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Appeals court rebuffs man seeking Obama birth certificate

  • This file image shows the certificate of live birth issued by the state of Hawaii for Barack Obama. The Intermediate Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling denying access to a man who wanted to peronally inspect Obama's birth certificate.

The state appeals court affirmed this morning the denial of a request to inspect and review President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

In a 3-0 vote, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals upheld a 2009 ruling by then-state Circuit Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo, who dismissed the lawsuit by a man identified as “Dr. Robert V. Justice,” who represented himself. He listed a Beverly Hills, Calif., address on his court papers.

In his legal brief to the appeals court, Justice wrote the inspection of the birth certificate will “ensure the health and safety of all 300 million of us by making sure that our military and our nuclear and chemical arsenals are still under our control and not in the control of any one of our enemies.”

The appeals court said Justice sought the review under the state open-records law requiring the disclosure of documents based on a showing of “compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of any individual.”

But the court said the provision relates to access to records in “medical or safety emergency situations.”

Birth certificates are confidential under state law, except to certain people, such as relatives, who have a “direct and tangible interest” in the records.

Justice had written a letter dated Dec. 31, 2008, to the state Health Department seeking to inspect the birth certificate to “allow me and other fellow Americans to determine whether or not Mr. Obama is eligible to hold the Office of President,” the appeals court said.

After the department denied his request, Justice filed the lawsuit seeking a court order directing the department to disclose the birth certificate.

Chief Judge Craig Nakamura of the appeals court wrote the 17-page opinion. Appeals Judge Katherine Leonard wrote a concurring opinion.

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