Electric Law Library wrote:
There are three requirements for Article III standing
Right. Let's see how many of these we hit.
(1) injury in fact, which means an invasion of a legally protected interest that is (a) concrete and particularized, and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical;
Has Gbaji received an actual, concrete and particularized
injury from Obama (hypothetically) not being a natural born citizen (hereafter NBC)? Not just "I don't like Obama" or "I don't like his policies and their effect on the country" or "I love the Constitution!" but has the actual event of Obama not being a NBC directly and concretely
affected Gbaji? No.
First off, the claim would be that Obama is not constitutionally qualified to be President of the US. Not being a NBC is what would disqualify him. Thus, any action he has taken as President which might not have been taken had he not been president is valid to examine. Second, it's not limited to me personally, but anyone who might sue. So anyone who's had their health insurance increase because of Obamacare. Anyone who hasn't been able to get a job because the markets still haven't recovered from the recession.
If those are not concrete enough, the families of any soldier who has died in any military action since he took office. If you argue that they would have died if another president had been in office, then the families of anyone injured or killed in the Benghazi attack.
The point is that the decisions made in the oval office are so broad and so encompassing that it's hard to argue that *anyone* isn't affected by them. And while there's some legitimacy to argue that these are part of the office and thus can't be sued over, we're not talking about suing the president because of that loss of life or money or freedom or whatever. We're talking about suing over whether the person who made those decisions was qualified to hold the office in the first place. The very fact that the constitution contains a natural born citizen requirement assumes that someone who is a natural born citizen would make different (presumably "better") executive decisions than one who is not. So we must also assume that those who are subject to those decisions have reason to care about whether the person in the office meets that criteria.
To argue otherwise would effectively argue that the rule doesn't exist at all. But until/unless the constitution is amended to remove it, our legal system should proceed as though it does matter. And if it does matter then it matters to everyone
(2) a causal relationship between the injury and the challenged conduct, which means that the injury fairly can be traced to the challenged action of the defendant, and has not resulted from the independent action of some third party not before the court;
Can whatever injury Gbaji does
claim be directly attributed
to Obama not being a NBC? Not "If he wasn't president then..." but is the actual root
of the injury the fact that Obama is not an NBC? No.
Yes. You can't just insert a "Not if he wasn't president" stipulation as fact though. The whole thing hinges on that assumption since that's what being a natural born citizen means in this context. It is direct because if he's not a NBC, then he can't be president, and thus can't govern over me in any of a number of ways which may be harmful. One directly follows from the other.
Again, let's remember that this was a criteria written into our constitution, not just a plus/minus for voters to consider when casting their vote. Just like the age restriction, it operates under the assumption that someone who does not meet those criteria can't be a good president
. In the same way that the requirement that people be a certain age and pass a drivers test before they can legally drive assumes that if they don't meet those requirement they wont be good/safe drivers. Your argument would be like saying that since a licensed driver could also have caused an accident, that the fact that the driver who crashed into you didn't have one had nothing to do with it.
That generally doesn't fly.
(3) a likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision, which means that the prospect of obtaining relief from the injury as a result of a favorable ruling is not too speculative.
If the courts found that Obama was in fact not an NBC, would this directly eliminate Gbaji's supposed injury?
You're rewording things. Redress is not the same as eliminate. By your interpretation no one could ever sue over anything since you can only sue after injury is suffered, and the injury can't be undone once it occurs. Redress can also mean a change to policies which caused the injury in the first place, even if that change wont retroactively prevent the injury in question. That is, in fact, the entire idea behind punitive damages. It's less about the person injured than the next person who might be.
Would it be very likely that the court could take action which would eliminate the injuries? Don't forget that much of the administration's action are though different offices and even if you could wave a wand and make Obama go back to Kenya, it wouldn't "undo" any laws or policies in place. Most likely the Constitution would be interpreted as Biden being president, at most (and incredibly unlikely) you would have a reconvening of the Electoral College (remember, you vote for EC members not direct candidates) which would be heavily Democratic and elect a Democratic president likely to continue these policies. So, no, #3 would also not apply.
Wrong. You're being way too narrow in your interpretation. You're also missing the larger point here. It is not always required that one wait for an injury to occur in order to sue in a situation where injury can be assumed to occur in the future. In cases of negligence, it's a different story. But this isn't the case here. No one's arguing that Obama would negligently act as president and cause injury (and he'd be protected from that anyway). The argument (which I touched on earlier) is that the constitution assumes that if he's not a NBC he *can't* perform the job of president correctly. Thus we can proactively assume harm to every citizen and resident of the US if he's not qualified to hold the office. It's axiomatic to the question at hand.
To argue otherwise would be the equivalent of saying that a homeowner has no right to require that a contractor show him his contracting license prior to working on his home. He can only sue after the fact *if* the contractor makes a mistake. But that's absurd. The requirement of a contracting license assumes that someone without one is not qualified to do contracting work. Thus anyone seeking a contractor can require that contractor to provide a license ahead of time. Since the president is effectively working on all our houses, the same logic says that each and every one of us has a right to require that he prove his qualifications for that office. Which in this case means proving he's a natural born citizen.
Um... Which is why every citizen and resident of the US should have standing.
after all McCain's injury is "I didn't get to be president because an ineligible guy ran" and Gbaji's injury is "Grumble-mumble liberal policies are ruining my America rrwarr".
It's not about whether you like or dislike his policies. That is the wrong way to look at it. And it's not about who won or lost an election. The idea that McCain could sue because being president is some kind of prize that he lost, while the millions of people directly affected by the actions and decisions of the president just don't matter is completely backwards IMO. That's a very "me" way of looking at things. The office isn't about empowering the guy who won the election. It's about serving the people. And the writers of our constitution decided that the people cannot be served by a president who is under the age of 35 or is not a natural born citizen. That means that "the people" are the interested party with regard to those qualifications, not just the guy who ran against him. Edited, Aug 27th 2013 6:53pm by gbaji