Legal Newsline

Monday, February 24, 2020

Supreme Court declines to hear Obama citizenship challenge

By Chris Rizo | Dec 8, 2008

Barack Obama (D)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a lawsuit challenging President-elect Barack Obama's qualifications to be president.

The high court declined to hear the emergency appeal without any comment.

Attorney Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., argued in his lawsuit that Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen, which the constitution requires of presidents.

The lawsuit originally filed against New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells sought to stay the Nov. 4 election.

Although Donofrio concedes Obama was born in Hawaii, he contends that Obama is a British citizen because to his father's British citizenship.

He also contended that Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, also was not a natural-born citizen so he too should have been kept off the ballot.

For the case to have been placed on the high court's docket, four of the nine justices had to agree to hear the case.

The Donofrio case was just one of a handful of lawsuit challenging Obama's citizenship.

Philip Berg, a former deputy Pennsylvania attorney general, for one, unsuccessfully sought to enjoin the Democratic National Committee from nominating Obama.

Berg, a self-described "moderate to liberal" Democrat who supported Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, alleged Obama is not a U.S. citizen and therefore ineligible for the presidency.

He claimed Obama is either a citizen of his father's native Kenya or that he became a citizen of Indonesia after he moved there as a young child.

For his part, Obama posted on his campaign Web site a Certificate of Live Birth indicating he was born in Honolulu in 1961.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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U.S. Supreme CourtDemocratic National Committee