(by B. Christopher Agee, WCJ) -- Though he ended up in the minority, one prominent judge’s dissenting opinion in a recent case is sure to earn him some support among those who question the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
The Alabama Supreme Court recently ruled that the state does not hold a legal obligation to vet a presidential candidate before including him or her on a ballot. Representing the majority in the 7 to 2 decision, Justice Mike Bolin responded to the plaintiff’s assertion that Alabama’s secretary of state should inherently have the authority to confirm a candidate’s legal standing to run.
He called the post “a non-judicial office without subpoena power or investigative authority or the personnel necessary to undertake a duty to investigate a non-resident candidate’s qualifications, even if such a duty could properly be implied.”
The high court’s chief justice, however, took a decidedly different position. Roy Moore, in his dissenting opinion, not only upheld the opinion that the secretary of state should vet presidential candidates; he also indicated that Obama’s background was worthy of such an investigation.
“The complaint alleged that the Secretary of State failed to perform a constitutional duty to verify the eligibility of all presidential candidates appearing on the ballot in the 2012 general election,” he wrote. Moore went on to conclude that, even though the election was held, the issue at hand was not rendered moot as the secretary argued.
The issues brought up prior to the recent election, after all, could easily be concerns in future races.
In a lengthy section of his opinion, titled “Challenges to the Qualifications of the President-Elect,” he concludes that Congress has the authority to determine a presidential candidate’s constitutional qualifications. Moore later writes, however, that a “state law that required birth certificates from presidential candidates as a precondition to placement on the ballot would likely pass muster under federal preemption law.”
In the end, he asserted, the U.S. Constitution is the standard to which the secretary of state should hold any candidate.
By serving as “an executive officer of the State of Alabama,” he wrote, the secretary “has an affirmative legal duty to recognize and support the United States Constitution as the supreme law of the land.”
Though his comments were couched in language that would apply to any potential candidate, he offered other instances of politicians seeking the nation’s highest office who failed to meet constitutional standards.
“These cases address situations in which allegedly ineligible presidential candidates have sought judicial relief from the decisions of state election officials excluding them from the ballot because they were underage,” he wrote. The current case, he continued, “seeks inverse relief” by requiring “the Secretary of State to investigate for ineligibility candidates she has already certified for the presidential-election ballot and to screen all such candidates for eligibility in the future.”
Even though Bolin’s opinion confirmed that “logically the Secretary of State, being the chief elections official of the state, should be vested with such a duty,” he found that there is insufficient legal standing on which to make such a claim.
Though this ruling might seem to be a win for Obama and his supporters, the existence of the case is a testament to resonating outrage over the current president’s perceived illegitimacy. Moore’s dissenting opinion only gives these Americans more hope that our government might once again challenge corruption – especially at the highest and most critical levels.