Democrats, including the attorney representing President Barack Obama, have made a last-minute decision to boycott the Thursday hearing to consider a “birther” effort to remove Obama from the March 6 presidential primary ballot.
“They can tilt at windmills on their own,” said state Democratic spokesman Eric Gray on Wednesday night.
Last week, in a surprise ruling, a Georgia state administrative judge declined to quash a subpoena directing Obama to attend a hearing Thursday at the Fulton County courthouse on a challenge to strike him from the Georgia ballot this fall on claims he is not a natural born U.S. citizen. Read more background here from my AJC colleague Bill Rankin.
Among tomorrow’s no-shows will be Michael Jablonski, the Atlanta attorney serving as counsel to Obama. He’s written a letter to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, asking him to intervene and bring the circus to a halt.
Among those pressing the action is state Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross. But many ranking Republicans are doing their best to keep their distance.
Here’s the statement just released by Mike Berlon, chairman of the state Democratic party:
“Several lawsuits were recently filed against President Obama questioning whether he is an American citizen in an attempt to remove him from the Georgia primary ballot. Despite the fact that these issues have been thoroughly litigated, a hearing has been scheduled in these cases for Thursday, January 26, 2012. The Democratic Party of Georgia is not a party to any of these lawsuits.
“This afternoon we received a letter from counsel for the President directed to the Georgia Secretary of State asking him to intervene in these lawsuits and bring them to a halt, because it is well established that there is no issue here – a fact validated time and again by courts in this country.
“In the letter, counsel also indicated that they had no interest in continuing to appear or participate further in the litigation and have suspended their involvement.
“We respect the President’s position and urge the Secretary of State to bring this matter to a conclusion. We also believe that each political party has the absolute legal right to determine who should appear on their primary and general election ballots according to their own rules without interference from outside parties.
“In light of these developments the Democratic Party of Georgia has no plans to continue to be involved in these baseless cases. Furthermore the Democratic Party of Georgia will cooperate with the President and his campaign in any way requested to make sure that his name appears on the primary and general election ballots for 2012.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider