In the United States, to become a party’s (e.g., the Democratic Party) presidential candidate, one must go through the following:
- Step 1: Receive the votes of the majority of party delegates from the 50 states.
- Step 2: The delegates’ votes are tallied and certified at the party’s national convention.
- Step 3: Each state’s party must certify that the candidate is constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States of America.
- Step 4: After the parties of all 50 states produced their Certificates of Nomination, the Chair of the National Party Convention also signs off certifying that the nominee indeed is constitutionally eligible.
Needless to say, fraud can be committed at each step of the process.
In the last couple of days, the blogosphere is abuzz with the claim that in 2008, the Democratic Party of Hawaii — Obama’s putative birth state — had refused to certify that he was constitutionally eligible for the presidency. As an example, on September 15, the website Obama Release Your Records said outright that “The State Democratic Party of Hawaii would not certify in 2008 that Obama was constitutionally and legally eligible for the Office of President,” citing a Butterdezillion blog post of September 10, which says:
“…somebody claiming to represent the DNC stated on a discussion board that the DNC relies on the state parties to verify Constitutional eligibility for candidates, so the oath by Pelosi and Germond would just confirm that the state democratic parties had confirmed the Constitutional eligibility of the candidates. But this is where the argument totally falls apart, because the Hawaii Democratic Party actually ignored their protocols in 2008 in order to specifically NOT certify Obama’s eligibility as they had done for candidates in the past. IOW, if Pelosi based her decision to certify on whether the state party would confirm eligibility, then she had a duty to NOT certify Obama’s eligibility, because the democratic party of the state supposedly holding Obama’s birth certificate REFUSED TO CERTIFY Obama’s eligibility.”
I looked into these claims, specifically the primary source documents of Hawaii Democratic Party Certifications of Nomination for Presidential Candidates in 2000, 2004, and 2008. This is what I found.
In 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s official Certifications of Nomination for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman (2000) and John Kerry and John Edwards (2004) both had the following identical language:
This is to certify that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution and are the duly chosen candidates of both the state and the national Democratic Parties by balloting at the Presidential Preference Poll and Caucus held _____ in the State of Hawaii and by acclamation at the National Democratic Convention held ______ in _______.
In 2008, the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s official Certification of Nomination for Barack Obama and Joe Biden carried this language:
This is to certify that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the national Democratic Parties balloting at the Presidential Preferences Poll and Caucus held on February 19, 2008 in the State of Hawaii and by acclamation at the National Democratic Convention held August 27, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.
What the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s 2008 Certification of Nomination left out are these words:
“of the United States Constitution and are the duly chosen candidates of both the state and”
In other words, by omitting the above words, the Democratic Party of Hawaii (DPH) was signalling the following:
- DPH is merely certifying that Obama is legally qualified to serve as President by virtue of the ballots of the Democratic Parties of the 50 states. The DPH is not certifying that Obama is legally qualified to serve as President under the provisions of the U.S. Constitution!
- The DPH is also saying that Obama and Biden are NOT the chosen candidates of the state of Hawaii.
Why are we finding out about this only now, 20 months into the Obama presidency? More importantly, what can be done about this?
According to the Cyclopedia of Law and Procedure, vol. 15 (NY: American Law Book Company, 1905), pp. 338-339:
When the authority to make a nomination is legally challenged by objections filed to the certificate of nomination, and violation or disregard of the party rules is alleged, the court must hear the facts and determine the question.
Before we break out the party noisemakers, here’s some sobering information from p. 339 of the same Cyclopedia of Law and Procedure concerning who can object and the time period for making an objection:
One who is not a member of the party making nominations cannot object to the regularity of the proceedings resulting in the nomination.
It is usually provided by statute that objections to nomination papers shall be made within a designated time after such papers are filed, or within a certain number of days before election. And, after the time for filing objections has passed, in the absence of fraud a certificate of nomination to which no objections were filed and which is regular in form cannot be attacked. At all events such objection should be made before the election, for if not so made the legal authority of a convention will in the absence of fraud be conclusively presumed.
By omitting certain words in its 2008 Certificate of Nomination — words that were included in its 2004 and 2000 Certificates of Nomination — the Democratic Party of Hawaii was signalling that (a) Obama was not constitutionally qualified to be President; and (b) his nomination does not have the State of Hawaii’s approval and consent.
We conservative bloggers and citizens can scream at the top of our lungs. But only a member or members of the Democratic Party can object to irregularities in the Democratic Party’s certifying of Obama. Happily, Cyclopedia of Law and Procedure also says on page 339 that filing an objection is simple:
“Service of a copy of the written objections to the certificate of nomination of a candidate whose nomination is attacked is sufficient notice.”
Is there a registered Democrat with a conscience out there? Hello? We only need one to step forth….
UPDATE (9/22/10): Please see a proposed action plan for patriots, “What Is To Be Done.”