Democrats boycotting hearing to remove President Obama from Geor - CBS46 News

Democrats boycotting hearing to remove President Obama from Georgia ballot

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Representatives of the Georgia Democratic Party and an Atlanta attorney representing President Barack Obama have decided to boycott a Thursday hearing to consider removing the president from the March 6th presidential primary ballot.

The decision comes after a judge last week ordered President Obama to appear in court in Atlanta Thursday on a complaint that says the president isn't a natural-born citizen and can't be president.

On Wednesday, Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon released a statement, saying the party "has no plans to continue to be involved in these baseless cases."  

In his statement, Berlon said "It's one of many such lawsuits that have been filed across the country, so far without success. A Georgia resident made the complaint, which is intended to keep Obama's name off the state's ballot in the March presidential primary."

"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."

Atlanta attorney Michael Jablonski who is serving as counsel to the president wrote the letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, asking him to stop the hearing.

In his statement, party chairman Berlon added "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."

An Obama campaign aide says any attempt to involve the president personally will fail and such complaints around the country have no merit.

The hearing is set for Thursday before an administrative judge.  Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi on Friday denied a motion by the president's lawyer to quash a subpoena that requires Obama to show up.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.