to protect and defend the Constitution. They also suggest that they feel more threatened by the alleged uncertainty surround President Obama’s place of birth and citizenship than many citizens.”
While the court accepted the fact plaintiffs are more concerned about President Obama’s birthplace than many citizens and they also feel a greater sense of obligation to bring the present action, Simandle wrote, “Plaintiffs’ motivations do not alter the nature of the injury alleged.”
Due to the possibility Kerchner could be recalled to active duty in the U.S. Naval Reserves by Executive Order of the President or an act of Congress in an extreme national emergency, Kerchner asserts he would need to know whether the President and Commander in Chief is in fact legitimate and therefore obligate him to follow those orders or risk being prosecuted for disobeying such legitimate orders.
“While the court has doubts about the particularity of this harm, the court will not address this issue because the alleged harm is neither actual nor imminent, but rather is impermissibly conjectural. The hypothetical nature of this future injury, conditioned on the occurrence of ‘an extreme national emergency,’ is not an ‘injury in fact’ necessary to establish standing,” Simandle concluded, “Without an ‘injury in fact’ necessary for Article III standing, the court cannot exercise jurisdiction over the present action,” and granted defendants’ motion to dismiss.