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BERG v OBAMA (Original Case) - PRECEDENTIAL OPINION -Transport Room

BERG v OBAMA (Original Case) - PRECEDENTIAL OPINION -Transport Room

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Published by Jack Ryan
PRECEDENTIAL OPINION Coram: SLOVITER, FUENTES and HARDIMAN, Circuit Judges. Total Pages: 11. Judge: SLOVITER Authoring. (CLW)
PRECEDENTIAL OPINION Coram: SLOVITER, FUENTES and HARDIMAN, Circuit Judges. Total Pages: 11. Judge: SLOVITER Authoring. (CLW)

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Published by: Jack Ryan on Nov 12, 2009
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01/18/2010

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PRECEDENTIALUNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALSFOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT  No. 08-4340 PHILIP J. BERG, ESQUIRE,Appellantv.BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, a/k/a BARRY SOETORO, a/k/aBARRY OBAMA, a/k/a BARACK DUNHAM, a/k/aBARRY DUNHAM; THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONALCOMMITTEE; THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION;THE SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH,PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF STATE;PEDRO A. CORTÉS, Secretary of the Commonwealth in hisofficial capacity; DIANNE FEINSTEIN, Chairman of the U.S.Senate, Commission on Rules and Administration in her officialcapacity; U.S. SENATE, COMMISSION ON RULES ANDADMINISTRATION; and DOES 1-50 INCLUSIVE On Appeal from the United States District Courtfor the Eastern District of Pennsylvania(D.C. Civil No. 2-08-cv-04083)District Judge: Hon. R. Barclay Surrick  Submitted Under Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a)October 26, 2009Before: SLOVITER, FUENTES and HARDIMAN, CircuitJudges(Filed: November 12, 2009 ) 
Case: 08-4340 Document: 00319899570 Page: 1 Date Filed: 11/12/2009
 
2Philip J. BergLafayette Hill, PA 19444-2531Attorney Pro SeJohn P. Lavelle, Jr.Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLPPhiladelphia, PA 19103Of counsel:Robert F. Bauer Perkins Coie LLPWashington, D.C. 20005-2003Joseph E. Sandler Sandler, Reiff & Young, P.C.Washington, D.C. 20003Attorneys for Democratic NationalCommittee and Barack ObamaThomasenia P. DuncanGeneral CounselDavid Kolker Associate General CounselKevin DeeleyAssistant General CounselSteve N. Hajjar AttorneyFederal Election CommissionWashington, D.C. 20463Attorneys for Federal Election CommissionOPINION OF THE COURT
Case: 08-4340 Document: 00319899570 Page: 2 Date Filed: 11/12/2009
 
That clause states, “No person except a natural born
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Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of theAdoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President . . . .” U.S. Const., art. II, § 1, cl. 4.In the “Issues Presented” section of Berg’s brief, issue
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nine is whether the District Court erred in “dismissing [Berg’s]claims under Promissory Estoppel [by holding that] the DNC . . .and Obama’s promise[s] to uphold the United States Constitutionare simply statements of principle and intent in the political realmand are not enforceable promises[.]” Appellant’s Br. at 3. Bergdoes not mention his promissory estoppel theory again, let aloneexplain why the District Court’s holding was in error. In any event,3SLOVITER,
Circuit Judge
.Philip Berg, a lawyer acting pro se, filed this actionchallenging Barack Obama’s eligibility to run for and serve asPresident of the United States. The District Court dismissedBerg’s action on the grounds that he lacks standing and failed tostate a cognizable claim.
I.
Before the 2008 presidential election, Berg sued then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama, the Democratic NationalCommittee, and the Federal Election Commission, amongothers, alleging that Obama was ineligible to run for and serve asPresident because he was born in Kenya and therefore is not a“natural born citizen” within the meaning of Article II, Section1, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution. Berg sought, in
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relevant part, a declaratory judgment that Obama was ineligible,an injunction barring Obama from running for that office, and aninjunction barring the Democratic National Committee fromnominating him.Although Berg brought a grab-bag of claims before theDistrict Court, he appeals only the dismissal of those broughtunder the Natural Born Citizen Clause of the Constitution and 42U.S.C. § 1983. The District Court – assuming the factual
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Case: 08-4340 Document: 00319899570 Page: 3 Date Filed: 11/12/2009

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