Obama’s Eligibility and the 20th Amendment

02 Dec

US Navy 090118-N-9954T-057 Jill Biden, Vice Pr...

Jill Biden, Vice President-ELECT Joe Biden, President-ELECT Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama wave to the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Between November 6th, A.D. 2012 (the date of our most recent presidential election) and January 21st, A.D. 2013 (the date of the next President’s inauguration), Barack H. Obama holds two offices.  During this 75-day period, Mr. Obama is both:

1) the President of the United States (serving from January, A.D. 2009 through January 21st, A.D. 2013); and,

2) the “President elect” (who will be inaugurated on January 21st, A.D. 2013 to begin his next, four year term of office.)

The 75-day period between the election and the inauguration allows for a fairly smooth transition whenever a current President is replaced by a newly-elected President.

•  The 20th Amendment to The Constitution of the United States was adopted on February 6th, A.D. 1933.  Section 3 of that Amendment refers to the office of “President elect”:

“If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.”

Thus, it’s apparent that merely winning the November 6th election does not make Mr. Obama our next President.  According to the 20th Amendment, the President elect must satisfy some sort of additional qualification procedure before he can be inaugurated on January 21st. (Vice President Biden must also satisfy some sort of pre-inauguration “qualification” procedure.)

Thus, the 20th Amendment allows for the possibility that Americans might someday to have been so damn ignorant that they might have mistakenly elected a man to be our next President who is technically ineligible to be President.

For example, Americans could conceivably have voted to elect Vladimir Putin as our next President.  But given that Mr. Putin is already President of Russia, was born in Russia, and isn’t even a citizen of the United States, he’s not eligible to hold the office of President.  Still, he is eligible to become the President elect, even though he was not eligible to become the President.

Presumably the qualification process referenced in the 20th Amendment would discover that—OMG!—Mr. Putin is ineligible to be President and therefore the recently-elected Vice President would assume the office of President at the January 21st Inauguration.


But get this:  The 20th Amendment clearly implies that there’s a 75-day period between the November election and the January inauguration when the President elect must be “qualified” by some authority as eligible to become the actual President.  But, insofar as the qualification process should be applied to the President elect, that constitutional qualification process is only mandated to take place after someone has been elected to later become the next President. This implies that, under the 20th Amendment, the government cannot enforce any qualification requirements on anyone running for President or Vice President until after they’ve been elected.

It’s even conceivable that the only constitutional “window of opportunity” to challenge a person’s qualifications to be President may be during that relatively brief, 75-day period.  I.e., you can’t challenge a man’s qualifications to be President while he’s running for office—only during the 75-day interlude between winning the office of President elect and being inaugurated as President.

This conjecture implies that anyone is eligible to run for President and no court may be competent to hear a challenge to any presidential candidate’s qualifications until after he’s become the President elect.  If that were true, then any challenge to a presidential candidate’s qualifications might be decided by the voters during the election campaign, but could not be lawfully heard by a court until after the candidate had become the President elect.  Thus, if anyone tried to challenge a presidential candidate’s eligibility in court prior to the election, the courts might be forced to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Get that?  If my reading of the 20th Amendment is roughly correct, you couldn’t mount a successful court-room challenge to a presidential candidate’s eligibility to be President until after he had first been elected to the office of the President elect.  More, once the President elect was inaugurated to become the President, you might be again precluded for the remainder of his 4-year term of office  from mounting an effective courtroom challenge to his qualifications.

Therefore, as crazy as it seems, under the 20th Amendment, the American people are absolutely entitled to elect Vladimir Putin to the office of “President elect”—but Mr. Putin would presumably be declared “unqualified” during the post-election, pre-inauguration “qualification” process.

In fact, if you wanted to make a really crazy illustration of this hypothesis, we could even elect some black guy from Kenya (hah!) to be the President elect.   But, presumably, if our black guy from Kenya was truly ineligible to hold the office of President, he would be disqualified by the pre-inauguration qualification process.

• If it’s true that our only opportunity to mount a court-room challenge to a President elect’s qualifications to be President is during the 75-day period between the November election and the January inauguration, then time’s awastin’.

In fact, it might even be possible and  even desirable for a swarm of lawsuits to be filed—some from Texas, some from Minnesota, Florida, Oregon etc.—to challenge the President elect’s qualifications to become the President on January 21st and/or to compel the “qualification” authority to do its job.

It’s even possible that such lawsuits or similar petitions might, by law, have to filed with the qualification authority rather than in the courts.  I.e., if no one figures out who/what the qualification authority is, and no one files a proper petition contesting Obama’s eligibility with that authority, it might be presumed by law that the President elect was qualified to become the President.

If I understand correctly, the Electoral College will render its decision as to who actually won the presidency on January 6th.  It’s conceivable that the Electoral College is the “qualification authority”.  If so, I have no idea on how to approach the Electoral College with petitions alleging Obama’s ineligibility or if such private petitions are even lawful.  Perhaps the only procedure is to move the courts to issue a mandamus to the members of each State’s electoral college to compel them to “qualify” Obama for office.

It’s even possible that I’ve misread the 20th Amendment and the only remaining qualification process is simply to count the votes of the individual members of the Electoral College.

But if the Electoral College is responsible for the qualification process, we have only about 35 days until they reach their decision.

Also, lawsuits in court might not work if they only challenged Obama’s eligibility.  If the courts are the proper venue, then the lawsuits might also have to allege that such suits were necessary (perhaps made under emergency conditions) because whatever official mechanism is supposed to test the President elect’s qualifications has not been applied.

  I don’t know what the pre-inauguration qualification procedure is.

I don’t know who must conduct that qualification procedure.

I don’t know what the pre-inauguration qualifications are.   Maybe it’s only a question of Electoral College votes.  Maybe the qualifications include age, citizenship and place of birth.

But it seems plausible that the pre-inauguration qualification procedure might be conducted by the House of Representatives or the Senate—perhaps even by the Supreme Court.  It at least seems logical to assume that the qualification process would determine whether the President elect was, in fact, a “natural born Citizen” as required by Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of The Constitution of the United States.

It also seems logical to assume that if the official entity responsible for conducting the pre-inauguration qualification procedure fails to do so, the members of that entity might be subject to a writ of mandamus to compel them to perform their duty to test the qualifications of the President elect.  In fact, if the members of the “qualification entity” failed or refused to perform their duty to qualify the President elect, they might be subject to personal liability for dereliction of duty, malfeasance or even treason.

As I write this article, there are 35 days before the Electoral College acts and 50 days before the President elect is inaugurated and becomes the next President.  Time is short, but it should be enough to research the “qualification” process implied in the 20th Amendment and discover if we really have grounds for a lawsuit—perhaps a swarm of lawsuits—to hit the courts to challenge Obama’s eligibility.

•  If you think the hypothesis I’ve advanced concerning the 20th Amendment “qualification” process is a little flakey, consider the following news report.  It seems that a Florida lawsuit contesting Obama’s eligibility was filed prior to the election and was dismissed by the trial court as “not timely”.  However, that lawsuit has been refilled after the election, and the courts are now willing to consider the merits.  This suggests that the Florida courts had no jurisdiction to hear an eligibility case against Obama while he was merely a candidate for the presidency, but acquired jurisdiction to hear the same case once Obama became President elect.

This lawsuit is based on Florida statutes and therefore doesn’t implicate the 20th Amendment’s qualification process. Thus, the lawsuit doesn’t prove my 20th Amendment hypothesis.  But that lawsuit is consistent with my hypothesis, and at least tends to support the idea that our only opportunity to prevent an ineligible candidate from becoming President may be to enforce the qualification process during the 75 days between the November election and the January inauguration.



•  If you have any capacity to research the 20th Amendment and you discover anything about the qualification process referenced in Section 3 of that Amendment, please forward your discoveries to me at or simply post those discoveries as comments on this blog entry.  But don’t rely on me to coordinate the research or launch the lawsuit.  If the Spirit moves you, file your own lawsuit or petition.  Don’t wait on me. But research is critical we need to quickly discover if this “qualification” opportunity is as significant as I suspect, or if it’s nothing more than counting Electoral College votes.

Maybe I’m right.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Lemme know whatever you find.


Posted by on December 2, 2012 in 2012 Election, Citizenship, Obama


Tags: , ,

17 responses to “Obama’s Eligibility and the 20th Amendment

  1. Jethro

    December 2, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Al, it would seem a candidate would not ‘officially’ become president-elect until the Electoral College casts its votes, as all that happens on the Nov. election day is Electors are chosen. If that were the case (which I don’t know), the window for an eligibility challenge would be even smaller. But your theory seems to be valid: if there’s a presidential eligibility question, the time constitutionally to raise it is when he is president-elect. Perhaps once he is sworn-in, it is conclusively presumed he is qualified.

    • Yartap

      December 2, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      Jethro, you are right about when one is President or Vice President Elect. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress, commentators and House hearings agree that one is not President Elect or Vice President Elect until a majority of Electoral College votes or house votes are cast for one.

      Al, you have put forth a great theory. But I do not feel that the 75 day time period has bearing. Of course, the verification of the qualifications to be President and Vice President as called-for by the Constitution lay with the Courts and mostly Congress.

      If I was House Speaker, I would call for a discussion and vote on His or Her qualifications. If a president elect is affirmed to not be qualified, then the vice president will be president until the president elect has qualified to regain the presidential seat. THAT’S THE LAW! And I don’t care what the Senate does! He or She ain’t President, yet!

      But, our ball-less Speaker Bonner is a joke!

      • Adask

        December 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM

        I’m not saying that there definitely is a 75-day maximum limit. I’m saying that it’s possible. More, if the gov-co has intentionally devised some sort of process where Vladimir Putin (or even Barack Obama) can be elected President, I wouldn’t be surprised if–in order to make the process legally acceptable–some sort of process might have to be left available to the public (if they could ever find it) that would allow the public to somehow reject the election of those who were constitutionally ineligible. So–who knows?–maybe they’d give us 75 days out of every 4 years to challenge the qualifications of a President elect. That’s pure conjecture, and genuine tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory. Still, it crosses my mind.

        Until we know for certain that there is not a 75-day limit, it’s advisable to assume that there is.

      • Yartap

        December 2, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        Oh – Al, I agree!

  2. Fallon T Gordon Sr MD

    December 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Dr Orly Taitz, in multiple laws suits, has proven BO does not qualify to be President. So far every judge has found something wrong on her cases, never agreeing with her findings and refusing to find BO guilty of the many frauds he has committed. She asks if there is a honest judge anywhere in the USA. I have been following hert cases and apparently excellent law work. If you want to see what shes done and doing, go to Dr Orly Taitz Esquire. I tend to read what she is doing on a daily basis.

    • Adask

      December 2, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      I sent an email to Dr. Taitz informing her of my article on the 20th Amendment. Perhaps she already knows about that subject and realizes that my speculations are without merit. Perhaps not.

      But I’m sure she’s busy and overwhelmed with email so I wouldn’t be surprised if she never sees my email. If you have any way of reaching her directly to see if she has any interest in the 20th Amendment’s “qualification” requirement, I hope you’ll do so.

      • Fallon T Gordon Sr MD

        December 3, 2012 at 7:45 AM

        Dr Taitz sent me a note saying she has contacted you and would like to be on your radio show. She is a dynamo and “working her head off” for the last four years. She loves America and our Constitution and acts as if she expects to carry on and win this terrible battle! You both have a lot to offer in the battle to save our country. When my Dad was in four reinvasions of the Phillipenes during WW2, he truly felt that he was ending war for all times. I’m glad you will meet Dr Taitz . I hope you also have time to follow The Tenth Amendment Centers. They are actively making progress also!. FTG

      • Fallon T Gordon Sr MD

        December 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM


      • Fallon T Gordon Sr MD

        September 8, 2013 at 7:23 AM

        If so, Why did The Texas legislature pass 500-600 laws and not one of them NULLIFYING Obama or Obama Care or NDAA, The non Patriot Act, Spying on Americans, Amnesty, going to War without a vote of The Congress, as we must do to follow the Consritution, illegal federal gun laws trying to squash The Second Amendment, Homeland insecurity…. etc? Why haven’t we Impeached Obama and thrown out every liberal Demoncrat and RINO? Why haven’t we made gold and silver as tender in Texas and most of all, why hasn’t our governor called for MILITIA in every county in Texas????? Do you know that Article 6 paragraph 3 of our US Constitution reqires that ALL congress people, All Executives, All Officers of The Judiciary of All STATES and the Federal Government must SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION of The USA? That means our US Congress must vote in the direction of our US Constitution every time, no matter what party they belong to! For years we taught Christianity and Constitution in our schools! What idiot stopped that? Why have WE THE PEOPLE tolerated an illegal, Unconstitution, IRS and not so Federal Reserve, both of which have been stealing from Americans for years? And why do we allow people who belong to SECRET SOCIETIES to be in our government? [Think about The Council for Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commision , Bilderbrgers and others]. Why don’t we have a Gold standard? Why haven’t our Presidents Supported, Protected, Preserved and Defended our Constitution as prescribed by our Constitution? And why have our Presidents failed to “Take care that all laws be faithfullyexecuted” as our Constitution mandates? FTG

  3. palani

    December 2, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    A quick legal notice published timely should be all that is sufficient to depose any quasi-officer. Just ask for persons occupying offices of authority in your government to grace you with their oath and bond so that you might hold them accountable for their actions. Seems simple enough.

    • Flatwood

      December 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      @ A quick legal notice published timely should be all that is sufficient to depose any quasi-officer.

      Apparently, the “legal notice” must be,form wise, done “appropriately.” Here is what I am trying to say. If you would rather not send this “legal notice” I will, IF you will e mail me a “proper” form filled out. I promise you I WILL SEND IT or TAKE IT to the “proper “quasi-officer.”

  4. Jim

    December 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    The Constitution seems to provide for more than one president. Among the presidents;
    Article 1 sec. 3 cl. 6 President of the United States;
    Article 1 sec. 7 cl. 2 President of the United States ;
    Article II sec. 1 cl. 1 President of the United States of America;
    Article II sec. 1 cl. 5 Office of President;
    Article II Sec. 1 cl. 3 President of the Senate.

    If one can ignore all the media , democratic and republican tampering of “elections” within Ohio the only achievement might be the Article II sec. 1 cl. 3 process for the executive President of the United States of America.

  5. Jim on Oregon

    December 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    This attached article makes three references to the “ineligibility of the successful candidate” and that a challenged candidate must first be nominated…but under a state (Florida, in this example) law. So the principle is sound, as it seems to be consistent throughout the gov-co system.


    Eligibility challenge returns to haunt Florida

    ‘Obama is a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States’

    A lawsuit challenging Barack Obama’s presence on the 2012 presidential election ballot because of questions over his constitutional eligibility that was thrown out by a judge who earlier determined it wasn’t timely has returned to haunt election officials in the state with a request that the Obama victory results be quashed.
    “Defendant Barack Hussein Obama is a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States, and its Constitution, which plaintiff must protect and defend by oath,” according to the complaint, which was delivered to Secretary of State Ken Detzner today.
    The case earlier this year was dismissed by Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, who said Obama’s eligibility could not be challenged at that time because under Florida election law, technically, Obama hadn’t been nominated to the position.
    As WND reported, Michael Voeltz, who identifies himself as “a registered member of the Democratic Party, voter and taxpayer in Broward County,” had challenged Obama’s eligibility, arguing that the “natural born citizen” clause was rightly understood in historical context to mean a child not only born in the U.S., but born to two American-citizen parents, so as not to have divided loyalties. Obama, however, readily admits to being born a dual citizen because of his father’s British citizenship.
    In his decision then, Lewis noted that the United States Supreme Court has concluded that “every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States.”
    However, attorney Larry Klayman, who is representing Voeltz, said, “The judge equated being a ‘citizen’ with a ‘natural born citizen’ and cited no authority to conclude the two terms are the same. He quotes other state’s cases, where judges reached that conclusion, but that’s not precedent for him. What other courts said in lower cases means nothing to him.”
    Klayman also had been concerned that the judge determined the burden of proof that Obama is ineligible fell on Voeltz – but then refused to authorize discovery in the case which could have confirmed that eligibility status.
    “How can you say we have the burden of proof, then not allow discovery?” Klayman asked. “He says we have burden, but doesn’t allow us to meet it.”
    And he said Voeltz has standing to bring the case, under Florida law.
    Is Obama constitutionally eligible to serve? Here’s WND’s complete archive of news reports on the issue
    The original case sought to exclude Obama from the 2012 ballot. Klayman and Voeltz claimed that Obama is not a natural born citizen as required by Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, because he was born a British subject.
    The case cited the evidence produced by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s special investigative unit, which has asserted that the birth documentation from Hawaii that Obama claimed was “proof positive” of his Hawaiian birth is not real.
    And Florida law provides that anyone qualified to vote in an election may challenge a candidate based on ‘ineligibility of the successful candidate for the nomination or office in dispute.”
    Now the new complaint explains the challenge to Obama’s eligibility is “within the proper time frame and venue established by the ‘contest of election’ statutes of Florida.”
    “Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Barack Hussein Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States because he was born a British subject of a British subject father, Barack Obama Sr., who was married to the mother of Barack H. Obama at the time…,” it explains.
    “Barack Obama Sr., a citizen of the British colony of Kenya, and his children, were subject to the operation of the British Nationality Act of 1948. By the operation of Part 1 Section 1 of that Act, Barack Hussein Obama became a British subject, upon birth to a British subject father. It is not known whether he has lost that birth allegiance to the British crown.”
    And, according to the complaint, the natural born citizen clause specifically was inserted to address the possibility of foreign influence at the highest levels of the U.S. government, in the White House.
    “Law of Nations defines the term of art ‘natural born citizen’ as one born in the country [to] parents who are that country’s citizens.
    “Plaintiff Michael C. Voeltz has standing, as a Florida voter, and taxpayer, to challenge the ‘nomination or election of any person to office’ based on the winning candidates’ eligibility for the office sought. … The state of Florida has chosen, by popular election, the electors for Defendant Barack Hussein Obama to be president … Plaintiff has fulfilled all aspects of the Florida election statutes for this challenge of eligibility, as to timing, venue, and indispensable parties.”
    The case notes that the complaint is being filed before the Florida electors meet to cast their vote in the Electoral College, a procedure that affirms the popular vote choice made Nov. 6.
    The case asks the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission to decertify the Florida General Election upon a “judicial determination of the ineligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to serve as president … and to certify the electors for Mitt Romney as the winner.”
    Klayman has argued that since Obama, by his own admission, was not born to two citizen parents, he is not a “natural born citizen” and, therefore, is ineligible to be a candidate on the state’s election ballot.
    Florida’s election statutes provide broad protections for voters to ensure that the integrity of the election system is beyond reproach. One of the laws allows voters to challenge the nomination of a candidate who is not eligible for the office he is seeking.

    • Flatwood

      December 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      The “Courts” exist on fraud & deceit. Why should they do anything that might upset their goldmine a.k.a. applecart? The “occasional “wins” are only for the purpose of more fraud & deceit, i.e., to make us think there is some integrity on their part. I “won” a case wherein the order said in essence that my “adversaries” violated the 1st Amendment. I used the “State” Constitutional provision which was worded like the 1st amendment of the Federal Constitution, but the “State Court” refused to honor the “State Constitutional provision. Why? BECAUSE, it was the court’s way of saying I was a legislatively created citizen & Subject per the 14th amendment. After the order was issued, ALL my adversaries were PROMOTED in rank for “violating” the 1st amendment.

  6. Mick

    February 20, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Hello ADASK. Just found your blog. I am the plaintiff in Fla. As for your contention that a sitting POTUS is presumed to be eligible, and that 3 US Code 19 “inability” does not mean “Constitutionally ineligible,” I must disagree.
    3 US Code 5 (Electoral Count Act 1887) is the process of vetting the candidate for POTUS, and by that statute any “dispute” must be FINALLY ADJUDICATED by a judicial process set up before the election, by 6 days PRIOR to the meeting of electors (Dec. 11, 2012). I my case the appeals court failed to follow federal statute regarding a Federal Election and called my action “MOOT” 70 days after they were supposed to have ruled on it. However my case was filed perfectly correct under the laws of Fla., and it is still valid despite the fact that the court basically mooted it by its own actions (See Osborn v. Bank).
    Nothing in the Constitution says that Congress vets a Presidential candidate, and in fact it bars them from doing so (See A1 S6– congress is specifically responsible for the elections and qualifications of its own members, and also that electors cannot be members of government– art. 2).

  7. Mick

    February 20, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    By the way, the 12th Amendment clearly contemplates a constitutionally ineligible sitting President.
    “AS IN THE CASE OF THE DEATH OR OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL DISABILITY OF THE PRESIDENT.” That clause is superceded by the 25th A. and 3 US Code 19 w/ regard to succession. “INABILITY” certainly then means “Constitutional disability”.


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