High court turns aside another lawsuit questioning Obama citizenship
March 7th, 2011
10:47 AM ET
9 years ago

High court turns aside another lawsuit questioning Obama citizenship

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has again rejected an appeal from a "birther" proponent questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama.

The justices Monday turned aside without comment a request for a rehearing of various claims, after dismissing the original appeal in late January.

The long-shot petition by Gregory Hollister had called on Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to withdraw from considering the constitutional claims, contending a conflict of interest by the president's two high court appointees.

Lower federal claims had dismissed Hollister's claims.

The justices had also dismissed earlier, unrelated lawsuits from individuals questioning Obama's citizenship. State birth certificate records show he was born August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother is a native of Kansas; his father was born in Kenya.

Among the claims of various "birther" movement organizers are that the president was born in Kenya or Indonesia; that his birth certificate is a forgery; and that he had dual American-British citizenship at birth because of his father's Kenyan heritage and therefore is not a "natural born" citizen, as is required to be eligible for president under the U.S. Constitution.

That clause states, "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; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States."

The grass-roots legal issue has gained little legal or political footing, but continues to persist in the courts.

The Obama administration did not file, and the high court did not demand, a formal government response to this latest legal claim from Hollister, who said in his appeal he is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.

The high court will often insist the Justice Department weigh in with its views on a particular constitutional issue, or when a top government official or agency is being sued, a strong sign the justices would be seriously considering accepting the appeal.

Obama and his staff produced copies of his birth certificate when he was running for president in 2008, and have previously dismissed questions over his citizenship.

The respondent in the case was labeled as "Barry Soetoro," the name Hollister said Obama used when he was a child living in Indonesia with his family. The case is Hollister v. Soetoro (10-678).

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll in July found that 71% of Americans believed Obama definitely or probably was born in the United States, while 27% said he definitely or probably was not. The sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The largest support for the idea he was definitely or probably not born in the United States was among Republicans, at 41%, compared with Independents, at 29%, and Democrats, at 15%. The sampling error for that breakdown was plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.


Filed under: Birthers • Supreme Court
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. doug/Indiana

    what a waste of time and most of all tax payers money, now what the real reason?

    March 7, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Joshua Stucki

    The growing level of stupidity in this country scares me.

    March 7, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. wallster

    As long as there are notable righties (like Huckabee) questioning the President's birthplace, these idiots will keep it front and center. Personally I think there's more validity in the 9-11 conspiracy than the birther conspiracy but both are pretty far fetched. Besides, don't we have enough to worry about in the United States?

    March 7, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. John Dower

    Do the Republican idiots just think that Hawaii is not a state? Last time I checked, you can go there without a passport and use US currency to buy goods and services.

    March 7, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. TheJust

    Birhters should have their citizenship revoked for treasons and sohuld be deported!

    March 7, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Ted

    Enough is enough. Let's focus on creating jobs and getting Americans back to work instead of this idiotic smoke screen to divert real issues ALL Americans face.

    March 7, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Robb

    What is frightening is the implications all this has. Look at all the odd bills going being introduced in states lately that are no longer automatically recognizing the sworn or notarized affidavits of birth. When are copies of our own birth certificates no longer going to be good enough to get another state's driver's license. Speaking of our rights being usurped. Why stop at a president, any president, in not accepting the word of a state regarding a man's or woman's citizenship? Eventually, a small step becomes a large chasm.

    March 7, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Last_Warrior

    Last time I checked Hawaii was a state of the United States of America. It became a sate in the 1950's before that it was a Territory. I believe that anyone born in any state, territory, or to a US citizen abroad are considered natural born citizens with all the rights and privileges thereto. My step brothers were born in Canada to us citizens and they are considered us citizens.

    March 7, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Marge

    Since Romney's father was born in Mexico of Mexican parents lets all start yelling at Romney wheres your legal birth certificate. That is as ridiculous as the crap the republicans kept yelling about Obama.

    March 7, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. shadysider

    "By questioning whether Obama was born in the country, birthers continue to question whether he meets the constitutional standard of eligibility for the presidency." By questioning it, they also continue to expose themselves as racist.

    March 7, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. KRS1

    "Birthers" are just a bunch of clowns with a sub par IQ and too much free time.

    March 7, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Phred

    OK, birthers, party's over, time to go get a real life now...

    March 7, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Mac11

    There has never been a President yet who has had to show his birth cert. Get over yourself those who are demanding it. And it does exist. Ask the Government of Hawaii. They have already stated "we have his birth cert on file." Since when is Hawaii not part of the United States? Only morons who believe lairs like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh are calling for proof.

    March 7, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. getreal

    These people need to get a life & stop wasting time & money.

    March 7, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Tom Robb

    Sorry but he was born in the United States. On the other hand McCain was born in Panama. However that did not make him ineligable for the presidency because both his parents are US Citizens he is still considered a natural born citizen according to U.S. Code: Title 8, 1401.

    March 7, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Scott Hughes

    Has it got to this point, ? I mean really there are much bigger problems going on right now

    March 7, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. mb2010a

    Well, at least we agree on this one...not so much on the last big one.

    March 7, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Francis Nmeribe

    When has it become necessary for one to be born in the United States before becoming President of the only free nation of the world. Birthers are probably anarchists.

    March 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Chemack56

    This actually made it as far as the Supreme Court??? What a collosal waste of time and money!

    March 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. carl

    get over it. the guy you don't want was voted in. did we demand neurological tests for reagan or i.q. tests for w?

    March 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Cmon

    It's a little late now anyway, regardless. Why not instead look at how effective the man is at doing his job? I'll leave that to the political analysts, who are none to shy about sharing their opinions 🙂

    March 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Amunaka

    Whose paying for all these birthers court costs and lawyers fees....seems like a concerted effort out there where's the money coming from..

    March 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. pjfla

    This jerk is nothing but an egoistical idiot – he is a laughing stock and is too stupid to see it. Instead of spending money on elections he should spend it on a good haircut and a better dye job.

    March 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Haemisch

    Apparently a birth certificate and announcements of his birt in the local newspaers are not enough. Well, I guess the libs have their truthers. There are bound to be idiots on the right too.

    March 7, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Scott Hughes

    Has it got to this point now ? People there are far bigger issues plaguing the planet right now

    March 7, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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