On Dec 8, the United States Supreme Court (USSC) rejected a lawsuit asking the judges to determine whether Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to assume the office of president. The suit was filed by New Jersey attorney Leo Donofrio who originally sought the removal of, not only Obama's name from that state's ballot, but also Sen. John McCain and Roger Calero, claiming all failed to meet the “natural born citizen” clause, (one of three specified presidential qualifications), of the Constitution.
In Obama's case, since his father was a citizen of Kenya, an African country then under British control, laws at that time required the American parent – in order to register the child as a citizen – to have been a resident at least 10 years, five of which had to be beyond age 14. Since Obama's mother was 18 at time of birth, she did not meet the legal requirement, however, Obama is still considered – even according to his Fight the Smears campaign website – to have had dual citizenship at birth; a status some say still disqualifies him from being a “natural born citizen.”
In McCain's case, he was born in Panama to American parents stationed there for military duty. Calero, who ran as a candidate for the Socialist Workers Party, was born in Nicaragua. All appeared as contenders in New Jersey and for that reason were included in Donofrio's lawsuit against the Secretary of State (SOS) in which he argued that Obama was born in Hawaii but, for the above reasons, was not “natural born” per the legal definition.
Even though the USSC refused to hear arguments on the case, there are already two more set for court conference, and several more to be filed, according to Orly Taitz, one of the lawyers representing Alan Keyes' California case seeking to bar the SOS and California's 55 electors from certifying or casting electoral votes until Obama has submitted a certified copy of his original birth certificate to prove his “natural-born” citizenship.
Donofrio's case was rejected because of a technical glitch and not for lack of merit. Such a technicality, Taitz said in a phone interview, is not present in another, “stronger” case set to be reviewed by USSC on Dec.12. Attorney Cort Wrotnowski's case was originally filed in Connecticut and he also argued that McCain did not meet the natural-born citizen requirement, and that Obama had dual-citizenship at birth and, therefore, was ineligible to be certified by the SOS office as a candidate for president. He sought a judicial order delaying the Dec 15 electoral college vote until eligibility could be verified but his filings were denied by Connecticut judges. This paved the way for him to seek redress from the country's top court and he did so, taking the opportunity to highlight the seriousness of the request to suspend the electoral college vote in every state, not just New Jersey.
“As this case involves the possible voiding of the popular vote of our national election, it concerns a matter of vital public importance and is of such extraordinary nature that no other Court should be responsible for the incredible weight of decision now before this Honorable Court,” reads his legal filing.
Wrotnowski went on to cite various court rulings from the past which indicate a natural born citizen is one born in the U.S. from parents who are both citizens. Based on such definition, he asks the USSC: “Is Presidential Candidate Barack Obama ineligible to hold the office of president?”
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