Legal Experts Doubt Obama Citizenship Challenges Will Succeed
Two days before the U.S. Supreme Court was scheduled to consider hearing the lawsuit submitted by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey on December 5, 2008, challenging President Elect Barack Obama's citizenship, another lawsuit was filed with the court.
According to Afro.com, Orly Taiz, of California, filed another citizenship challenge with the Supreme Court on December 3, 2008, after her suit, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, was rejected through all levels of the California court system.
The article states that the court's decision on the Donofrio lawsuit, issued on December 8, 2008, may signal, for future lawsuits, that the court has already addressed the matter of the President Elect's citizenship status.
Constitutional law scholar, William Marshall, at the University of North Carolina School Of Law, also a member of the board of the Washington-based American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, is quoted as saying, “I would guess that the court did not find the matter a serious enough constitutional issue to grant a hearing.”
The Supreme Court dismissed the Donofrio suit without comment.
“Americans 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 ‘frivolous lawsuit,’” 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.
“Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, and the president-elect has a Hawaiian birth certificate,” she added. And, even though the matter was never litigated, “in this nation of immigrants, even the children of illegal immigrants are considered to be ‘natural-born citizens’ if born in the United States.” 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.
Also from the article, regarding the Taiz lawsuit:
Taiz’s applications are essentially the same as Donofrio’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 state’s ballot.
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