by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 20, 2021) — Robert C. Laity’s recently-filed petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for a rehearing on the constitutional eligibility of Kamala Harris claims she is “NOT the bona-fide Vice-President of the United States” and asks the court to set aside its June 1, 2021 denial of his petition for a writ of certiorari.
As The Post & Email has reported, Laity believes Harris is ineligible to serve as vice president given that although born in the United States in 1964, her parents were not U.S. citizens at the time.
In April, Laity’s case was docketed at the U.S. Supreme Court and scheduled for conference on May 28, 2021. On June 1, the court denied Laity’s petition for a writ of certiorari with comment or dissent from any of its members.
Prior to appealing to the high court, Laity had asked, through a petition for a Writ of Quo Warranto, the U.S. Attorney General and White House to investigate whether or not Harris met the qualifications of the vice-presidency. Receiving no response, in September Laity filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, later appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which found Laity to lack “standing” and to have brought a “frivolous” case.
Documents posted last month by the Twitter account @KamalaKancel appear to show that Harris’s father, Donald J. Harris, naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1981; whether or not her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, ever became a U.S. citizen is in question. Both parents, hailing from Jamaica and India, respectively, were present in the United States on student visas when Kamala was born, followed by several extensions or revisions of that status on the part of Gopalan Harris.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution states three requirements for the president and commander-in-chief: that he have resided for 14 years within the country, be a minimum of 35 years of age, and a “natural born Citizen.”
While the Framers did not define the term, some scholars believe that a “natural born Citizen” is one with undivided allegiance, necessitating a birth in the United States to parents who were U.S. citizens at the time of birth.
Others argue that a birth in the United States without regard to the parents’ citizenship or status is sufficient to meet the “natural-born” requirement. Still others, including two former solicitors general, say a birth outside the country to one U.S.-citizen parent is not disqualifying.
In the case of the late Sen. John McCain, some claimed that his birth in Panama to two citizen parents, one of whom was serving as an admiral in the Navy at the time, included him among the “natural born.” In April 2008, when McCain was seeking the Republican nomination for president, the U.S. Senate passed Sen. Res. 511 affirming that assertion.
Notably, no such resolution was passed for Barack Hussein Obama, who claimed to have been born in Hawaii to a U.S.-citizen mother and British-citizen father and was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination at the time. Nevertheless, Obama supported the McCain resolution.
In 1804, the passage of the 12th Amendment extended the presidential eligibility criteria to vice-presidential candidates.
In 2008, Laity challenged Obama’s eligibility in similar fashion to Laity v. Harris.
Laity’s latest filing can be read here: