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Sandra Day O’Connor: Maybe SCOTUS Should Have Stayed Out Of Bush v. Gore

Supreme Court Building

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sat down for an interview with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board and seemed to express some regret that the Supreme Court had injected itself in the 2000 Presidential race by accepting Bush v. Gore for argument:

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor hasn’t given much thought to which was the most important case she helped decide during her 25 years on the bench. But she has no doubt which was the most controversial.

It was Bush v. Gore, which ended the Florida recount and decided the 2000 presidential election.

Looking back, O’Connor said, she isn’t sure the high court should have taken the case.

“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor said during a talk Friday with the Tribune editorial board. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.'”

The case, she said, “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation.”

“Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision,” she said. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.”

O’Connor, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was the first woman to serve on the high court. Though she tended to side with the conservatives, O’Connor was known as the court’s swing vote. Her vote in the 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision effectively gave Republican George W. Bush a victory over his Democratic opponent, then-Vice President Al Gore.

It’s worth noting, of course, that O’Connor’s position today could be the same that as it was when the case first came to the Supreme Court in December 2000. It only takes four Justices for a case to be accepted for appeal, and since those votes are always secret it’s unlikely we’ll ever know who the four (or possibly) more Justices who voted to take the case were. O’Connor may have been one of the Justices against taking the case but, once it was accepted for appeal, she was as bound as her other fellow Justices to make a ruling based on the facts and the law before them. In that respect, it’s worth noting that the options in front of the Court at the end of the day were fairly limited. Either they were going to allow the limited recounts that had been ordered by the Florida Supreme Court to go forward, or they were going to halt them. There really wasn’t a another avenue for the Court to take, and no way for them to dodge the responsibility for making a decision once the case had been accepted for appeal.

As for the decision to accept the appeal itself, I suppose I do understand why O’Connor may feel this way. The case was unusual for the Court in that it required the Justices to intervene in the political process to a far greater degree than they ordinarily do, and far more than the Justices are generally comfortable with. No matter which way the case was decided, it was inevitable that the Court was going to be seen as a political actor, especially since the legal issues involved in the case were fairly esoteric and not easily explained by a media that had been covering the ongoing controversy in Florida since the polls had closed a month and a half earlier. To the extent that the Justices are concerned about the reputation of the Court, the mere act of accepting the case inevitably meant that they’d take a reputation hit at some point. The fact that their decision led to the election of a President who many people now view negatively only adds to those negative feelings.

Despite this, though, and despite the comments of former Justice O’Connor, I think an argument can be made that the Court did the right thing by accepting Bush v. Gore. Had they not done so, it would have hardly been the end of the chaos that surrounded the 2000 election. Recounts, under vague and amorphous rules, would have had to go forward in select Florida counties. There likely would have been additional litigation in the state and Federal Courts down there. The media controversies would have continued, and the status of Florida’s 25 Electoral Votes, along with the outcome of the Presidential election itself, would have been up in the air. Indeed, even if one of the two candidates had conceded the result in an effort to end the uncertainty, it’s likely that doubt would have persisted because the legal certification of Florida’s Electoral College votes would have still been in doubt.* No matter how that process in Florida ended, there would have been a question of legitimacy hanging over whoever it was that ended up assuming the Presidency on January 20, 2001. By accepting the case, the Supreme Court brought some degree of certainty into the process and lent an air of legal legitimacy to the outcome of the election that was sorely lacking during the long period after Election Day. For that reason alone, I’d suggest that, in the end, history will judge that the Supreme Court did the right thing even if it did take a hit to its reputation in the short term.

* Indeed, I have always believed that Al Gore deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his reaction to the outcome of the Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore in which he accepted the results and recognized Bush as the winner of the election. A candidate who would have reacted by questioning the legitimacy of the Court’s decision would have been bad for the country as whole.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Blue Shark says:

    Yah think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  2. EddieInCA says:

    @Blue Shark:

    That was my EXACT thought.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. Cert votes don’t usually stay secret forever; some justices keep records, and those typically get bundled in with their papers. Blackmun’s records I know have been used by political scientists; I don’t know about others’ offhand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. legion says:

    I have immense respect for O’Connor, but what conceivable goal could one have for making such a statement at this late date except for looking like a complete f*cking tool?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  5. One other thing to bear in mind: as of the date of the court’s decision, the Florida state legislature was in the process of moving a bill to award all of the state’s electors to Bush (which under the 12th Amendment was its right; Scalia is often mocked on the left for saying in Bush v. Gore there is no right for the people to elect the president, but it’s right there in the text of the Constitution). Inevitably that would have been challenged in court. And inevitably that case would have ended up on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket, because I can’t imagine the equally-politicized Florida Supremes ruling for the legislature’s position. So denying cert here just would have delayed matters further.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. @Chris Lawrence:

    We may find out about that vote someday. Likely after the Justices involved are dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. @Chris Lawrence:

    You make an excellent point there. Denying cert just would have meant that the case would have ended up before them again in a couple of weeks, at which point it would have become more of a serious Constitutional crisis and neither Bush nor Gore would know with certainty whether they were they legally elected President.

    There is something to be said for certainty in these types of matters.

    As or the decision itself, it’s as complicated as the controversy that brought the case to the Court to begin with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “As or the decision itself, it’s as complicated as the controversy that brought the case to the Court to begin with. ”

    It’s really not: “We’re Republicans. We want a Republican president.”

    Okay, with O’Connor it’s a tiny bit more complicated: “I want to retire, but I don’t want my seat going to a liberal, so I’d better vote for the Republican.”

    That’s it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 8

  9. Raoul says:

    What was the purpose of taking the case/if I see the rationale I may agree that taking the case was necessary but it seems self-evident that they took the case on equal rights grounds to prevent votes from been counted on equal rights ground- it is right there in the decision. So a mere platitude that the Court had to take the case requires explanation on what grounds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Liberal Capitalist says:

    … something, something, hindsight, something.

    Life only offers a few truly memorable opportunities in life.

    For all that she has accomplished, that vote will likely cement her in history books.

    * swing-and-a-miss *

    Too bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  11. Hal 10000 says:

    There were two issues in Bush v. Gore. One was whether hanging chad third recount could just be done in Democratic counties, as the Gore campaign wanted (the Republican counties having certified their results). The Court actually ruled *7-2* that this was a violation of the equal protection clause and I think that was the correct decision. The more debatable was halting the recount of the recount of the recount completely. My opinion then (and now) is that SCOTUS was right and wrong. You have to set the rules of an election in advance and then follow them. You can’t make ad hoc decisions about hanging chads because you’re going to end up, as you noted, in an endless argument over how you invent the rules as you go. We can never know the result of an election to infinite precision. When you’re talking about a few hundred votes out of millions, you’re really just measuring noise. But, in the end, I think that was probably a decision at the state level, not the federal one.

    Something else that isn’t noted in this story: the Supreme Court tried to duck it. If I remember correctly, they asked the Florida Supreme Court (9-0 Democrat) to explain their reasoning in refusing Bush’s complaint. The Florida Court never responded.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. Justinian says:

    The behavior of the Court in Bush v. Gore may be contrasted with how it handled the controversy surrounding the eligibility of Barak Obama to the office of the U.S. Presidency.

    Shortly after Obama assumed the office of President, people sent into the Supreme Court the evidence they had that he was, in fact, a Kenyan-born citizen of Indonesia. A summary of this evidence may be found at obamacrimes.com.

    What a snafu! A clerk misfiled their petion: into the circular file. Too bad.

    Philip J. Berg tried another suit. This time a soldier argued that he should not have to recognize Obama as Commander in Chief, again because of the evidence that he is Kenyan-Born citizen of Indonesia.

    The Court at least filed the papers, and then dismissed the suit, saying that it was really Berg, not the soldier, who was the actual plaintiff, and that Berg lacked standing. The Court also said that Congress, not the Court, is the arbiter of such matters, when the Electoral votes are counted. The Court’s argument did make sense, especially if you consider the Hayes/Tilden election to be precedent.

    Of course, the severest cause for pause was when certain lady filed papers, again questioning Obama’s eligibiliy to be President. That Court not only dismissed the suit, but fined her over $100,00 for filing a frivolous suit (in its opinion) and forbidding her from raising money to pay the fine, effectively ruining her for life.

    There have been no more attempted suits to have the Courts make the issue of Obama’s eligibility for the office of President be a res iudicata.

    The above-mentioned incidents should be added to Bush v. Gore as recent case history of how the judiciary handles sensitive controversies concerning the U.S. Presidency.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 51

  13. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, here’s my interpretation of what happened. Katherine Harris, who was the head of Bush’s get out the vote machine in Florida, was also in charge of counting votes. Yes, you read that right. The person in charge of fairly counting everyone’s votes in Florida was also the statewide leader for Bush. As might be expected for a Florida politico, she proceeds to use her power in every sleazy way possible both before the election (hiring a Texas based republican campaign outfit to ‘check’ campaign registration and they, surprise!, ended up incorrectly purging millions of voters in democratic areas, without notifying the people they had been purged) to the election itself (making all recount rulings supportive of Bush and denying all those supportive of Gore). The dems appealed to the Florida courts for relief and the heavily Republican US Supreme Court stepped in and sided with Katherine Harris, and handed the victory to the worst president we’ve ever had and who, by the way, lost the popular vote.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  14. @Justinian:

    Dude, I’m just going to leave you to the mercy of our regular comment thread people.

    Guys, be kind he has a weak mind.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  15. Justinian says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Thank you, Mr. Mataconis, for advising the other people on this blog to

    be kind he has a weak mind.

    Your reckless insult and ad hominem attack is just the thing to steer the discussion in the right direction.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  16. Hal 10000 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    hiring a Texas based republican campaign outfit to ‘check’ campaign registration and they, surprise!, ended up incorrectly purging millions of voters in democratic areas, without notifying the people they had been purged

    Wow. That was a bit of truth exaggerated by a factor of a thousand. It was DTS — a Florida-based company. The Palm Beach post concluded it was about 1100 votes. It was done because of a court order after the debacle of the Miami Mayoral election in which thousands of BS votes were cast in violation of Florida law. Many Democratic areas ignored the purge list. And the did receive notice.

    Not to say it wasn’t a debacle — Florida elections always are. But let’s back off the Michael Moore talking points just a bit, shall we? Problems aren’t solved by exaggerating them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal 10000: Wow. (Sorry I couldn’t resist.) You are right about one small point. I was relying on decades only memory about that out of state data analysis company, and although it was out of state (contrary to what you said) it was Nevada, not Texas. (I was also incorrect when I said “millions” it was about 200,000. I should have known that was wrong just because of the number of Florida voters. Millions would have put us into the >10% area) From wikipedia

    DBT Online Inc., formerly known as Database Technologies is a data mining company founded by Roy Brubaker and Hank Asher in 1992 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. …
    DBT Online bought Asher out for US$147 million in 1999. This followed the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration suspending their contracts with DBT Online following revelations that Asher had been involved but not charged with drug dealing in the Bahamas. The agencies were also concerned that DBT Online could potentially monitor targets of investigations.[1]
    Asher blamed the ouster on fellow company director Kenneth Langone.
    In early 2000 soon after Hank Asher’s departure, DBT won a $4 million contract with the state of Florida that would mire it in the Florida Election Controversy in the 2000 US presidential elections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. Hal 10000 says:

    200,000 was the total number of names on the original list. but it was cut down, not used by many counties and challenged. And some of those names belonged on the list. I was relying havily on Politifact’s reporting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal 10000: D*mn right it was challenged. It was an obvious political hack job. That was my point. From my point of view the Supremes sided with Harris to legitimize all of her underhanded shenanigans and put the worst president in the history of the US into office, going out of their way siding with the Republicans and against the wishes of the majority of US voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  20. legion says:

    @Justinian: Every solitary shred of “evidence” Orly and her flying monkeys has ever brought up is conclusively garbage. Not real. Phony. Nonexistent outside her (and your) minimalist braincases.

    Is that the direction you were hoping for?

    (Spoiler alert: I knew it was)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  21. al-Ameda says:

    @Justinian:

    Philip J. Berg tried another suit. This time a soldier argued that he should not have to recognize Obama as Commander in Chief, again because of the evidence that he is Kenyan-Born citizen of Indonesia.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha …
    … Hahahahahahahahahaha …
    …… Hahahahahahahahahaha …
    LOL!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  22. EddieInCA says:

    @Justinian:

    Your reckless insult and ad hominem attack…

    “I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  23. rodney dill says:

    Sour grapes

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. LaMont says:

    Doug,

    What good is certainty if everyone knows it will lead to a decidedly less optimum outcome? Whether “legally” legitimate or not, Bush’s first term as President has always been considered with an asterisk. No matter how you cut it, America’s dirty laundry (via politics) was set to be aired either way. My point is, anyone could make a much more compelling arguement in favor of letting the recount proceed in the name of preserving democracy. This was clear even then. In context, the “ad hoc” rules during the recount was more of a counter-balance for what existed under Katherine Harris. In my opinion, the judgement of history would be much more favorable had the recount proceeded, in spite of the continued chaos, than the alternative. I understand the certainty argument, and it has it’s place – but at what overarching cost?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  25. Barry says:

    Doug: “In that respect, it’s worth noting that the options in front of the Court at the end of the day were fairly limited. Either they were going to allow the limited recounts that had been ordered by the Florida Supreme Court to go forward, or they were going to halt them. There really wasn’t a another avenue for the Court to take, and no way for them to dodge the responsibility for making a decision once the case had been accepted for appeal.”

    This is simply not true, as their decision clearly demonstrated – you know, the one where a bunch of Republican judges who hated equal protection invoked it to make sure that only some votes were counted, on the grounds that counting them all would do meanie nasty things to the ones which were already counts, and by the way – you can’t use this decision as a precedent, ’cause it stinks to high heaven.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  26. LaMont says:

    @Barry:

    his is simply not true, as their decision clearly demonstrated – you know, the one where a bunch of Republican judges who hated equal protection invoked it to make sure that only some votes were counted, on the grounds that counting them all would do meanie nasty things to the ones which were already counts, and by the way – you can’t use this decision as a precedent, ’cause it stinks to high heaven.

    That is exactly what I mean when I said “a decidedly less optimum outcome”. The certainty arguement is devalued when you look at the way the decision was made. In affect, the decision arguably added just as much if not more controversy to the outcome than just allowing a recount in a controlled environment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  27. C. Clavin says:

    “…For that reason alone, I’d suggest that, in the end, history will judge that the Supreme Court did the right thing even if it did take a hit to its reputation in the short term…”

    Doubtful…because history will have to deal with this…

    “…Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances,..”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  28. grumpy realist says:

    @Justinian: You really are an idiot, aren’t you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Justinian: What evidence? Spill it or zip it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Barry says:

    @LaMont: “That is exactly what I mean when I said “a decidedly less optimum outcome”. The certainty arguement is devalued when you look at the way the decision was made. In affect, the decision arguably added just as much if not more controversy to the outcome than just allowing a recount in a controlled environment. ”

    Or ordering a recount of all votes under uniform and justifiable standards.

    What Doug is saying that SCOTUS’s options were limited, ignoring the fact that SCOTUS issued a sweeping, unprecedented and garbage opinion, because that suited 5 GOP justices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. Barry says:

    BTW, Doug, look at this (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/04/nobody-cares-about-federalism-part-the-umpteenth/comment-page-1#comment-526857) and tell me that there’s a singled f-ing GOP Justice who gives a rat’s *ss about the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Barry says:

    @Pharoah Narim: He’s a Birther. Lying f*ck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Justinian says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    Pharaoh Narim has the only reply in the bunch that does not degenerate into name-calling. He wrote:

    What evidence? Spill it or zip it.

    As such, it is the only response worth replying to.

    The best source for examining the controversy is the book, Where’s the Birth Certificate? by Jerome R. Corsi (WND Books). I can recommend the book to those who are interested. World Net Daily (WND) was onto this story back when Obama was still winning primaries, and had the best information on the subject. This aforementioned book is a distillation of their investigations.

    Suspicions certainly were raised when his campaign, in an effort to dispel rumors of his not being born in Hawaii, produced on the web a jpeg of a “Certificate of Live Birth” that was later conclusively shown to be a photoshopped fraud. (It even had a background of pixels repeating themselves in exact 128 bit patterns, something impossible for a scanned piece of paper to do.) This thing was later produced on a website “FightTheSmears” in August, 2009, and is Exhibit 22 of the book.

    It was done after the book was written, but when yet another document was produced, this time on the White House Website, and this time with a copy given to Donald Trump, that document was also shown to be completely irregular: not like anything the office of records in Hawaii produces. It too was clearly photoshopped, only this time it had an official’s signature verifying that “this electronic copy has been transmitted to me” or some such, not really certifying anything.

    Philip J. Berg, author of the ObamaCrimes.com site, also many years ago found grave reason to doubt Obama’s U.S. Citizenship. He was clearly a citizen of Indonesia, according to documents in that country. Indonesia does not allow dual citizenship. Even if Obama were a U.S. citizen by birth to start with, he would have lost it by being a citizen of Indonesia. He would then have to recover his U.S. Citizenship. The book, Where’s the Birth Certificate? also devotes a chapter to this issue.

    Becoming a U.S. Citizen from nothing requires a judicial procedure, and courts, of course, are meticulous, even zealous, record-keepers. Where, then, is the documentation that Obama ever recovered his U.S. citizenship? This too is lacking.

    Correlated to all this is that Barak Obama, when he was a young working man in Hawaii, had a Social Security Number that could only have been dispensed by an office in Connecticut. This number has been virtually definitively traced to be fraudulent; likely identity theft of a dead person. (Again, as is shown in the book, op cit.) Again, why would a U.S. citizen bother to get a fraudulent S.S.N. when a real one would have been readily available?

    A note: In items of high value, burden of proof does sometimes fall oppositely to how it falls for items of low value. If pressed, a person can be required to show a deed to prove that he does, in fact, own the house he lives in. We can be stopped by the police and have our car registrations checked. We bear burden of proof at that time that we are the owners of the automobile.

    If you saw someone not be able to produce a deed to his home, or registration to his automobile, then produce two obviously photoshopped frauds purporting to be such documents, and then spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to prevent any court from actually forcing him to have to produce such a deed or car registration, most people would just know that the house or automobile is stolen property.

    In the same way, many people have come to the conclusion that Barak Obama is, like forty or fifty million other people in this country, an illegal alien. But for a Constitutional provision forbidding such a person from being President, it actually would not be such a big deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  34. Pharoah Narim says:

    Justinian: Documents aren’t Photoshoped because you say they are or because the molecules on the one side run horizontal while the molecules on the other side runs vertical. If the source documents used to create the Photoshop can’t be produced– you got nothin. A state official certifying authenticity is also enough– just like it’s enough when they certify elections, birth certificates, marriages, etc. You’ve produced nothing that impeaches that certification. There are plenty of homegrown clowns that could destroy the country. I fine it laughable that people believe that a “foreigner” needed to be enlisted. To do what? Go where Bush already went before him. Bottom line is the guy was born to an American citizen— that makes him a citizen. You want to pull the “natural born” card? Then that disqualifies McCain and means Mittens had some ‘splaining to do. Now you may zip it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. pp91303 says:

    @Hal 10000:

    The problem with your analysis is that the trolls in palm beach and broward counties weren’t counting “hanging chads”, they were manufacturing votes by claiming that they saw dimples in the voting cards.

    Democrats conveniently leave out the fact that there were two separate trials after the election in which it was determined by the finders of fact (i.e. two democrat judges, one a black woman, one a white man) that found the voting machines in Florida (including in the Democrat counties where the vote manufacturing was occurring) were in working order. There was no evidence of malfunction.

    It was also hilarious to see the media trot out a bunch of senior citizens in palm beach who were allegedly so befuddled when the “butterfly ballot” was right in front of them that they voted for Buchanan despite their intent to vote for Gore, yet days later when the ballot wasn’t right in front of them, they were absolutely sure they had voted for Buchanan. It turns out that Buchanan got fewer votes in the 2000 general election than the number of votes that had been cast in the reform party primary in Palm Beach county. That was all bs generated by the Democrats.

    The other “inconvenient truth” that Democrats leave out is that Gore’s margin of “victory” in the popular vote was a little over 500,000 votes which was 1/3 of the margin of error nation wide (1.5%). Therefore, Gore didn’t win the popular vote. He fell well short of the margin of error.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  36. Grange95 says:

    No other option? How about the Constitutional option? Article II, Sec. 1 and the 12th Amendment provide for the selection of Presidential Electors by the state legislature. The Court could have simply left the process to the Florida electoral officials and legislature, which would have had final say as to which slate of Electors and Electoral votes was certified to Congress. If competing slates of Electors and votes were certified, Congress would have to resolve the issue. The important thing is that both the Florida legislature and Congress are democratically elected and answer to the voters. There might have been a partisan power grab (in favor of the Republicans), but the voters would have had a remedy. The political fallout of illegitimacy would have been the same, but the political taint would have fallen on elected officials, not the Court. Instead, the Court went partisan (or at least appeared to do so), and the Court’s legitimacy was severely undermined.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. Justinian says:

    In reply to Pharoah Narim, above:

    A copy of the jpeg of the “Certificate of Live Birth” issued by the Obama Campaign can be viewed here. It was conclusively shown to be a forgery, photoshopped from start to finish. No piece of paper can scan and have each and every pixel repeat in exact 128 pixel increments.

    As to the document that was put forward on the White House website in 2011 purporting to be the Long Form of his birth certificate, it was shown to be a fraud so conclusively that even a lawyer representing Obama’s placement on the ballot in New Jersey admitted to the Court that it was a forgery. She had to argue, instead, that “New Jersey law does not require a candidate to furnish proof of his or her status” and that the birth certificate issue was irrelevant to whether Obama could be on the ballot. Source is here.

    As to Obama being born a U.S. citizen, even if physically born in Kenya, (a) his father was a citizen of the British Empire and his citizenship, by parentage, was British-Empire, later Kenyan, not American, (the exact Kenyan law on such things has been dug up), and (b) it does not account for the fact that Obama was a citizen of Indonesia, and therefore could not be a citizen of the United States, during his time in that country (since, as mentioned earlier, that country does not allow dual citizenship).

    No paper has been found that would have been generated if he went through the process of recovering his citizenship once lost, and, again, why was a teenager in Hawaii issued a Social Security Number from an office in Connecticut? All evidence is that he is not a citizen, and had to resort to a using an illegal Social Security Number to maintain the appearance that he had a right to live and work in this country. At issue is not merely what was his citizenship at the time of his birth, but also what is his citizenship even now.

    As to John McCain being born in the Panama Canal Zone, the Zone was American enough that Congress passed a non-binding resolution expressing its opinion that McCain should be considered natural born for the purposes of Article II. In fact, the Dept. of State kept Zonians from being in the Zone for more than ten years exactly so that they did not feel that they were creating a separate state or country; their ties and identity were to be to the fifty States. All Congress did was re-affirm the complete “UnitedStatesean-ness” of persons resident in the Zone.

    All that is very, very far from saying that Congress would find eligible someone born in a foreign country to a non-citizen father, and who was not a citizen of the United States at the time of his birth and apparently has never been. Such a person has no eligibility to be president whatsoever.

    You say “A state official certifying authenticity is also enough.” Where is the certification? What, other than forgeries, can people point to to the effect that an official ever certified anything?

    Actually, the standard of proof you desire is readily available. It is a real document, showing no signs of fraud or forgery, and is signed in real ink by a real government official. You may find it displayed at here and at several other places on the Web. It shows Barak Hussein Obama to be born in Kenya. There, at long last, is his birth certificate. And so many people thought he didn’t have one.

    Add it up, and you have two proven forgeries that he was born in Hawaii versus one authentic piece of official documentation that he was born in Kenya. The evidence overwhelmingly preponderates to Obama not being eligible to the U.S. Presidency, and the only thing keeping it from being outright legal proof is that no court in this country dares to have the issue decided in its jurisdiction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  38. Joe says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Your comment borders on conspiracy instead of logic and reason.

    One of the common conspiracies put forth is that the democratic counties used heavier stock paper ballots thereby causing the higher prevelance of hanging chads and dimpled ballots.

    Though it should be noted that it is extremely difficult to get a hanging chad or dimpled ballot when punching one ballot at a time.
    Yet extremely easy to get dimpled ballots and hanging chads when punching multiple ballots at one time.

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  39. Tony W says:

    @Justinian:

    Congress passed a non-binding resolution expressing its opinion that McCain should be considered natural born for the purposes of Article II.

    And that same institution later certified that Mr. Obama won the electoral college vote and was eligible to serve.

    Why is that good enough for McCain and not for Obama. I’ll give you a hint, look at both of their faces and see if you notice any exterior differences between the two men.

    This is flat-out racism, and it is appalling the amount of time you people will spend concocting and repeating a baseless story to justify it. Imagine if all that energy went toward fixing the evils of the world….what a waste.

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  40. Justinian says:

    @Tony W:

    In reply to Tony W., above:

    There was a case come to my knowledge: a student in college presented her paper in class, and the classmates submitted written comments on it that she did a good paper. When she turned in the same paper to the professor, he later found out that it was all plagiarized. He flunked the paper.

    The student complained: but the students didn’t tell her it was plagiarized. Part of the reason for presenting in class is so that students could give her feedback. She claimed she was being treated unfairly, and should be allowed to rewrite the paper. The things the professor had to deal with! (To make it clear, there was no way for the class to be able to determine, as the professor did, that the paper was plagiarized.)

    For the case at hand, as with the student with the plagiarized paper, the underlying issue is fraud. The assertions of Obama’s eligibility to be President are fraudulent. The evidence of fraud is very strong, and has been handled by professional experts in determining the authenticy of documents. It is not done by a bunch of Yahoos out on the Internet, though, for the first fraud (the one of 2008), it was so gross anyone could see it was not a scan of a fifty-year-old peice of paper.

    You are right: Congress certified the election. They didn’t certify his nativity or his citizenship, but they did certify the election. Congress did not require of Obama any burden of proof whatsoever of his eligibility. Had it done so, Obama would almost certainly not have been able to meet it.

    There are professors who look the other way when plagiarism occurs. It is, in fact, the easy way out. I read a case of a professor giving passing grades to even the most outright forms of plagiarism. It became a news story when the other students, who didn’t commit plagiarism, complained to the administration, which then did nothing about the problem! As layer after layer was exposed of people who just plain didn’t care, the students who did care wondered why they were even enrolled there.

    Certainly, among 535 members of Congress, some of them have seen what I have concerning questions of Obama’s eligibility. And yet not one of them utters a peep about it. They probably do care, but the Senate now has about as much independent ability to scrutinize a chief executive as under the old Caesars of Rome: zero.

    Obama says there are 57 states in the union. (The standards of teaching American civics in Indonesia are just deplorable!) The mainstream media give him a free pass. Sarah Palin is nominated to the U.S. Vice Presidency, and the press hound her to the point that she is forced to quit public life.

    The fact that a fraudulent document has been placed on the White House website as his birth certificate is one thing. Another is how the press and Congress do nothing about it.

    You suggest that people like me find something else to do. You may be right. With the very system of government being founded on fraud, and the tolerance of fraud, and with similarly fraud-tolerant media that have about as much credibility as under the old Soviet Union, the time may have come to wave the white flag and surrender.

    Solomon said:

    On integrity is a nation founded.

    By that standard, the United States is already disestablished.

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  41. Chuck Kandt says:

    The problem with the United States Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore was not that it finally took the case. That was necessary because as former Florida Chief Justice Charley Wells points out in his new book Inside Bush v. Gore, time had run out on the recount in Florida. All of the lawyers had said to the Florida Supreme Court at its first argument in November that December 12th was the last day for Florida’s electoral votes to be protected under the safe harbor provision in 3 U.S.C. 5. You can see the lawyers say this in the video clips at http://www.insidebushvgore.com/ The real problem with the U.S. Supreme Court’s action was its intervention in the middle of the recount when it entered a stay on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That is what really spun the recount process out of control and that was the real mistake of the U.S. Supreme Court

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