by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 8, 2021) — On February 5, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion in the case of Robert C. Laity v. Kamala D. Harris denying the plaintiff’s request to “add defendants” and granting “summary affirmance” in favor of the defendant.
Laity filed his suit in early September claiming that as a vice-presidential candidate, Harris was ineligible to serve, should she be elected, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and 12th Amendment.
Although born in the United States in 1964, Laity claimed Harris cannot qualify as a “natural born Citizen,” as Article II of the Constitution requires of the president and the 12th Amendment requires of all vice-presidential candidates, because of the status of her parents at the time of her birth.
Harris’s father, Donald J. Harris, was a citizen of Jamaica and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a citizen of India when she was born in Oakland, CA on October 20, 1964. Laity believes a “natural born Citizen” is an individual born in the United States to two U.S.-citizen parents.
The Framers did not define the term “natural born Citizen” at the Constitutional Convention, and much controversy has ensued since the Constitution was ratified in 1789, particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries as more individuals with ties to foreign countries, however remote, explored or launched presidential campaigns.
The panel opined that Laity does not have “standing” to challenge Harris’s constitutional qualifications.
The order includes a “show-cause” demand requiring that within 30 days, Laity explain why he “should not be sanctioned for bringing a frivolous appeal.”
Laity’s response issued on Monday states, in part:
There is not a scintilla of frivolity in taking action to ensure that the integrity of our nation’s highest offices are protected against foreign intrusion…The legal arguments presented by the appellant in addition to the arguments made by the attorneys who so diligently prepared the amicus brief regarding what an article II “Natural Born Citizen” is are not “wholly without merit”. Were this case ever heard on its “Merits” the “disposition” of the case would have to be that Harris is not constitutionally entitled to hold her office. The evidence is overwhelming that Kamala Devi Harris is not the bona-fide Vice-President of the United States because she does not meet Article II and 12th Amendment criteria that she be a “Natural Born Citizen”. That this court suggested sua sponte that my appeal is “frivolous” (that there is no serious purpose or value) in trying to ensure that our highest offices are not breached gives me great cause for concern.”
The full response to the court can be read here: