I apologize for even mentioning birtherism in this context, but hopefully this can start an informative discussion of some kind. My question about birtherism, on a practical level, is as follows: even if it were true that Obama does not meet the constitutional citizenship requirement for the presidency, what remedy is there? Who decides that he needs to be removed from office, how is that decision enforced, and what happens to all the laws and executive orders he signed?
My theory is that there is essentially nothing to be done, just as there was nothing to be done when Bush stole the 2000 election. The Electoral College still elects the president; the state-level restrictions on how their electors can vote have no federal enforceability. A faithless elector could be sanctioned by the state that nominated him or her, but their vote is still their vote. Once the Electoral College elects the president and Congress certifies the results, that person is (or rather, will inevitably become) the president. One could conceivably have impeached Bush for conspiring to steal the Florida election or impeach Obama for falsifying his birth records, but if the Electoral College thinks someone is qualified to be president, that person effectively is qualified. There’s no constitutional mechanism for going back on that decision once Congress certifies the results.
Just as the Constitution effectively means what the Supreme Court says it means at any given time, so also do the constitutional requirements for the president mean what the Electoral College says they mean. Once it’s finalized, there’s no way to invalidate a presidential election. The Constitution could theoretically be amended to fix this lack of enforcement mechanism, but as things stand to me, it seems that the constitutional eligibility requirements are practically unenforceable in the sense that there’s no remedy or punishment if they’ve been violated.
Of course, I’m no expert. Perhaps a commenter is. But I think this is interesting as a broader point, because I suspect that there are many other constitutional provisions that are similarly unenforceable and that this may be a feature of constitutional law more generally.