Saturday, December 6, 2008

Of Presidents and Constitutional Republics

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

First, a short update on the Supreme Court Conference on the Leo Donoforio case challenging Obama's citizenship status. There's no news on what the Supremes plan to do, but WorldNetDaily has the best, easily understood discourse on what Donoforio is alleging. If you are confused about the issues and specifically about Donoforio's suit, this will be of interest.

The following, written by Alan Keyes, is a finely crafted look at our Constitutional Republic and specifically at the authority under which our President governs:

The events that mark the end of one form of government and the beginning of another are more easily perceived and understood in the aftermath than by those caught up in the events and circumstances that constitute the transformation. The passions and affections of the moment interfere with the detachment that makes it possible for the mind to see the true significance of issues and decisions. Some things that seem large and momentous are in fact the exaggerated mirages of transient passion; others dismissed as sideshows will be seen in retrospect as crucial to the main event.

At the moment, these different possibilities may be ascribed to the same occurrence. A great storm of interest and celebration rages at the prospect of the first "African-American" president, and the supposed implications of his election as a breakthrough in the history of "race" relations in the United States. Yet, because it centers on a man who has in his background and character no ties to the actual people and events of that history, historians will have to look elsewhere for the event that truly represents the denouement of the story whose greatest turning point remains the first American Civil War. By contrast, scant attention is being paid to the unfolding constitutional drama, also connected with his inauthentic personal history, even though it clearly represents a potentially fatal crisis for the regime of constitutional, democratic self-government that has heretofore determined the government of the United States.

Until now, the government of the United States has been a constitutional republic based on the sovereignty of the people. The Constitution of the United States, as the ultimate and permanent expression of that sovereignty, has been respected as the Supreme Law of the Land. Some people, myself included, would certainly argue that in some matters this respect has been a merely formal camouflage for actions and decisions that contradict, embroider or simply ignore the plain text of the Constitution, but until now this has been done with arguments (however groundless and illogical) that formally preserve its authority.

Now a question has arisen with respect to what may be in a practical sense the most critical allocation of power in the Constitution, that of the President of the United States. Though by election that power is in the gift of the American people, the Constitution clearly imposes two restrictions or conditions upon it. It cannot be extended to someone under 35 years of age. It cannot be given to anyone who is not a natural born citizen of the United States.

Evidence has emerged, including recorded statements by his Kenyan grandmother, that raise doubts as to whether Barack Obama is in fact a natural born U.S. citizen, eligible to be president. Whatever the facts are, there can be no doubt of the constitutional requirement, and no doubt that a conscious decision to ignore it involves open and destructive disregard for the Constitution's authority. If Obama is accepted as president of the United States in a context that sets aside the Constitution of the United States, by what authority will he govern?

Read Mr. Keyes article in its entirety at WorldNetDaily, along with the words of Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers. Note Keyes' comments about the the civil rights cause and the authority given to civil rights and citizenship, which depend solely on the Constitution.

Thanks to Thoughts on God for leading me to Mr. Keyes and other discussions of the citizenship issue. This is an amazing blog. Be sure to visit.

In the meantime, we must await the Supreme Court decision on a yay or nay for hearing Donofrio's case. You'll find some interesting commentary on that likelihood at America's Right.

More from Donofrio at Natural Born Citizen blog

And research on other possible ineligible Presidents, and the one who probably was ineligible, by virtue of a calculated lie: "President?" Chester Arthur et al - Why they aren't precedent for Obama's Eligibility

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