Obama eligibility case dismissed with harsh words for counsel
By Linda Bentley | November 4, 2009
SANTA ANA, Calif. – On Oct. 29, only nine days after Kerchner v. Obama was dismissed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, for the Central District of California, dismissed Barnett v. Obama.
The complaint requested the court enjoin the President’s “powers to order new deployments or assignments of any armed forces of the United States outside the territorial limits of the United States without express Congressional approval, and further to limit the execution of certain orders of the President of the United States relating to the conduct of foreign policy by and through the use of currently deployed and assigned military force.”
To which Carter responded, “This ‘cut and run’ call to lay down arms and leave this country defenseless is an effort by plaintiffs to emasculate the military.”
Because plaintiffs only sought to enjoin acts that the President takes as Commander-in-Chief internationally, not domestically, Carter stated, “This peculiarity leads the court to suspect that the constitutional objection is being used as a veil to avoid deployment to countries where the United States military is currently active, such as Iraq or Afghanistan.”
Taking note of the recently dismissed case, Rhodes v. MacDonald et al., which plaintiffs’ Attorney Orly Taitz also represented, Carter wrote, “Plaintiff objecting to President Obama’s natural born citizen status ‘had no concerns about fulfilling her military obligation until she received orders notifying her that she would be deployed to Iraq in September 2009.’”
Carter stated, “This court will not interfere in internal military affairs nor be used as a tool by military officers to avoid deployment.”
Explaining the text of the impeachment clause indicated a “purposeful decision by the Framers to commit impeachment to the Legislative branch,” Carter said the 25th Amendment sets forth the line of succession “in case of the removal of the president from office” or in case of his death, resignation or inability to serve.
He said, “The amendment specifies a role for Congress in this process, but no role for the judiciary.”
And, as the defense pointed out, the quo warranto (under what authority) claim against Obama, challenging his right to hold office, must be brought within the District of Columbia because he holds office within that district.
The provision for doing so, codified in the District of Columbia Code, states, “A quo warranto may be issued from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the name of the United States against a person who within the District of Columbia usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises, a franchise conferred by the United States or a public office of the United States, civil or military.”
Carter said the court exercised “extreme patience” when Taitz endangered the case being heard at all by failing to properly file and serve defendants.
He also pointed out Taitz’s continual refusal to comply with court rules and procedure, her request to have the court recuse Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato on the basis he required she comply with the Local Rules, and her attempt to dismiss two of her clients against their wishes because she did not want to work with their counsel.
“The hearings have been interesting to say the least,” wrote Carter, adding, “Plaintiffs’ arguments through Taitz have generally failed to aid the court. Instead, plaintiffs’ counsel has favored rhetoric seeking to arouse the emotions and prejudices of her followers rather than the language of a lawyer seeking to present arguments through cogent legal reasoning. While the court has no desire to chill plaintiffs’ enthusiastic presentation, Taitz’s argument often hampered the efforts of her co-counsel Gary Kreep … to bring serious issues before the court. The court has attempted to give plaintiffs a voice and a chance to be heard by respecting their choice of counsel and by making every effort to discern the legal arguments of plaintiffs’ counsel amongst the rhetoric.”
Carter stated, “Plaintiffs have expressed frustration with the notion that this case could be dismissed on separation of powers, political question, or standing grounds, asserting that these are mere ‘technicalities’ obstructing plaintiffs from being able to resolve the case on the merits of President Obama’s birth and constitutional qualifications.”
Quoting from a 1912 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Carter wrote, “It is indeed a singular misconception of the nature and character of our constitutional system of government to suggest that the settled distinction … between judicial authority over justiciable controversies and legislative power as to purely political questions tends to destroy the duty of the judiciary in proper cases to enforce the Constitution.”
Carter stated, “Interpreting the Constitution is a serious and crucial task with which the federal courts of this nation have been entrusted under Article III. However, that very same Constitution puts limits on the reach of the federal courts.”
As one of those limits, Carter notes the Constitution defines the process through which the President can be removed from office, and stated, “The Constitution does not include a role for the court in that process.”
He said the plaintiffs have encouraged the court to ignore those mandates to the Constitution by disregarding the limits on its power and to effectively overthrow a sitting president who was popularly elected by “We the People.”
Carter stated, “Plaintiffs have attacked the judiciary, including every prior court that has dismissed their claim, as unpatriotic and even treasonous for refusing to grant their requests and for adhering to the terms of the Constitution which set forth its jurisdiction.
Respecting the constitutional role and jurisdiction of this court is not unpatriotic. Quite the contrary, this court considers commitment to that constitutional role to be the ultimate reflection of patriotism,” and granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss.