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A Matter Of Opinion

Washington Supreme Court rejects Obama challenge

Just got an email from the Secretary of State's Office:

FYI: The Washington State Supreme Court has declined to hear a lawsuit brought by James Broe of King County and 12 others asking that the Secretary of State set aside the votes cast in Washington for Senator Barack Obama. The suit had questioned whether the president-elect is a "native born" American, suggesting that he was born in Kenya, rather than Hawaii, as Obama has said.

Obama carried the state by 17 percentage points and received the state's

11 electoral votes on December 15. Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, in a one-page order attached here, said the court declines to take up the case. The challengers will have 90 days if they wish to file a petition for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

King County Superior Court dismissed a similar challenge brought by Steven Marquis just before the election.

The state's position is that the Secretary of State has neither the authority nor the requirement to investigate the candidates'

qualifications for president and vice president, which are spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. Eight tickets were on the ballot in Washington. Under state law, the Republican and Democratic tickets are automatically placed on the fall ballot after the national party conventions. Other tickets can qualify by having 1,000 registered Washington voters sign petitions at conventions. The state Elections Division examines the signatures, but does not investigate the qualifications of the candidates.

Reed and the voters of Washington are represented by the state attorney general. Reed said he's pleased that state courts have now dismissed the challenge.

I'm beginning to think he's going to be the next president.


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Gary Crooks
Gary Crooks joined The Spokesman-Review in 1997. He is editor of the Opinion section and a member of the Editorial Board.

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