Berg Lawsuit Frivolous, Distracting

There are still some people who have not given up on the 2008 Presidential Election. One Pennsylvania attorney in particular is questioning the constitutional legitimacy of President-Elect Obama under article II of the constitution which states that, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President…”

Philadelphia attorney Phillip J. Berg, a democrat, has brought a claim to the U.S. Supreme Court, after a federal judge dismissed his lawsuit on Oct. 24, claiming that President-Elect Obama is not a United States citizen and therefore ineligible to become President of the United States. If he is a citizen now, Berg claims that Obama was possibly born or later naturalized in Kenya and therefore not a natural-born citizen.

On Election Day, Berg was told by a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Hackett Souter that the defendant, “is required by law to respond to a writ of certiorari” by December 1st. This is confirmed on the Court’s web site.

Berg, a Hillary Clinton supporter, has been fighting Obama’s citizenship status throughout the campaign. Obama’s campaign has posted an image of a birth certificate on Obama’s web site, but Berg claims that it is different from birth certificates issued by Hawaii at that time and that some information is missing. The Governor’s Office of Hawaii has said that Obama’s birth certificate is valid. Berg says they have rejected requests for access and left its origin ambiguous. He also claims that Obama’s half sister, Maya Soetoro, has named two different Hawaiian hospitals where Obama could have been born.

Berg is a joke, but the case is not. The Case is Berg v. Obama: No. 08-cv-04083. Even though there is a clear Hawaiian birth certificate with Obama’s name on it, Berg still holds firmly that it is a fake and said, “our experts (without revealing names or qualifications that make them experts) have determined it’s non-valid.”

Hawaii State officials say there is absolutely no doubt that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino says that she and the Registrar of Vital Statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the birth certificate the state holds is Obama’s original birth certificate without doubt. According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Fukino said that not a single state official, including Gov. Linda Lingle, ever instructed anyone to handle Obama’s birth certificate differently from any other.

Would it make any sense at all for Obama to base his entire candidacy on a lie that could easily be figured out by checking state medical records? In order for the “fix to be in,” as Berg claims, the Hawaiian Governor’s Office, the Hawaiian State Health Department Director, the Hawaiian State Health Department Registrar of Vital Statistics, the Federal Election Commission, the Democratic National Committee and the entire Obama Campaign team would have to be in on the “fix.”

The more interesting question is why the U.S. Supreme Court is even taking this case when it is clear that Obama is a natural-citizen. The case has already been thrown out by Pennsylvania Federal Judge R. Barclay Surrick who said Berg’s argument was, “a venture into the unreasonable,” and, “frivolous, and not worthy of discussion.” President-Elect Obama will become our President on January 20, 2009, no matter how many lawsuits Mr. Berg files. The Supreme Court should not fuel Mr. Berg’s nonsensical argument by hearing this case. We need to get past this ridiculousness and focus on important issues. We have two wars and a weak economy to deal with. Mr. Berg should join the rest of us in reality and begin to judge President-Elect Obama based on the effectiveness of his policy, and not some outlandish, delusional claim with no basis.

Nicholas Mukhar is a senior media studies major and a journalism and legal studies minor.


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