President Obama will ignore an order by an Atlanta judge to appear in court Thursday for a hearing in a case challenging his qualifications under the Constitution to be president.
According to the White House, Obama will continue with his current trip out West, starting the day in Las Vegas and then continuing on to Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado before heading to Detroit where he will spend the night.
The Associated Press reported last week that the judge had denied a motion to quash a subpoena for the president to show up for the hearing, which is scheduled for 9 am ET. Obama may still be sleeping – it will only be 6 am in Las Vegas.
The case centers on whether Obama, whose father was Kenyan, qualifies as a “natural born citizen,” as required of a president under the Constitution. Some contend that “natural born citizen” means both of a presidential candidate’s parents must be U.S. citizens.
The Atlanta lawsuit would deny Obama the right to participate in the March 6 Georgia Democratic primary, though backers of the suit clearly hope to establish a precedent that would help make a national issue over whether Obama can serve as president.
A letter apparently sent by Obama attorney Michael Jablonski Wednesday to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp asks Kemp to “bring an end to this baseless, costly and unproductive hearing by withdrawing the original hearing request as improvidently issued.”
Jablonski states that while waiting for Kemp to do as requested, “we will, of course, suspend further participation in these proceedings, including the hearing scheduled for January 26.”
A letter that appears to be from Kemp to Jablonski rejects the demand and holds out the threat of punitive action should Obama and his attorneys withdraw from the proceedings.
“To the extent a request to withdraw the case referral is procedurally available, I do not believe such a request would be judicious given the hearing is set for tomorrow morning,” the Kemp letter states. “Anything you and your client place in the record in response to the challenge will be beneficial to my review of the initial decision; however, if you and your client choose to suspend your participation in the OSAH proceedings, please understand that you do so at your own peril.”
I possess copies of both the Jablonski and Kemp letters, and I have little doubt that both are genuine, but I have not as of late this evening been able to contact officials to absolutely confirm their authenticity.
UPDATE: Obama and his attorneys skipped the hearing. Also, the Jablonski and Kemp letters are genuine.