October 25, 2008

Berg v. Obama Dismissed: Appeal Pending

By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.

(Update 13 January 2009: The Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Click Here for the story)

(For initial story, click here)

Judge Surrick has issued a ruling in Berg v. Obama. The Judge has dismissed the case for lack of standing. Berg is immediately appealing.

According to the Court, the claims,

“…regardless of questions of causation, the grievance remains too generalized to establish the existence of an injury in fact. To reiterate: a candidate’s ineligibility under the Natural Born Citizen Clause does not result in an injury in fact to voters. By extension, the theoretical constitutional harm experienced by voters does not change as the candidacy of an allegedly ineligible candidate progresses from the primaries to the general election.”

According to the Judge, even if Obama does not meet the requirements of the Natural Born Citizen Clause, an individual citizen has no right under the Constitution to bring a case requesting enforcement. Rather, according to Surrick, that power is held by Congress alone.

“If, through the political process, Congress determines that citizens, voters, or party members should police the Constitution’s eligibility requirements for the Presidency, then it is free to pass laws conferring standing on individuals like Plaintiff. Until that time, voters do not have standing to bring the sort of challenge that Plaintiff attempts to bring in the Amended Complaint.”

If this decision holds, then there is no way to enforce the Constitutional requirements for the Office of the President and that portion of our Constitution would be rendered fairly meaningless.

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