Saturday, December 06, 2008

Supreme Court Mum On Obama Birth Certificate Case

The Supreme Court made no announcement by the close of business yesterday on whether it will hear Leo Donofrio's New Jersey lawsuit challenging Barack Obama's eligibility to be president on the basis that he is not a natural born citizen. In a blog entry late Friday, Donofrio did not appear overly optimistic about the chances of his case being heard. Note that Donofrio's case is not dependent on Obama producing his original birth certificate. He argues the natural born citizenship clause in the U.S. Constitution requires that both of Obama's parents be U.S. citizens at the time of his birth. Obama's admission that his father was a Kenyan citizen and he was born as a dual citizen is enough to disqualify Obama according to Donofrio's argument. Donofrio points out that every president, save Chester Arthur, satisfied the natural born requirement as he interprets it. He believes Arthur may have lied about his date of birth by one year to align with the timing of his own father's naturalization as a U.S. citizen.

10 comments:

Ted said...

Seems the Supreme Court is waiting to hear from me before issuing a decision on Donofrio, so here goes: While the Court is more than loathe to enter this dispute, currently it has no choice (thanks to the audacious one — and I don’t mean Leo, I mean Barack) and the ONLY WAY to bring closure, knowing CLOSURE IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL before any Presidential inauguration, is to back the original intent of the Constitution, meaning, Obama is NOT an Article II “natural born citizen” (albeit Obama may or may not be a “citizen”, a question heated by the steadfast refusal of the DNC or any of the Secretaries of State to require his birth certificate, which the Court will now not have to confront).

jbargeusa said...

I guessing that the mother being a US citizen is going to be enough to tip the case in favor of Obama. One can only imagine the female howls through out the land when women are told that their citizenship and "natural birth" are not enough to have their child become the President of the United States - Daddy needs to be a citizen too, even if you haven't seen him for 9 months or don't even know who the Daddy is.
Hoo boy. That won't fly.
Much more likely to succeed is to say he was born in Kenya and thus not eligible, but count on the right to steer their own car into a ditch.

Downtown Indy said...

Obama is the modern-day 'Joe the Izusu': 'Trust me'

IndyPaul said...

Closure was achieved by 99.99% of the US population upon learning of Obama's substantial victory on November 4. Personal closure for the other .01% who actually buy into one of these nut job theories may never come. Contrast the record millions expected for Obama's inauguration with the 10 or 12 that gathered for a 'vigil' at the steps of the Supreme Court on Friday.

Public closure will come with the Supreme Court's denial of cert., affirming the lower Court's finding of no standing, and the counting of electoral votes in Congress in January. As at least three Federal Courts have held, Article II of the Constitution does not create a private right of action to challenge the qualifications of a presidential candidate.

This article's title is incorrect, as its text reveals the case has nothing to do with Obama's birth certificate. Donofrio merely surmises that every president save Arthur were born of U.S. Citizens. Significant questions remain regarding the parents of James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson.

Downtown Indy said...

I love IndyPaul's fantastic simplification - that popularity trumps legal proof. I've always felt that was how OJ got away with murder.

jbargeusa said...

I hate to admit it but Downtown Indy is correct in that popularity should not automatically triumph in legal standing.
It happens, of course - even the judicial branch is not immune to the cross currents of the society they inhabit.
Naturally I think the US Supreme Court was responding to just those pressures in the Al Gore-Florida recount case, as opposed to firm law.
But that's just my opinion.
I think that as "natural born" was NOT defined as being the perogative of the citizenship of the Daddy of a potential President in the constitution, the US Supreme Court is not going to to attempt to apply 18th century gender standards to the 20th century.
If it comes to it, they will rule "You are both a pregnant woman and a US citizen, and you give birth on US soil.
Your son is a "natural born" citizen, and eligible to be President of the USA."

Advance Indiana said...

Despite much aligning of the Supreme Court majority in Gore v. Bush, the Supreme Court acted to enforce the rule of law. The Florida Supreme Court in 2 back-to-back rulings flaunted its own statutory laws for certifying winners and conducting recounts. The state was permitting a very selective recount of votes in counties where Gore racked up his biggest margins so his lawyers could mine for votes in those states. The Supreme Court ensured equal protection to all voters by shutting down the circus Florida's courts had created.

jbargeusa said...

Well, the recount was state-wide. No counties were excluded. There were different methods in different counties to conducting a recount and the Supreme Court ruled this violated the equal-protection clause and stopped the recount.
In labeling it a "circus", this is mere name-calling and has no particular basis in fact.
So I will bat the ball over the net and call the Supreme Court decision an "abortion" of justice.
While a Supreme Court should be considered binding (otherwise the country would fall apart), there's no need to view a decision as correct: see Dred Scott.
As for believing that the Supreme Court ruled without taking into account the political results that would follow, that is naive to the nth degree.

IndyPaul said...

To the contrary, Downtown, I was merely responding to Ted's silly "closure" argument. Certainly, popularity to wit: the popular vote in each of the 50 states determines who will be our President. I don't think you would dispute that basic notion. "legal proof", if ever found, regarding the disqualification of a presidential nominee, must be presented by one who has standing and in the correct forum. Those with standing in Court are the nominees' opponents. Even had there been legal proof, McCain, having been born in Panama, which was never recognized as a part of the United States, was hardly in a position to raise the issue. The other correct forum is the US Congress, which counts the electoral votes. As no 'legal proof' has been presented, this is a purely academic discussion.

IndyPaul said...

The Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore intervened in a matter of State statutory construction, which the Florida Supreme Court had the primary responsibility for. The majority flaunted its own previous committment to 'states rights', revealing that it was a transitory and convenient justification as opposed to a serious judicial standard.