Court Won’t Review Obama’s Citizenship
As widely anticipated, the Supreme Court today declined to hear a frivolous case about Barack Obama’s citizenship status.
The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth. The court did not comment on its order Monday rejecting the call by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., to intervene in the presidential election.
Donofrio says that since Obama had dual nationality at birth — his mother was American and his Kenyan father at the time was a British subject — he cannot possibly be a “natural born citizen,” one of the requirements the Constitution lists for eligibility to be president. Donofrio also contends that two other candidates, Republican John McCain and Socialist Workers candidate Roger Calero, also are not natural-born citizens and thus ineligible to be president.
At least one other appeal over Obama’s citizenship remains at the court. Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa., argues that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as Obama says and the Hawaii secretary of state has confirmed. Berg says Obama also may be a citizen of Indonesia, where he lived as a boy. Federal courts in Pennsylvania have dismissed Berg’s lawsuit. Federal courts in Ohio and Washington state have rejected similar lawsuits.
There’s no serious question that Barack Obama was a citizen of the United States at the time of his birth. He was born in Hawaii well after it became a state, which makes it automatic according to both the plain meaning of the 14th Amendment and long established law. Further, as far as the United State government is concerned,
there’s no such thing as “dual citizenship” is a non-issue: You’re either an American or you aren’t; if other states choose to recognize an American as one of their citizens, we don’t care so long as the person doesn’t take active means to renounce his American citizenship.
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- John McCain’s Presidential Eligibility Redux
- Is John McCain a ‘Natural-Born Citizen’?
Photo by Flickr user dbking under Creative Commons license.