On October 29, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter dismissed Barnett v Obama, the case that had been filed on January 20, 2009, alleging that President Barack Obama does not meet the constitutional qualifications to be President. The decision is 30 pages and can be seen here.
Judge Carter ruled that the non-candidate plaintiffs, which included various military personnel and a few state legislators, do not have standing. He was hesitant to rule that Alan Keyes lacks standing, because Keyes did run against Obama in the presidential election of November 2008. On the other hand, the judge emphasized that Keyes’ showing was so weak, that he could not possibly have been elected; he was only on the ballot in three states. The decision says, “It does seem highly unlikely that the replacement of President Obama with another Democratic nominee such as Hillary Clinton would have resulted in a victory for Plaintiffs Keyes, Drake of the American Independent Party.” But, the decision says, “The Court is troubled by the idea that a third party candidate would not have standing to challenge a major party candidate’s qualifications.”
The decision then decides not to decide the question of whether Keyes had standing, and instead rules that even if Keyes does have standing, his suit must fail because it was not filed until after Obama was sworn into office (the judge notes that the case was filed at 3:26 pm Pacific time, January 20, 2009). The decision then says that the power to remove a sitting president from office resides with Congress, not the Judicial Branch. The decision says, “There may very well be a legitimate role for the judiciary to interpret whether the natural born citizen requirement has been satisfied in the case of a presidential candidate who has not already won the election and taken office. However, on the day that President Obama took the presidential oath and was sworn in, he became President of the United States.”