“Birthers” have asked a Georgia court to bar President Barack Obama from the ballot unless he proves he was born in the United States.
The president last year tried to silence doubters and showed a copy of his citizenship papers, but that has not stopped those who say his papers are forged.
American law requires the president be a natural born citizen. His birthplace is recorded as being in Hawaii.
Savannah, Georgia Tea Party chairman Marolyn Overton told the local WSAV station, "I think Obama should not be able to just kind of force his way through this, not produce any answers. He's stonewalling us. He has partially contributed to the controversy because he has not produced any papers that would prove or disprove anything to end the controversy.”
Georgia Democratic party chairman Michael Berlon said that if the Atlanta judge rules against President Obama, “the Secretary of State [of Georgia] has to make a tough decision about whether he wants to do that. If he does, then we are ready. Our rebuttal as a party would be to go to federal Court and have him restored to the ballot we're pretty confident that would happen."
President Obama won 47 percent of the vote in Georgia in the 2008 election, and Berlon declared that opponents to President Obama “are doing their best to keep him off the ballot because there's a pretty good chance we could win Georgia for the president in 2012.”
The president was issued a subpoena to show up at the court hearing Thursday, but instead his attorney wrote to the state and asked it to suspend the "baseless, costly and unproductive" hearing.
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, responded in writing, that the lawyers would skip the ballot hearing "at your own peril." At the time of the hearing, President Obama was in Las Vegas.
The fact that the case was accepted by the court already is termed as a victory by the “birthers,” one of whom was fined $20,000 last year by a Georgia judge who said the lawsuit was frivolous.
Georgia’s law states that federal candidates “shall meet the constitutional and statutory qualifications for holding the office being sought.” This time around, the judge ruled that an “elector who is eligible to vote for a candidate” in the state has the authority to challenge a candidate’s qualifications.