A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Berg Gets Sunk


Readers have been champing at the bit to know our view of the lawsuit brought against Obama by a Philadelphia Hillary supporter, which alleges that the candidate is not a natural-born U.S. citizen. (We know —this again?) Of course only a judge is qualified to legally determine the validity of a suit, so we’ve held off on opining, though we’ve certainly put forth our findings on various aspects of the claim. But we stress that there are no such qualification requirements to bring a suit. You don’t have to be a judge, or a lawyer, or a person who’s familiar with the law. You don’t have to have a valid case, or the authority to sue. You don’t have to have evidence. You need those things to get your case heard, and to win, but not to file. The filing of a suit proves only that a suit has been filed.

As it turns out, this one got no further. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick rejected the case last Friday. Importantly, though, Judge Surrick dismissed it based on the finding that Berg didn’t have standing to sue. (”Standing” is the legal authority to bring a case, which is usually tied to having a sufficiently personal stake in the issue at hand). Surrick didn’t rule on whether Obama is a United States citizen, because the suit didn’t get that far. Instead, it was tossed out on the same grounds as Hollander v. McCain (which alleged that McCain was not a natural-born citizen because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone) and Jones v. Bush (which stated that Bush-Cheney could not win Texas’ electoral votes because they were both Texas natives).

Many readers have asked why Obama didn’t show up in court with his birth certificate, if he is really a citizen. Obama and the DNC had instead filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which, when it works, is usually the most efficient and least expensive way to dispose of a case. McCain didn’t present his documentation in the Hollander case, either. (As we’ve written, the claims turned out to be legally bogus.)

Because the judge didn’t address the merits of Berg’s claims, some may be left wondering about his evidence. We can offer that Berg’s complaint cites only the following sources for his charge that Obama is perpetrating massive identity fraud: