President Barack Obama’s Georgia supporters may be disappointed come election day. Five men challenged Obama’s eligibility to be a presidential candidate on the Georgia ballot arguing he is not a “natural-born citizen.” This has been the stance of those now called “birthers” since former democratic presidential candidate and now secretary of the state, Hillary Clinton, brought forth the issue in 2008. Former Congressman and current Georgia Governor, Republican Nathan Deal, was notably outspoken in questioning Obama’s birth eligibility. December 10, 2009, a letter arrived at the White House impugning Obama’s eligibility to be president from Deal. GOP Presidential teaser Donald Trump also jumped on the birther bandwagon in 2011. When Obama finally produced a birth certificate, many thought this case was closed.
David Weldon, Kevin Powell and Carl Swinson are a few of the plaintiffs who, with the help of The Liberty Legal Foundation, have successfully challenged Obama’s eligibility. Obama filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. This motion was challenged by The Liberty Legal Foundation. The motion to dismiss was denied by Judge Malihi. All parties are ordered to appear in Federal Court on January 26th at 9 am.
The Liberty Legal Foundation states this is a bold step because “this ruling ensures that the Georgia court will be the first court to address the substantive Constitutional issue of eligibility. All other courts that have heard challenges to Obama’s Constitutional qualifications to hold office have refused to address the substantive issue and have dismissed on procedural grounds.”
The ramifications of this court possibly ruling against Obama and keeping him of the Georgia ballot would be significant. For Georgian democratic candidates, it may leave them stranded. Voter apathy may increase and turn the democratic base completely off from the election process. Voter turn-out is crucial for democratic candidates. Voter turn out tends to be higher in presidential elections than in non-presidential election cycles. If voters believe they are not able to vote for their presidential candidate, they may not show up to the polls. This would improve the chances of an already republican stronghold to become a republican superpower.
Although Obama certainly does not need Georgia to be re-elected, not having an incumbent president on he election ballot may give democrats the rallying cry they have been hoping for to galvanize support and overtake local, state and congressional majorities. Calls of disenfranchisement and discrimination could unite supporters and revive leadership and increase democratic presence in state and local legislature.
The hearing is open to the public. The location is the Justice Center Building, 160 Pryor St, Atlanta, GA Courtroom G40 on the ground floor.
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