Originally published December 22, 2008, at politicsunlocked.com
A little known aspect of the judicial system was made a bit more public recently, as courts have rejected lawsuits challenging the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidential election.
Anthony Martin-Trigona, a documented legal system abuser, did it again, filing a lawsuit regarding Obama’s citizenship in Hawaii state court. Federal courts have already imposed rules barring him from bringing any more frivolous claims to their courts.
A federal appeals court has previously described Martin-Trigona’s actions and called out the harm caused by people who use our justice system for their own personal agenda without regard to the legal validity of their claims.
“To those who follow the business of the courts, the appellant needs no introduction. He is the source of literally hundreds of lawsuits, motions and miscellaneous pleadings, all but a small fraction of which lack any merit whatsoever. Viewing Martin-Trigona’s litigious conduct in its entirety yields the inescapable conclusion that he persistently resorts to legal processes without regard to the merits of the claims asserted and that he invokes those processes largely to harass persons who have unluckily crossed his path.”
And the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals continued:
“Martin-Trigona is known to have filed over 250 civil actions, appeals, and other matters throughout the United States, which have been pursued with ‘persistence, viciousness, and general disregard for decency and logic.’ He has used legal pleadings to ventilate his contempt and hatred of persons of Jewish heritage and to level accusations which ‘have often been personal, have often emphasized racial or religious affiliations, and have often involved the members of . . . judges’ and counsel’s families.’ The purpose, nature and effect of his resort to multiple litigation has been to involve as many persons in as many confounding legal processes as possible. . . . Martin-Trigona’s voluminous filings have ‘inundated’ the District of Connecticut and his activities have burdened judicial operations to the point of impairing the administration of justice. Finally, Martin-Trigona has not desisted from his course of vexatious litigation but has expressly stated his intent to file yet more actions.”
Fox News put Martin-Trigona on the air during the campaign to impugn Obama. The real offense, political positions aside, was that a person known for such extensive and frivolous abuse of the American legal system was given the credibility of broadcast time.
But he is not alone. Seventeen lawsuits (so far) have been filed in various jurisdictions, claiming Barack Obama was not born a U.S. citizen, and thus, cannot become president.
Hawaii achieved statehood in 1959. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. Obama’s birth certificate, conveying U.S. citizenship and noting birth in Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, has been examined by the State of Hawaii and found to be authentic.
None-the-less, seventeen individuals have filed suit, and upon rejection of their claims by trial judges, haveappealed as high as the U.S. Supreme Court. The legal basis of the challenges is Article II of the U.S. Constitution, requiring a president to be a natural-born citizen. Precious resources are used, briefs read, arguments heard, all to give every possible advantage to litigants who want their day in court. To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected two petitions that have made it to the court for consideration.
The “natural-born citizen” clause has received publicity in recent years with California Republican GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger, who is an Austrian-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, appearing to emerge as apresidential hopeful, except for Article II. Discussion was also prompted by the candidacy of Republican Presidential aspirant John McCain, was born in the Panama Canal Zone to a U.S. military family. McCain, however, was a citizen at birth, via his parents, both citizens and the status of the U.S.-controlled Canal Zone.
Can you imagine challenges to the birth certificates of George W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George H.W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan?