The opinion of the court was delivered by: Simandle, District Judge
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution, a person must be a "natural born citizen" to be eligible for the office of President of the United States. Four individuals, believing that President Barack Obama is not eligible for his office on this ground, have filed suit seeking a court order to require various officials to look into their claims and to remove the President from office. Plaintiffs present various arguments for defining the term "natural born citizen" accompanied by allegations of how President Obama does not meet their definition.
This matter is presently before the Court on a motion to dismiss [Docket Item 27] submitted by Defendants President Barack Obama, the United States of America, the United States Congress, the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, former Vice-President and President of the Senate Richard Cheney, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (collectively, "Defendants"). For the reasons expressed below, the Court finds that Plaintiffs Charles F. Kerchner, Jr., Lowell T. Patterson, Darrell James LeNormand, and Donald H. Nelsen, Jr. lack standing to pursue their claims and so the Court must grant Defendants' motion to dismiss.
Plaintiffs' claims, as set forth in their Second Amended Complaint,*fn1 arise from allegations that President Obama has failed to sufficiently prove that he is a "natural born citizen" eligible for the presidency and that the legislative branch has failed to sufficiently investigate President Obama's citizenship and place of birth. Plaintiffs all voted in the November 4, 2008 general election for president. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 8-11.)
Mr. Kerchner and Mr. Nelsen both took oaths to defend and support the Constitution of the United States -- Mr. Kerchner as part of his thirty-three years of service in the U.S. Naval Reserves and Mr. Nelsen as a former member of the Marine Reserves and Army National Guard. (Id. ¶¶ 8, 11.) In addition, Mr. Kerchner states that his is particularly harmed by the alleged uncertainty surrounding President Obama's birthplace because "while currently not statutorily subject to recall, by Executive Order of the President or an act of Congress in extreme national emergency"
Mr. Kerchner might be recalled. (Id. ¶ 8.)
Plaintiffs claim violations of the First, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Twentieth Amendments of the Constitution and seek declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as a writ of mandamus and quo warrantor. In Court I, Plaintiff Kerchner alleges that the Congressional Defendants violated his First Amendment right to petition because they ignored his requests that they investigate President Obama's citizenship and place of birth. (Id. ¶¶ 200-214.) In Counts II and X, Plaintiffs allege that the Congressional Defendants violated their Fifth Amendment procedural due process rights and their rights under the Twentieth Amendment by failing to conduct an appropriate investigation and hold a hearing regarding President Obama's place of birth. (Id. ¶¶ 215-234, 329-356.) In Counts III and IV, Plaintiffs allege that President Obama violated their substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment by holding the office of president without proving that he is a "natural born citizen" and that the Congressional Defendants violated these same rights by permitting President Obama to occupy the office and by failing to adequately confirm that his is a "natural born citizen." (Id. ¶¶ 235-270.) In Count V, Plaintiffs allege that the Congressional Defendants violated their Fifth Amendment right to equal protection by submitting to the requests of citizens who requested a hearing regarding Senator John McCain's place of birth and citizenship, but declining a similar request from Plaintiffs and other citizens regarding President Obama. (Id. ¶¶ 271-282.) In Counts VI, VII, VIII, and IX, Plaintiffs assert their rights under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to compel President Obama to prove that his is a "natural born citizen" and to compel the Congressional Defendants to conduct appropriate congressional hearings under the Twentieth Amendment to determine whether President Obama is a "natural born citizen." (Id. ¶¶ 283-328.) In Count XI, Plaintiffs seeks a writ quo warrantor removing and excluding President Obama from the office of President of the United States because he is not a "natural born citizen." (Id. ¶¶ 357-380.) Finally, in Count XII, Plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment against all Defendants defining "natural born citizen," and compelling the Congressional Defendants to hold a congressional hearing on the question and to remove President Obama from office if they determine he is not a "natural born citizen." (Id. ¶¶ 381-387.)
The harm alleged for all of these constitutional violations is that Plaintiffs have been deprived of their right to know whether President Obama is a "natural born citizen" and to have a president who is truly a "natural born citizen."*fn2 (Id. ¶¶ 208, 233, 251, 269, 282, 291, 302, 314, 325, 356, 377, 378.)
On January 20, 2009, Plaintiffs filed their initial complaints, which they subsequently amended twice. Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint on February 9, 2009. On June 26, 2009, Defendants filed the present motion to dismiss, in which they argue that Plaintiffs lack Article III standing as well as prudential standing to bring all of these claims before the Court. Defendants argue in the alternative that the United States, the United States Congress, and former Vice-President Cheney and Speaker Pelosi in their official capacities, are entitled to sovereign immunity. Defendants Cheney and Pelosi are also ...