By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
October 29, 2008
America is facing potentially the gravest constitutional crisis in her history. Barack Obama must either stand up in a public forum and prove, with conclusive documentary evidence, that he is “a natural born Citizen” of the United States who has not renounced his American citizenship—or he must step down as the Democratic Party’s candidate for President of the United States—preferably before the election is held, and in any event before the Electoral College meets. Because, pursuant to the Constitution, only “a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of th[e] Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President” (Article II, Section 1, Clause 4). And Obama clearly was not “a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of th[e] Constitution.”
Whether the evidence will show that Obama is, or is not, “a natural born Citizen” who has never renounced his American citizenship is an open question. The arguments on both sides are as yet speculative.
But Obama’s stubborn refusal to provide what he claims is “his own” country with conclusive proof on that score compels the presumption that he knows, or at least strongly suspects, that no sufficient evidence in his favor exists. After all, he is not being pressed to solve a problem in quantum physics that is “above his pay grade,” but only asked to provide the public with the original copy of some official record that establishes his citizenship. The vast majority of Americans could easily do so. Why will Obama not dispel the doubts about his eligibility—unless he can not?
Now that Obama’s citizenship has been seriously questioned, the burden of proof rests squarely on his shoulders. The “burden of establishing a delegation of power to the United States * * * is upon those making the claim.” Bute v. Illinois, 333 U.S. 640, 653 (1948). And if each of the General Government’s powers must be proven (not simply presumed) to exist, then every requirement that the Constitution sets for any individual’s exercise of those powers must also be proven (not simply presumed) to be fully satisfied before that individual may exercise any of those powers. The Constitution’s command that “[n]o Person except a natural born Citizen * * * shall be eligible to the Office of President” is an absolute prohibition against the exercise of each and every Presidential power by certain unqualified individuals. Actually(not simply presumptively or speculatively) being “a natural born Citizen” is the condition precedent sine qua non for avoiding this prohibition.
Therefore, anyone who claims eligibility for “the Office of President” must, when credibly challenged, establish his qualifications in this regard with sufficient evidence.
Go read the whole thing.