As the presidential election draws nigh in America, the ‘birther’ questions persist and they now appear to have reached a zenith in the state of Georgia. A ballot hearing was slated for Thurs., Jan. 26, 2012 in Atlanta to address the matter which could remove Pres. Obama’s name from the March presidential primary ballot.
Pres. Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski, said he and his client would boycott the legal proceeding, according to the AJC, despite the possibility that doing so could get the president’s name removed for election purposes in GA.
And the president’s attorney also went on to insist in a letter to the GA Secretary of State Brian Kemp, that Kemp should throw out the case for the president (despite he and his attorney not showing any legal cause to do so).
“We await you taking the requested action, and as we do so, we will, of course, suspend further participation in these proceedings, including the hearing scheduled for Jan. 26.”
Obama boycotts Georgia ‘birther’ ballot hearing
In legalese, Obama’s attorney put forth a motion to quash the president’s required appearance in the Fulton County courtroom this week. However, his motion was denied by Georgia’s Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi, due to the president’s attorney’s failure to provide a legitimate legal response to the subpoena.
So when President Obama’s attorney failed to have the subpoena quashed, Jablonski then sent a letter to a state official, Brian Kemp, who could overrule Judge Malihi’s decision.
And the president’s attorney felt so confident that Kemp would–at the president’s request–quash the case, that his last sentence said as much, acknowledging an intent to suspend proceeding participation in light of an expected halt to the legal matter.
“We will, of course, suspend further participation in these proceedings, including the hearing scheduled for Jan. 26.”
In response to Obama’s attorney’s threat to boycott the proceedings, if the case wasn’t dismissed, Brian Kemp had this to say,
“If you and your client choose to suspend your participation in the [Office of State Administrative Hearings] proceedings, please understand that you do so at your own peril.”
The hearing, however, went on despite both Pres. Obamas and his attorney’s noted absences, and it drew a packed courtroom according to WSAV.
Is Obama in contempt of court?
When defendants in a criminal case fail to appear in court they can have a warrant issued for their arrest, when defendants fail to appear in a civil case it can lead to other legal ramifications, including a judge issuing in favor of the plaintiff as well as a contempt of court action.
It is unclear whether Pres. Obama will now face a contempt of court action in Georgia for boycotting a legal proceeding. But if it were most any other citizen, that would be an almost assured action taken.
Most people feel that no one, including the president of the United States, should, necessarily, be above the law–or to disrespect the country’s court proceedings. And that included one of the lawyers for the individuals bring the complaint, Van Iron, who said that Obama’s absence from the legally required proceeding
“Shows not just a contempt for this court, but contempt for the judicial branch.”
Pres. Obama’s ability to be on the Georgia March presidential primary ballot in the state now rests in the hands of Georgia’s legal authorities. And given the president’s flagrant disregard for the law of the land in which he serves as Commander-in-Chief (boycotting a legal proceeding and refusing to provide a legitimate document to the court), he probably shouldn’t expect a mere slap on the wrist from the Fulton County Court in response.
References: AJC, WSAV, HuffPost