On Monday, May 2, the 9th circuit heard arguments in Drake v Obama, 09-56827, in Pasadena, California. C-SPAN carried the hearing, which lasted 51 minutes. This case was filed in U.S. District Court on January 20, 2009, and argues that President Obama (who had been sworn in that day) does not meet the constitutional requirements to be president. The plaintiffs are the American Independent Party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees from 2008, Alan Keyes for president and Rev. Wiley Drake for vice-president.
All other lawsuits over presidential eligibility filed in the last three years were filed by people who were held to lack standing. There is some case law to support the idea that candidates running against Obama do have standing. However, it appears that the panel will find that Keyes and Drake should have filed their lawsuit early in 2008 in order to have standing, and that because they didn’t file until after the election is over, they were no longer candidates at that point and also lack standing. The three judges are Harry Pregerson, Marsha Berzon, and Raymond Fisher.
The attorney who represented President Obama, David A. DeJute, seemed to concede that if Keyes and Drake had filed this lawsuit several months before the election, they would have had standing. On an unrelated subject, he made a statement that is factually incorrect. He told the court that Ralph Nader, an independent presidential candidate in 2008, filed some lawsuits attempting to keep certain other presidential candidates (whom he did not name) off the ballot. There is no truth to this statement whatsoever.
When this case had been argued in U.S. District Court, it was called Keyes v Obama. At the 9th circuit hearing, attorney Orly Taitz represented Keyes, and attorney Gary Kreep represented Rev. Drake. Thanks to Bill Van Allen for this news.