WASHINGTON(RushPRnews)12/11/08-The Dec. 8 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a lawsuit filed by a New Jersey attorney questioning Barack Obamaâ€™s eligibility to be president doesnâ€™t seem to be a deterrent to the president-electâ€™s detractors.
Two lawyers, Phil Berg of Lafayette Hills, Pa., and Orly Taiz of Mission Viejo, Calif., are arguing the same central issue raised by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., in his petitions to the high court: that Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States.
â€œThe application for stay addressed to Justice [Clarence] Thomas and referred to the court is denied,â€ the court ruled in the Donofrio case.
Similarly, legal experts say, other cases will come to naught since Mondayâ€™s ruling may mean the court has spoken on the matter.
â€œAmericans are known to be litigious but suing Barack Obama out of the presidency because of questions about his citizenship gives new meaning to the term â€˜frivolous lawsuit,â€™â€ said Washington, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a constitutional law scholar and long-time professor of law at Georgetown University Law School in a statement.
â€œObama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, and the president-elect has a Hawaiian birth certificate,â€ she added. And, even though the matter was never litigated, â€œin this nation of immigrants, even the children of illegal immigrants are considered to be â€˜natural-born citizensâ€™ if born in the United States.â€ She added that the purpose of the 14th Amendment, which first carried the language, was to ensure that slaves, who had never been counted as citizens, would be equal citizens.
â€œAmericans are known to be litigious but suing Barack Obama out of the presidency because of questions about his citizenship gives new meaning to the term â€˜frivolous lawsuit.â€™â€
Donofrio posited that the president-elect was born with a dual British-American citizenship since his father was from Kenyaâ€”then a British colonyâ€”and his mother from Kansas. Berg, however, is claiming that Obamaâ€™s certificate is phony and that he was really born in Kenya. Federal courts in Pennsylvania have already dismissed Bergâ€™s claims.
Berg, a Pennsylvania attorney, filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court on Dec. 2, seeking to stop the Dec. 15 meeting of the Electoral College, which is set to certify Obama as the 44th president of the United States. â€œThe writ I filed with the court does not yet have a date for a conference where the justices will consider the matter,â€ Berg said at a Dec. 8 press conference at the National Press Club where he and others explained their challenges to Obamaâ€™s presidency.
Taizâ€™s applications are essentially the same as Donofrioâ€™s, according to her petition for extraordinary emergency writ of mandamus for stay of certification of the 2008 presidential election, but her case was filed in California. Taiz is alleging that California Secretary of State Debra Bowen did not investigate the eligibility of Obama before placing him on the stateâ€™s ballot.
â€œThe secretary of state did not do her job and that is one of the things we are trying to correct,â€ Taiz said. Like Donofrioâ€™s, her case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen went through Californiaâ€™s court system and was rejected at each level before she filed her pleadings with the Supreme Court on Dec. 3.
Taiz did not receive a response from her circuit justice, Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, by AFRO press time.
Former Amb. Alan Keyes has also filed a suit questioning Obamaâ€™s eligibility in California.
William Marshall, a constitutional law scholar at the University of North Carolina School Of Law and a board member of the Washington-based American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, said he agrees with Norton on the courtâ€™s reasoning. â€œI would guess that the court did not find the matter a serious enough constitutional issue to grant a hearing,â€ Marshall said.
On the matter of whether the court should define what a natural born citizen is, he agreed with caution. â€œThe court has limited resources and cannot take on every case,â€ he said. â€œSure, I agree that the court should look into defining what natural born citizenship is, but not in this particular context. In regards to the Donofrio case, there was no serious question regarding Obamaâ€™s citizenship.
source: Afro News