The economy may still be limping along and the Middle East in crisis, but at least President Obama can cross one item off the list of things keeping him up at night: According to Friday’s ruling by Georgia Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi, the president is indeed a natural-born citizen eligible to run for office in this fall’s election.
Malihi, who lacks even the authority to enforce a contempt-of-court order, wrote in a 10-page decision that the evidence presented was “wholly insufficient to support Plaintiffs’ allegations.”
Singling out attorney Orly Taitz for particular criticism, Malihi noted that the woman known as the “birther queen” had failed to show that any of her witnesses were actually experts, and that neither their testimony nor her exhibits proved her claim that the president is a former Indonesian citizen who used a fake name, stolen Social Security number, and forged birth certificate to support his candidacy.
The judge was equally unimpressed by the claims of attorneys Mark Hatfield and Van Irion, both of whom argued that while a “citizen” is anyone born on U.S. soil regardless of their parents’ citizenship, a “natural-born citizen” must be the offspring of two U.S. citizens. Since the president’s father was never a U.S. citizen, they argued, Obama is constitutionally ineligible for office.
Following the logic laid out in a 2009 decision by Indiana’s Court of Appeals, Malihi found that Obama is indeed “natural born.”
All three attorneys have vowed to fight on – and Taitz this morning filed a fresh election challenge in Indiana. (Yes, you read that right: Indiana, the very same state upon whose ruling in Obama’s favor formed the basis of Malihi’s ruling against Irion and Hatfield’s argument.) She’s also calling for Malihi’s head, urging readers of her website to call Georgia’s attorney general and “demand immediate criminal investigation of Malihi for public corruption.”
Ever suspicious, Taitz also asked on her website if anyone knew what the judge’s middle initial, M, stands for.
No one seems to know for sure. But one of her followers has a theory: Based on the 2003 obituary of a Massachusetts man named Hassan Malihi (beloved father of Ladan Khamsi, and Ali, Reza and Mahmood Malihi, but conspicuously not of anyone named Michael), there’s a pretty good chance the judge is an Iranian using a fake name! “Mahmood Malihi is Judge Michael,” proclaims a response posted on Taitz’s website.
And so, the show goes on.