Home > Uncategorized > What if they’re right?

What if they’re right?

I was thinking the other day about Kenya, Indonesia, and Obama, and an interesting question came to mind. Suppose, for a moment, that all the “birthers” are right. Since the anointed one is the only one who can disprove the birthers’ contentions, and has yet to do so, there is a material question of fact. As a matter of fact, the anointed one has refused to release any records of interest, making him the most unknown president in history. But in any case, suppose they are right, and the public elected Barry Soetero of Indonesia as president.

Aside from the political and societal implications of such an event, I was struck by a more pragmatic question. If it turns out that Barry was (is) ineligible to hold the office, what becomes of the laws, regulations, and orders issued during his “term?”

There is, at least in some areas of the law, a difference between acts that are “void,” and those that are “voidable.” If, for example, a man gets married before divorcing his current wife, that makes him a bigamist. If he then procures a divorce from the first wife, in the two states I am familiar with, the second marriage is valid, but the wife can have it declared void. The presumption is, however, that the marriage is valid. At least, this is what I remember from my years in law school more than three lustrum ago. There are some acts that are, by their very nature, void from the start.

What of the laws passed during an invalid Barry Soetero presidency? Would they be void or voidable? I suspect that either way, the practical effect would be the same. Entire apparati (apparatuses?) would have to be dismantled. None of the regulations could be enforced; perhaps even his appointments would be undone. The country would be in upheaval.

I’m not really sure of the ultimate outcome of such an event coming to pass. But it sure is an interesting gedanken, yes?

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