A birther lawsuit alleging that President Barack Obama is ineligible to serve as commander in chief kicked off in Florida on Monday, with members of both legal teams providing arguments.
The suit was filed by Michael Voeltz, a car salesman and self-proclaimed registered Democrat in Florida. Voeltz was represented by conservative activist Larry Klayman, who presented the quintessential conspiratorial claim that he had proof Obama wasn't born in Hawaii, despite the White House's release of a long-form birth certificate that indicates Honolulu as his birthplace.
Birther champion and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has also submitted an affidavit on Voeltz's behalf.
“There is a lot of evidence here, plus the birth certificate as analyzed," Klayman said, according to WPTV. "We’ve never seen an original copy. No one has, and experts who have looked at that birth certificate, and they are listed on the affidavits and in the court file, show that that birth certificate was likely forged and altered as well as his social security card and other methods of identification."
If that standard argument doesn't suffice, Klayman also says Obama isn't fit to serve as a “natural born citizen” because his father wasn't a U.S. citizen, an interpretation of the Constitution that has already been found to be without standing in a number of legal cases.
The case is being heard by circuit court judge Terry Lewis, who is famous for his role in deliberating the Bush v. Gore case in 2000, in which he ruled on behalf of Bush. He didn't rule immediately after also hearing arguments from Obama's legal counsel, who asked for the case to be dismissed.
Obama's attorneys were joined by Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, a Republican who recently sued the Department of Homeland Security over the state's controversial voter purge effort. He backed their effort to have the case thrown out.
The Miami Herald breaks down the president's legal defense as laid out by his lawyers:
The suit is without standing because Obama won’t officially become the Democratic nominee for president until after the party’s convention in September, the defense argued. Right now he is simply a candidate, albeit one without opposition in primary, they said.
“In this case, there has been no nomination to office, there has been no election to office as a result of the presidential preference primary of January 31,” said Mark Herron, a lawyer representing Obama.
Lewis has given lawyers on both sides a week to submit proposed orders.
Below, a soundtrack to real estate mogul Donald Trump's birther follies: