Friday, April 24, 2009

Senator Coburn on Hussein's eligibility issue

April 24, 2009

Dear Mr. Morris,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the eligibility of Barack Obama to be President of the United States, specifically regarding whether he is a "natural born citizen". I appreciate hearing from you, and I apologize for the delayed response. [TM: I don't recall when exactly I wrote to Senator Coburn about this issue, but it's been a while back.]

You are right to be concerned anytime a possible violation of the Constitution appears to have occurred. You are not alone in your concern about this issue and I understand how important it is. As a U.S. senator, I consult the Constitution nearly every day and strive to make sure my decisions and positions are in line with that seminal document.

With that said, I believe President Obama meets the constitutional requirement to be President.

States play a critical role in the election of federal representatives. It is each state's responsibility to determine the eligibility of those running for federal office. In the 2008 election, all 50 states placed candidate Obama on their ballots leading to his election.

However, there are two pieces of legislation that will address this issue in the future. First, in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Rep. Ritze has introduced HB 1329. The bill requires any candidate filing with the Oklahoma State Election Board to provide proof of citizenship by providing a "state government-issued birth certificate with a raised seal." I hope the Oklahoma State Legislature will give serious consideration to this bill and I hope more states will reform their ballot access laws to ensure federal candidates must affirmatively prove their eligibility.

Second, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Posey recently introduced HR 1503. The bill requires any federal candidate's campaign committee filing with the Federal Election Commission to produce a copy of the candidate's birth certificate. If the bill makes it to the Senate, I would likely support it.

Thank you again for contacting me. I am encouraged to hear from citizens like you who are committed to ensuring the Constitution is followed strictly. Your vigilance for American liberty is inspiring. Please do not hesitate to contact me again in the future if I may be of assistance to you.

5 comments:

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

He doesn't meet the test. Some way or another Obama has a problem.

Search: Obama Abner Mikva Harvard

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1197453881020

Obama said no to clerkship out of law school. Obama has asked his Harvard Law classmates not to talk to the press.

I think Obama asked them to analyze case law on his situation and they said he might not be a US citizen. They said don't submit to an FBI background check. The problem could have been he got an Indonesian passport after age 18. In a case where a Mexican born in the US went back to the US and got a Mexican document after age 18 he lost his US citizenship. That was likely the case the Harvard students analyzed and told Obama to skip an FBI background check over.

Rick Darby said...

Dear Mr. Morris,

I will be in the forefront of this issue as soon as enough people get out there in front of me.

Sincerely,

Sen. Coburn

Terry Morris said...

Rick, yes, Senator Coburn's reply to me is a little bit insulting. I like your version better.

On the other hand, my recollection is that I was purposely vague in the way I stated the question to him concerning Obama's eligibility. I wanted to know what his thoughts are on the issue, without any input from myself. And it seems like I got what I was looking for. His reply to me isn't the end of it, not by a long shot.

I've had several email conversations with Senator Coburn on a variety of issues during his time in the U.S. Senate. And I find him generally to be fair and open minded. Certainly he's among the very few in that body and in the larger Congress that has any devotion to the Constitution at all.

One of the more interesting exchanges we've had is on the issue of immigration and the school of thought which says that immigration is the domain of the federal government exclusive to the states. Not that that was the argument Senator Coburn was using exactly, but when you followed the train to the caboose that is where you invariably ended up by his reasoning on the federal government's authority in "regulating" immigration. I, of course, could not go along with that. And I promptly told him so.

Old Atlantic, thanks. You're right, Hussein has definite problems on the eligibility front. The federalist writers said that one reason for choosing the mode of electing president was to prevent foreign powers from "raising a creature of their own" to the chief executive seat of our government. Makes perfect sense to me on the basis of self-preservation alone. But in liberal dominated society -- which is to say society bent on its own destruction -- things like that make no sense. Nonetheless, the constitution -and all laws made in pursuance thereof- must be followed ... at the hazard of life.

Call Me Mom said...

Old Atlantic,
I think you are probably correct. Having done some cursory research, I found, that while US Law is highly flexible in cases of children whose parents have given up their own citizenship, should those children declare citizenship in another country (Shall we say by obtaining or renewing a passport as a citizen of that country?)at any time after becoming legally an adult, they are considered to have renounced their US citizenship permanently.

Terry,
I note that the Sen. stated that it was the responsibility of the states to verify a candidate's eligibility, but as you well know, from my own correspondence, WI(and I believe other states as well) only required the candidates to sign a piece of paper saying they were eligible and left the verification up to the Congress and the electoral college. I'm still appalled that this man, who could settle this question with a signature on a release form, continues to put our servicemen and women, not to mention our country, at risk by his refusal to do so. There's some transparency for you. We can see that he has zero respect for our soldiers, our Constitution and the citizens of our country.

chiu_chunling said...

"With that said, I believe President Obama meets the constitutional requirement to be President."

I think that this is both honest and disingenuous. It seems that Coburn is hinting that eligibility is not merely vetted, but actually determined by the states. This is interesting in light of the Senate resolution affirming Senator McCain's natural born status. I do not find it fully persuasive, since the states did not explicitly make a resolution granting Obama the status of natural born citizen, but merely implied a judgment that he was already a natural born citizen. I interpret that as meaning that discovery of facts contrary to those on which the decision was justified would naturally overturn that decision. Just as you can be exonerated of a conviction by later evidence that the conviction was made on erroneous judgment of the facts of the case.

It may be even more honest to say that Coburn believes, as I once did, that any inquiry into Obama's past will find all his documentation in order. While the only documents produced so far have been pathetic forgeries, a tiny fraction of the trillions in play would suffice to generate undetectable forgeries, even discounting collusion by officials with access to the equipment for generating perfect (though still fraudulent) documents.

The fact that Obama is still fighting discovery doesn't make me think he has something to hide, not anymore. I wonder whether there is not some plan to use technical disqualification of Obama's presidency to force a Constitutional crisis, possibly one to be decided by an international court. This plan is probably on hold until Obama can be presented as the world's economic savior...or possibly it is laid up as a cost free way to replace him with the more controllable Biden while laying the blame on American conservatism.

Perhaps both. While I do not believe that the enemy is half so clever as they believe themselves, I don't presume them to be incapable when it comes to convoluted deceptions. But the answer is still the same. If there is some plan to reveal Obama's documents, all the more reason to disrupt the timing of the enemy plan. We cannot force those documents to remain hidden once those controlling Obama decide to reveal them, thus the only option is to force them into the open too soon.

The gain would be limited. Obama might be disqualified as president, but Biden would surely move into the same role with barely a pause in the administration's assault on the Constitution. With the timing being what it is, at least the indignity of having the Constitution subjected to an international tribunal might be averted, but this is by no means certain. I can see why anyone would regard it as a hopeless battle.

Hopeless battles are not therefore pointless...they just require a greater dedication. And it is fair to say that there is not a single elected representative today who attained office by courage rather than guile. We might wish otherwise, but they don't win elections by fighting hopeless battles, however necessary. Miss California's courage won her many things, but not the Miss USA crown.

It is ever thus. Which is part of why the Founding Fathers chose a design for strictly limited government. They didn't fully trust the sort of leaders who would be able to win elections, and neither should we.

On the subject of immigration, I believe that naturalization as a citizen of the United States must be the domain of the Federal government. Were it the domain of the individual states, the effect would be to destroy all attempts to limit immigration so long as there was any state willing to grant citizenship indiscriminately.

A much better approach would be to enable states to refuse entry to classes of persons without regard to citizenship. This would be Constitutional, but it would have to comply with the Federal government's authority to regulate commerce and avoid imposing any kind of Duty or Tax.

Thus the states could not require entry licenses or visas, since this would result in an imposition on the traveler which the states are not permitted. But they could make it a criminal offense for any adult to enter the state without a command of written and spoken English, or without first obtaining United States documentation. These requirements would not represent an imposition, because nothing more need be done by those who already comply.

Of course the means of enforcing these laws would be limited. A state does not have authority to deport criminals from the country nor impose penalties disproportionate to the legally charged crime. But even a threat of fairly modest fines could have a significant effect.

The power of states to more directly control movement across state boundaries is certainly subject to Federal law by the various clauses of the Constitution, but that law could be a good deal more generous to the states without unduly interfering with legitimate commerce or travel, and almost certainly should be. Just because the current Federal laws preventing states from turning back individuals at state borders are Constitutional, that doesn't mean they are wise or even useful.