Congressional Report: Obama Eligibility Unvetted
J.R. | November 9, 2010
'There is no specific federal agency' to vette candidates for federal office
A congressional document posted on the Internet confirms no one â€“ not Congress, not the states and not election officials â€“ bothered to check Barack Obama's eligibility to be president, and that status remains undocumented to this day.
It's because state and federal law did not require anyone in Congress or elsewhere to check to see if Obama was a "natural born Citizen" under the meaning of Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, according the document.
The analysis by the Congressional Research Service, a research arm of the U.S. Congress, openly admits no one in the federal government, including Congress, ever asked to see Obama's long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate. It explains no one was required to do so.
The CRS memo also admits that federal elections are administered under state law, a circumstance apparent to lawyers but sometimes complicated for others.
The relevant paragraph:
"The mechanics of elections of federal officials within the several states are administered under state law. The quadrennial presidential election, although required since 1845 to be held on the same day in each state is, in an administrative and operational sense, fifty-one separate elections in the states and the District of Columbia for presidential electors. States generally control, within the applicable constitutional parameters, the administrative issues, questions, and mechanisms of ballot placement and ballot access."The next key point is that like federal law, neither do state laws require anyone to examine the birth qualifications of presidential candidates.
The states may have discretionary authority to question a candidate's eligibility to run for federal office, but there is no requirement in state law to do so, not when it comes to looking at birth records.
Once more, the memo makes this plain:
"In Keyes v. Bowen, the California Supreme Court discussed a suit against the secretary of state that challenged President Obama's eligibility and the California electoral votes for [the] finding that: 'Petitioners have not identified any authority requiring the secretary of state to make an inquiry into or demand detailed proof of citizenship from presidential candidates,' and thus mandamus (a writ of mandate) was not granted. However, although no 'ministerial duty' or mandatory requirement exists to support a mandamus action, there may still exist discretionary authority in such elections official."
The CRS's conclusion is that Obama could refuse to show his long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate because no state or federal law required him reveal it.
The report said, therefore, Obama could release exactly what information he chose.
"Despite the absence of any formal administrative or legal requirement or oversight at the federal level, or specific state requirement to produce a birth certificate for ballot placement, it may be noted here briefly that the only 'official' documentation or record that has been presented in the matter of President Obama's eligibility has been an official, certified copy of the record of live birth released by the Obama campaign in June of 2008, as an apparent effort by then-candidate Obama to address rumors and innuendos concerning the place of his birth."The result is that Obama could choose exactly what information â€“ and in what format â€“ he wanted released. He chose the computer-generated Certification of Live Birth, a form from the state of Hawaii that officials there have provided to those not born in the state, to document his eligibility.
The CRS also makes it clear that if the birth requirements of the Constitution are to be taken seriously, new laws at the state and federal levels will be needed to institutionalize government procedures requiring president candidates to come forward with their eligibility documentation.
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