'Birthers' sue California over Obama, Romney ballot
A group of minor party candidates and conspiracy theorists have sued California Secretary of State Debra Bowen to demand that she verify the eligibility of all presidential candidates seeking to be on the November ballot.
The so-called Birthers filed the lawsuit in state court in Sacramento, taking up the advice of a federal appeals court last year that they bring their suspicions that President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States to a court's attention during an election, not afterward.
The suit -- brought by a write-in candidate on the June Republican primary ballot, John Albert Dummett, Jr., and Markham Robinson, chairman of the American Independent Party of California, among other politicians and voters -- also alludes to "questions concerning the eligibility" of Mitt Romney to vie for the role of commander in chief.
Robinson and a group of Southern California Birthers sued Obama after his inauguration, charging that he was born in Africa and therefore ineligible to serve as president. The Constitution requires the head of state to be U.S.-born and at least 35 years old.
Under intense pressure from right-wing pundits and activists, Obama in May released his long-form birth certificate from a Honolulu hospital attesting that he was born in the 50th state on Aug. 4, 1961. However, less than a week later at a hearing before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the plaintiffs expounded on their theory that Obama forged the birth certificate and other identity documents.
When the 9th Circuit threw out the Birthers' lawsuit in December, the three-judge panel said none of the plaintiffs could show that they had been harmed by Obama's presidency. The panel said any allegation about unfair competition posed by an ineligible candidate would need to be brought during an election.
The suit was filed Tuesday and notes that Dummett is a candidate in this year's presidential contest.
Dummett asks the court to order Bowen to verify the eligibility of all candidates before placing their names on state election ballots, including the two major-party nominees.
Bowen's office did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
Those suing Bowen are represented by attorney Gary Kreep.
-- Carol J. Williams