Birthers Lose, Again

by Kevin D. Williamson

Judge Richard Gordon, a Republican appointee, has dismissed an Arizona birther’s lawsuit holding that President Obama is ineligible to stand for reelection. The decision speaks to two enduring untruths at the heart of revanchist birtherism: That the issue is no longer the president’s birth certificate, but whether he meets the constitutional definition of “natural born citizen,” and that a 19th century Supreme Court decision suggests he does not.

Plaintiff claims that President Obama cannot stand for reelection because he is not a “natural born citizen” as required by the United States Constitution. U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 5. According to Plaintiff this is so because President Obama’s father was a resident of Kenya and thus a British citizen. . . . Arizona courts are bound by United States Supreme Court precedent in construing the United States Constitution, Arizona v. Jay J. Garfield Bldg. Co., 39 Ariz. 45, 54, 3 P.2d 983, 986 (1931), and this precedent fully supports that President Obama is a natural born citizen under the Constitution and thus qualified to hold the office of President. See United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 702-03(1898) (addressing U. S. Const. amend. XIV); Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana, 916 N.E.2d 678,684-88 (Ind. App. 2010) (addressing the precise issue). Contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), does not hold otherwise.

Naturally, the birthers will come up with another  rationale, in much the same way that guys who predict that the world will end on such-and-such a date always come up with a new story.