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#52 Aug 26 2013 at 6:04 PM Rating: Good
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You have no clue how standing works in a civil case, do you? If the judge had looked at the evidence and ruled that there wasn't sufficient evidence to show that Obama didn't meet the criteria to be president, then that would be a ruling on "merit", not "standing". Seriously. Go look them up.


Hollister v. Soetoro Dismissed with prejudice, including reprimanding plaintiff's attorney. Appealed to DC Circut, upheld, appealed to SCOTUS who, while laughing we assume, denied certiorari without comment. There are no merits without standing, it's a procedural requirement. If I sue you for stabbing me, but we've never met, it's dismissed on standing because I have no damages to pursue. The minor detail where the court actively reprimands one party and makes findings of fact regarding the frivolousness of the case is about as bad as it gets in civil court barring actual fraud.

Thanks for playing, though.

Edited, Aug 26th 2013 8:07pm by Smasharoo
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#53 Aug 26 2013 at 6:06 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And funny how there needs to be sufficient evidence of a crime to try it in the first place.


These were civil suits.

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It's kinda why we don't just have murder trials just because someone cried murder.


These were civil suits.

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You need sufficient evidence of a crime to launch a criminal investigation.


These were civil suits.

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It's this nice side effect of not living in a fascist state where the government just assumes you're breaking the law.


These were civil suits.


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Plus, Obama had a legally issued and valid birth certificate. His "original" birth certificate was legally meaningless. My sister is in the same position - the county that issued her birth certificate reissued all certificates printed during a certain span, and hers was one. I doubt she has the original document, because the original document is legally meaningless.


Irrelevant. In a civil case, examination of evidence (like say documentation supporting someone's qualifications to hold an office) is part of the "merit" of a case. Standing has nothing to do with that.

Dismissing a case on standing means that the judge has ruled that the person in question is not harmed by the claimed event, even if it is true, and thus has no "standing" to bring a civil suit. If I believe that you cut down a tree and it fell and smashed a fence, I can't sue you for damage done to the fence unless it's my fence. If I attempt to do so, the judge will rule that I lack standing to bring a suit. I can't show how the fence being smashed harmed me, thus I can't sue. The question of whether or not a fence was smashed is completely irrelevant to that determination.

So when a judge dismisses a lawsuit challenging Obama's qualification to be president on standing (which is how all the cases were dismissed), the judge isn't saying "You don't have sufficient evidence to show that Obama doesn't meet that qualification". He's saying "You aren't harmed if Obama doesn't meet the qualification to be president". And that's a problem because there is a requirement in the Constitution, but apparently there's no means to actually enforce it.


Again, just in case you're still confused: The evidence regarding Obama's place of birth was not a consideration in these cases. The rule to dismiss on standing means that the same person would have no standing to sue even if the evidence that the candidate in question wasn't a natural born citizen was overwhelming. Because that's what standing means. It has nothing to do with whether the claim of the plaintiff is true, but only if the plaintiff can show he is harmed *if* his claim is true.

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And my god, is there really so little going on nowadays that we're back to the birther argument?


I didn't start it. But if someone's going to go out of their way to misrepresent my position on an issue, I'm going to correct them.
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#54 Aug 26 2013 at 7:19 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:
There are no merits without standing, it's a procedural requirement. If I sue you for stabbing me, but we've never met, it's dismissed on standing because I have no damages to pursue.


Exactly. That's the problem though. While the judge clearly believed that the case had no merit, instead of bothering to go through the motions of actually looking at the documents in question and making a ruling, he dismissed on standing. It's a cheap way out, but in the process it sets a bad precedent.

Even the judges own statements in the case show that he was doing this: "The issue of the President’s citizenship was raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and otherwise massaged by America’s vigilant citizenry during Mr. Obama’s two-year-campaign for the presidency, but this plaintiff wants it resolved by a court." He was clearly assuming that the merits of the case were "settled" by those prior actions, but the very case before him was challenging that assumption. And given that absolutely none of those prior actions involved any sort of finding of fact, testimony, ruling, or determination by any individual or organization empowered to make such determinations, one might wonder at how one arrives at such a conclusion.

Part of the whole point of having trials is to avoid the "everyone knows he's guilty/innocent/whatever" situation that rule by popular opinion (with or without torches and pitchforks) entails. But instead of actually doing his job, he more or less abrogated his responsibility in the matter. And let's not kid ourselves, he did it solely because of the massive PR campaign going on which derided anyone who dared to even broach the issue, complete with disparaging labels (like Birther). He (and a whole list of judges) didn't want to be "the judge who gave the Birther theory any weight at all", so he took the easy legal way out. He dismissed on standing.


Like I said though, it's a cop out. It avoids actually examining any facts in the case in order to make it go away. But in the process, it sets a terrible precedent. Because since he's ruled that this person (and by extension every person in every case dismissed for this reason), has no standing to sue, what happens when there's a clear case of someone who isn't a natural born citizen? They wont have standing to sue then either because idiots like this were more concerned with public perception than doing their jobs.

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The minor detail where the court actively reprimands one party and makes findings of fact regarding the frivolousness of the case is about as bad as it gets in civil court barring actual fraud.


Doing the wrong thing very loudly still makes it the wrong thing.
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#55 Aug 26 2013 at 7:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Like I said though, it's a cop out.


Nope, just the rules of civil procedure. No one's taking "the easy way out", a judge literally can't rule on the merits where there is no standing. Just like it's not "taking the easy way out" when a Grand Jury doesn't indict a criminal case, just part of the process.
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#56 Aug 26 2013 at 8:03 PM Rating: Good
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I don't even understand this argument. You guys are on the wrong side.
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#57 Aug 26 2013 at 10:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
So if someone ran for president and everyone knew he wasn't a natural born citizen, but for some reason he was popular and a large number of people wanted him to win, the same inability to actually get him removed from the ballot, ineligible for EC votes, unable to be inaugurated, etc would apply.
You mean Democracy would actually work? Smiley: dubious

Perish the thought.
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#58 Aug 27 2013 at 7:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It avoids actually examining any facts
You've been going out of your way to ignore the facts in this thread, though.
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#59 Aug 27 2013 at 9:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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I guess I don't see how something like this doesn't eventually become a criminal case a some point; assuming some person who shouldn't be able to be president gets the job. It's not like his opponents' side is going to let that go without a challenge.
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#60 Aug 27 2013 at 11:43 AM Rating: Good
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So far it's been pretty hard to make a criminal case out of using the wrong law, and without any evidence. Maybe one day.
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#61 Aug 27 2013 at 12:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Was thinking more in general terms. Because the Obama thing was dismissed the way it was there's no clear legal means to enforce the minimum requirements to be president?

Yeah, I'm just not buying that.

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 11:00am by someproteinguy
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#62 Aug 27 2013 at 12:01 PM Rating: Decent
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I guess I don't see how something like this doesn't eventually become a criminal case a some point

I think you're confusing "crime" and "illegal". Very, very, very, different things.
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#63 Aug 27 2013 at 12:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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So, just for the sake of idle curiosity, how would we go about enforcing something like a minimum age requirement to be President?
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#64 Aug 27 2013 at 12:23 PM Rating: Decent
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So, just for the sake of idle curiosity, how would we go about enforcing something like a minimum age requirement to be President?

By not allowing someone to be President? How do we "enforce" having to pass a civil service exam to be a dog catcher?
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#65 Aug 27 2013 at 12:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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So, just not vote for them or something? I don't know anything about dog catchers.

I mean if I'm a 15 year old and I hop in the family car and drive away there's something on the books for how to deal with that. Cop pulls me over, sees that's I'm underage and without a license, and the court would eventually assign some kind of punishment?

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 11:45am by someproteinguy
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#66 Aug 27 2013 at 12:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
So, just for the sake of idle curiosity, how would we go about enforcing something like a minimum age requirement to be President?

Anyone from the 2008/2012 Democratic primaries or general elections would have had standing to pursue the case in court since they'd have suffered actual personal harm from Obama being ineligible. No one did because they all knew he was eligible. At best you could say they cared more about the potential of being embarrassed than they cared about an ineligible man occupying the Oval Office (really, you'd be better off just admitting that they knew he was eligible). The whole Birther thing is just some pathetic ************ fantasy by people who can't accept that Obama overwhelmingly won both elections and wishing they had some easy silver bullet to make the guy go away.

"Sure, over half the country voted for him but... look! See?!? DO OVER!!!!"


Edited, Aug 27th 2013 1:48pm by Jophiel
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#67 Aug 27 2013 at 12:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Anyone from the 2008/2012 Democratic primaries or general elections would have had standing to pursue the case in court since they'd have suffered actual personal harm from Obama being ineligible.
Ahh ok, I get it now I think. So assuming there was this 'vast conspiracy' and that didn't happen it'd be simple enough for the GOP to go to court following the general election or something. Which they obviously didn't.


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#68 Aug 27 2013 at 12:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, it would have been simple enough for McCain or Palin or Romney or Wotsisname (that's right... Ryan) to go sue over it since they suffered direct harm from an ineligible person taking the job the wanted (or keeping them from being VP the same way). I'm sure the GOP would have been happy to bankroll the suit.

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 1:51pm by Jophiel
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#69 Aug 27 2013 at 1:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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I can live with that. At that point, on the weird off-chance that everybody who ran against someone was okay with it, I'd probably just be happy they all agreed on something for once.

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 12:23pm by someproteinguy
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#70 Aug 27 2013 at 2:15 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
So, just for the sake of idle curiosity, how would we go about enforcing something like a minimum age requirement to be President?

Anyone from the 2008/2012 Democratic primaries or general elections would have had standing to pursue the case in court since they'd have suffered actual personal harm from Obama being ineligible. No one did because they all knew he was eligible. At best you could say they cared more about the potential of being embarrassed than they cared about an ineligible man occupying the Oval Office (really, you'd be better off just admitting that they knew he was eligible). The whole Birther thing is just some pathetic ************ fantasy by people who can't accept that Obama overwhelmingly won both elections and wishing they had some easy silver bullet to make the guy go away.

"Sure, over half the country voted for him but... look! See?!? DO OVER!!!!"


And, as the question implied, what happens if more than half the voters vote for someone who's underaged? And what if the other candidates are afraid of being attacked/embarrassed for making an issue of it? Remember, we're talking about a popular politician here, so you're going to "lose" politically for challenging something like this.

As indicated by the comment above, most people think that a majority vote is all that matters, and such silly requirements like age and natural born citizenship are just that: silly. So how do you enforce those rules when/if such a situation arises? And can you really be sure that a candidate in a race who lost would also be viewed as having standing by a judge? I mean, I'd think every citizen and resident of the US would have standing with regard to who sits in the oval office, but apparently a whole slew of judges think otherwise. So what happens if, despite you being absolutely sure that a judge would have to find standing, he says "nope. No standing", and dismisses the case?

What do you do then?
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#71 Aug 27 2013 at 2:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
And, as the question implied, what happens if more than half the voters vote for someone who's underaged?

Someone with standing presses suit.
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And what if the other candidates are afraid of being attacked/embarrassed for making an issue of it? Remember, we're talking about a popular politician here, so you're going to "lose" politically for challenging something like this.

Then next time you shouldn't nominate such complete and utter pussies to represent your party in the general election.

And, I suppose, be glad that they didn't win because if they're too busy shaking in a puddle of their own urine to uphold the Constitution, they sure as **** were going to be worthless on the global stage. Best for everyone that we got the underaged guy.

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As indicated by the comment above, most people think that a majority vote is all that matters, and such silly requirements like age and natural born citizenship are just that: silly.

I'm sorry you think that having an actual understanding of the system means I care less about the requirements than your sad little politicians who are too terrified to raise the case and save America from the scary fake president.

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And can you really be sure that a candidate in a race who lost would also be viewed as having standing by a judge?

Yes.

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So what happens if, despite you being absolutely sure that a judge would have to find standing, he says "nope. No standing", and dismisses the case?

What do you do then?

Find other plaintiffs, open more cases with other judges. Unless they all say there's no standing, in which case there's probably no standing. You know, kinda like the Birther thing.

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 3:28pm by Jophiel
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#72 Aug 27 2013 at 2:32 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:
So, just for the sake of idle curiosity, how would we go about enforcing something like a minimum age requirement to be President?

By not allowing someone to be President? How do we "enforce" having to pass a civil service exam to be a dog catcher?


But how exactly. What if the leader of his party signs the appropriate paperwork attesting that the candidate meets the requirements to be on the ballot. Right now, that's the only requirement to be on a ballot, right? That's the big question that came out of this. At what point does any kind of authority "step in" and verify that someone's meet the criteria? Who is that? How is it done? What exactly happens if someone doesn't meet the requirements but refuses to withdraw, and his party continues to back him?

What if, as happened in this case, both houses of congress are controlled by the same party and thus, the only "official" method we have to disallow a candidate from becoming president (or even to make a determination) isn't invoked? It would be great to think that our political parties would always do the right thing and follow the laws as written, but that clearly is not always the case.

I think saying "not allow them" is childishly simplistic. There should be some method with real checks and balances in place to handle this. We had an opportunity to actually investigate such methods in 2008, but instead, politics got in the way and it turned into a "make fun of anyone who raises the issue" situation, and we missed it. And not only missed it, but arguably made it more difficult for the next time.

As I've said repeatedly, for me it was never about whether Obama was qualified, but the fact that grew increasingly apparent, that we not only had no process for handling this, but that the whole thing could easily devolve into a public opinion mess rather than a determination by rule of law. And that's never good.
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#73 Aug 27 2013 at 2:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It would be great to think that our political parties would always do the right thing and follow the laws as written, but that clearly is not always the case.

Clearly how? Who has been nominated that wasn't qualified?
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#74 Aug 27 2013 at 2:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Remember, we're talking about a popular politician here, so you're going to "lose" politically for challenging something like this.
I'm having trouble conceiving of this, given how big the reaction was over Obama and the mere suggestion he may be unqualified. If someone really is so popular his opponent doesn't dare pursue things in court you'd think there's enough momentum there to amend the Constitution anyway.
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#75 Aug 27 2013 at 2:41 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
And, as the question implied, what happens if more than half the voters vote for someone who's underaged?

Someone with standing presses suit.


And what if a series of judges just keep saying "no standing"?

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Then next time you shouldn't nominate such complete and utter pussies to represent your party in the general election.


As opposed to Clinton, who initially raised the issue? Let's not pretend that this is about any specific party Joph. Public opinion and derision is a powerful weapon against any politician.

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And can you really be sure that a candidate in a race who lost would also be viewed as having standing by a judge?

Yes.


Why do you assume that? A judge could easily argue that the losing candidate lost, not because of the other candidates age or qualifications, but because more people voted for that other guy. Let's also not forget that while these cases were dismissed on standing, statements made by the judges in their ruling clearly indicate that their reasoning was that they personally did not believe there was sufficient evidence of the merits of the challenge. To the point (as Smash observed) of some judges threatening those who filed with frivolous lawsuit charges.

A judge could make the exact same argument against a losing candidate, arguing that he's just grasping at straws, and trying to find any technicality to win an election that he already lost. You seriously don't think that this couldn't (or wouldn't) happen?

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So what happens if, despite you being absolutely sure that a judge would have to find standing, he says "nope. No standing", and dismisses the case?

What do you do then?

Find other plaintiffs, open more cases with other judges. Unless they all say there's no standing, in which case there's probably no standing.


Or the judges are just as afraid of public opinion as the politicians are.

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You know, kinda like the Birther thing.


Which is the problem. You associate a position on something with something else that has been made into a mockery, thus scaring people away from taking that position, even if it's quite reasonable. This affect works double on anyone who's position/job is dependent on public perception.


I guess a follow up question is "why doesn't everyone have standing in this kind of case"? We're all affected by who sits in the oval office, right? Why say that only other politicians can challenge this?
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#76 Aug 27 2013 at 2:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Or the judges are just as afraid of public opinion as the politicians are.
Which is why you don't elect judges or DA's. Well, in effective countries, anyway.
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#77 Aug 27 2013 at 2:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I guess a follow up question is "why doesn't everyone have standing in this kind of case"? We're all affected by who sits in the oval office, right? Why say that only other politicians can challenge this?
Hypothetically, wonder if you could eventually. Say if an unqualified person gets elected and institutes a policy that is widely acknowledged as being harmful. At which point you'd try to tie his lack of qualifications to the poor decision that harmed you somehow.

At that point you'd likely get some political backing for your crusade as well, since if you're being harmed chances are someone with political weight was harmed as well.
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#78 Aug 27 2013 at 2:58 PM Rating: Good
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And what if a series of judges just keep saying "no standing"?

Then you don't have standing. See, that's how the judicial system works. Someone "judges" plaintiff's standing. They decide the law, your uneducated opinion of the text of the statute is completely meaningless. If it were a different system, instead of "judges" we might have "unqualified internet lawyer with delusions of grandeurs", but honestly, that seems like a considerably less pithy title.
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#79 Aug 27 2013 at 3:09 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I guess a follow up question is "why doesn't everyone have standing in this kind of case"? We're all affected by who sits in the oval office, right? Why say that only other politicians can challenge this?
Hypothetically, wonder if you could eventually. Say if an unqualified person gets elected and institutes a policy that is widely acknowledged as being harmful. At which point you'd try to tie his lack of qualifications to the poor decision that harmed you somehow.

At that point you'd likely get some political backing for your crusade as well, since if you're being harmed chances are someone with political weight was harmed as well.


I guess the next question (or part of the first one?) is: Why does it require someone with "political weight" to bring such suits? I get not wanting a system where we're inundated with suits from people unhappy with the results of the last election, but isn't there some happy medium here? I suppose I see this somewhat similarly to the whole referendum issue I spoke about a few weeks ago. Specifically with the SCOTUS declining to rule on prop8 because of standing (more or less).

Shouldn't "the people" have recourse if/when their politicians fail to do what they want? Representative democracy has a lot of good things going for it, but one of the flaws is that no representative is going to hold a full set of positions that a majority of those he represents agrees with. So we often vote someone in because a majority of the voters agree with positions A, B, and C, but perhaps not D and E. But when D and E happen, and a majority oppose it, you can't do anything about it, and just saying "you could have voted for the other guy" doesn't really help.

We have systems like referendums and lawsuits in place because the courts, by design and intent, are supposed to allow redress when simply voting for a representative isn't sufficient. We have no issues with people suing over things like environmental problems, or lack of protective regulation in the workplace, and no one argues they can't because their representatives could have passed laws covering that stuff if they'd really cared to. Isn't the whole point of a judicial branch to our government the assumption that legislating and executing those laws isn't sufficient? The courts should be where you can go when the laws aren't fair, or the rules aren't being applied, or result in something harmful.

I say "should", but it seems like more often they just become additional points of implementing policy. Which I find problematic.
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#80 Aug 27 2013 at 3:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Why does it require someone with "political weight" to bring such suits?
I wasn't necessarily thinking of it as a prerequisite. More like if a judge did consider public opinion in the ruling, political people, or really anyone with more sway in society than your common person, would be beneficial to getting the message out. Celebrity promoting a cause kind of thing.

Though I suppose that's a rather moot point if it met the earlier listed criteria as being some policy that was widely viewed as ill-conceived or harmful.

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 2:18pm by someproteinguy
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#81 Aug 27 2013 at 3:49 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
Though I suppose that's a rather moot point if it met the earlier listed criteria as being some policy that was widely viewed as ill-conceived or harmful.


The problem is that even that is subjective. Looked at broadly, nearly any law can be labeled as harmful. And a political office? How do you say that someone isn't harmed? By its nature governing involves shifting of help/harm effects around the society. We inflict harm in the form of taxes and regulations in order to provide what we hope are helpful services to the community. How these are allocated absolutely affects each and every resident of the area being governed. Something as simple as deciding how to allocate funds or resources within an area inflicts harm on some people.

I suppose this is a liberal/conservative thing, but as a conservative I view *all* laws as having a harmful aspect and accept them when they are better than the alternative. Liberals tend to more likely view laws as "good" or "bad" in absolute terms. So to a liberal, unless the politician passed or implemented a "bad law", then no one was harmed. But to a conservative, every politician in office every day is engaged in harm. It's just that the harm they do is less harmful than the harm which would occur if they weren't there (usually). Government is a necessary infringement of liberty. Necessary because in its absence within a community, liberty cannot be protected against what would otherwise be mob rule.


Um... Which I suppose is why I have such serious qualms when people simply accept as legitimate actions of government purely because the majority likes it. I see that as a failure in the purpose of government in a liberty focused society.

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 2:50pm by gbaji
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#82 Aug 27 2013 at 3:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
And what if a series of judges just keep saying "no standing"?

As Smash noted, then there is no standing. Our justice system isn't based around throwing a huge temper-tantrum until you get your way.

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As opposed to Clinton, who initially raised the issue?

And then dropped it and is apparently satisfied that it was adequately addressed, sure.

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Why do you assume that?

Because judges who dismissed the suits made mention why the plaintiffs did not qualify to have standing.

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Or the judges are just as afraid of public opinion as the politicians are.

Yes, Gbaji, if every politician in the land is terrified and every judge in the land is terrified then I guess we'll just have to live under the oppressive weight of an ineligible president. Of course, if that was the case, they'd all be too terrified to stop him anyway so it's sort of moot. Maybe a children's book hero will rise up and save the kingdom in that case.

Quote:
Which is the problem. You associate a position on something with something else that has been made into a mockery, thus scaring people away from taking that position, even if it's quite reasonable.

No, it's a mockery because it wasn't reasonable. Hence, you know, the mocking.

Edited, Aug 27th 2013 4:52pm by Jophiel
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#83 Aug 27 2013 at 4:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
And what if a series of judges just keep saying "no standing"?

As Smash noted, then there is no standing.


Why? This is my fundamental disagreement. IMO, every single member of the governed have standing to ensure that those governing them have legitimate authority to do so. The act of governing inflicts harm on those governed, every single day. Period.
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gbaji wrote:
Why?

Because we give the judges the authority to make those decisions.
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#85 Aug 27 2013 at 4:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Stuff
Yeah I imagine it'd be a difficult case to bring, even under the best of circumstances. It kind of hypothetically came up in my mind along the same means someone would challenge some kind of law that was harmful in some way. Really it's far enough into the hypothetical for me at this point where I can't really grasp all of what would be required, the whole situation seems pretty far-fetched already and I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around all the stuff.

Just shooting from the hip and whatnot, going where my meandering mind took me. Smiley: lol
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#86 Aug 27 2013 at 5:54 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Why?

Because we give the judges the authority to make those decisions.


Yes. And I'm arguing that the judges are not fulfilling their purpose when they essentially say "if <some other part of government> didn't raise the issue, you're not allowed to". Um... Part of the point of having courts is for the people to have redress when their government and its laws/procedures and/or execution of those fail them. It's one of the reasons why we have civil court in the first place. If the assumption is that the law and its execution will always be fair and just and arrive at the right outcomes for everyone, then we wouldn't need civil courts.


Now if the judges looked at the facts of the case and made a determination based on those facts, that would be a different story. But in order to do that, they'd actually have to look at documents (like the vital records in Obama's case). Apparently, they were all so opposed to doing this one simple thing that they instead ruled that those bringing the cases didn't have any reason to do so. Which is what I find absurd about this.

How can someone subject to the governance of someone else *not* have standing to question whether that person meets the legal criteria for that position? I get that a whole list of judges did rule this way, but I think those were all bad rulings. So simply saying that it's ok because that's how the judges ruled is just avoiding the question. I'm asking if you agree objectively with the rulings themselves. Do you think it's a good idea for our legal system to dismiss cases like this, not because they're right or wrong in what they are claiming, but because it's decided that the average citizen simply has no right to challenge or question the qualification in the first place?


I don't think that's a good idea. What do you think? And please set aside your position on this particular case and think objectively about it. We're not talking about whether we believe the claim being made, but whether those making them even have the basic right to do so. These judges all said no. I think that was the wrong answer.
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Why?
Because we give the judges the authority to make those decisions.
Yes. And I'm arguing that the judges are not fulfilling their purpose when they essentially say "if <some other part of government> didn't raise the issue, you're not allowed to".

You're certainly allowed to have your opinion. It's not really a good argument based on the legal principle of standing but people are allowed to be mad about any number of judicial decisions whether they understand them or not.
Quote:
I'm asking if you agree objectively with the rulings themselves.

Yes. Based on my (non-lawyery) understanding of the principle of standing, I believe they made the right judgement. Again, you're allowed to believe they made it wrong but people believe that judges "got it wrong" about a bajillion things a day and yet they still have the authority to make those decisions.
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And, just for the home audiences...
gbaji wrote:
And please set aside your position on this particular case and think objectively about it.

Ignoring your veiled insult, let's do exactly that:
Electric Law Library wrote:
There are three requirements for Article III standing

Right. Let's see how many of these we hit.
Quote:
(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.
Quote:
(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.
Quote:
(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? 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.

So, objectively, you score 0-3 for grounds to have standing to press this suit. On the other hand, someone who lost to Obama would have #1 & #2 in the bag and a strong argument for #3 as the ability for a reconvened EC vote is much less speculative in its ability to directly redress their injury. It likely wouldn't but they would more directly affect McCain than they would Gbaji; 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".



Edited, Aug 27th 2013 7:28pm by Jophiel
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#89 Aug 27 2013 at 7:47 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
Electric Law Library wrote:
There are three requirements for Article III standing

Right. Let's see how many of these we hit.
Quote:
(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.

Quote:
Quote:
(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.


Quote:
Quote:
(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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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
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#90 Aug 27 2013 at 8:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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You're welcome to not like my response or think it doesn't count or whatever. Obviously, I think you're wrong and the collective judicial minds behind the numerous dismissals think that you're wrong. It's hard for me to take you seriously when you say I'm misunderstanding all these aspects and yet every case was dismissed for lack of standing using the same rules.

The simple fact is that you just didn't like that all these anti-Obama cases got thrown out. You're free to deny that all you want but there it is. There was no standing, no one believed that there was standing aside from some anti-Obama zealots and hence we are where we are today.
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#91 Aug 27 2013 at 8:37 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
The simple fact is that you just didn't like that all these anti-Obama cases got thrown out.


No. I'm upset about *how* they were thrown out. Huge difference.

Quote:
There was no standing, no one believed that there was standing aside from some anti-Obama zealots and hence we are where we are today.


Um.... That's because most of the pro-Obama zealots put their own likes/dislikes ahead of the process itself. That whole "ends focused" thing I've mentioned many times on this forum. If the person in question had been a Republican, you would hold the exact opposite position because the end in that case would be something you want (other party's candidate disqualified). Meanwhile, I would agree that the method used to dismiss the case was wrong and that the judge(s) should have just ordered my candidate to produce the full vital records, looked them over, and made a ruling.

But that's because, as I've pointed out many many times (and will presumably have opportunity to point out many more times in the future), conservatives tend to care more about the methods in use, while liberals care more about the end result. We can even speculate that this is why McCain went out of his way to establish his qualifications before running, while Obama appears to have gone out of his way to do the opposite. Obama viewed the natural born citizenship requirement as an annoying obstacle that he did the minimum to get around, then acted shocked when people wanted a more transparent process. Of course, then his campaign and supporters got into the act and instead of supporting the need to provide the requested documents turned the whole thing into a "birther by association" game (which apparently continues to this day).


Again, if it were a Republican in that situation, I'd have been right there with the liberals arguing for complete proof. But then again, it's unlikely that a Republican would be in this situation because he'd do as McCain did and make sure his qualifications were in place ahead of time. Liberals are the ones who seem to love creating division over things like this. You'd almost think there was book that teaches them how to do this exact thing.
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#92 Aug 27 2013 at 8:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Again, if it were a Republican in that situation, I'd have been right there with the liberals arguing for complete proof.
Liar.
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#93 Aug 27 2013 at 8:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
No. I'm upset about *how* they were thrown out. Huge difference.

No, you're not.

Quote:
Um.... That's because most of the pro-Obama zealots put their own likes/dislikes ahead of the process itself.

Right. Every judge was a pro-Obama zealot. Well, that certainly added credibility to your "I only care about how it happened!" argument Smiley: laugh

Quote:
You'd almost think there was book that teaches them how to do this exact thing.

That's that Tea Party bible, right? The one they hand out to every new member of the leadership and tell them to study?

Man, I wonder if us liberals can find a copy somehow...
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#94 Aug 27 2013 at 9:13 PM Rating: Good
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Um.... That's because most of the pro-Obama zealots put their own likes/dislikes ahead of the process itself. That whole "ends focused" thing I've mentioned many times on this forum. If the person in question had been a Republican, you would hold the exact opposite position because the end in that case would be something you want (other party's candidate disqualified). Meanwhile, I would agree that the method used to dismiss the case was wrong and that the judge(s) should have just ordered my candidate to produce the full vital records, looked them over, and made a ruling.

Were that the case, and I think all of us save you can agree that it isn't, you'd agree that dismissal in this set of cases is procedurally correct and that as a matter of law is above reproach. You know, the way SCOTUS did. It takes 4 judges to grant certiorari, it takes one to comment on a denial if they disagree. What you are arguing here is that, literally, Antonin Scalia is in the bag for Obama. Does that give you a sense of the idiocy of the FUD you're attempting to pass off as worrying here?


But that's because, as I've pointed out many many times (and will presumably have opportunity to point out many more times in the future), conservatives tend to care more about the methods in use, while liberals care more about the end result. We can even speculate that this is why McCain went out of his way to establish his qualifications before running, while Obama appears to have gone out of his way to do the opposite. Obama viewed the natural born citizenship requirement as an annoying obstacle that he did the minimum to get around, then acted shocked when people wanted a more transparent process. Of course, then his campaign and supporters got into the act and instead of supporting the need to provide the requested documents turned the whole thing into a "birther by association" game (which apparently continues to this day).


The term "birther" derives from the term "truther". Not as an attempt to marginalize birther claims but as a legitimate analog. Both groups assume elaborate conspiracy where there is none, both groups have no evidence, both groups are greatly aggrieved and victimized by completely normal legal and governmental processes and cling to absurd "we will never know.....xyzabc" arguments. Do you find the meta communication around the WTC towers falling to be troubling? If so, why not there, but here? How is it you became selectively stupid about this one issue? How is it you're troubled by procedural issues for this issue, BUT NO OTHER? What could it possibly be? If only we had a great detective who could riddle out what possible bias could cause this behaviour.


Again, if it were a Republican in that situation, I'd have been right there with the liberals arguing for complete proof. But then again, it's unlikely that a Republican would be in this situation because he'd do as McCain did and make sure his qualifications were in place ahead of time. Liberals are the ones who seem to love creating division over things like this. You'd almost think there was book that teaches them how to do this exact thing.

Sure

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/roxanne-rubin_n_2566297.html

I mean it's all about integrity

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/19/virginia-republican-pleads-guilty-to-dozens-of-counts-of-voter-fraud/

Right?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/10/tom-delay-sentenced-to-th_n_806951.html

I mean, the entire party, at the highest levels is famous for integrity and openness.



Who could argue with that.


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#95 Aug 27 2013 at 9:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It would be great to think that our political parties would always do the right thing and follow the laws as written, but that clearly is not always the case.

Clearly how? Who has been nominated that wasn't qualified?



Van Buren was the first President born in the U.S. Prior Presidents were presumably grandfathered in (har).

I'm pretty sure there were others. Chester A. Arthur was rumored to have been born in Canada. Lincoln's father was an immigrant. And so forth.
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Chester A. Arthur was rumored to have been born in Canada. Lincoln's father was an immigrant. And so forth.

Republicans don't count Smiley: mad
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#98 Aug 27 2013 at 10:12 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
No. I'm upset about *how* they were thrown out. Huge difference.

No, you're not.


Why? Because you say so? I have *never* argued about whether or not Obama was a natural born citizen. My whole argument since day one was that the fact that anyone (or group of anyone's) has raised the question should require a legitimate and legally defined response. The birth record laws in Hawaii at the time absolutely allowed for the possibility that one could apply for vital records without having actually been born in the state, so there's sufficient merit to warrant looking at those records to see. And I've always maintained that every citizen of the US has standing when it comes to qualification for the office of president of the US.

I was happy when he finally produced the full long form birth certificate. If it was about trying to prove he's not qualified, I would not have been. For me it was never about "winning the argument" over his citizenship status, but about the idea that once the issue was raised, it should be satisfactorily answered. And what resulted was *not* satisfactory, not just for a small group of people, but a relatively large percentage of Americans. Or do you not recall the opinion polls steadily increasing in terms of the percentage of people who believed that he should just get over himself and provide the full certificate?

This was hardly a fringe position. But the left worked really really hard to make it out to be. Again, you have to separate those who were sure Obama was not a NBC from those who simply believed that what he'd provided so far didn't sufficiently prove that he was.

Quote:
Quote:
Um.... That's because most of the pro-Obama zealots put their own likes/dislikes ahead of the process itself.

Right. Every judge was a pro-Obama zealot.


I was talking about all the folks (like yourself) who cared more about the directionality of the issue than the process in place. Which is what I just said, so I'm not sure how you missed it.

The reasons for the judges ruling the way they did is completely different. And I discussed that already too.
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#99 Aug 27 2013 at 10:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
No. I'm upset about *how* they were thrown out. Huge difference.
No, you're not.
Why? Because you say so?

Well, yeah. In that I don't believe you.

Quote:
I was talking about all the folks (like yourself) who cared more about the directionality of the issue than the process in place.

I just went through the process in place and why the judges' rulings were appropriate. Feel free to take that to mean "I don't care" since, you know, I'm not pouting that my multiple Birther lawsuits were all thrown out.
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#100 Aug 27 2013 at 10:46 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:
Were that the case, and I think all of us save you can agree that it isn't, you'd agree that dismissal in this set of cases is procedurally correct and that as a matter of law is above reproach. You know, the way SCOTUS did. It takes 4 judges to grant certiorari, it takes one to comment on a denial if they disagree. What you are arguing here is that, literally, Antonin Scalia is in the bag for Obama.


Denying a writ of certiorari does not have any bearing on the courts position on the case, as you well know. There could have been any of a number of reasons why the court did not choose to take up that particular case, likely having more to do with the particular case than the larger question at hand. It certainly cannot at all be interpreted as agreement with regard to any particular aspect of the lower court ruling, especially the question of standing.

And, as I've mentioned many times, judges are not immune to the pressures of public opinion. It's not that unreasonable to assume that a justice would avoid going out of his way to inject himself into such a contentious public issue if he could avoid it. I don't believe that the judges in any of these cases acted because they were "in the bag" for anyone, but because they didn't want to be "the judge who took the birthers seriously". And that is entirely the result of the successful campaign by the political left to create a dismissive label and associate anyone and everyone who took any position other than that of abject agreement that Obama has provided all the proof needed with that label.

Quote:
The term "birther" derives from the term "truther". Not as an attempt to marginalize birther claims but as a legitimate analog.


Lol. You're kidding, right?


Quote:
Again, if it were a Republican in that situation, I'd have been right there with the liberals arguing for complete proof. But then again, it's unlikely that a Republican would be in this situation because he'd do as McCain did and make sure his qualifications were in place ahead of time. Liberals are the ones who seem to love creating division over things like this. You'd almost think there was book that teaches them how to do this exact thing.

Sure


Um... None of those cases have anything at all to do with this one, nor are any remotely similar. Ironically, we already have an exact analog to look at in the case of McCain's handling of questions surrounding his eligibility for the office. And he approached it in as open and transparent and "honest" a way possible. Which is in sharp contrast to how Obama handled the same issue. I mean, it's only the example I used to make the statement in the first place, right? It's not like you could have missed it.
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#101 Aug 27 2013 at 10:47 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
I just went through the process in place and why the judges' rulings were appropriate.


No you didn't. You just said "this is the way the judges ruled, so they must be right". Don't you have your own opinion on anything?
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