Georgia voters challenge President's citizenship for different reasons

8:44 PM, Jan 6, 2012   |    comments
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  • Hawaii birth certificate released by President Obama in April of 2011.
  • California attorney Orly Taitz, who represents some Georgia voters challenging President Obama's citizenship.
  • Georgia Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi.
  • Morrow voter Carl Swensson, one of a handful challenging President Obama's right to be on the Georgia Presidential Primary ballot.
  • A handful of voters want to keep President Obama off Georgia's March 6th Presidential Primary Ballot.
  • Georgia State Representative Mark Hatfield (R-Waycross).
  • Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

ATLANTA (WXIA) - Last March, State Representative Mark Hatfield (R-Waycross) tried, but failed to persuade the State Legislature to pass a new law that would require anyone, including President Barack Obama, to prove their U.S. citizenship before being put on a ballot in Georgia.

Many considered it a dead issue when the President released a Hawaii birth certificate a month later.

But now Hatfield, who's also an attorney, is trying another tactic.

He represents two Georgia voters who've filed a legal challenge to Obama's being on the Georgia March Presidential Primary Ballot.

They're not challenging the birth certificate, but whether Obama's foreign born father might disqualify him as a U.S. citizen.

"Natural-born citizen; what does that mean, 'cause there is no definition in the Constitution?" Morrow voter Carl Swensson told 11Alive News.

He's one of the two voters in that faction of the challenge.

But another group of Georgia voters still doesn't believe the birth certificate.

They're represented by controversial California attorney Orly Taitz, who has raised several challenges to the President's citizenship around the country.

She calls it a victory that Georgia Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi has agreed to hear their arguments on January 26th.

"Well, it's an absolutely correct decision and what he's saying (is) that nobody is above the law," Taitz told 11Alive News.

On Friday, Taitz was in Hawaii, trying to subpoena an official copy of the President's birth certificate for analysis by an independent expert.

She wants to use it as evidence in the Georgia hearing.

An Atlanta attorney who represents Obama calls this latest challenge just another frivolous lawsuit doomed to failure.

"It's gotten to the point where this is about the sixty-ninth, seventieth time they've tried doing this and they've lost every time," Michael Jablonski told 11Alive News.

Attorney Taitz is already facing a $20,000 court fine after federal Judge Clay Land of Columbus, Georgia, declared a citizenship challenge lawsuit "frivolous".

In that separate case she represented two U.S. soldiers who tried to avoid deployment by claiming Obama wasn't legally their Commander-in-Chief because his lack of citizenship meant he couldn't be President.

After the January 26 ballot hearing, Judge Malihi will pass on his findings to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Kemp will decide whether the President should be on the March 6 Presidential Primary ballot since he's in charge of elections.

But either side could, and probably will, appeal his decision to Superior Court.

All of this with only two months left before the primary.

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