Atty. Van Irion Discusses Georgia Ballot Challenge and the Constitution

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by Sharon Rondeau

Atty. Van Irion, founder of the Liberty Legal Foundation, is representing a Georgia plaintiff with a ballot challenge against Barack Hussein Obama

(Jan. 7, 2012) — Constitutional attorney Van Irion, who is also founder of the Liberty Legal Foundation, spoke with The Post & Email regarding the ballot challenge he has filed on behalf of his client, David Welden, which claims that Barack Hussein Obama is not  constitutionally eligible to serve as president.  The interview was completed one day before Judge Michael Malihi denied a Motion to Dismiss filed by Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski.

Welden had originally filed the challenge pro se and Irion later agreed to represent him.  The hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on January 26, 2012 at the Justice Center Building located at 160 Pryor Street, Atlanta, in courtroom G40.  Irion’s case is the first of three cases expected to be heard that day.

On January 3, 2012, Judge Michael Malihi affirmed that Georgia statute 21-2-5(s) gave registered voters standing to challenge the eligibility of a candidate for state or federal office.  In response to the judge’s decision, Irion stated on his foundation website, “Hopefully the Georgia court will set the groundwork for victories across the country. If any court rules that Obama is not Constitutionally qualified to hold the office of President, it will be a major victory and should make international news.

Irion had also requested that his case be separated from those of Atty. Orly Taitz and Atty. J. Mark Hatfield, which the judge granted.  Hatfield, also a Georgia state representative, is acting as counsel to two Georgia voters whose case has received television coverage.

We asked Irion what kind of action he has filed, and he responded: “I represent one person in an administrative action very specific to Georgia state law.  We’re actually not going to a civil court.  It’s an administrative court specifically set up by Georgia statute, and the entire purpose of the court is to advise the Secretary of State.  I’m going to be starting by saying, ‘We recognize that your main purpose for being here is to be able to advise the Secretary of State on the facts and the law.’  Ultimately, regardless of what the court does, either side can appeal to a law court in Georgia, and that’s certainly what’s going to happen regardless of who wins.”

Irion continued:

Liberty Legal got involved after David Welden, who is our client, filed the challenge himself. Georgia law allows for any voter who is qualified to vote for a candidate to challenge the constitutional and statutory qualifications of that particular candidate.  He and a handful of others did that.  There’s a very short period of time:  two weeks after the candidate qualifies with the Secretary of State.  He did that, and after that, he contacted me.  He based his complaint largely on Liberty Legal’s complaint in our Certification lawsuit in Arizona.  He looked at our complaints and used a lot of the same language and citations.  He didn’t ask us for our help right off the bat, and he didn’t expect our help, which was important to us, because he did it right, following Georgia code the way it needed to be done; and also, he came to us with a very gracious attitude of “I’m doing this because I think it’s the right thing to do.  I don’t expect your help, but if you can, if you’d like to, I wouldn’t mind talking with you about this.”  So we ended up having several conversations and at the end of the day, we said, “Hey, I think we can help you.”  So that’s how we ended up representing David Welden.

David Welden and Liberty Legal are going first on the 26th.  Atty. Orly Taitz will be there representing other plaintiffs, and there are other plaintiffs who may not have attorneys.  I hope that we both win.

The reason we are going first and being heard separately is that I plan on calling one witness — my client, David Welden.  I plan on asking him three questions; that’s it, we’re done, and making one argument.  The presentation of evidence and testimony will take 15 minutes or less.  We’ll probably argue the law for quite some time after that, but that’s the whole point.  That’s the way I do law:  I generally try to find the clearest, easiest-to-understand argument that I can support, and that’s what we present.  If it doesn’t work, I rarely argue alternatives.  Most lawyers do that habitually; there’s good reason for it; I understand why, but I also think it’s become very ineffective because courts have become numb to multiple alternative arguments.

The Post & Email asked, “What is your argument?”

Here it is:  Barack Obama’s father was never a U.S. citizen.  The Supreme Court, in Minor v. Happersett, defined “natural born Citizen” under the Constitution as “being born in this country with both parents being U.S. citizens at the time the candidate was born.”  That’s “natural born Citizen;” that’s the Supreme Court’s definition; it’s never been overturned or challenged or questioned; therefore, Barack Obama is not qualified to be president by his own admission.  Here’s the thing:  the defense still has not addressed that substantive argument. They throw up all kinds of procedural arguments; they throw up all kinds of interpretations of Georgia code that don’t allow us to get to our argument.  But at the end of the day, there’s one thing that’s very simple:  Georgia code is very clear such that even if my client doesn’t have standing to raise this, even if no voter has standing, the Secretary of State, according to one specific code, “shall determine the qualifications of the candidate before the election.”  It’s one sentence.  It does not give them any option to not do it.  And they can, at any time before the election, look into those qualifications.  So if this court decides that David Welden doesn’t have the ability to raise this because of the procedural arguments brought up by the defendant, this court’s purpose is only to advise the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State absolutely has to address, by law, the substantive qualifications of this candidate.  “So even if you find that you have to dismiss our case, you still have to tell the Secretary of State what to do with this argument wherein the Supreme Court has defined the term “natural born Citizen,” and Barack Obama has repeatedly admitted that he doesn’t meet those qualifications.  You can’t avoid the substantive issue even if you rule against us on a procedural matter.”

“Is there a way that the judge could declare that having one citizen parent is enough to qualify a person as a ‘natural born Citizen?’”

Let me answer your question with a truism:  a judge can do anything he wants.  They are the final arbiters of what’s right and wrong.  The fact that a higher court can overturn them is always there.  It’s also true that that usually doesn’t happen.  No matter how many levels of appeal you have, getting a higher court to overturn a lower court is always an unlikely outcome in any appeal.  It’s difficult.  They do it only when the lower court has made a glaring error or they philosophically completely disagree with the judge who happens to be sitting in the lower court.

The good news is that Judge Michael Malihi was the first judge anywhere to actually issue a subpoena to the Hawaii Department of Health to a) show up and be questioned, and b) have the original written birth certificate with you or a darn good explanation why you don’t, and the microfilm.  This is a judge who understands that he has some authority here, and the court has the authority to force documents and witnesses to show up, and he’s doing it.  Just that fact made me think, “We might actually get a fair hearing here.”

I was told that the Deputy Attorney General, Jill Nagamine, has said that Hawaii doesn’t have to answer a subpoena from another state.

Oh, that’s hilarious.  That violates the Constitution of the United States and is akin to seceding from the nation.  If the state of Hawaii does that, the judge has the right to jail them.  The way that works is that he writes a contempt order and sends it to the law enforcement of the state of Hawaii, and if they fail, then they’re violating the Constitution and we need to get the federal court in Hawaii involved.  The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution states “must honor the judgments from courts duly constituted in other states.”  They don’t have a choice, and law enforcement must follow the orders of courts from other states.  If they don’t, they’re violating their oath.  That’s where we’re at now!

“They seem to be going to great lengths to cover up whatever they’re hiding.”

It’s because they’re run by a bunch of liberal Democrats who don’t understand government or authority and think that they’re just the kings of the roost…and they are, unless someone does something about it.

This is what Americans have never understood.  If people we have put in places of authority are not willing to follow the letter of the law and break their oath and ignore the law, then we have no nation. It’s just chaos from that point.  This is what this represents:  with a president sitting there for three years who’s clearly not even qualified to be president.  Why are we arguing about the interpretation of the Constitution when the Supreme Court has already ruled on this and we can’t get it enforced!  We’re so far beyond absurd that it takes light from “absurd” decades to get here from there!

“What do you think is the first thing Americans need to do to turn around this out-of-control government?”

At the end of the day, the only thing that’s going to change anything is absolute insistence that their representatives follow the Constitution to the letter. You have to start with every member of Congress who has not called for the impeachment of Obama based on his lack of qualifications under the Constitution.  Any congressman who has not called for that should be impeached himself.  They have failed their duty.  Until Americans start calling for that, we really don’t have a government.  We’re out here living without a government because it’s basically just whoever has the most people following them with the most guns.  That’s what it devolves to and that’s where we’re at now. That’s why you have sheriffs breaking people’s doors down and nobody’s doing anything about it.  It’s just chaos.

As far as this hearing goes, if we get a victory, I hope that that would make world news.  I would hope that even an administrative court in one state ruling that Obama is not qualified would make world news enough to get people talking about it again.  That’s the only reason we’re doing it.  We’re doing it so that we can get someone in authority to rule that he’s not constitutionally qualified. Even if at the end of the day, the Supreme Court says, “No, you’re wrong; you’ve misinterpreted Minor v. Happersett, we might not agree with that, but at least then I could go to bed at night knowing that somebody cared!  Even if we’re wrong, we’re at least trying to follow the Constitution again.  Basically, we’re saying, “The emperor has no clothes; he sure looks naked to me…what do you think?”


Editor’s Note:  On January 6, 2012, a Hawaii judge set a hearing date in Honolulu for January 26 involving Atty. Orly Taitz, who is scheduled to be in Georgia that day presenting a ballot challenge as noted by Atty. Irion.


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