http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/judge-obama-eligible-to-1330300.html Judge: Obama eligible to be Georgia candidate By Bill Rankin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 5:42 p.m. Friday, February 3, 2012 A state administrative law judge on Friday flatly rejected challenges seeking to keep President Barack Obama from being a candidate in next month's Georgia primary. In a 10-page order, Judge Michael Malihi dismissed one challenge that contended Obama has maintained a Hawaiian birth certificate that is a computer-generated forgery, has a fraudulent Social Security number and invalid U.S. identification papers. He also turned back another that claimed the president is not a natural born citizen. Last month, Malihi heard testimony and took evidence in a hearing boycotted by Obama's lawyer. With regard to the challenge that Obama does not have legitimate birth and identification documents, Malihi said he found the testimony presented by lawyers of the so-called "birther" movement and their evidence "to be of little, if any, probative value and thus wholly insufficient to support plaintiffs' allegations." A number of the witnesses who testified about the alleged fraud were never qualified as experts in birth records, forged documents and document manipulation, Malihi wrote. "None of the testifying witnesses provided persuasive testimony," he wrote. The other claim contended that Obama was ineligible to run in Georgia's primary because his is not a natural born U.S. citizen because his father was never a U.S. citizen. But Malihi said he agreed with a 2009 ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals decision that struck down a similar challenge. Obama "became a citizen at birth and is a natural born citizen," Malihi wrote. Accordingly, Obama is eligible as a candidate for the upcoming presidential primary in March, the judge said. Malihi's finding goes to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who will make the final determination. Even though Malihi ruled in Obama's favor, he expressed displeasure with the fact that the president's lawyer, Michael Jablonski of Atlanta, refused to attend the recent hearing. "By deciding this matter on the merits, the court in no way condones the conduct or legal scholarship of defendant's attorney, Mr. Jablonski," Malihi wrote. "This decision is entirely based on the law, as well as the evidence and legal arguments presented at the hearing."