Southern California lawyers skeptical about the birthplace of President Barack Obama argued their position before a panel of federal judges Monday, urging the court to reinstate their lawsuit challenging the commander in chief’s citizenship.
Attorneys Gary Kreep, of Ramona, and Orly Taitz, of Rancho Santa Margarita, have pressed on with their case even after the release of an official copy of Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate last week.
Both lawyers have lost legal efforts to disqualify the president from holding the office, and have faced sanctions for abusing the federal court system. In 2009, U.S. District Judge David Carter dismissed their case, saying the court wasn’t the proper venue to challenge a president’s election.
The crux of the argument made by several prominent “birthers” was that the president was not a natural-born U.S. citizen and therefore wasn’t qualified to seek office in 2008.
“The only recourse for the people is the courts,’’ Kreep said, according to The Associated Press. “Nobody has been willing to take on Mr. Obama.”
According to various news reports, the pair told a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the federal judiciary needed to intervene and enforce a requirement of the Constitution stating that a sitting president be born in the U.S.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David DeJute, speaking to the appellate judges, said political questions, including impeachment, were assigned to Congress, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The original lawsuit sought release of the president’s birth certificate. The pair said they now want a forensic expert to examine long-form copy released last week. Last week, Obama said he released his long-form birth certificate so the country could move on in a bipartisan way and solve its problems.
A 9th Circuit ruling on the appeal is not likely to be issued for weeks or months.
By Christopher Cadelago, Union-Tribune