Look, Ma -- no birth certificate!
I am not a lawyer but I hereby solicit free legal opinions as to whether, in the folllowing bit of courtroom back and forth that I have unofficially jotted down from video of this month's New Jersey ballot challenge, Admininstrative Law Judge Jeff Masin led President Obama's counsel, Alexandra Hill, into stating her case more strongly before actually cutting her off at the moment the young lawyer introduced the national release of the online Obama birth certificate into the court record. It seems to me that despite Judge Masin's blunt intercession, Hill's introduction of the nationally (internationally) accessible online birth certificate provided the objectors, represented by attorney Mario Apuzzo, with a rationale for calling an expert witness to testify about the evidence of forgery in the online image. Judge Masin, however, having stifled Obama's counsel, did not see fit to permit the expert witness on online forgery to testify.
Was that an appropriate judicial contribution? More generally, is it an appropriate to rule that the intent of New Jersey law is to accept presidential candidates for president without any evidence of identity?
Background on the matter is here in my last column, which, not at all incidentally, was declined by such regulars subscribers to my column as Townhall.com and the Washington Examiner. They are not alone, of course, in preventing news of the Obama eligibility scandal from reaching their readers. Almost every single media outlet in the country has a complete news blackout in force on this issue of supreme public interest: apparent fraud in the establishment of the president's bona fides.
From Youtube #2 of 3. The discussion begins around minute 35; then:
Judge Masin to Obama counsel: Let me ask you, Miss Hill, is it your position here that the document on the Internet is legally irrelevant for this case?
Judge: And, indeed, you concede that Mr. Obama has not produced a [sic] alleged birth certificate to the [NJ] Secretary of State, saying here's my birth certificate.
Hill: Not to my knowledge. I know he released it nationally and everyone can go and --
Judge: [Talking over and silencing Hill ] But he's not done that.
Hill: I don't have any personal knowledge of that.
Judge: That's he has specifically provided -- and you have not provided it today.
Judge: ... It seems to me, counsel [addressing Apuzzo], that this issue [allegation that online birth certificate image is a forgery] as interesting as it might be to you ... is premature. It's not [mature?] to the argument at issue in this case.
Apuzzo: Your honor, here's the danger: Now, we heard counselor say, Oh, but he released in nationally, ok? So we have this national --
Judge: In this record, in this record.
Judge: Sir! Sir! The record in this case. There is no evidence in the record of this case, which is what this case must be decided on ... There is no evidence in this case -- and Miss Hill concedes it -- that the Obama campaign or Mr. Obama himself, have produced any birth certificate whatsoever to the Secretary of State of New Jersey or to this judge sitting in, and I sit here for the Secretary of State ... If your legal position is correct [that he must submit a b.c.], you probably win, right there ... on that issue.... So the question of whether the document that is produced turns out to be a forgery, it seems to me is irrelevant because he hasn't produced it. So we don't know what he would produce ... if I said, theoretically, the law requires [he produce a b.c.].
[If he went ahead and presented a birth certificate to New Jersey], now, you know, if you want to say that certificate is a forgery and therefore can't be accepted, then this might be relevant. But we haven't even gotten that far.
Hill: ... the burden in this case is on the objectors to prove that the candidate is ineligible under New Jersey statute.
Judge: Well, that's a burden of law issue. Counsel suggests ... there's a fundamental, qualifying requirement before that, before the challenge, in effect, that the candidate must affirmatively establish, uh, you know, present, uh, a record of his birth ... and I understand you don't think he has obligation. He [Apuzzo] does.
Hill: But if it's not necessary ... to have the consent of the candidate, you could have Mickey Mouse ... and everyone could sign up and go with it ... it's not necessary in this proceeding ....
Judge: ... [To Apuzzo] Your argument here is not that the document that has been produced is a forgery -- because no one has produced a document. And there is no evidence in this record, I can assure you ... that a document has been produced to the Secretary of State or me and this record must be decided on that. The fact that they have posted on the Internet somewhere, from the White House or wherever, the campaign or wherever it was, posted something that is not before me, and is not before the Secretary of State, is not part of the record in this case, uh, does, means that it's not here. Now, if you're correct in your legal position that it has to essentially be here ... then I guess you're going to win your your case. And if it had been produced, then all of this might be very relevant for saying ... it's a forgery, it's not real and and all that.
I have nothing before me that I can look at .... There is nothing here. The campaign has not offered me anything. I assume you're not planning on doing that.
Hill: No, sir.
Judge: The campaign hasn't offered me anything. They haven't shown me anything on the Internet ....
Apuzzo: They're offering mugs, your honor.
Apuzzo: Mugs. They're offering mugs.
Voice: Coffe mugs.
Apuzzo: Yeah. When they're asked to produce the birth certificate ...
Judge: Excuse me, excuse me, sir. In this case I don't have any mugs. They haven't produced mugs for me. There is no birth certificate that has been presented to me, good, bad, indifferent, real, forged, certified, anything! It's not here. So the debate about what whether what he put on, what's been put on the Internet as a birth certificate and whether that is a legitimate birth certificate is not relevant to the legal argument before me. And therefore there's no reason to [garble].
Garble is right, but the judge's position is clear: No evidence of identity is necessary to run for president in New Jersey, so evidence of forgery in the president's evidence of identity is not relevant.
With criteria like that, Mickey Mouse would be a much better bet -- not just for president but for judge.