An Atlanta judge Friday ruled that President Obama meets the Constitutional requirement that the president be a “natural born citizen” and that he is therefore qualified to appear on the Georgia Democratic primary ballot.
Judge Michael Malihi issued his ruling even though Obama and his lawyers ignored a subpoena to appear before him in a hearing on the matter last week.
Malihi suggests that he would have issued a default ruling against Obama, but that he decided, at the request of the plaintiffs, to rule on the merits of the case instead. He adds, though, that he “in no way condones the conduct” of Obama’s lawyer, Michael Jablonski.
The matter now goes to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who will make the final determination on whether Obama can appear on the ballot.
Malahi curtly dismissed arguments that Obama’s Social Security number and birth certificate were fraudulent, as well as several similar claims, saying the testimony of witnesses on these issues possessed “little, if any value.”
But he took more seriously the argument that Obama was not a natural born citizen.
Because the Framers used the term instead of simply “citizen,” there has been some doubt as to its meaning. Some argue that the understanding at the time the Constitution was written was that “natural born citizen” meant both parents had to be citizens. Obama’s father was from Kenya and was not a U.S. citizen.
Malihi said he concurred with a 2009 decision by an Indiana court, which he says found that the “natural born citizen” applies to those born in the United States, whether their parents were citizens or not. He does not appear to have done his own research into the term, instead finding the investigation done by the Indiana court persuasive.