Lawsuit challenges validity of Obama's birth certificate

Lawsuit challenges validity of Obama's birth certificate
Published: 09 January 2012 (624 Views)
The validity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate has been questioned ad nauseam in lawsuits and political forums across the U.S., and now the Alabama courts will get their turn.

Despite multiple lawsuits, the birther movement has failed so far to persuade a court that Obama's birth certificate is bogus.

Birmingham businessman Albert Hendershot Jr. contends Obama is not a natural-born citizen, his Social Security number is fake and his birth certificate is too.

"Any idiot with a computer in the basement can make one," Hendershot said.

The Alabama Democratic Party calls Hendershot's argument political fantasy and says he's part of a loosely knit group of Internet buddies trying to undermine the president's candidacy.

"To call him fringe is probably insulting the fringe," said attorney Barry Ragsdale.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Helen Shores Lee has scheduled a hearing Monday on the suit that Hendershot filed against state Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy. Kennedy is asking the judge to dismiss the suit and is arguing that Hendershot lacks legal standing as a private citizen to bring the suit

Hendershot argues that he has standing because he will be disenfranchised as a voter if an improper candidate appears on Alabama's ballot. He wants the judge to require the president to produce his original birth certificate and Social Security application to prove he meets the constitutional qualifications for president.

The results, he said, could have far-reaching consequences. "If he's not qualified to be president, then everything he's done as president has to be reversed," Hendershot said.

The Democratic chairman said the judge needs to act quickly because the party and state election officials must prepare for Alabama's presidential preference primary on March 13.

Hendershot tried to get the judge to delay Monday's hearing because his California attorney, Orly Taitz, can't be present in court, but the judge refused. Taitz, a leader of the so-called birther movement, has been involved in similar cases in Georgia and New Hampshire.

She lost an effort to get the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission to remove Obama from that state's ballot. In Georgia, a federal judge dismissed one lawsuit and fined her $20,000 for using the courts to pursue "political rhetoric and insults." But an administrative law judge in Georgia recently denied a motion by Obama to dismiss a different complaint from Taitz seeking to keep Obama off the ballot. A hearing in that case is set for Jan. 26.

Hendershot, a former stockbroker who founded a debt collection firm, said he voted for Obama in 2008, but then became concerned about whether the president's birth certificate and some other documents were legitimate.

"I don't have anything against him. I just want the truth," he said in an interview.

If Hendershot loses before the Democratic circuit judge, he said he will appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, where all the justices are Republicans.

"That's a conservative court here in Alabama," he said.

Ragsdale said he's not worried that Hendershot's suit may keep Obama's name off Alabama's ballot. "It's based on the flimsiest of half-truths and rumors," he said.

Obama didn't carry Alabama in the 2008 general election, and no Democrat has won the presidential election in Alabama since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

- www.gadsdentimes.com

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