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Court dismisses Alan Keyes’ ‘birther’ lawsuit

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A lawsuit claiming President Barack Obama is not eligible to occupy the White House because he is not a natural born citizen was thrown out by a state appellate court on Monday.

The leading plaintiff of the lawsuit, which was filed shortly after the 2008 election, was Alan Keyes.

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Keyes, who lost to Obama in the 2004 Senate race in Illinois and was the American Independent Party candidate for president in 2008, claims there is “persuasive evidence” that Obama was born in Kenya in 1961. At the time, Kenya was a British protectorate, making Obama a British citizen automatically, based on his father’s citizenship.

The other plaintiffs in the case were Wiley S. Drake Sr., a Southern Baptist minister, and Markham Robinson, a software firm owner.

The plaintiffs claimed that the government of California “has the duty to ensure that all candidates on a California ballot meet the eligibility requirements to hold office.”

The Third District Court of Appeal ruled that the California secretary of state, who oversees elections, and the state’s Electoral College members are not legally responsible for certifying that candidates meet constitutional qualifications to hold office.

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That responsibility rests with Congress, according to the 12th Amendment, which provides the procedure by which the President and Vice President are elected.

“Any investigation of eligibility is best left to each party, which presumably will conduct the appropriate background check or risk that its nominee’s election will be derailed by an objection in Congress, which is authorized to entertain and resolve the validity of objections following the submission of the electoral votes,” Presiding Justice Arthur G. Scotland wrote in his decision.

“[T]he presidential nominating process is not subject to each of the 50 states’ election officials independently deciding whether a presidential nominee is qualified, as this could lead to chaotic results,” Scotland continues. “Were the courts of 50 states at liberty to issue injunctions restricting certification of duly-elected presidential electors, the result could be conflicting rulings and delayed transition of power in derogation of statutory and constitutional deadlines.”

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The court ordered the plaintiffs to pay all court fees of the defendants.

Last year, a district court judge dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by Orly Taitz.

“Even should the Court permit the issuance of a letter rogatory to Kenya, the Court would still engage in a comparative exercise in which the records of America, which has historically maintained some of the most credible recordkeeping practices in the world, would be contrasted with the credibility of the records obtained from Kenya,” wrote the judge in his decision.

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Taitz was fined $20,000 for “wasting judicial resources” with her “frivolous” lawsuits.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Facebook finally yanks Trump ad after his campaign gets caught blatantly violating rules

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Thanks to some nudging by the newsletter Popular Info, Facebook has taken down yet another Trump campaign ad for violating the social network's advertising policies.

A screenshot of the ad shows a crowd of women with the caption, "The Women for Trump Coalition needs the support of strong women like you!" and violates a Facebook policy that states ads "must not contain content that asserts or implies personal attributes."

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NYC public advocate confronts defender of Eric Garner’s killer: ‘Stop pretending black folks aren’t human’

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Former New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and former FBI special agent James Gagliano debated the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, an NYPD officer who caused the death of Eric Garner.

Gagliano called the firing a "glaring miscarriage of justice."

"I look at it from the perspective of the law," Gagliano opined. "It's easy to watch the video and feel passion for the [Garner] family. We've had his wife on here, we've had his mother on here, we've had his children on here."

Gagliano insisted that he is not an "unabashed police shill." He said that basing the firing on the video of Garner's death is "unfair to the officer."

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#PrayForAmazonia goes viral as Twitter users call attention to ‘international emergency’ of fires devastating Brazil’s rainforest

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"The Amazon rainforest has been burning for three weeks! We are on the verge of losing it completely if the fire isn't put out. The loss of trees, the loss of biodiversity is what is accelerating climate change."

The hashtag #PrayForAmazonia went viral on Tuesday as social media users attempted to draw the world's attention to the Amazon rainforest, which has been devastated for weeks by fires so intense they can be seen from space.

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