Judge hears argument to oust Obama from Georgia ballot

7:29 PM, Jan 26, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Will Georgians be able to vote for President Barack Obama in the March 6th primary?

Right now, that's still up in the air.

Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi did not issue following Thursday's hearing where plaintiffs presented a case that Mr. Obama is not a natural-born citizen and therefore ineligible to hold office as President of the Unite States.

Last week, Judge Malihi ordered the President to appear at Thursday's hearing, but his attorney Michael Jablonski said he would not be there. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp wrote to Jablonski on Wednesday that if Obama and his attorney don't show up, "you do so at your own peril."

Neither President Obama not his attorney attended Thursday's hearing.

Jablonski said Mr. Obama has long made his birth certificate and other documents proving his citizenship available to the public.

The crux of the plaintiffs' case focused on Mr. Obama's father, saying because he was not an American citizen, neither is the President. Their case attacked the validity of his birth certificate and social security number and claimed he used two different names as a boy in Indonesia.

The President's book, "Dreams from my Father," was also admitted into evidence.

The Downtown Atlanta hearing room was packed with spectators, some coming from as far away as Boston and Virginia to watch the proceedings "out of curiosity."

One group proudly called themselves the "anti-birthers."

"This whole birther movement is a pack of lies from beginning to end," said Bill Bryan of North Carolina.

"I think today's hearing was an embarrassment to the state of Georgia that they would even have a hearing like this. It's all based on claims to delegitimize the president."

Bryan runs a website dedicated to debunking the "birther" theories.

Also present was Orly Taitz, a prominent face in the "birther" movement who has tried similar cases across the country. She was one of four plaintiff's attorneys.

"This man is a complete fraud," she told reporters after the hearing. "He is using a forged birth certificate, he is using a stolen social security number."

Judge Malihi will render a decision, but the final say comes down to the Secretary of State. A spokesman in Brian Kemp's office said the secretary will review the entire case, including the judge's findings, and make a ruling.

There is no timetable for the decision, but Secretary Kemp's office expects it will come before the March 6th primary date.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You can follow Blayne on Twitter: @ReporterBlayne

(Associated Press)

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