November 1, 2008
by Joan Swirsky

On February 10, 2007, Senator Barack Obama stood outside the Old State Capitol building in Illinois and announced his intention to run for the presidency.

 “I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness, a certain audacity, to this announcement,” Obama said. I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

Of course, that depends on what his definition of “been there long enough” is. Actually, after he took office in November 2004, he spent a total of 143 days “on the job” – the number of days the senate was in session – before beginning his campaign for President of the United States. So now we know that, to Obama, “been there long enough” means that four months and change is quite enough preparation to be not only president but also the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, chief executive of the federal government, and leader of the free world.
At least he got the “audacity” part right.

In responding to disparagement from his opponents about the three years he spent as a community organizer in Chicago, Obama explained – with startlingly unselfconscious narcissism – that it was a good preparation for the top job in the world because it helped in “understanding where I’m coming from, who I believe in, who I’m fighting for and why I’m in this race.”

“They haven’t talked about the fact that I was a civil rights lawyer;” Obama added. “They haven’t talked about the fact that I taught constitutional law…”

Okay, let’s talk about that, especially because it is on the basis of a Constitutional challenge that Obama was sued by lawyer Philip J. Berg. In short, Berg has insisted that Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen, was possibly born on foreign soil to an American mother and Kenyan father, may hold dual American-Indonesian citizenship, and therefore does meet the eligibility requirements that are spelled out in exquisite detail in the United States Constitution. He asked that Obama’s name be removed from the ballot. 

Berg’s case was dismissed on October 24 by Judge Barclay Surrick, but he promptly took the case before Judge David Souter of the Supreme Court, whose disposition is anticipated before the election on Tuesday, November 4 If no judgment is rendered, Berg anticipates that if Obama is elected, a Constitutional crisis will ensue. At this point, numerous citizens throughout the country have petitioned their own courts to disqualify Obama.


Well, I ask, what part of the Constitution did Obama not “get”?

In the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, it states: No person except a natural born citizen or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

Title 8 of the U.S. Code explains what “natural born citizen” means:

  • Anyone born inside the United States.
  • Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person’s status as a citizen of the tribe.
  • Anyone born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
  • Anyone born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national.
  • Anyone born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year.
  • Anyone found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21.
  • Anyone born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time).
  • A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President. These provisions allow the children of military families to be considered natural-born. For example, separate sections of the U.S. Code address territories that the United States has acquired over time, such as Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. And the law contains one other section about the Panama Canal Zone and the nation of Panama. It states that anyone born in the Canal Zone or in Panama itself, on or after February 26, 1904, to a mother and/or father who is a United States citizen, was “declared” to be a United States citizen.

Because this section doesn’t carry the words “natural-born” or “citizen at birth,” this became an issue for Sen. John McCain when he ran for president in 2000. But that issue was resolved when it was found that McCain was considered a natural-born citizen under 8 USC 1401(c): “a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person.

If Obama meets the above criteria, then why has he still not produced a certifiably authentic birth certificate?


Selwyn Duke, in the American Thinker, writes, “Leftists…could attempt to change the Constitution so that it reflects their agenda, but this is a long, drawn-out, difficult process that requires, of all things, actual public support for your aims. And it’s easier to change the courts – and install `ideological’ justices who will impose left-wing orthodoxy from the bench – than the will of the subjects. Consider that liberals are ever trying to destroy tradition, as it stands in the way of progressivism. Consider that a consistent definition of liberalism – one that epitomizes the modern left (those progressives) – involves the desire to change the status quo. So what it means is that, by definition, a liberal who understands the Constitution cannot believe in it.”

Aha! So that is why Obama told an NPR  radio interviewer in 2001 that the Warren Court did not “break free from the essential constraints” found in the Constitution and therefore one of the “tragedies” of the civil rights movement was that “the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth…”

Upon hearing a tape of the interview, Ed Morrissey of CaptainsQuarters blog fame, “The government does not exist to determine the acceptable level of wealth of its individual citizens. For government to assume that role, it would have to end private property rights and assume all property belonged to the State. That is classic Marxism. Barack Obama complains that the Constitution is a `charter of negative liberties.’ That’s because the Constitution was intended as a limiting document, to curtail the power of the federal government vis-à-vis the states and the individual. Barack Obama wants to reverse that entirely. And that’s radical change you’d better believe in, or else.”

Rush Limbaugh also weighed in: “Barack Obama calls himself a `constitutional professor’ or a `constitutional scholar.’  In truth, Barack Obama was an anti-constitutionalist professor. He studied the Constitution and he flatly rejected it.  He doesn’t like the Constitution. He thinks it is flawed. Now I understand why he was so reluctant to wear the American flag lapel pin….he says that the Constitution `is a charter of negative liberties. This is nothing short of a condemnation of the Constitution, and he calls himself a professor. The greatest government, the freest society in the history of the world, and Professor Obama calls it a charter of negative liberties!  To me, ladies and gentlemen, the Constitution is a gift of God.  The Constitution is not a disappointment.  It’s a blessing.  What kind of person does not understand the purpose and meaning of a document written by the greatest defenders of liberty the world has ever known? Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Washington, Hamilton – they created a charter of negative liberties?”

In the same radio interview, Obama said: “I think we can say that, uh, uh, the Constitution reflected a enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day and — and, uh, — and, uh, that the framers had that same blind spot.”

 “This is how he views the Supreme Court,” Limbaugh railed. “And he will have the power to populate it with people who believe in those very things. How is he going to place his hand on the Bible and swear that he, Barack Hussein Obama, will uphold the Constitution that he feels reflects the nation’s fundamental flaw?”

It is now no wonder that Obama has refused to provide his birth certificate! He wants to circumvent the Constitution and, by so doing, “prove” that it’s a fundamentally flawed document, worthy of the efforts he and his radical far-left acolytes will lead to challenge every Amendment in the Bill of Rights, including: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition, and the prohibition against depriving any citizen of life, liberty, and property, et al.


In April of this year, a number of Obama’s congressional supporters – including Gov. Claire McCaskill (D-MOi), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and Sen. James Webb (D-VA) -proposed  and passed a Resolution (S.Res.511) entitled: Recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.


This was the Resolution:

  • Whereas the Constitution of the United States requires that, to be eligible for the Office of the President, a person must be a `natural born Citizen’ of the United States;
  • Whereas the term `natural born Citizen’, as that term appears in Article II, Section 1, is not defined in the Constitution of the United States;
  • Whereas there is no evidence of the intention of the Framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to Americans serving in the military nor to prevent those children from serving as their country’s President;
  • Whereas such limitations would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the `natural born Citizen’ clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress’s own statute defining the term `natural born Citizen’;
  • Whereas the well-being of all citizens of the United States is preserved and enhanced by the men and women who are assigned to serve our country outside of our national borders;
  • Whereas previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States of America and were understood to be eligible to be President; and
  • Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it
  • Resolved, That John Sidney McCain, III, is a `natural born Citizen’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United Calendar No. 715110th CONGRESS2d SessionS. RES. 511RESOLUTIONRecognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.April 24, 2008. Reported without amendment States.

Just how dumb do McCaskill and Obama & Co. think the American people are? Here they attempt to create a blanket Resolution that says ALL foreign-born candidates are eligible for the U.S. presidency, when in fact McCain did not need this Resolution and neither did Bill Richardson when he ran for president this year. In fact, to my knowledge no presidential nominee in American history has ever needed a Resolution of this kind until Obama – who has still not produced a valid birth certificate! – entered the race.

So why this weird Resolution? Clearly so Obama could circumvent the Constitution he finds so distasteful.

According to Raymond S. Kraft, an attorney and writer: “The president, The Supreme Court justices, and all members of Congress, have taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution and have an affirmative duty to protect the Constitution by doing whatever is necessary to insure that presidential (and congressional) candidates meet the Constitutional requirements for the offices they seek. It is a mandatory duty, and failure to do so violate their oaths of office. If they don’t follow this oath in Obama’s case, it will be the biggest swindle in American history, allowing Obama and the DNC to have concealed his true identity and lack of citizenship, thereby conning Democrats out of hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign contributions. If justice is served, dozens of `leading’ Democrats should go to prison for fraud.”
Joan Swirsky ( is a New York-based journalist and author who can be reached at