Obama’s Failure To Prove His Alleged USA Birth

Posted on Thu 01/01/2009 by


By Forseti

Mr. Obama claims that he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. As his only evidence that he meets the Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a President be a natural born citizen, he produced a document called a “Certification of Live Birth,” which he posted on his website under the title: “Barack Obama’s Official Birth Certificate.”

At first blush, it is case closed. A closer examination of the facts, however, reveals that Mr. Obama failed to point out on his website that his posted “Official Birth Certificate,” as he called it, is actually a 2007 computer-generated, laser-printed summary document of his 1961 birth record on file with the Hawaii State Department of Health. To date, he has refused to produce his 1961 birth record, despite numerous lawsuits (Keyes v. Bowen, Berg v. Obama, Donofrio v. Wells, and Wrotnowski v. Bysiewicz).

To understand what this 1961 birth record is that he refuses to produce, one needs to understand Hawaiian “Birth Certificates.” An analysis of Hawaiian Birth certificates is made in the Keyes v. Bowen lawsuit. Paragraph 75 of the Keyes complaint reads, in part:

In Hawaii, a Certificate of Live Birth resulting from hospital documentation, including a signature of an attending physician, is different from a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth. For births prior to 1972, a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth was the result of the uncorroborated testimony of one witness and was not generated by a hospital. Such a Certificate could be obtained up to one year from the date of the child’s birth. For that reason, its value as prima facie evidence is limited and could be overcome if any of the allegations of substantial evidence of birth outside Hawaii can be obtained. The vault (long Version) birth certificate, per Hawaiian Statute 883.176 allows the birth in another State or another country to be registered in Hawaii. Box 7C of the vault Certificate of Live Birth contains a question, whether the birth was in Hawaii or another State or Country.

Therefore, the only way to verify the exact location of birth is to review a certified copy or the original vault Certificate of Live Birth and compare the name of the hospital and the name and the signature of the doctor against the birthing records on file at the hospital noted on the Certificate of the Live Birth. 

To sum it up, Mr. Obama produced a 2007 computer-generated, laser-printed Certification of Live Birth (a summary), and posted it on his website. He called it his “Official Birth Certificate,” but did not disclose that it derives from a 1961 birth record on file with the Hawaii State Department of Health. Furthermore, it is not yet publically known whether this Certification of Live Birth derives from a 1961 Certificate of Live Birth (resulting from hospital documentation, including a signature of an attending physician), or a 1961 Certificate of Hawaiian Birth (result of the uncorroborated testimony of one witness and was not generated by a hospital, and could be obtained up to one year from the date of the child’s birth). Moreover, Mr. Obama refuses to release this 1961 birth record to clear this up, despite numerous lawsuits asking him to do so. Furthermore, neither the FEC, the DNC, the RNC, nor any court in the United States has subjected his birth certificate evidence to any level of scrutiny. For all intents and purposes, they have just accepted the 2007 computer-generated, laser printout of the summary document Certification of Live Birth as conclusive evidence that he meets the Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a President be a natural born citizen.

Mr. Obama’s birth certificate does indeed call into question his eligibility to be President. However, the most important foundation question is what is any candidate’s burden of proof that he meets the Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a President be a natural born citizen? In determining which standard of proof applies, it important to remember that the goal is to set a stable standard of proof that ensures that, we the people, will get a qualified presidential candidate, no matter who he is, no matter which party he is from, no matter what political climate dominates the times, and no matter in which election year he runs for office.

Turning now to the foundation question of what is any candidate’s burden of proof that he meets the Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a President be a natural born citizen? Burden of proof refers to both the burden of production, and the burden of persuasion. Burden of production is the obligation to come forward with evidence to support a claim. The burden of persuasion is the obligation to persuade the trier of fact of the truth of a proposition.

The answer to this burden of proof question lies with who has this burden of proof, the candidate, or the people? Allocating the burden of proof, ‘is merely a question of policy and fairness based on experience in the different situations.”Keyes v. Sch. Dist. No. 1, 413 U.S. 189 (1973). The burdens of pleading and proof with regard to most facts have been and should be assigned to the plaintiff who generally seeks to change the present state of affairs and who therefore naturally should be expected to bear the risk of failure of proof or persuasion. 2 J. Strong, McCormick on Evidence §337, 412 (5th ed. 1999). Moreover, in most cases, the burden of proof rests on those who claim something exists.

It seems apparent that a presidential candidate is seeking to change the present state of affairs by wanting to become the new President. The candidate is also the one who is claiming that something exists, which in this case, is that he is a natural born citizen. Furthermore, he is also applying for a job. As such, the burden of proof rests on him.

It takes no stretch of the imagination to understand that it has been a commonly accepted and expected fair practice for any candidate applying for a job to produce evidence that he meets its eligibility requirements. Typically, he produces a resume, certified copies of education transcripts, documents his work history and residences since age 18, and, in cases of classified government jobs, submits to and produces without reservation, documentary evidence such as a birth certificate for use in an extensive and thorough background check. Since the greater includes the lesser, it follows then that a more important job, like being President, would include at least the aforementioned production of documentary evidence of sufficient persuasion. Arguably then, it follows that a presidential candidate has a similar burden of production and persuasion that he meets the eligibility requirements for President. To create a presumption of eligibility that shifts the burden of proof to the People would otherwise defeat the search for the truth about the candidate’s eligibility. This is especially true when the candidate locks down the evidence of his eligibility.

Once some evidence has been produced, the question becomes does the evidence submitted persuade the trier of fact that a candidate meets the natural born citizen requirement of Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution? The degree of proof required depends on the circumstances of the proposition. In this case, the standard that applies should ensure that the candidate meets the eligibility requirements to be President of the United States.

The President of the United States is one of the three branches of government. He is the Executive branch. The nation speaks to all people through one voice, the President’s. The President can make treaties, grant pardons, sign and veto legislation, appoint a Cabinet, as well as Supreme Court Justices. In addition to these duties, the President knows the nation’s most important and secure secrets, and as the Commander in Chief of the military, has the military’s nuclear launch codes at the ready, and who can arguably, either take steps to weaken the nation or even destroy it. In the words of Vice President Dick Cheney, “The president of the United States now for 50 years is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a football that contains the nuclear codes that he would use and be authorized to use in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States. He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen. He doesn’t have to check with anybody. He doesn’t have to call the Congress. He doesn’t have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in.”

So which burden of persuasion should apply to the evidence submitted by a President elect given the job for which he is qualifying? There are at least three major burdens of persuasion – preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing, and beyond a reasonable doubt. Let’s examine each standard and choose the one that is best suited to ensure that only a qualified President elect becomes President.

Preponderance of the Evidence – (lowest level) This is the lowest standard of proof that uses a more likely than not test. The standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true. Effectively, the standard is satisfied if there is greater than 50 percent chance that the proposition is true. It is used in civil cases, e.g., personal injury lawsuits.

If this standard is accepted, then arguably the President elect will get the opportunity to prove that he meets the requirements to be President by a little more than the odds of a coin toss. Using this standard also seems to equate the importance of a candidate meeting the Constitutional requirements to become President with giving the right private litigant a chance at winning a lawsuit. The ramifications and consequences of being wrong in each one are at opposite ends of the spectrum. This standard therefore does not seem high enough.

Clear and Convincing Evidence – (medium level) The person must convince the trier of fact that it is substantially more likely than not that the thing is in fact true. This standard of proof is used in termination of parental rights, and restraining orders, among other civil actions. This standard also does not seem high enough.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt – (highest level) The proposition being presented must be proven to the extent that there is no “reasonable doubt” in the mind of a reasonable person. This standard has been traditionally applied to criminal defendants to ensure that an innocent person is not deprived of his life or liberty. True, the Presidential candidate is not a criminal, but the justifications for applying the beyond a reasonable doubt standard are not for proving the guilt of a criminal defendant, but rather to ensure that an innocent person does not lose his life or liberty. Ensuring that these freedoms of life and liberty are given the highest protections rings throughout the justifications for the beyond a reasonable doubt standard being applied to presidential candidates so that the citizens do not lose their lives or liberties at the hands of an unqualified President. For the highest office in the land, and for arguably the most powerful leadership position in the world, it follows that the highest burden of proof that he is qualified to be President of the United States of America should be required of him.

At this point, I would like to conclude that the beyond a reasonable doubt standard should apply to the President elect, but unfortunately, I do not get to decide this issue. Who then, should determine which standard applies? Moreover, who gets to interpret it?

Should the states get to decide this question? If you look to state law for deciding which burden of persuasion applies, then a problem arises because one might foresee not all states using the same burden of persuasion. One might also expect to find up to 50 different interpretations for each of the three burden of persuasion standards. This could result in as many as 150 different interpretations for the three standards. It’s arguable then, that having as many as 3 different standards with up to 50 different interpretations of each one could lead to 150 different possible ways to qualify a presidential candidate. Arguably, this outcome would favor some candidates over the others, with each election year providing for unequal treatment of the candidates depending upon from which state’s record each candidate seeks to establish his birth (or age), and resulting in unequal risk to the nation that an unqualified President would be elected.

Imagine if one state uses a preponderance of the evidence standard while the other state uses beyond a reasonable doubt standard. Who has the advantage here and what are the risks to the nation and its citizens? Let’s assume that two states require clear and convincing evidence, but one state interprets clear and convincing to mean less than the other state’s interpretation. The end result would be unequal treatment of the candidates resulting in different states having the power to gain an advantage over the other state’s candidate by lessening or lowering the burden of persuasion and weakening its interpretation. Furthermore, there would be an increased opportunity for planting fraudulent birth records in the states with the weakest burden of proof that have the highest incidents of uncontrolled illegal immigration.

So where does this leave us? Should each state decide what is their native candidate’s burden of persuasion? Or should each state agree to have one standard for all candidates? Who gets to decide which standard applies, and who gets to interpret the standard?

Perhaps we should look to the federal courts to establish a standard instead? Keep in mind that the constitutional requirement to be a natural born citizen is a federal one. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes federal law the supreme law of the land. Furthermore, the office of President is one of the three federal branches of government. Perhaps that as such, there should be a federal standard of proof that ensures that only a candidate who meets the Natural Born Citizen requirement of the U.S. Constitution could become President.

Once again, problems arise. There are 13 federal circuit courts in the U.S. Each one could cause the same selection and interpretation problems that were just discussed with the states. Only this time, the candidates would get their advantage or disadvantage by being born in a particular circuit, thus making circuits more or less appealing to the candidates and their respective parties. Furthermore, circuits with a history of identification document fraud by foreign nationals might be more likely to erroneously qualify a foreign born national to be a Presidential candidate. Again, different circuit standards would result in unequal treatment of the candidates, and unequal risks to the nation that an unqualified candidate would become President.

Should we leave it to the Federal Election Committee (FEC)? No. The FEC filed a motion to dismiss in the Berg case admitting that it has no oversight over the Constitution’s Presidential Qualifications Clause.

What about leaving it to the candidate’s respective party? Should such a bias organization decide the issue of their candidate’s eligibility? Allowing such a process would be tantamount to the fox guarding the hen house.

What about leaving it to the Electors? Are they any less bias than their respective parties?

What about the United States Supreme Court? The first paragraph of their own website makes the following promise to the American People – “As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.”

If the Court has this duty to function as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution, then when must it act to qualify the President elect? Before, during or after the election? Should it be barred from deciding this issue because of timing, i.e, the candidate has already won the election, so it’s too late? Perhaps we should turn to the 20th Amendment for guidance.

“If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.”

Section 3 of the 20th Amendment does allow for the possibility that a President elect might not qualify. The language of the Amendment suggests that the qualification period can come between the period when the candidate wins the election and when he is sworn in. As the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution, it’s arguable that the Court must scrutinize the President-elect’s natural born citizen evidence during this time period. If the Court, instead, turns a blind eye to it, then just who will be the judge of “if the President elect shall have failed to qualify,…?” Furthermore, what will be the fate of the Constitution, the Court, and the country if it is later discovered that Mr. Obama is not a natural born citizen? Will every treaty, law, military act become void ab initio? Will the nation be launched into a state of civil unrest and unyielding division?

As of this post, the Court has not granted a writ to hear the Berg v. Obama case. While we are waiting for this historic news, perhaps we should at least look at Mr. Obama’s only submitted evidence of being a natural born citizen – the posted 2007 computer-generated laser-printed “Certification of Live Birth” on his website. So let’s review the facts and his evidence, and then apply the burdens of persuasion. I used my general interpretations of each burden of persuasion since there is no clearly defined one being applied by anyone else, anywhere.

Preponderance of the Evidence – No. What is a computer-generated printout like Obama’s Certification of Live Birth? It is a hearsay document that is susceptible to the perils of computer viruses, trojans, spyware, hackers, and chain of custody issues? Read about Computer Records and the Federal Rules of Evidence on the Department of Justice’s website.

Furthermore, since it is not clear from which 1961 document this printout derives from, the one with the doctor’s signature and other traceable evidence (Certificate of Live Birth), or the one fraught with the potential for fraud, including registering an out of the country birth as an in state birth after the birth (Certificate of Hawaiian Birth), it’s arguable that either source is no more likely than the other, so it does not appear to satisfy this more likely than not standard.

Clear and Convincing Evidence – No. If the Certification of Live birth doesn’t satisfy the lesser burden of persuasion then it follows it can not satisfy this heightened one.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt – No. One would need to feign ignorance and act with the utmost bad faith to argue that a Certification of Live birth proves that he was born in Hawaii beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, since it doesn’t even satisfy the lesser burden of persuasion then it follows it can not satisfy this heightened one.

This is where the road to the White House should end for Mr. Obama. He can not meet any burden of persuasion for becoming President with only a 2007 computer-generated, laser-printed Certification of Live Birth. Unfortunately however, to date, not one single person or agency in the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of government has subjected his Certification of Live Birth to any burden of persuasion scrutiny to determine if he meets the United States Constitution’s natural born citizen requirement to be President.

I’ll close this post with a quote: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Copied with permission from http://www.vibe.us

The above was in response to a recent article: SCOTUS To Discuss Obama Birth Certificate Case on January 9