Regent University Law Professor Pryor Plays Birther Then Bails

Professor Scott Pryor

Last month Regent University School of Law * professor Scott Pryor published a glowing review of Regent student John Ira Jones’s paper on the meaning of the term “natural-born citizen”. The article was posted on Professor Pryor’s blog “Pryor Thoughts”. The paper that Jones published was titled “Natural Born Shenanigans: How the Birther Movement Exacerbated Confusion Over the Constitution’s Natural Born Citizen Requirement”.  Referring to the paper Pryor wrote:

No simple-minded birther controversy here but a well-reasoned article looking at a frequently-forgotten Founding-era resource, Emmerich Vattel and his 1758 book, The Law of Nations. Download and read Regent law student John Jones’s piece, Natural Born Shenanigans: How the Birther Movement Exacerbated Confusion Over the Constitution’s Natural Born Citizen Requirement.

Just what does “natural-born citizen” mean? Born anywhere in the world to American citizens? Of course. Born in America to non-citizens? Seems so. But might there be more to the constitutional phrase than the obvious? And would the Framers of the Constitution have intended to convey the “more”?

As for the latter question, Jones asserts a strong conclusion:

Contrary to the popular impulse toward a historically uninformed view of the term ″natural born citizen,″ a cursory reading of Vattel coupled with an understanding of its significance to the Framers suggests that the requirement is not a novel term invented by the Framers, but rather a term of art with a fixed meaning which would have been known to scholars and statesmen of the day. Indeed, this understanding seems to comport with what one would expect of a group of learned men convening to lay out a framework for government–the Framers did not invent terms when invention was improper. They used accepted, established terms to convey meanings in ways that would not be subject to later arbitrary revision.

While Jones’s paper properly portrays the Birther claims that President Obama was born in Kenya as nonsense he veers into the ditch by accepting the argument that 18th century Swiss philosopher Emer de Vattel in his treatise The Law of Nations provided a definition of the term “natural-born citizen” as used in Article II of the US Constitution in the presidential eligibility clause.

Rather than get into a lengthy discussion on the fallacy of his claim about de Vattel and the paper in detail I provide a comment left by Kevin Davidson, aka Dr. Conspiracy on the Pryor blog post:

Groucho Marx is quoted: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” I refuse to take any academic article seriously that cites me (“Dr. Conspiracy”) as a source.

I find Mr. Jones argument to be “warmed over birther with footnotes,” and I found nothing that I hadn’t seen a dozen times on birther blogs and in birther lawsuit briefs. It exhibits the same bias in selecting sources, ignores the same primary sources, and glosses over the same problems. It is the same argument explicitly rejected by the courts since 2008.

Mr. Jones writes: “It would be difficult to overstate the influence of Vattel’s treatise on the Framers,” but I think he succeeds quite well in doing so, relegating the elephant in the room–the lack of the phrase “natural born citizen” in any English language edition of Vattel in 1789 to a footnote, and there dismissing the translation problem with a wave of the hand. James Kettner in his 350-page book, “The Development of American Citizenship, 1608-1870,” cites Vattel not once. And indeed, I have been able to find but a single citation from the founding generation of Vattel on the acquisition of citizenship, and that was in a letter to the editor of a Charleston, SC, newspaper by a loser in the race to be a member of the first Congress. No one in the founding generation that I know of ever talked about parentage as a criterion of citizenship or allegiance. All of the eligibility debates in the Constitutional Convention centered around how long a person must be a citizen. If the Convention were following Vattel, the United States would have had a king and mandatory state religion.

Mr. Jones cites dicata in a legal decision to support the claim that “Vattel was the most widely cited international jurist in the fifty years following the Revolutionary War,” but a legal citation is hardly an appropriate way to demonstrate a historical fact. In an actual study by Mr. Lutz of the works from the founding generation, the most often-cited jurist was Sir William Blackstone (as any lawyer should have guessed). Vattel lags behind John Locke, David Hume, Plutarch, Pufendorf, Sir Edward Coke, Rousseau and Machiavelli. (Vattel is number 29 on the most-cited list). Vattel cannot be discarded, but Mr. Jones discards Blackstone!

The complete omission of the interchangeable usage of “natural born citizen” and “natural born subject” in various state naturalization acts both before and after the ratification of the Constitution is a serious hole in the discussion. I find the complete omission of the Supreme Courts’ reasoning in US v. Wong, and its citations on the equivalence of natural born citizen and natural born subject to be inexcusable.
And to bring into the question the 6-2 decision in Wong by saying that Justice Gray was appointed by President Arthur (who the article suggest might not be eligible either) is guilt by insinuation. That bit is pure conspiracy theory right out of the birther playbook. Let me point its absurdity by exposing the contradiction. In order to say that Justice Gray was biased because he was appointed by an ineligible Arthur, one must deny the second premise of that argument: that Arthur hid his father’s naturalization status.

The highest court in Arthur’s state had said in Lynch v. Clarke (1844), that the children of aliens born in the United States could become president. Vice Chancellor Sandford also said that this was the universal opinion of the legal community and the public. Sandford gives an extensive historical survey, much broader and far more balanced that we get from Mr. Jones, even to the point of examining Vattel.

I agree with Mr. Jones, that birthers have muddied the waters and sown confusion on the question of presidential eligibility; however, I do not see that the works of Mr. Jones can be distinguished from the birthers in any way, and I am one of the nation’s foremost experts on birthers.

The crazy Birther blog Birther Report also found the article by Professor Pryor and of course ate it up in an article published there recently.

The comments on Pryor’s article began to come in on both sides (including a couple left by this author) and then the other night Professor Pryor pulled the plug on further comments and suggested that the discussion be taken elsewhere:

I’ve never received the number of comments that this post. has generated. And to think, most have come in a flood three weeks after the fact. I appreciate the many insights and thoughtful comments posted by some. Indeed, I appreciated the others that seem to have wandered a bit afield. I am, however, bringing the comments to an end. It’s time for all of us to move on to more fruitful pastures or at least to take this conversation elsewhere.

At the time of Pryor’s closing of the comments a grand total of 11 comments had been approved. Wow, such a work load! I still had at least one comment in moderation and strangely enough this comment left earlier by French attorney and frequent commenter  at Obama Conspiracy Theories “Lupin”was not approved:


“Perhaps when commenting upon a law text written in French, Mr Jones would be well advised to first consult a French lawyer? I am such a thing, with the added bonus that I have actually edited translations of Vattel’s text into English, and am more than familiar with the subject.

“The short version of it is that, even if you agree that Vattel’s term “indigene” or “naturel” is equivalent to your own term “natural born citizen” (which is a highly debatable point), Vattel clearly stated that citizenship was transmitted by the father only.

“The notion that father and mother had both to be citizens in order for their child to be a “naturel” is total rubbish, born of ignorance of basic syntax, and contradicted in the text itself.

“As you may or may not know, Vattel’s (amongst other legal texts) was the basis for Napoleon’s Civil Code of 1804, and there is extensive jurisprudence on the subject. FWIW, the position of the mother was finally acknowledged in the 1860s and of course both sexes were made equal before the Law in that respect in the mid-20th century.

“Finally, I’ll add that while Vattel was concerned with jus sanguinis (the term “parens” actually means all blood relatives and not merely the two parents), he also acknowledged that England used jus soli for the basis of citizenship and had no problem recording the fact.

“I don’t mean to lecture about this but Mr Jones’ paper is, at least as far as his understanding of Vattel is concerned, total rubbish and unworthy of the institution to which he belongs.”

(Lupin reposted his comment at the open thread article at OCT.)

I can only speculate why Professor Pryor chose to shut down discussion on the article. Perhaps he didn’t want it to turn into a dragged out flame war between Birthers and Anti-Birthers. We all know that can happen. Just look at Greg Contario’s article on Ted Cruz’s eligibility at Western Free Press which now has almost 5000 comments and has turned into a platform for Obama haters like Mario Apuzzo, Rambo Ike, and ksdb (Joe Montgomery who filed a losing ballot challenge in Kansas), and others to push their discredited and losing theory that President Obama is usurping the office because his father was a British subject and not a US citizen at the time of his birth.

Perhaps, Professor Pryor after reading the comments like the ones I quoted above decided his glowing praise of Jones’s paper was given without doing proper research into the subject and was misplaced. Rather than embarrass a student with a retraction he would just end the discussion. I can understand if that is the case.

Of course comments here are welcomed as long as they do not violate the blog comment policy. I know handling all those comments is a real work load but I think I am up to the task.

*Regent University was founded by televangelist Pat Robertson in 1978 the School of Law  opened in 1986. Both are located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Regent School of Law was ranked 287th overall by US News and World Report. According to Regent’s web page “our students receive rigorous legal training plus the added benefit of a Christian perspective through which to view the law.” Its most famous faculty member is form US AG John Ashcroft.

Posted in Birthers, Natural Born Citizenship | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Mario Apuzzo Esq.: Virtual Reality Litigator


“Sailors Snug Harbor dancing sailors-1-” by Halfcentury – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

The following article was written by guest author Frank Arduini, aka “Historian Dude”. Frank has been engaging in a month long comment battle with Birther attorney Mario Apuzzo at the Western Free Press on an article about the eligibility of Ted Cruz. As one might have expected when Mario Apuzzo gets involved the discussion became all about the eligibility of Barack Obama instead of the subject of the original article. Of course Apuzzo thinks neither of them is a natural born citizen despite the fact that every Birther challenge against Barack Obama on eligibility including the ones Mr. Apuzzo has litigated have failed.

The number of comments there is approaching 3500! For your reading enjoyment:

Mario Apuzzo Esq.: Virtual Reality Litigator by Frank Arduini

Birther attorney Mario Apuzzo was, at one time, among the more active litigators of the birther movement. But after an unbroken string of failures at every level from administrative law courts to SCOTUS, Apuzzo “retired” in 2012 to the safety of the Internet where he is protected from genuine legal review or potential judicial sanction. In the subsequent two years he has committed hundreds of thousands of words online trying to argue and reargue the cases that he previously lost in court. And on the Internet (and especially on his own blog where he is a ruthless moderator and the sole judge) he always “wins.”

At the beginning of March 2015, Apuzzo was called out by name on the conservative blog The Western Free Press by author Greg Conterio challenging Apuzzo’s assertions that Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz was ineligible for the Presidency. The comments section quickly exploded in a generalized festival of birther/obot argument that as of this writing has lasted more than a month and garnered well over 3,000 posts. A significant part of the “discussion” has been an ongoing contest between Apuzzo and this author (posting under the UserID “HistorianDude”) focused on the central foundation of Apuzzo’s entire argument: that Article II of the Constitution defined “natural born citizen” not according to English common law, but according to an as yet undemonstrated “American common law” that had emerged between the Declaration of Independence and the framing of the Constitution. As part of this argument, Apuzzo has conceded that, under English common law the children of aliens born on national soil became natural born subjects. He has also conceded that the definition of NBC found in Article II of the Constitution is derived from “the common law.” But, he baldly asserts that the “common law” in question had magically (and anachronistically) been redefined to conform with a treatise on international law by the 18th century legal theorist Emer de Vattel.

Of course, any competent lawyer knows that this is not how common law is created. A nation may certainly incorporate other sources of law into their own via statute. But common law derives from case law, the judgments of previous courts that create legal precedent binding on those courts that follow. For the English common law definition of natural born citizen to have been altered or replaced by a new “American common law” definition, there must have been case law created during the eleven years between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that generated that change. And of course, this would have been a particularly neat trick since, under the Articles of Confederation there was no national judicial system at all wherein such case law might have been created.

For more than a month this author has repeatedly challenged Apuzzo to demonstrate the case law from between 1776 and 1787 that must exist for his alleged “American common law” to be more than fiction. Failing that, Apuzzo was challenged to identify a single English language document or source that agreed with his favored definition of natural born citizen. He has failed to meet either challenge.

Inglis v. Sailor’s Snug Harbor: An Inglis Lesson for Apuzzo
To fill the gap Apuzzo’s favored method of argument is to cite much later cases, often badly misrepresenting them, and insist that they somehow reflect a different common law than English common law. That “different common law” is then retroactively ascribed without evidence to Article II of the Constitution. It is a complete non-sequitur, on occasion demanding the violation of basic laws of physics. This essay is inspired by one such attempt.

After a month of frustration, and seeking desperately to shift the unmet challenge from his own back to that of his tormenter, Apuzzo brought up an 1830 inheritance case called Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor. He wrote:

“Since it is common law that you have requested of me, I have the following question. In Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor, 28 U.S. 99, 3 Pet. 99, 7 L.Ed. 617 (1830), the U.S. Supreme Court gave the scenario wherein the child was born in New York, after July 4, 1776 and when it was American territory, hence, before September 15, 1776, when the British took possession of New York, to a British father and mother. In that scenario, did the majority of the Court rule that he was an American citizen or an alien? Please explain what source the Court relied upon to come to its conclusion.”

Certainly Mario’s intention here was to use Inglis to assert that a different common law was in operation in the time period considered by the case. The standard birther misrepresentation of the case asserts that “the majority ruled that, even if the plaintiff had been born in U.S.-controlled territory, he was a British subject by birth and not an American citizen, due to the fact that his parents were British subjects, not U.S. citizens.” If that were true it would certainly support a claim that the common law had changed by the time the Inglis decision was made; i.e. by 1830. Since that hardly helps Apuzzo meet his challenge, missing the necessary time frame by some 43 years, I could be justified in making that observation alone and ending the discussion. But in actuality, exploring the birther misrepresentation reveals the case to be further evidence of the persistence of English common law through the Revolutionary period long after the Declaration of Independence, further narrowing the window within which Apuzzo’s unidentified case law would necessarily have to occur.

Let me begin the actual analysis of Inglis by taking Apuzzo’s counter challenge head on. I will directly answer his questions, and only then engage in the more comprehensive discussion that justifies the answers. Mario’s first question was phrased as a classic conservative dichotomy, an either/or question with two and only two options:

Q1: Did the majority of the Court rule that he was an American citizen or an alien?

Of course, in the real world things are rarely as simple as either/or. The answer to that question requires more subtlety than the question possessed when it was asked:

A1: The majority ruled that Inglis was an alien “at the time of descent cast.” They offered no ruling at all regarding his status at birth.

What does that mean? “At the time of descent cast”?
Inglis was an inheritance case in which a man named John Inglis was claiming a large inheritance from an American relative that might otherwise have been donated to a charity for aging sailors. One of the factors that would have derailed his claim was that under prevailing law, only US citizens could inherit land. So the citizenship status of Inglis was important to the case, but only his citizenship at the moment of actual inheritance; i.e. “at the time of descent cast.” It did not matter what his citizenship might have been one week prior or one week later. So since the direct issue before the court was whether or not he was a citizen at the moment of inheritance, which is the ruling the court made. The majority found that Inglis was an alien “at the time of descent cast” and therefore unable to inherit.

But we will see as this essay progresses that the court actually made no ruling at all regarding John Inglis’ citizenship at birth. The determination of his national character would, in the court’s opinion, be independent of the common or statutory law normally determinative of status at birth. This is because something special was happening at the time, the American Revolution.

Apuzzo’s second question was this:

Q2: What source did the Court rely upon to come to its conclusion?

Apuzzo’s intent here is twofold. First, he is fully aware (and I fully agree) that the source cannot have been the English common law. Secondly, he believes he has an ace up his sleeve in that one of the sources cited is, you guessed it, Emer de Vattel. It does not appear to occur to Apuzzo that the citation is to a section of Vattel’s book, which has nothing whatsoever to with the “definition” that he wishes to anachronistically graft onto the common law. Nor does he consider that Vattel is cited not as an application of common law, but as an application of international law. So again, recognizing the actual subtlety of the court decision, the direct answer (which will be explained in detail in a moment) is:

A2: As to existence of a general right for people to voluntary choose their allegiances during or immediately after a revolution their source was international law. As to Inglis’s subsequent nationality “at the time of descent cast,” their conclusion was based on the specific details of his actions subsequent to achieving majority as an adult, many years afterwards.

Apuzzo prefaced his questions with a reference to common law in the effort to position himself against the challenge to his imaginary “American common law.” Unfortunately, any genuinely careful review of the Inglis decision (or at least in the part of the decision relating to John Inglis’s nationality) quickly reveals that it had exactly nothing whatsoever to do with the common law.

Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor is one of a handful of early SCOTUS cases that dealt with unique circumstances of the Revolutionary period, a time in which the new United States and Great Britain were engaged in the bloody business of dividing into two separate and sovereign nations; a period of Anglo-American history sometimes called “The Great Divorce.” The circumstance of citizenship during a revolutionary transition was and remains completely unconsidered by the common law. There existed no body of case law with which to guide the Justices that pertained to a situation in which a single nation was splitting into two, and where the common law criteria of allegiance / citizenship / subjecthood were suddenly rendered ambiguous and arbitrary. As Justice Story pointed out in his worthy dissent, “The case of the separation of the United States from Great Britain… has been treated on many occasions, both at the bar and on the bench, as a case sui generis.”

The decision regarding John Inglis’ nationality did not rest on any application of the common law, nor did it create common law. Nor did it rest upon any existing statute. Instead it was built on the recognition that the unique circumstances of revolution necessarily but only temporarily suspended the common law and gave to each adult (well, each adult male at least) the temporary power of voluntary election for themselves and their minor dependents as to which of the two subsequent nations they would adhere.
The rationale for the suspension of the common law is found, to no one’s surprise, in treatises of international law such as Vattel’s Law of Nations. Justice Thompson specifically cites to Vattel, Book 1, Chapter 3, Section 33 where we read that those unaccepting of a new revolutionary government

“are under no obligation at all to submit to the new government: they may quit a society which seems to have dissolved itself in order to unite again under another form: they have a right to retire elsewhere, to sell their lands, and take with them all their effects.”

To modern sensibilities that sounds very much like any ordinary right to expatriate. In the 18th century however, it was a radical idea, and allowed only as the consequence of profound political upheaval.

Justice Thompson, writing for the majority, was explicit that prior to the Declaration of Independence the law of England as to citizenship by birth was the law of the English Colonies in America.

“It is universally admitted, both in the English courts and in those of our own country, that all persons born within the Colonies of North America, whilst subject to the Crown of Great Britain, are natural-born British subjects.”

Thompson was equally explicit that the end of the suspension was demarcated by a reassertion of the English common law. He was also quite clear that the window for election was a narrow one. And once the window was closed, the rules of English common law as to citizenship by birth returned to force.

To make this point, Thompson cited in detail the case of McIlvaine v. Coxe’s Lessee, 4 Cranch 211, wherein a Mr. Coxe had missed the window of opportunity to elect British subjecthood once the State of New Jersey asserted its obligation to provide “protection” via the Act of 4 October, 1776. Hence the window of opportunity for voluntary election remained open in New Jersey for a mere 3 months, at which point

“the doctrine of allegiance became applicable to his case, which rests on the ground of a mutual compact between the government and the citizen or subject, which it is said cannot be dissolved by either party without the concurrence of the other. It is the tie which binds the governed to their government, in return for the protection which the government affords them.”

These are of course the ancient rules of the English common law. The last sentence in particular is a touchstone proving a direct correlation to the formulation that William Blackstone reflected in his Commentaries in 1765 using much the same language, though not yet adjusted to reflect a republican government rather than a monarchy:

“Allegiance is the tie, or ligamen, which binds the subject to the king, in return for that protection which the king affords the subject.”

Thompson was equally clear that they were the post-fenestral rules not just in New Jersey, but elsewhere on US soil in those territories which were under the jurisdiction and the protection of the newly independent States.

In the case of New York, the specific “window of opportunity” was almost shockingly short. For the portion of the state not under British occupation, the window closed a mere 12 days after independence with the resolutions of the convention of New York of 16 July, 1776, declaring “that all persons abiding within the State of New York, and deriving protection from the laws of the same, owe allegiance to the said laws, and are members of the state.” But during that window (in the opinion of the court) John Inglis’ father Charles had made his election for both himself and his son. He elected that they would adhere to Great Britain.

For John Inglis himself, as a very young child, it was not a case of his state automatically following that of his father via jus sanguinis. His father deliberately made a provisional election for him as was his father’s prerogative as parent of a minor child.

This point cannot be stressed too firmly and it was made explicitly by the court; the election that Charles Inglis made for his son John was not permanent but provisional. The decision in Inglis did not declare that John Inglis was an alien at birth. It did not declare that his status “at the time of descent cast” was imposed through any automatic operation of common or statutory law. The court was instead clear that even for a minor child citizenship or alienage post revolution was ultimately dependent on a conscious election by the child himself, upon reaching his own majority, to either ratify or reject the provisional election made by his father. The fact that Inglis was an alien “at the time of descent cast” was not a result of the election made for him by his father in 1776. He could just as easily have ended up a citizen of the United States in spite of that election.

Inglis (the court opined) was British because Inglis chose to be British, not his father. The court concluded that Inglis had (by his actions if not his words) made the election to confirm a British character and reject an American one. By the time of this legal action, it had long been too late to change his mind.

The case certainly created no new common law, as it is clear that the window of election was a parentheses, on either side of which English common law operated in full.

Should it be argued that Inglis created new common law simply by virtue of being case law, any alleged common law it created can have had nothing to do with the general rules of birthright citizenship, or the specific definition of natural born citizenship? The case is completely silent on the latter, and English common law regarding the former was reasserted by the time that the revolution was over and the opportunity for voluntary election had ended. While Inglis (a case which was settled a half century after the Treaty of Paris) certainly shows that the rules of that limited window could be considered and applied long afterwards, even that possibility became moot upon the death of the last member of the “divorce generation.” It could conceivably had been useful again had the Civil War ended with a southern victory, but it did not. It could conceivably be useful should some unforeseen future fragmentation of the United States occur, but that is pure speculation. In the circumstances of a stable political regime, such common law would be entirely without application or affect, not to mention redundant.

This is (of course) the reason that the majority decision in Inglis has been largely ignored in subsequent discussions and case decisions on citizenship. It provides little of value that could inform general discussions or case decisions, limited as it is to a unique period of revolution that has never had a subsequent analog. So Chancellor Sandford’s decision in Lynch v. Clark, and Justice Gray’s decision in US v. Wong Kim Ark ignored the majority ruling from Inglis as a stone from which no edifying water could be squeezed, and instead relied on Justice Story’s worthy dissent.

Inglis therefore is useless today as a challenge to the English common law definition of natural born citizen that rules Article II of the Constitution, or for determining birthright citizenship during any era of normal national circumstance. The relevant common law for those purposes, English common law, was left untouched by the events of the Revolution and by the decision in Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor.

Posted in Birthers, Guest Articles, Mario Apuzzo, Natural Born Citizenship | Tagged , , , , | 467 Comments

Happy 2015 Everyone!

A belated Happy New Year to all of my readers and listeners. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and don’t get bogged down in the drudgery and darkness of winter.

Since it is a new year and in the spirit of open discussion I have removed everyone who was previously on my comment moderation list. All first time commenters automatically have their comments go into moderation as before (I can’t change that) and the RC Radio Blog comment policy still applies. Let’s try to be civil.

Posted in RC Radio | Tagged , | 1 Comment

RC Radio Interviews Foggy from the Fogbow Forum

foghorn-leghornI did an hour long interview with Foggy the owner of the Fogbow forum. Foggy is a long time Obot and nemesis of Birthers everywhere.

Catch the episode at the RC Radio page on BlogTalk Radio:

RC Radio Interview with Foggy

Or listen right here:

Posted in Barack Obama, Birthers, RC Radio | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Was the CCP Birth Certificate Investigation Pay to Play?

Zullo Behind bars

Zullo behind bars?

Morgan Loew, an investigative reporter for Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO-TV, presented a devastating piece last night on Mike Zullo and the sham Cold Case Posse investigation into President Obama’s long form birth certificate. The segment included an interview with Brian Reilly, the person who first presented the idea for the investigation  to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Brian’s wife Denise Reilly.

The Reillys repeated many of the allegations against Zullo that Brian had previously related when he has called RC Radio. The most interesting and troublesome new allegation in the report was that a Birther litigant from New Jersey, William Wolf, had written a personal check for $10,000 to Mike Zullo. According to Morgan Loew the late Mr. Wolf had supplied a “dossier of evidence” to Zullo and the CCP to help the investigation. Zullo had previous denied had had

Wolf at the time of the donation also was suing the Hawaii DoH to obtain a copy of President Obama’s long form birth certificate. The case was Wolf v Fuddy. All the case documents are available at Jack Ryan’s SCRIBD page here and here. Mr. Wolf lost the case and also was denied on appeal. The courts ruled he was not entitled to receive a certified copy of the President or any one else’s birth records under the Hawaii open records laws. Wolf is notable in that he was one of the few Birther litigants to actually hire a real law firm for his case.

These two video’s of Morgan Loew’s segment are available on the KPHO web site:

Birther posse chief: I accepted $10,000 from source and Former posse members expose birther investigation

The revelations that Mike Zullo personally profited at least $11,500 from the CCP investigation are startling to say the least and may cross the line of illegality. (Mike Zullo previously admitted that he received checks that amounted to approximately $1500 from the sale of an eBook version of the Cold Case Posse interim report on Amazon).  Zullo also told Brian Reilly that before he left the Posse that over $80,000 had been raised. We don’t know what happened to any of that money. We don’t know how much has been donated since then and donations are still being actively solicited even now. (See below)

These revelations  beg the question: was the Cold Case Posse investigation pay to play? Was the way to get your evidence or your point of view  included to grease the palms of Mr. Zullo?

Zullo responded to Morgan Loew’s request for a comment only after he was confronted with evidence of the $10,000 check. Zullo acknowledged that he had received the money but claimed that it was a personal gift from Mr. Wolf. Does Mr. Zullo want us to believe Wolf would just happen to give $10,000 to a used car dealer in Cave Creek, AZ?

Was the direction the investigation went determined by money and politics? Or was it about getting to the truth as both Arpaio and Zullo have claimed? Most importantly, how could Zullo impartially and objectively examine any evidence provided by Wolf  after being given a $10,000 “gift”?

This might explain why the CCP has consistently refused to look at evidence that contradicted the conclusion they seemed destined to reach. It would explain why the Posse refused to talk to author of Was Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate a Fraud?, John Woodman. The CCP also refused to acknowledge that evidence I and others presented that a simple work flow using a Xerox WorkCentre explains all the PDF file anomalies. I think I know why. The CCP never was and still is not conducting a real investigation. It is a political action designed to keep the Birther movement alive, fill Joe Arpaio’s campaign coffers, and benefit pretend law enforcement officer Mike Zullo.

Who else involved in the investigation was paid? How much? We know Zullo told Reilly “We need to find a way to get you paid”. This was one of the reasons that Reilly gave for leaving the Cold Case Posse. He was rightly concerned about the appearance of volunteers being paid to conduct a supposedly serious and impartial investigation.

Who else profited from the “investigation”? It is certain that Zullo’s co-author Jerome Corsi did. What about Mark Gillar who produced the video with the faked race codes and other videos used in both CCP news conferences? What about the discredited “researchers” like Mara Zebest, Garrett Papit, and Tim Selatey, Jr.? Did they profit?

They answer is we simply do not know. Why? Because despite the fact the Cold Case Posse is registered as a 501(c)(3) organization they have yet to file a single Form 990 with the IRS since incorporating. Zullo claims that the CCP is exempt because it is affiliated with the MCSO, a government agency.  However, the MCSO has stated that they have no oversight at all of CCP financial dealings. Dr. Conspiracy has written several articles about how the CCP wants to have it both ways to avoid disclosure of revenues and expenditures. He even filed a complaint with the IRS about the CCP’s lack of accountability  – Cold Case Posse referred to IRS for failure to file Form 990

Reporter Loew went to Mr. Zullo’s home with a camera crew and attempted to ask Zullo about why the Posse was the only such MCSO Posse not to file the required form 990.

This interesting exchange occurred:

Loew: You’re running a non profit and you won’t disclose how much money …Why won’t you tell us how much money this nonprofit has made?

Zullo: I just don’t have to.

Loew: But what’s wrong with full disclosure?

Zullo: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with full disclosure. It’s just that I don’t have to.

I suppose full disclosure and accountability are just not your style are they Mr. Zullo? Nope, those are for the little people.

We hope Mr. Loew follows up on his efforts to “follow the money” at the CCP. I will reach out to Mr. Zullo to appear with Brian Reilly on a future episode of RC Radio to address the allegations in Mr. Loew’s report.

[Edited 11/1/2914]

Posted in Barack Obama, Birth Certificate, Cold Case Posse, Mike Zullo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Carl Gallups Really Believes Mike Zullo is a "Law Enforcement Officer?"

(RC: This is a guest post written by Brian Reilly. Mr. Reilly was a member of the Surprise, Arizona Tea Party and was the person who convinced Sheriff Joe Arpaio to do an investigation into President Obama’s long form birth certificate in 2011. Mr. Reilly then was asked to join the Cold Case Posse and worked on the investigation along side Posse lead Mike Zullo.

Mr. Reilly has called Reality Check Radio several times to voice his opinion that the investigation led by Mike Zullo was and continues to be nothing more than a sham. Mr. Reilly expressed that opinion most recently on my show this past Wednesday evening. )


There seems to be some confusion on the part of some, whether Mike Zullo of the Cold Case Posse, non-profit corporation is a ” sworn law enforcement officer” in Arizona.  Let’s see if we can find the truth.


To Director Lyle Mann, Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training (AZPOST) regarding Posse member Michael P. Zullo.
1.) Was Michael P. Zullo,  AZ POST certified as  a law enforcement officer, anytime in the year 2012?
2.) Is Michael P. Zullo currently, AZ POST certified as a law enforcement officer?

(Arizona Amended Code, R13-4-103: Certification of Peace Officers Mandatory.

(Arizona Revised Statutes, 1-215-27:  “Peace Officers means sheriffs of counties, constables, marshals, policemen of cities and towns, commissioned personnel of the department of public safety, personnel who are employed by the state department of corrections and the department of juvenile corrections and who have received a certificate from the Arizona peace officers standards and training board,…..”     (volunteer Posse members are not included in the statute.)


From: Lyle Mann <>To: Brian Reilly reillyfam@REDACTED
Subject: RE: Is this person an AZ POST certified law enforcement officer?
“No to both questions.”

Sharon Rondeau quotes Carl Gallups, in her recent article in the Post & E-mail about the 9/23/14 Peter Boyles Show,  as saying,  “Zullo spends the first two or three pages [of his Alabama Supreme Court affidavit]  identifying his law enforcement powers and authorities.” Gallups asked Sheriff Arpaio: “Is he [Zullo] really a bona fide law enforcement officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office?”  Arpaio is reported to have said “Yes.”  In the Alabama Supreme Court, Michael Zullo affidavit,  in the third sentence,  of the first paragraph, on the first page, Zullo clearly states: “I am a former sworn law enforcement office (sic)/criminal investigator…..”  This affidavit is posted on Carl Gallups site at:

It is very clear that even Michael Zullo acknowledges that he is a “former sworn law enforcement office (sic).   Zullo’s statement is consistent with AZ POST Director Lyle Mann’s reply to my questions as to whether Michael P. Zullo is currently, or,  in 2012, an AZ POST certified law enforcement officer.  Director Mann’s answer is,  “No to both questions.”

Hopefully, Carl Gallups will give this article some thought and reconsider his position.


Brian Reilly

Posted in Birth Certificate, Birther Radio, Birthers, Cold Case Posse, Mike Zullo | Tagged , , , , | 141 Comments

Fogbow Forum Converting to IP Board Software

The Fogbow Forum is outgrowing the forum software that it has been using since January 2009 when it was the Politijab Forum. Foggy is moving the Forum to IP Board software which should be better able to handle the large database (over 568,000 posts). The forum should be back up today. For updates follow @_foggy on Twitter.

I will update the article when the forum is back up. The address will remain

Update: The Fogbow is back up and running on the new software. There appears to be some tweaking needed to get everything working but I am sure Foggy and the gang will get it working. After all the old forum didn’t get where it was in a day.

Foggy and Dr. Ken will be answering your questions on IP Board tonight on a special edition of RC Radio at 8 PM EDT.

Foggy and Dr. Ken Answer Questions about IP Board

Posted in Birthers | Tagged , | 6 Comments