[Marxism] Legal challenges to Obama's citizenship, and thus, his election
walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 4 13:27:54 MST 2008
(Yet another round in the war against Barack Obama.)
Thomas Breaks Custom
Forces Supreme Court to
Look at Obama Citizenship Case
By James Wright
AFRO Staff Writer
(December 3, 2008) - In a highly unusual move, U.S. Associate Supreme
Court Justice Clarence Thomas has asked his colleagues on the court
to consider the request of an East Brunswick, N.J. attorney who has
filed a lawsuit challenging President-elect Barack Obama’s status as
a United States citizen.
Thomas’s action took place after Justice David Souter had rejected a
petition known as an application for a stay of writ of certiorari
that asked the court to prevent the meeting of the Electoral College
on Dec. 15, which will certify Obama as the 44th president of the
United States and its first African-American president.
The court has scheduled a Dec. 5 conference on the writ -- just 10
days before the Electoral College meets.
The high court’s only African American is bringing the matter to his
colleagues as a result of the writ that was filed by attorney Leo
Donofrio. Donofrio sued the New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Wells,
contending that Obama was not qualified to be on the state’s
presidential ballot because of Donofrio’s own questions about Obama
Donofrio is a retired lawyer who identifies himself as a “citizen’s
advocate.” The AFRO learned that he is a contributor to
naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com, a Web site that raises questions
about Obama’s citizenship.
Calls made to Donofrio’s residence were not returned to the AFRO by
Donofrio is questioning Obama’s citizenship because the former
Illinois senator, whose mom was from Kansas, was born in Hawaii and
his father was a Kenyan national. Therefore, Donofrio argues, Obama’s
dual citizenship does not make Obama “a natural born citizen” as
required by Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution, which
“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United
States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be
eligible to the office of President…”
...to prevent the meeting of the Electoral College on Dec. 15, which
will certify Obama as the 44th president of the United States...
Donofrio had initially tried to remove the names not only of Obama,
but also the names of Republican Party presidential nominee John
McCain and Socialist Workers’ Party Roger Calero from appearing on
the Nov. 4 general election ballot in his home state of New Jersey.
McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone when it was a U.S.
possession. Calero would be ineligible to be president because he was
born in Nicaragua. After his efforts were unsuccessful in the New
Jersey court system, he decided to take his case to a higher level.
On Nov. 6, Souter denied the stay. Donofrio, following the rules of
the procedure for the Supreme Court, re-submitted the application as
an emergency stay in accordance to Rule 22, which states, in part,
that an emergency stay can be given to another justice, which is the
choice of the petitioner.
Donofrio’s choice was Thomas. He submitted the emergency stay to
Thomas’s office on Nov. 14. Thomas accepted the application on Nov.
19 and on that day, submitted it for consideration by his eight
colleagues - known as a conference - and scheduled it for Dec. 5.
On Nov. 26, a supplemental brief was filed by Donofrio to the clerk’s
office of the Supreme Court. A letter to the court explaining the
reason for the emergency stay was filed on Dec. 1 at the clerk’s
Thomas’s actions were rare because, by custom, when a justice rejects
a petition from his own circuit, the matter is dead. Even if, as can
be the case under Rule 22, the matter can be submitted to another
justice for consideration, that justice out of respect, will reject
it also, said Trevor Morrison, a professor of law at Columbia
University School of Law.
Morrison said that Thomas’s actions are once in a decade. “When that
does happen, the case has to be of an extraordinary nature and this
does not fit that circumstance,” he said. “My guess would be that
Thomas accepted the case so it would go before the conference where
it will likely be denied. If Thomas denied the petition, then
Donofrio would be free to go to the other justices for their
consideration. “This way, I would guess, the matter would be done
with. Petitions of Donofrio’s types are hardly ever granted.”
Traditionally, justices do not respond to media queries, according to
a spokesman from the Supreme Court Public Information Office.
Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court by President George H.W.
Bush in 1991 and has been one of its most conservative members.
Before his ascension to the court, he was appointed by Bush to the
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Earlier,
he served as chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- appointed by President Reagan - and worked various jobs under
former Republican Sen. John Danforth.
It would take a simple majority of five justices to put Donofrio’s
emergency stay on the oral argument docket. Because it is an
emergency by design, the argument would take place within days.
Donofrio wants the court to order the Electoral College to postpone
its Dec. 15 proceedings until it rules on the Obama citizenship.
He is using the 2000 case Bush vs. Gore case as precedent, arguing that
it is of such compelling national interest that it should be given
priority over other cases on the court’s docket.
“The same conditions apply here,” Donofrio said in his letter to the
court, “as the clock is ticking down to Dec. 15, the day for the
Electoral College to meet.” Audrey Singer, a senior fellow at
Washington’s Brookings Institution, who is an expert on immigration,
said that the Donofrio matter is “going nowhere.”
“There is no way that anyone can argue about whether Barack Obama is
a citizen,” Singer said. “In this country, we have a system known as
jus soli or birthright by citizenship. You are a citizen by being
born on American soil and he (Obama) was born in Hawaii.”
Singer said that Donofrio’s argument that Obama’s father was a Kenyan
national does not matter because citizenship is not based on
parentage, but on where someone was born.
“This is the issue that some people have with illegal aliens in our
country,” she said. “Children of illegal aliens, if they are born in
the United States, are U.S. citizens. That is in the U.S.
chicagotribune.com MORE ON BARACK OBAMA Suit contesting Barack
Obama's citizenship heads to U.S. Supreme Court Friday Justices will
decide whether to consider the case
By James Janega
December 4, 2008
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider Friday whether to take up a
lawsuit challenging President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship,
a continuation of a New Jersey case embraced by some opponents of
The meeting of justices will coincide with a vigil by the filer's
supporters in Washington on the steps of the nation's highest court.
The suit originally sought to stay the election, and was filed on
behalf of Leo Donofrio against New Jersey Secretary of State Nina
Legal experts say the appeal has little chance of succeeding, despite
appearing on the court's schedule. Legal records show it is only the
tip of an iceberg of nationwide efforts seeking to derail Obama's
election over accusations that he either wasn't born a U.S. citizen
or that he later renounced his citizenship in Indonesia.
The Obama campaign has maintained that he was born in Hawaii, has an
authentic birth certificate, and is a "natural-born" U.S. citizen.
Hawaiian officials agree.
Among those filing lawsuits is Alan Keyes, who lost to Obama in the
2004 Illinois Senate race. Keyes' suit seeks to halt certification of
votes in California. Another suit by a Kentucky man seeks to have a
federal judge review Obama's original birth certificate, which
Hawaiian officials say is locked in a state vault.
Other suits have been filed by Andy Martin, whose case was dismissed
in Hawaii, and by an Ohio man whose case also was dismissed. Five
more suits, all later dismissed, were filed in Hawaii by a person who
is currently suing the "Peoples Association of Human, Animals
Conceived God/s and Religions, John McCain [and] USA Govt." The
plaintiff previously sought to sue Wikipedia and "All News Media."
The most famous case questioning Obama's citizenship was filed in
Pennsylvania in August on behalf of Philip J. Berg and sought to
enjoin the Democratic National Committee from nominating Obama. The
U.S. Supreme Court denied an application for an injunction and hasn't
scheduled a conference on other aspects of the case. Earlier, a
federal judge rejected it for "lack of standing"—ruling that Berg had
no legal right to sue. In cases like this, judges sometimes believe
the matter is best left to political institutions, such as the
Electoral College or Congress, said legal scholar Eugene Volokh of
the University of California at Los Angeles.
The remaining case with the highest profile is Donofrio vs. Wells.
Because it was referred by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to
other justices for conference, it gained undue importance for people
unschooled in how the court works, Volokh said.
Many petitioners seeking stays of pending events have their cases
distributed to the full court, he said. Of those, Volokh found that
782 were denied in the last eight years while just 60 were heard—and
not all of those ultimately were successful.
jjanega at tribune.com
Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune
Los Angeles, California
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