A state appellate court in Sacramento on Monday threw out a lawsuit claiming President Barack Obama is not eligible to occupy the White House because he is not a natural-born citizen of the United States.
The court did not deal with the citizenship issue, instead ruling that the California secretary of state, who oversees elections, and the state's Electoral College members are not legally responsible to certify presidential candidates as qualified for the office.
Under the terms of the U.S. Constitution's 12th Amendment, that responsibility rests solely with Congress, a unanimous three-justice panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal declared.
"The members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are well qualified to adjudicate any objections to ballots for allegedly unqualified candidates," the justices said.
In a lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court shortly after the 2008 general election, the three plaintiffs, who are members of the so-called "birthers" movement, claimed there is persuasive evidence Obama was born in what is now Kenya, which was then (1961) the British East African Protectorate of Zanzibar. He would have automatically been a British citizen, based on his father's citizenship, they claimed.
Obama says he was born in Hawaii, and available evidence supports him.
The plaintiffs in the Sacramento suit are Alan Keyes, a former member of President Ronald Reagan's administration from Maryland, and Wiley S. Drake Sr., a Southern Baptist minister from Buena Park.
They were the 2008 American Independent Party candidates for president and vice president, respectively. They were joined in the suit by Markham Robinson, a Vacaville software firm owner who unsuccessfully sought the AIP's nomination for governor in the June primary.
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