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Judge Wants Definition of ‘Natural Born Citizen’

Friday, April 27, 2012

A federal judge has determined in a case challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility for a state ballot that the meaning of the constitutional phrase “natural born citizen” is “important and not trivial.”

U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson of Tennessee said the courts ultimately must define “natural born citizen,” affirming that the “issue of whether President Obama is constitutionally qualified to run for the presidency is certainly substantial.”

“This specific question has been raised in numerous lawsuits filed since President Obama took office,” Anderson wrote in his opinion. “The outcome of the federal question in this case will certainly have an effect on other cases presenting the same issue about whether President Obama meets the constitutional qualifications for the presidency.”

Van Irion, whose Liberty Legal Foundation brought the case, alleges the plan by Tennessee Democrats to register Obama as their nominee for president opens a case, under state law, of negligent misrepresentation and fraud or intentional misrepresentation because of doubts about Obama’s eligibility.

Irion was pleased the court recognized the significance of the claims.

“The court made several very positive statements about our case,” he noted.

He cited Anderson’s statement that the court “finds that the federal question presented, the meaning of the phrase ‘natural born citizen’ as a qualification for the presidency set out in Article II of the Constitution, is important and not trivial.”

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