May 31, 2012
NICHOLAS E. PURPURA AND THEODORE T. MORAN, PETITIONERS-APPELLANTS,
BARACK OBAMA, RESPONDENT-RESPONDENT.
On appeal from a Final Decision of the New Jersey Secretary of State.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued May 30, 2012
Before Judges Fisher, Baxter and Carchman.
Appellants Nicholas E. Purpura and Theodore T. Moran appeal from a final decision of Kimberly M. Guadagno, Secretary of State (the Secretary) determining that respondent President Barack Obama's nomination petition as a candidate for President of the United States in the June 5, 2012 Democratic Primary Election was valid.
Appellants filed a challenge to President Obama's nomination petition with the Division of Elections. That matter was transferred to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing, and a full hearing was held before the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who rendered a decision rejecting the challenge and dismissing the petition. The Secretary affirmed and incorporated the decision of the ALJ, concluding, after a full hearing, that "[appellants] failed to meet their burden to establish that Barack Obama failed in any obligation to prove to the Secretary of State that he is qualified to hold the Presidency and that he is a 'natural born Citizen' of the United States of America, as required by the United States Constitution." Appellants appealed on May 11, 2012, and sought emergent relief. Because the primary election is scheduled for June 5, 2012, we, sua sponte, accelerated the appeal and established a briefing and argument schedule.
On appeal, appellants assert that the ALJ and Secretary erred in finding that President Obama does not have a constitutional or statutory obligation to provide evidence to the Secretary "who he is, where he was born, and that he is constitutionally eligible to occupy the office of President in order to be placed on the New Jersey primary election ballot." In addition, appellants claim that the ALJ and the Secretary erred in finding that President Obama was born in Hawaii and that he is a "natural born citizen."
We have carefully considered appellants' arguments and conclude that these arguments are without merit. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). We affirm substantially for the reasons set forth in ALJ Jeff S. Masin's thorough and thoughtful written opinion of April 10, 2012, as adopted by the Secretary on April 12, 2012.
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