The fate of seven senators rests with the
seven Justices of the High Court and their decisions are being watched like few others
in modern times. [MATT DORAN] So how did we get here?
Well first up, the former Greens senator Scott Ludlam sent this line of dominoes tumbling
when he announced that he was a Kiwi and had to go. He was followed shortly after by his
Greens colleague Larissa Waters who discovered she was a Canadian.
Now, the Greens lawyers argue it’s a fair cop. They breached the constitution and should
go, but they also argue the others involved in this saga should be shown the door as well.
Now, remember when the Prime Minister seized upon these resignations? [TURNBULL] It shows an incredible sloppiness on their part Whoops. One of his own flock joined the citizenship
conga line a short time later. I had no knowledge that I, myself, had become
an Italian citizen. Then the National’s leader, the dinky-di Deputy
Prime Minister joined the fray. He announced he was a Kiwi because… My father was born in New Zealand. The deputy’s deputy, Fiona Nash, revealed
she was a Brit. Her estranged father was born in Scotland. And as if the citizenship law
wasn’t niche enough, the South Australian senator Nick Xenophon discovered he had a
weird subclass of UK citizenship. My father Theo was born in Cyprus when it
was under British occupation. The Solicitor-General’s already told the High
Court that the arguments in those four cases are so similar that if one goes, all will
go. But all four maintain they had no way
of knowing they’d stuffed up and shouldn’t be punished. Rounding out the citizenship seven is
One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts. Now he argues his case is the strongest of the lot. Even though he never believed he was a British
citizen, he took the steps to ask UK authorities about his status, even if some of those inquiries
were comically misguided. Whatever the decision, those on Capital Hill
will be hoping the High Court gives some clarity on how to interpret section 44 of the constitution
to ensure this parliamentary mess never happens again.