The Army Lieutenant Colonel who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he does not believe President Barack Obama was born in the United States faced a legal setback, after a judge ruled yesterday that evidence and witnesses related to the President’s citizenship were irrelevant to the soldier’s case, CNN reports.
Terrence Lakin, an 17-year veteran Army doctor who released a YouTube video in which he questioned whether Obama is a citizen, is facing a court martial on Oct. 13. A hearing on Thursday was scheduled to hear a defense request for deposition of Hawaiian officials and written discovery of Obama’s school and college records.
If Lakin is found guilty, he could be dishonorably discharged, be confined for up to two years, and be forced to forfeit his pay, which totals $7,959 a month, according to CNN.
The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, said that while Obama is commander-in-chief of the military, Congress is constitutionally empowered to raise, pay and equip armies, said CNN.
She also said that according to military law, the personal beliefs or convictions of a soldier are not enough for the soldier to deem an order illegal. She said the soldier must have “no rational doubt” that such an order is illegal in order to ignore it, CNN reported. Lind also said that military court was not the proper forum for determining the eligibility of the president.
Earlier this week, a retired three-star general backed Lakin’s case in an affidavit.
A recent poll found that 27 percent of Americans and 41 percent of Republicans doubt that the president is an American citizen.