During the hearing Monday in front of Judge Terry Lewis, the defense argued their motion to dismiss. Mark Herron for Obama stated that since he ran unopposed that he was not in “fact” nominated and would not be Florida’s nominee until the Democratic national convention in September.
It was ironic however, that he cited Florida statute 101.252. This statute was discussed in part one; since Obama ran unopposed, this statue automatically “declares” him nominated for the Democratic executive committee for the state of Florida. The delegates are now pledged to support Obama by this action per statute 103.101 at their national convention. This left me to wonder how he could be “nominated” though not nominated until September; the legal conundrum left me reeling that such a contradiction in logic could happen. With all the other fortuitous circumstances that have happened to and for Obama, we can only wait and see how this one will play out. What he attempted to do was focus and steer the court to a narrow issue and decide the case based upon the right of a political party and not the people of the state of Florida to elect candidates.
We are used to these types of paradigms with Obama, with his propensity to disenfranchise any group and people that stand between him and his political goals, so this was just more of the same.
He then went on to discuss that if in fact any dispute in Obama’s eligibility were to arise, it is the responsibility of Congress when the Electors are called to Washington D.C. to cast their votes for President in the Electoral College. However, the question at issue in front of Judge Lewis is a matter of Florida law, and Obama’s attorney is only stalling until after the election; to quote Larry Klayman, they are “trying to kick the can the down the road,” which would make this matter moot after the general election in November.
These same tactics were used successfully in 2008 before and after the election on all the actions that have questioned the eligibility of Obama to hold office since then.
Mr. Herron then went on to cite Florida statute 102.168 with Ambler v. Norman, a case that was heard in Leon County and was reversed on appeal. This is an important case to the question at issue in this matter since it involved a question of a candidate’s eligibility. The appellate decision came down to what the legislature’s intent was in the language of this statute (more on this case later when the plaintiff is heard from.)
Mr. Daniel Nordy came next as attorney for Florida’s Secretary of State; he re-iterated much of what Mr. Herron presented. However, his position is that the political parties “nominate” the candidates. His position was quite strange since he intimated that these parties controlled the nomination and placement of a candidate’s name upon any ballots in Florida. Judge Lewis was not buying it. Mr. Nordy produced the letter and read it to the court, and indeed, they stated he was their one and only candidate.
His position seems to disenfranchise the people of Florida since the “law” was drafted to make sure of complete disclosure of any candidate’s party affiliation or political benefactors when it comes to financial support for costly political campaigns. He certainly cannot mean that these same political parties (private entities) control all aspects of the ballot. If this was the case, why does the “law” require notification to the nominated “candidate” by certified mail from the Secretary of State and the qualification documentation being expressly executed by the candidate himself?
One question that seems to stick out like a sore thumb, and one that Mr. Herron or Nordy have failed to answer, is what enjoins the delegates to the national convention in September? The purpose of the “presidential preference primary” is to enjoin delegates in this case to the Democratic Party’s candidate who would prevail at the primary election.
The argument that they make is missing this crucial piece of information. Their argument is simply put that there has not been an “election”; therefore, Obama has not been “nominated.” This places the “law” at issue and leaves a question to answer that they stay silent on. Florida statute 103.101 in sections 1, 4, 5, and 6 speaks about “binding” the political party’s delegates to the national convention so that the people’s voice can be heard as they voted. If, as they say, no election transpired, how are these delegates bound to proffer the voice of Florida’s citizens? Party hacks will do as they choose if not bound? Clearly, this was “not” the intention of Florida’s legislature when they drafted and made into law statute 103.101, and that is where Obama’s argument fails!
If in fact this is the case, the legislature needs to address this deficiency in current law and “expressly” declare that a given candidate if he ran unopposed is given the pledge of the delegates at the national or nominating convention; to do otherwise would nullify and disenfranchise the people of Florida. Florida statute 101.252 already does this, so any further legislation would only further clarify this issue!
Mr. Larry Klayman came next as counsel for the plaintiff; as mentioned previously, his opening statement started with a quote from John Adams, our 2nd President (“We are a Nation of Laws, not Men”) to bring some levity to this issue. Mr. Klayman said it was an honor to be seen before Judge Lewis once again. He was referring to Bush v. Gore, which he attended as co-counsel in this monumental case that was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. In a rare moment of levity, Judge Lewis answered back; he did not appear to be that old.
He then went on to explain that Florida’s election laws mirrored the intent of our Constitution and that a person must meet the unique conditions of Article II, Sec. 1, Clause 5, the requirement that the person seeking the office of president must be a “natural born citizen.” Alternatively, they could be declared “ineligible” per Florida statute 102.168, which is shown below:
(3) The complaint shall set forth the grounds on which the contestant intends to establish his or her right to such office or set aside the result of the election on a submitted referendum. The grounds for contesting an election under this section are:
(b )Ineligibility of the successful candidate for the nomination or office in dispute.
This is an important point and issue that the court must consider since Judge Lewis is specifically charged with upholding Florida state statutes. He then went on to discuss how the intention of the legislature and “laws” of Florida were in harmony with the United States Constitution and that his duty was to uphold the rule of law.
Mr. Herron will probably wish he had not brought up Ambler v. Norman, as it is a case that was heard in Leon County, where the circuit court set aside a primary win for a candidate on grounds that were of an administrative nature. On appeal, the matter was reversed as the court erred; 102.168 sec. 3(b) was only to be used for Constitutional matters of which Obama faces and not the administrative relief that was available in that case.
He then went on to explain that the court had the jurisdiction to adjudicate this question since Mr. Voeltz, an ardent Democrat, has questioned the qualification of Obama to hold the office of president per statute 102.168 and the grounds for the action of the court to determine the eligibility question of president Obama. He also cited that the court could make a declaratory judgment and require a mandamus decision to enjoin the Secretary of State in this matter to remove Obama’s name from the November general election ballot.
The discussion then turned to what the definition of a “natural born citizen” is, since this is at the heart of the question that must be answered regarding Obama holding the office of president. Mr. Klayman then defined the question as a child born of “citizen” parents. Judge Lewis questioned what “born” meant and whether each parent needed to be alive at the moment of birth. Mr. Klayman stumbled at this point, then regained his composure as he collected his thoughts. The parents of any given child do not change whether they are alive or not, so the Constitution is silent on this issue since it was not intended to answer all questions. Suffice it to say, at birth, the “parents” do not change for the child; it only means a “parent” has preceded them in death if they are born without one parent. This frail, meager, and in many cases inadequate requirement for the office of President is all the founding fathers could do to safeguard against a person of foreign influence ascending to the office of president.
Mr. Klayman then went on to explain that Obama’s father was allowed into the United States on a student visa. He was also not in the process of “naturalization”, so he could not by any stretch of the imagination be considered a citizen. Therefore, Obama was not a “natural born citizen” under the requirement of Article II, Section 1, Clause 5. Numerous hypothetical situations were discussed as Judge Lewis probed the Constitutional requirement when persons were in foreign nations for themselves or their parents after being born on United States soil. Frankly, this did not add much to the discussion, although it was meant to probe the argument of Mr. Klayman. The definition of a “natural born citizen” did come up with Mr. Klayman citing Minor v. Happersett, a voting rights case from Missouri decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1875 where the definition was explicitly given: a citizen child born of two citizen parents.
The next issue that was discussed was the shell game and the semantics Mr. Herron and Mr. Nordy were attempting to pull over the court, by not specifically mentioning in their pleadings and in testimony the operative language of Florida statute 103.101 (wherein they only cited section 2 of this statute and left out sections 1, 4, 5 & 6 of their discussion.) These sections discuss the operative language of the election and pledging of “delegates” to the national convention as the candidate exits the “presidential preference primary” as the “nominee” from the state of Florida.
Mr. Klayman then discussed the portion of 103.101, where the candidate’s name is left off the ballot when only one candidate is put up for nomination by a political party. He also explained Statute 101.252 where the same language is placed and is shown below:
101.252 Candidates entitled to have names printed on certain ballots; exception.
(1) Any candidate for nomination who has qualified as prescribed by law is entitled to have his or her name printed on the official primary election ballot. However, when there is only one candidate of any political party qualified for an office, the name of the candidate shall not be printed on the primary election ballot, and such candidate shall be declared nominated for the office.
This is the portion of the “law” that Mr. Herron and Mr. Nordy were trying to hide from the court, since it works in conjunction with 103.101 where the “name is left off the ballot”; the candidate then exits the “presidential preference primary” as being “declared nominated.”
He then accused Obama’s lawyers of using these very same tactics in 2008 to squelch any review with the courts prior to Obama being sworn in and that they were repeating the same pattern of “pushing it down the road” until after the election and he was sworn in once again. A passing reference was made to “Graham”, another election case that was heard by the Florida Supreme Court. The findings of this case were essentially three fold:
- Where the law is silent, the statutes must be construed in a manner that would not nullify the right of the voters of the state of Florida.
- The operative date for a cause of action for ineligibility would be at the date the “primary” was closed or thereafter.
- Any legal construction must enhance democratic rights of the voters.
He then when on to discuss that we live in a constitutional republic and that all the election laws of Florida and the United States Constitution must be read in concert with one another and be understood to enhance the voter’s rights.
In rebuttal, Mr. Herron and Nordy again reiterated their construed interpretation of 103.101, again leaving out the fact that Obama left the “primary” as the nominee from the state of Florida with the Democrats delegates pledged to him for their national convention. One other issue was brought up in that the plaintiff’s amended complaint was filed without a demand for “declaratory” relief being explicit in the complaint. Mr. Klayman was given time to respond and made the parties aware that it included other relief as the court felt necessary. The subject then came up as to whether Mr. Klayman would be able to prove that Obama was not born in the United States, and he said he was not. Then Judge Lewis seemed to indicate he would grant a leave to amend the complaint to allow this to be entered.
On a personal observation, after the hearing concluded, both sides shared a little housekeeping task discussion as always happens after conclusion of hearings. However, Mr. Herron seemed to have a concerned look on his face; it was slight scowl. I can only guess why as this matter is probably going to the mats, and the short easy victories Obama has always had at these proceedings is just a bygone memory. Mr. Herron was expecting a dismissal at the conclusion of the hearing, and now his legal strategy lays in shambles (as well as that of the state’s attorney Mr. Nordy, possibly their reputations as well.) Why they both went down this road is simply mind-boggling.
A simple reading of statutes 99.061, 101.252, and 103.101 shows the fallacy of their argument plain as day without any complicated legal analysis or gymnastics needing to be performed. Obama is indeed “nominated” per Florida law, and the “delegates” are pledged to him, which is the operative outcome of 103.101. Obama’s and the States attorney’s protests to the contrary is futile as far as Florida law is concerned.
At the end of the day, I am struck by one incontrovertible fact; Obama chose to create phony technical grounds to dismiss this lawsuit rather than throw down his so-called long form birth certificate he released in April of 2011 and other bona-fides as absolute “proof” of his right to hold office.
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