Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Supreme Court Declines To Hear Challenge

The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear an emergency appeal from a man who said that President-elect Barack Obama is not qualified for the presidency because he is not a "natural-born" citizen.

The court without comment declined to hear Donofrio v. Wells, a lawsuit that had attempted to keep Obama off the New Jersey ballot. Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., had said that Obama had dual nationality at birth, because of his Kansas-born mother and his Kenyan-born father, who was a British subject at the time.

Donofrio also contended that the Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, and Socialist Workers Party candidate Roger Calero are not natural-born citizens and also should have been kept off the ballot.

The case had little chance of being heard at the high court but had become the subject of tremendous speculation and debate on ideological political blogs.

Right-wing blogs were outraged when Justice David H. Souter denied Donofrio's petition for an injunction, and left-wing blogs smelled trouble when Justice Clarence Thomas referred the matter to the full court for consideration.

In fact, both were routine procedures. There were no recorded dissents to the decision dismissing the case.

This hardly means the lawsuits over Obama's nationality are over. Two other cases have reached the Supreme Court, though neither is scheduled for consideration. And there are still more cases in lower courts.

-- Robert Barnes


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