- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 5, 2012) — Montgomery Blair Sibley, who is a descendant of Founding Father George Mason and the notable American Blair family, after which Blair House, the guest house of the president, was named, spoke with The Post & Email earlier today.
Sibley was a write-in candidate for president in 2012 and has challenged Obama’s constitutional eligibility as a “natural born Citizen” as required under Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.
A resident of the District of Columbia, Sibley has filed three lawsuits there, each approaching the eligibility question from a different angle. A former attorney, Sibley is representing himself in each case.
The first lawsuit names the three District of Columbia electors scheduled to vote in the Electoral College on December 17, 2012 as defendants. Prior to speaking with Mr. Sibley, The Post & Email left a voice message with Attorney Andrew J. Saindon, who represents the electors. Sibley has challenged the constitutionality of an election law passed by Congress which mandates that District electors vote for Obama, in this case, as he won the Democrat primary. Sibley stated that the 12th Amendment gives the electors the right to “vote any way they please.” He contended that “Congress cannot tell them to vote a certain way; it’s an unholy and unconstitutional concentration of power in the hands of one of the two parties.”
The second case utilizes a law applicable only in the District of Columbia which allows a resident and registered voter to challenge the qualifications of any elected candidate. “In most states, it has to be a pre-election challenge. In DC, we’re given the right to a post-election challenge to any candidate who is elected. As a result, I filed a post-election appeal in the DC Court of Appeals a challenge to Obama’s qualifications questioning whether or not he is even a citizen, let alone a ‘natural born Citizen,’” Sibley said.
The election certification occurred in Washington, DC on November 29. The law allows a seven-day window for challenges, and Sibley’s case in the Court of Appeals was filed on Friday, November 30. “I don’t expect any movement for a week or two,” Sibley told us. Sibley describes the case as having two prongs: that the electors can vote for whomever they want, but they can vote only for eligible candidates. “There’s no question that Obama’s father was from Kenya. I’m arguing that Obama is not a ‘natural born Citizen’ and therefore they cannot vote for him. That’s the question of law that’s being presented to the court for resolution,” Sibley said.
The third lawsuit uses the common law Writ of Quo Warranto to challenge the qualifications of anyone elected and is also particular to Washington, DC which, according to Sibley, “allows a person interested in the office of president to challenge the qualifications of anyone else elected to that office.” He had filed an initial challenge in the spring and then a second action following the election because of the “changed circumstances.”
The Post & Email asked Sibley about a Huffington Post article which incorrectly claims that he was disbarred rather than suspended for three years from the practice of law, to which he responded, “I’ve contacted them about that and they ignore me.” A court document linked from The Huffington Post article states that a suspension was recommended, not disbarment. Sibley has chosen not to reinstitute his law license because he believes that state bar associations are “completely corrupt.”
When we asked Sibley how he defines the term “natural born Citizen,” found in Article II, he said, “If I were a practicing attorney, I could take either side of that and argue it persuasively. There are legitimate arguments to be made that ‘natural born Citizen’ is equivalent to “citizen” under the 14th Amendment. But there are just as strong, compelling arguments that ‘natural born Citizen’ is a super-class of citizen that requires both parents to be U.S. citizens for good reason. That’s the legal position I’m taking in my arguments. But I respect the other side. The real problem is that the courts refuse to answer the question. Why do we have a judicial system – why are “cases and controversies” mentioned in Article III of the Constitution – if the courts won’t exercise their jurisdiction and resolve the question once and for all?”
During the preparation of this article,the office of Assistant Attorney General Andrew Saindon returned our telephone call and promised to send its response to Sibley’s lawsuit. The only public comment the spokesperson could make was that “he has no standing” to bring the suit. The defendants’ attorney relies on the case Wong Kim Ark to define the term “natural born Citizen.”
The response can be viewed here: Sibley Defense Opposition
When we asked Sibley if he had a closing statement, he responded “Just remember what Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you; then you win.’”
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