December 15th, 2008
11:10 AM ET
5 years ago

Supreme Court rejects appeal questioning Obama's citizenship

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a second appeal Monday challenging President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a second appeal Monday challenging President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Supreme Court has dismissed a second emergency appeal questioning Barack Obama's eligibility to be president because he had dual British-American citizenship at birth.

The justices without comment on Monday refused to intervene in the November 4 presidential election, dismissing the claims of Cort Wrotnowski, a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut.

In his appeal, Wrotnowski claimed that because Obama's father was a Kenyan-born British subject, the president-elect does meet the Constitution's requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen" of the United States. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. His mother was a U.S. citizen, born in the United States.

Many legal analysts questioned Wrotnowski's argument.

"The law has always been understood to be, if you are born here, you're a natural born citizen," said Thomas Goldstein, founder of the Scotusblog.com Web site and a lawyer who has argued numerous cases before the high court. "And that is particularly true in this case, when you have a U.S. citizen parent like Barack Obama's mother."

A similar appeal was rejected a week ago by the high court, from a retired lawyer in New Jersey.

In another lawsuit making its way through the courts, Philip Berg of Pennsylvania alleges the president-elect was actually born in Kenya. Berg claims Hawaiian officials will not let him see Obama's original birth certificate, although the campaign posted a copy of it online this summer, following numerous blog postings over the citizenship question. That case had previously been dismissed by lower federal courts.

The appeal rejected Monday is Wrotnowski v. Bysiewicz (08A469).

soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. Michael

    The conservative communications infrastructure will try any method to discredit a Democratic President. It's sad to see a philosophy that was once embraced by great men hijacked by intellectually bankrupt hacks.

    December 15, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. john

    I'm wondering if all these comments in defense of Barrack were made by the same people also during Dan Rather's expose of George's National Guard duty during the Vietnam war. I think so ! It's part of the double standard that dominates politics today.

    December 15, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. blaising

    Blow me Southern White Guy Party. You lost...get over it.

    December 15, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Bob

    The law is the law Ronald Reagan said it best "Trust but varify"

    December 15, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Cat Robison

    What is extremely disturbing is how many under-educated people there are in this country that will not take the time to read the Constitution. They are blinded by the medias representation of this Man( not a god). What happened to real men that stood up for what this country means. Guess there aren't any left.

    December 15, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. liz

    He has a birth certificate from Hawaii, He was born in the United States. Get over it. McCain Lost. Obama won, lets try to HEAL this country so we are not doomed to failure.

    December 15, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. bill from pa

    I think the tin foil hats are getting to tight on some Republicans. Time to give it up already

    December 15, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Chevy56

    Stop being jealous

    December 15, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Janet -NY

    What is Supreme Court's duties ? Make sure to interpret and explain the laws. I don't understand why U.S.S.Ct has twice rejected a second emergency appeal questioning Barack Obama's eligibility to be president without any explain. I have not accepted that Obama is
    my president because a lots of negative questions remain in my mind, but I should admit he is the president in U.S. I've highly expected that the S. Ct clearly explain the reason to dismiss.

    December 15, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Todd

    I agree that idiocy like this is a waste of our courts' time. It just shows how desperate people can work hard to avoid reality due to their own prejuidices and narrow-minded viewpoints, instead of working hard with everyone else to try and make this a better country than it is now.

    December 15, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Randy

    To A Really Conservative Realist, who wrote "There are lots of other good reasons other than this foolishness why BO should not be President. But alas, the America of today is a strange bird indeed. All these reasons were trumped by a vote."
    Name some of these reasons. If you spout off the pre-election retoric that has been proven false, the you haven't moved forward.
    PE Barak Obama will be our president, for all of the right reasons. He is person we elected to do this job. People need to get behind him and support his inititives. None of us can forsee the future, but we can start in a new direction and turn this country around. Better our alliances and our place in the free world. No matter what, we will learn from the process.

    December 15, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    CNN is desparate for news right now, so they are going to milk this story for all its worth....

    Nothing, actually, but CNN will find something to bring up

    Again and again and again

    December 15, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. HelpTheAmericanPeople

    He must have alot of time on his hands up their in Greenwich,CT.
    I remember another retired Lawyer tried the same thing and lost.
    Obama is an American citizen .
    For some of these idiots that call themselves lawyers you thing with the advent of the Newspaper and cable tv newscast they would know
    that the media checked this out along time ago and Obama is American and born in Hawaii which is part of the United States of America the last time I heard.
    These idiots need to not be given the light of day the Supreme Court should use their time wisely.
    This is a waste of Tax payer dollars.

    December 15, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA - FINALLY!!!

    this is what righ-wings nuts like the rush limbaughs and the sean hannitiy's get a blow hard on; despising and hating every american citizens who has different a name and raised in foreign culture.

    we are all one american. not red or blue or black or white america. enough already.

    BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    GET USED TO IT DIMWITS!

    December 15, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Carl Justus

    The so called right wing of the Grand oil party will stoop to any level to try to disparge anyone they do not like or has beat them in an election. They say nothing about McCain being born in Panama. Obama's mother was an American citizen and that is enough to make him an American citizen even if he was born in a foreign country, unless some extra ordinary circumstances were involved.
    They –the grear oil party–and their so called leadership could not lead a dog on a leash down the street with kind of dignity or being straight forward about it.

    December 15, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Nat

    Um, Give Me A Break, you need to give me a break! Ever heard of something called a nickname?

    December 15, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Mark in AZ

    mona, you SHOULD care where the President was born. The Constitution requires it. That said, I do believe Obama is eligible and these lawsuit-pushers are kooks.
    Great man??? That's a stretch. He's maybe a great speaker (at least with a script), but great man? He hasn't accomplished one single great thing in his life. And before you tell us that getting elected Prez is a great thing, remember that GWB did it, too. Twice!

    December 15, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Janey

    No one will ever know the truth about anything Obama because MSM refuse to vet him.

    December 15, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Jim in Raleigh

    I am tired of all the idiots. We were shown copies of Obama's birth certificate several times during the election process. It shows he was born in the U.S. People, get a life. Give it up. You lost. The people have spoken. He is a U.S. citizen. Period.

    December 15, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Get over it....he's an American!!

    CNN...

    you should have put the McCain may not pick Palin for President story as the one to comment on.

    That would've blown up your in box!

    December 15, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. DonaldD

    Kenneth – McCain was questioned about the location of his birth. He produced his birth certificate and showed the portion of the law that details how a child born to US citizens outside the US is a natural-born citizen.

    And the reason people question Obama's birth is the fact that his paternal grandmother has said that he was born in Kenya, that she was in the delivery room.

    It also makes folks wonder when they find that Kenya has sealed any medical records of Obama in Kenya.

    I think he is probably a citizen, but has something on his birth certificate he does not want to come out, otherwise, why not release the long form, which is much more detailed, than the short form, which even Hawaii will not accept for some state programs?

    December 15, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. MWA

    These idiots are arguing one of convenience. Obama's not a citizen because they say he's not (read: because he's black). Do you think anyone would be challenging McCain's citizenship (even though he was actually born in Latin America, no because he's white). The people who filed lawsuits challenging Obama's birthright are racists. Plain and simple. As salt says, it does not matter where your parents are born. If you are born in the U.S. you are a U.S. citizen. These sue-happy folks would just as soon litigate against illegal immigrants whose children were born in the U.S., only there are too many of them. Hmm...12 million illegal immigrants times two kids (conservative estimate)...let's see you deport at least 24 million legal citizens now you morons.

    December 15, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. BUSH BEGONE!

    And dittoheads wonder why the repug party is in the dumper, stupid an tics such as this would be a good start.

    December 15, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Patrick

    Since when is measuring a future president against the requirements of the constitution considered stupidity? Where was this man born? It is a simple question. I don't think the courts should say we can't have the answer. Is somebody hiding something? It would take less time for all of us if the courts would just do the research and be done with it. There would be no more questions.

    December 15, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. Piere

    Why won't Obama just produce an original birth certificate that's authentic and be done with it.? Obama's grandmother says she he was born in Kenya as his mother was detained and not allowed to fly back for the birth due to advanced pregnancy. Why not just be open and show the proof of US birth and be done with it?

    One thing is certain, the constitution must be followed – even if it disqualifies Hillary to be Sec. of State given she voted for her own pay raise as Senator. If the Constitution is not followed that will lead to bigger problems in other situations.

    December 15, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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