“A CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION OF LAW”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 31, 2017) — New York State citizen and registered voter Robert Laity has filed an appeal in the case of Laity v. State of New York regarding the constitutional eligibility of three 2016 presidential candidates.
A citizen student of the law, Laity is representing himself as he has in previous ballot challenges and legal actions in which he questioned Barack Hussein Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as President of the United States.
One of the issues Laity has raised in all of his legal actions outside of any specific candidates dating back to 2008 is that the NYSBOE misstates the “natural born Citizen” presidential requirement as “born a citizen.”
In February 2016, a hearing was held to adjudicate three respective ballot challenges to the candidacies of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and former Louisiana Gov. Piyush (Bobby) Jindal, one of which was Laity’s.
During the Constitutional Convention of 1789, the Framers placed three requirements for the president, who is also the commander-in-chief, into Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the final draft of the U.S. Constitution: that he be 35 years of age or older; that he have lived in the country for 14 years or more; and that he be a “natural born Citizen.”
Cruz was born in 1971 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to a Cuban-citizen father who became a Canadian at some point during the approximately five years the family resided there. Cruz’s mother was born in Delaware and is presumed to have maintained her U.S. citizenship while in Canada. Cruz maintains that he is a “natural born Citizen” of the United States by virtue of his birth to a U.S.-citizen parent.
A report received by this publication in May 2016 from a highly reliable source strongly suggested that like her husband, Eleanor Darragh Wilson Cruz took Canadian citizenship before the family returned to the United States in 1973, settling in Houston. If accurate, whether or not Eleanor became a Canadian citizen before or after her son was born is not known to The Post & Email’s knowledge.
In August 2013, The Dallas Morning News reported that Cruz was born a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen at the same time as it released a scan of his Canadian birth certificate purportedly received from the Senator. After publication of the article, Cruz claimed he was unaware that he was born with any type of Canadian citizenship and renounced it the following year amid widespread speculation that he planned to run for U.S. president.
As The Post & Email has reported, there appear to be no government-issued documents to which Cruz has put his signature indicating that he is a U.S. citizen which the public has been permitted to see.
When CNN’s Dana Bash asked Cruz during the primaries if his claim to natural-born citizenship would survive a legal “test,” (5:06) Cruz responded, “The Constitution and laws of the United States are straightforward. The very first Congress defined the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad as a ‘natural born Citizen.’..At the end of the day, this is a non-issue.”
Cruz did not reveal, however, that the 1790 Naturalization Act to which he referred was repealed five years later.
In his own interview with Bash, Rubio said that Cruz is not “naturalized” and that Cruz’s eligibility is a “total non-issue.” However, in April 2016, NBC News reported Cruz as having been “naturalized” as a U.S. citizen in 2014, which virtually all Americans agree does not equate to being “natural born.”
Laity is not the only party to have challenged Cruz’s eligibility. In 2016, write-in presidential candidate and law professor Victor Williams filed legal challenges to Cruz’s candidacy, first representing himself and later represented by Atty. Mario Apuzzo of New Jersey.
Obama claims to have been born in Honolulu, HI on August 4, 1961 to a U.S.-citizen mother and British-citizen father at the time. As his occupation of the White House unfolded, a “long-form” birth certificate was posted at whitehouse.gov which was later declared a “computer-generated forgery” by a five-year criminal investigation conducted through the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Obama Selective Service registration form was also found to be a forgery.
Neither Congress, the media nor the FBI has ever investigated the findings, which are supported by those of two forensic analysts who examined the image from different disciplines as revealed at a press conference on December 15, 2016.
While the investigation into Obama’s birth certificate did not encompass determining Obama’s birthplace, a myriad of credible reports existed before his first presidential election in 2008 stating that he was born in Kenya or Indonesia, not Hawaii.
Rubio and Jindal’s backgrounds are similar in that each was born in the United States to parents legally admitted to the U.S. but who were not yet U.S. citizens. Rubio was born in Florida and Jindal in Louisiana.
President Donald Trump, who first questioned Obama’s eligibility in early 2011, also raised questions about Cruz and Rubio’s eligibility during the 2016 campaign.
Laity has written to Trump on two occasions since his inauguration to express his concern over Obama’s alleged usurpation of the presidency not once, but twice.
After its hearing in February of last year, the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) dismissed Laity’s eligibility challenges on the grounds that “the objection raises issues which are beyond the ministerial scope of the State Board to determine and such objection is made in the incorrect venue, as no direct election for President of the United States occurs via election day ballots.”
From there, Laity appealed through the courts, ultimately landing in the Appellate Division, Third Department, from which he received a notice of dismissal dated August 10, 2017. Part of the court’s reasoning reads:
To the extent that petitioner challenges the primary ballot and the general election ballot, the proceeding is moot because the 2016 presidential primary and general elections have already taken place and “the rights of the parties cannot be affected by the determination of this” appeal (Matter of Hearst Corp. v Clyne, 50 NY2d 707, 714 ; see Matter of Danielewicz v Aurigema, 58 NY2d 881, 881-882 ; Matter of Reed v Walsh, 101 AD3d 1661, 1662 ). The exception to the mootness doctrine does not apply inasmuch as this case does not present the type of issue that would typically evade review (see Matter of Hearst Corp. v Clyne, 50 NY2d at 714-715). The substantive issue presented would not have evaded judicial review had petitioner timely commenced this proceeding, which would have enabled Supreme Court to hear the case before the presidential primary election and petitioner to take an expedited appeal therefrom.
Laity bases his claim that the three former presidential candidates are ineligible on the premise, tangentially referred to in the U.S. Supreme Court case Minor v. Happersett, that a “natural born Citizen” is a person born in the U.S. to two U.S.-citizen parents.
Former presidential candidate Cody Robert Judy has based his lawsuits against Obama and Sen. John McCain on the same definition of the term of art contained in Article II.
In his Statement in Support of Motion dated August 18, 2017, Laity wrote:
This case involves a Constitutional Question of Law. It illustrates an overt conflict regarding the application of Federal law by the State of New York. This very same issue a conflict between what the State applies and what the Constitution actually requires them to apply was brought before this court in Laity v NY, Obama, Motion #2013-1002… This matter has evaded review for the (9) years since I first broached it to the NY State Board of Elections. As early as the year 2008, the New York State Board of Elections has overtly misrepresented the established US Constitution requirements found in Article II, Sec. 1, Clause 5 and the 12th Amendment that a President and Vice-Pres. both be a “Natural Born Citizen”.
Laity’s appeal documents are below.
Update: On Friday, September 1, Laity told The Post & Email:
The appeal is to the New York State Court of Appeals which, in the majority of States, is referred to as their State “Supreme Court”. In NY’s system the “Supreme Court” is the primary starting point for entry into the State’s Court System from Local Courts. There are Supreme Court Branches in the State.
Any appeals from actions of these Supreme Courts are then taken to the NY State Supreme Court Appellate Division. Any appeals from those courts are taken finally to the NY State Court of Appeals in the same manner that one would petition SCOTUS.
While SCOTUS grants of Writs of Certiorari are at the discretion of the SCOTUS, some appellants in NY Courts have a statutory right, under certain circumstances, to appeal to the NYSCOA.
I am entitled to appeal to NYSCOA because I have proferred a question of US Constitutional import.