NBC News and news services
updated 9/2/2010 8:30:59 PM ET 2010-09-03T00:30:59

An Army judge ruled Thursday that proof of President Barack Obama's eligibility to be president isn't relevant to the defense of an Army doctor accused of failing to obey a lawful order.

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin has been charged with disobeying orders after failing to show up for duty in Afghanistan and questioning whether the president has the right to order him there.

Lakin had sought the release of school records that could include a copy of Obama's birth certificate. He as questioned whether Obama was born a U.S. citizen and therefore eligible to be president.

The judge ruled Thursday that the records and any other evidence or witnesses pertaining to Obama's birth will not be admitted. Prosecutors have argued that Obama's birth certificate shouldn't be part of the case, especially since the order for Lakin to deploy to Afghanistan didn't come directly from the president, The Associated Press reported.

The Greeley, Colo., native did not report to Fort Campbell, Ky., in April to prepare for deployment.

Lakin said in a YouTube video that he chose to disobey orders and was inviting his own court-martial. He says he wants to see Obama's birth certificate as proof Obama was born in the U.S., as presidents must be, and thus that the deployment order for Afghanistan is legal.

Hawaiian officials say they have records proving Obama was born there, but so-called birthers challenge that.

If convicted, Lakin faces up to 45 months of confinement, total forfeiture of pay and allowances, and dismissal from the Army.

In a brief statement after Thursday's hearing, Lakin's defense attorney said the ruling denied his client the ability to be defended.

The next pre-trial hearing will be Sept. 28 and the trial is set for Oct. 13-15.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: 'Birther' Army doc enters no plea

  1. Closed captioning of: 'Birther' Army doc enters no plea

    >>> speaking of the president, you've, of course, heard of the birther movement. the people in this country that do not believe the president is actually a legal resident. this hour an army doctor was arraigned in a military courtroom for refusing a deployment order because he does not believe the president of the united states is a citizen. jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon this morning. good morning.

    >> good morning, the arraignment south of the pentagon ended just a few minutes ago. it was expected lieutenant colonel lakin, an army surgent would enter a plea. he wanted to defer any plea until the actual court-martial now scheduled for october 13th . as you said, he refused to deploy to afghanistan, because he claims that because president obama , he says, has not presented america with a valid birth certificate, therefore he doesn't think that he's a natural born citizen as required by the constitution. and therefore, again, that any order given by president obama , such as an order to lieutenant colonel lakin to go to afghanistan would be considered illegal. so he refused to show up for that deployment. ended up at the pentagon where he had his pass and government computers confiscated. now he faces several charges, also dereliction of duty which could land him jail time. usually when you hear these kinds of things about people refusing to go on deployment for whatever reason, you think it's a made-up excuse just not to deploy this guy is apparently serious about this birthing movement. he's given up his career on behalf of the cause. there you go.

    >> behalf of the cause. that's a report that came out this week. some 16, 17% of americans in this country believe in the birther movement. any idea in terms of his appearance in the courtroom? did he say anything? did he look odd, anything?

    >> i wasn't there. i talked to kim snead, who works out of the bureau here and one of our producers in the washington bureau. she just said that he refused to enter the plea at the time and most of the action came from some of his supporters who were there in the courtroom.

    >> bizarre. bizarre. jim miklaszewski on

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