WASHINGTON, Monday, June 18, 2012 — A lawyer for President Barack Obama argued today in Florida that a lawsuit claiming his client “is not eligible to appear on the November ballot because he is not a ‘natural born citizen,’” should be dismissed on the grounds that the Democratic Party has not yet nominated a candidate.
In Tallahasse, Florida, Attorney Mark Herron, representing President Obama, told Leon County, Florida Circuit Judge Terry Lewis that the January 31, 2012 Florida Presidential Preference Primary “did not result in nomination or election” and that “federal law precludes this court from determining whether a candidate for the office of President of the United States is qualified under Article Two Section Five (see ed. note) of the United States Constitution.”
“There has been no nomination to office, there has been no election to office,” Herron told Judge Lewis.
Lewis, appointed by Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles in 1998, received national notoriety after the 2000 presidential election when he presided over the George Bush versus Al Gore election dispute.
Lewis noted that “there is not an allegation in the complaint that the candidate was born somewhere other than in the United States or the jurisdiction of the United States,” to which Larry Klayman, attorney for plaintiff Michael Voeltz replied, “I believe there is your honor … it says that he submitted a birth certificate that is fraudulent and that’s what the issue of fact is.”
Lewis asked the plaintiff’s lawyer, “if I give you leave to amend can you amend that he was born somewhere outside of the jurisdiction of the United States?” to which the reply was yes.
Herron, representing President Obama, urged the court to “grant the motion to dismiss … thus not permitting an amendment to change the course of action to something other than an election contest.”
“I made a note that you (plaintiff) would like to amend,” Judge Lewis added a moment later. “I would not have done that if I thought there was nothing you could amend.”
If Lewis rules against Herron’s motion to dismiss, an amendment expanding the complaint beyond the issue of Constitutional eligibility to appear on Florida’s ballot to accusations that Obama’s birthplace was outside the United States could open the door to discovery and submission of evidence of alleged forgery of the Hawaii Certificate of Live Birth posted to the White House website.
The lawsuit, Voeltz v. Obama, filed February 15, 2012 on behalf of plaintiff Michael Voeltz by Attorney Larry Klayman, argues that Obama is not a natural born citizen under Article Two of the United States Constitution.
Judge Lewis took the motion to dismiss the lawsuit under advisement and gave both parties until next Monday to file orders.
Editors Note: Attorney Mark Herron, for President Obama, erred in that he should have said The Natural Born Citizen requirement appears in Article Two, Section One, Clause Five. Attorney Herron confused Section One with Clause Five of Section One, and incorrectly referred to “Section Five”.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
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