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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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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#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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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#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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