Judge Carter: “The writ of quo warranto must be brought within the District of Columbia because President Obama holds office within that district.”

From google cache. Some links don’t work. I thought this was worth preserving.

Judge Carter: “The writ of quo warranto must be brought within the District of Columbia because President Obama holds office within that district.”

Judge Carter: “The writ of quo warranto must be brought within the District of Columbia because President Obama holds office within that district.”

I was impressed with the integrity of Judge Carter’s ruling today.  It gives me hope that the POTUS eligibility issue will eventually have its day in court on the merits.

POLITICAL QUESTION DOCTRINE.

Congress is the branch the Constitution empowers to remove a sitting President.  The power to judicially enforce any review of POTUS eligibility is a pre-requisite to judicial involvement as the federal courts do not have the power to issue simple advisory opinions.  A declaratory judgment is more than an advisory opinion.  This is because a declaratory judgment must have the power of enforcement attached whereas an advisory opinion does not.

The declaratory judgment requests of plaintiffs in the Barnett case had to be dismissed because the court does not have subject matter jurisdiction to grant the requested relief.  It’s really that simple.  Judge Carter’s analysis of this issue was perfect.

QUO WARRANTO

Because a quo warranto is the only proper action to review the eligibility of a sitting President – and because such an action requires a trial of facts –  Congress empowered the DC District Court to hold such a trial (by jury if requested by either party) when the eligibility of the President (or any US national office holder) is called into question.

There is no political question doctrine defense available to a sitting President for a quo warranto brought in the DC District Court.  This is because Congress properly exercised its Constitutional authority to review a President’s eligibility via the quo warranto statute which also provides for the removal of an ineligible person from that office if necessary.

The US Attorney General and the US attorney have been empowered by Congress to institute a quo warranto on their own volition.  Furthermore, any person may request that these officers do the same.  If consent is not given by the DOJ, section 3503 of the quo warranto statute allows an “interested person” to petition the DC District Court on its own.  The Barnett plaintiffs failed to avail themselves of this option.

Additionally, the Department of Justice has created a genuine conflict of interest as to 3502 requests by any “third person” (meaning any citizen).  By defending the President in this eligibility litigation involving quo warranto, it isn’t possible for the Department of Justice to remain impartial.

Therefore, either a special prosecutor must be named for purposes of allowing the Congressional intent of the quo warranto statute to be realized, or the DC District Court may waive the requirement and examine any verified petition on its own consent.

The conflict will eventually be tested in the DC District Court.

Meanwhile, it’s important for me to point out that everything I have told readers of this blog about quo warranto was confirmed by Judge Carter today.

JUDGE CARTER DID NOT HOLD THAT QUO WARRANTO WAS IMPROPER TO CHALLENGE THE ELIGIBILITY OF A SITTING PRESIDENT.

This was the most extraordinary part of today’s ruling.  It opens the door wide for a proper eligibility challenge in the DC District Court where the hurdle for standing is different from ordinary federal cases.

Please take note that the Department of Justice attorneys argued before Judge Carter that quo warranto – even if brought properly in the DC District Court – could not be used to challenge the eligibility of a sitting President.  Judge Carter’s ruling did not support the Department of Justice position.

The ruling today affirms that the proper venue for challenging the eligibility of a sitting President is the DC District Court.

This is a very encouraging ruling for those contemplating a quo warranto challenge to President Obama’s eligibility in the DC District Court.

THE ONLY SIGNIFICANT ERROR

The only part of today’s ruling I take issue with is footnote 3 on page 22 where Judge Carter assumes that since Congress has the Constitutional authority to enact legislation regarding naturalization and citizenship by statute that they also have the power to define the meaning of  “natural born citizen”.

But Congress has not defined “natural born citizen” while they have defined “naturalized citizen” and “citizen by statute”.  Since neither the Congress nor the courts have defined “natural born citizen”, we are left without a legal working definition.

Faced with a sitting President who admits to having been a British citizen at birth, the need for a quo warranto to be instituted is of the utmost importance to the future of this nation.

Here is Judge Carter’s correct ruling on the quo warranto issue:

C. Quo Warranto Claims…

The writ of quo warranto must be brought within the District of Columbia because President Obama holds office within that district. The quo warranto provision codified in the District of Columbia Code provides, “A quo warranto may be issued from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the name of the United States against a person who within the District of Columbia usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises, a franchise conferred by the United States or a public office of the United States, civil or military.” D.C. Code §§ 16-3501 – 16-3503.  Should a person other than the Attorney General of the United States or the United States Attorney wish to bring a quo warranto claim, that person must receive leave of court to do so. Id. at § 16-3502. This leave of court must be granted, according to the text of the statute, by the District Court for the District of Columbia.

Nothing in today’s ruling appears to question the power of the DC District Court to issue a writ of quo warranto to President Obama which would require him to prove his eligibility to hold the office of President.  I must commend Judge Carter for his exercise of judicial restraint on this issue.

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