For the first time in dozens of court cases challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, a judge has ruled that Obama must, in order to be a candidate on the Georgia ballot for president in 2012, meet the constitutional demands for candidates for the office.
A hearing has been scheduled later this month for evidence on the issue that has plagued Obama and his presidency since long before he took office. At issue is the constitutional requirement that a president be a “natural-born citizen.” Some allege he was not born in the U.S. as he has claimed and, therefore, is not eligible.
Others, including top constitutional expert Herb Titus, contend that the term “natural-born citizen,” which is not defined in the Constitution, would have been understood when the document was written to mean the offspring of two U.S. citizens. That argument is supported by a 19th-century U.S. Supreme Court decision
Under that standard, Obama could not qualify, because his father, as identified on the “Certificate of Live Birth” image released by the White House, was a foreign national who came from Kenya to study in the U.S. and never was a citizen.
The ruling came today from Judge Michael W. Malihi of the Georgia state Office of State Administrative Hearings.
In Georgia, a state law requires “every candidate for federal” office who is certified by the state executive committees of a political party or who files a notice of candidacy “shall meet the constitutional and statutory qualifications for holding the office being sought.”
State law also grants the secretary of state and any “elector who is eligible to vote for a candidate” in the state the authority to raise a challenge to a candidate’s qualifications, the judge determined.