In Parts I, II, III, and IV of this series we have discussed the Founding Fathers’ implied definition of the term “natural born Citizen;” the definition of the term as used throughout the 19th and 20th centuries; the current status of Barack Obama’s birth, citizenship, and presidential eligibility; as well as US government policy on dual citizenship. In Part V we will discuss the three-step vetting process designed to insure that no ineligible or unqualified person could ever ascend to the office of president of the United States… a fail-safe process that has clearly failed on three occasions: 1880, 2008, and 2012.
Of the three vetting opportunities for president and vice president of the United States, the first occurs at the quadrennial nominating conventions when the major parties certify their chosen candidates to the various state election boards so that ballots can be printed. All certifications provided to the fifty state election boards by the Republican National Committee in 2008 contained, verbatim, the following affirmation:
“We do hereby certify that (at) a national convention of Delegates representing the Republican Party of the United States, duly held and convened in the city of Saint Paul, State of Minnesota, on September 4, 2008, the following person, meeting the constitutional requirements for the Office of President of the United States, and the following person, meeting the constitutional requirements for the Office of Vice President of the Unites States, were nominated for such offices to be filled at the ensuing general election, November 4, 2008…”
The documents contained the names and home addresses of John McCain and Sarah Palin and were signed by John A. Boehner and Jean A. Inman, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the 2008 Republican National Convention, and notarized by Sheila A. Motzko. However, the certifications provided to the state election boards by the Democratic National Committee were not uniform. The certification provided exclusively to the State of Hawaii, pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes §11-113, contained the following affirmation:
“THIS IS TO CERTIFY that at the National Convention of the Democrat Party of the United States of America, held in Denver, Colorado on August 25 though (sic) 28, 2008, the following were duly nominated candidates of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States respectively and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution.”
The remaining forty-nine states received the following certification: “THIS IS TO CERTIFY that at the National Convention of the Democrat Party of the United States of America, held in Denver, Colorado on August 25 though (sic) 28, 2008, the following were duly nominated as candidates of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States respectively:”
Affixed were the names and home addresses of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The documents were signed by Nancy Pelosi and Alice Travis Germond, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and notarized by Shalifa A. Williamson. The phrase, “… and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution” was purposely omitted. Other than that, all of the documents were absolutely identical… even to the misspelling of the word “through” in the second line of the certifications.
This tragic anomaly of American political history was first reported by writer JB Williams in a September 10, 2009 article, titled, “The Theory is Now a Conspiracy and Facts Don’t Lie.” Immediately upon publication of Williams’ article, Obama-doubters across the country began contacting their state election boards, requesting copies of the Democrat and Republican Party candidate certifications, and the full scale of the Democrats’ deception was exposed.
So why would the Democrats eliminate the language certifying that Obama and Biden were both eligible to serve “under provisions of the U.S. Constitution?” And why would they introduce no fewer than four proposed constitutional amendments during the 2003 and 2005 congressional sessions, any of which would have served to make Barack Obama eligible to serve as president of the United States? Is it not reasonable to assume that they knew before they nominated him that he was ineligible to serve by virtue of the fact that he is not a “natural born” U.S. citizen? So the question arises, what did Nancy Pelosi know, and when did she know it?
However, apparently operating under the assumption that his first four years in the White House have somehow legitimized him, the officers of the 2012 Democratic National Convention included eligibility language in the certifications sent to the state election boards. The 2012 certification, dated September 6, 2012, reads as follows: “As Chair and Secretary respectively of the National Convention of the Democratic Party of the United States of America, having assembled in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 4 through 6, 2012, WE DO HEREBY CERTIFY that the following are the nominees of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States respectively, and that the following are legally qualified to serve as President and Vice President of the United States respectively under the applicable provisions of the United States Constitution.”
The certification contains the names and home addresses of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The documents were signed by Antonio Villaraigosa and Alice Travis Germond, the Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the Democratic National Convention, and notarized by Monica C. Cole. Both Villaraigosa and Germond were advised prior to signing the certifications that they would be swearing to a fraud if they signed the certification documents. And while it is clear that Democrats had finally figured out how to spell the word “through,” the 2012 certifications represent a second consecutive failure by Democrats to properly vet their national candidates.
It should also be noted that, in his Declaration of Candidacy for President of the United States, filed with the Oklahoma State Board of Elections… and presumably 49 other state election boards… Barack Obama swore the following under penalty of perjury: “I, the undersigned, do hereby solemnly swear or affirm that the abovementioned facts (his name and home address) are true and correct and that I am fully qualified to become a candidate for the office of President of the United States and that I will be fully qualified to hold said office, if elected. I further swear or affirm that I have filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission and have raised and expended not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for said office.”
The document is signed by Barack Obama and is notarized under date of November 9, 2011. By signing that document, Obama is guilty of the crime of perjury, and perhaps other offenses.
The second vetting opportunity occurs on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December when the Electoral College meets to elect a president and vice president. Between November 4, 2008, the date of the General Election, and December 15, 2008, the date on which the Electoral College met to cast their votes, most Democratic electors were made aware of serious questions relating to Obama’s eligibility. However, none of the Democratic electors raised a serious question about his eligibility prior to casting their electoral ballots… a violation of their oath of office and a complete and total subversion of the very purpose of the Electoral College.
The third and final vetting opportunity occurs in early January following each election when the Congress meets in joint session to certify the votes of the Electoral College. As the final failsafe step in the electoral process, the members of Congress have the duty to insure themselves of the qualifications of the candidates selected by the Electoral College.
So if, in fact, the Democratic National Committee knowingly certified a candidate for the November ballot who was ineligible to serve, the Democrat members of the Electoral College failed to vet the men they elected, and no member of Congress questioned his qualifications, what are the possible alternatives? Is it possible, as some suggest, that we simply ignore the Constitutional requirements of Article II, Section 1 when considering Obama’s eligibility?
In a December 8, 2008 discussion of the congressional certification process, Edwin Viera, Jr., Ph.D., J.D., a leading authority on the Constitution, argues that, “… the question of Obama’s eligibility vel non is not within the discretion of Congress to skirt or decide as its Members may deem politically or personally expedient… Even by unanimous vote, Congress cannot constitutionally dispense with the requirement that Obama must be ‘a natural born citizen,’ by simply assuming that he is such, or by accepting what lawyers refer to as the ‘best available evidence,’ (Obama’s certificate of live birth, versus a certified Hawaiian birth certificate).”
But what if the members of Congress fail in their responsibility? Dr. Viera argues that, if no objection is made on the basis that Obama is not a natural born citizen… “the matter cannot be said to have been settled to a ‘constitutional sufficiency’ because Congress has no power to simply waive the eligibility requirement (emphasis added).”
When members of Congress are sworn into office they solemnly swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” So, one might ask, why have members of Congress not questioned Obama’s eligibility to serve as president when they were obligated to do so?
In the days following the joint session of Congress on January 8, 2009, when not a single member of Congress, Republican or Democrat, chose to honor their oath of office, the members were inundated with demands by constituents that they justify that dereliction. A great many members sought guidance from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a division of the Library of Congress. Jack Maskell, a CRS attorney, drew the “short straw” and was assigned the thankless task of drafting a response. His April 3, 2009 memorandum, provided to all members of Congress read, in part, as follows:
“Concerning the production or release of an original birth certificate, it should be noted that there is no federal law, regulation, rule, guideline, or requirement that a candidate for federal office produce his or her original birth certificate, or a certified copy of the record of live birth, to any official of the United States government; nor is there a requirement for federal candidates to publicly release such personal record or documentation. Furthermore, there is no specific federal agency or office that ‘vets’ candidates for federal office as to qualifications or eligibility prior to return.”
It is that memorandum, the now infamous Maskell Memorandum, that members of Congress have been hiding behind since April 3, 2009. In conducting his legal research for preparation of his opinion, Haskell failed to consult the March 19, 2008 legal research conducted by former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson and Harvard Law professor Laurence H. Tribe, which found that Senator John McCain, born to American citizens serving on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone, was a ‘natural born Citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution.
What Dr. Viera asserts, and what any schoolchild would understand, is that it is not within the power of Congress to waive the eligibility requirements of Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, by simply ignoring them… as they have attempted to do since January 8, 2009. Nor is it within the power of the people, the states, or the courts to waive the eligibility requirements… short of a constitutional amendment.
Is it possible to impeach a usurper president when the impeachment process is designed to apply only to individuals who are fully qualified, legally elected, and officially inaugurated? And if the House of Representatives did proceed to impeach Obama, would that action automatically provide legitimacy to all acts and appointments of his illegitimate presidency?
The most likely answer lies in the Nixon model, in which leaders of his own party went to the White House to demand his resignation. In Obama’s case, that is unlikely to occur until a substantial majority of Americans become convinced that he is a usurper and his approval rating drops below 20%. Then, and only then, can we expect Democrats, in the interest of salvaging their own political careers, to demand that he leave.
With each passing day, the damage that Obama does makes the future of our constitutional republic more and more problematic. If we simply ignore the dilemma posed by his lack of presidential eligibility, the judgment of history will one day be upon us.
Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.