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. xenlogic

    Really? They're still at it? Wow... lol

    March 7, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. DAT

    Too bad the Supreme Court had to waste their time on this idiocy.

    March 7, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. figures

    Figures. I think its a valid concern because obama spent millions and have not produced a valid document. they released a document that is digital and does not prove anything . How much does it cost to produce a copy of an original at least if one exists.

    March 7, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Bruce

    LOL - now these poor delusional idiots can stew some more, and will, undoubtedly, become convinced that the Roberts court is obvious part of the 50-year-old conspiracy to put Barack Obama in the White House (which means that George W. Bush had to be part of the conspiracy, since he put Roberts and Alito on the court . . . and that means that George H. W/. Bush is part of it, which would fit with his participation in the Tri-Lateral Commission . . . .

    March 7, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Tammy

    If only fools like Boehner and Huckabee had the same courage to reject this foolishness that the Supreme Court does. Boehner and Huckabee are pandering to racists but refusing to condemn the birthers.

    March 7, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. jon

    I think he was born here ,but I do believe that its a constitutional requirement for the position he holds and any documents supporting that or showing different should be open to the public.

    March 7, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Philabias

    SO long as obama is in office there can be no recovery......................................

    March 7, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Jerry Garcia

    And by rejecting the petition, the courts simply perpetuate the problem. Is he, or isn't he? This should be easy to determine, but instead everyone wants to hide from it. Why?! No candidate should even be allowed to run for President without submitting a certified copy of a birth certificate for examination FIRST! How else can you enforce this provision of the Constitution?

    March 7, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Joshua Ludd

    I'm still waiting to hear why anyone ever suspected he wasn't born in the US in the first place... uh, besides his skin color.

    March 7, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. rlcommenter

    II can prove I was born in the US.. Why can't my President? I wish he would prove he was born in the US and stop this chaos..

    March 7, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Bessy

    Does this never end with these idiots ? What exactly is their problem ? Oh yes, I forgot, he's black and they listen to Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly and all of the other jerks on talk radio. Do these people really believe that the 2 newspapers that listed his birth did it because they knew some day he was going to run to be president and he would have to prove he was born in the US ? Their minds are so clouded with bigotry that common sense cannot prevail.

    March 7, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. arc

    Well since the Supreme Court overturned the will of the electorate before, there really is no reason for the birthers to stop trying to get them to do it again.

    March 7, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. mark grimm

    Was the decision unanimous. And if not, on which points were the justices split?

    March 7, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Bruce

    LOL – now these poor delusional idiots can stew some more, and will, undoubtedly, become convinced that the Roberts court is obviously part of the 50-year-old conspiracy to put Barack Obama in the White House (which means that George W. Bush had to be part of the conspiracy, since he put Roberts and Alito on the court . . . and that means that George H. W/. Bush is part of it, which would fit with his participation in the Tri-Lateral Commission . . . . and that brings Reagan into it, since he put Bush into the vice presidency, and that brings Goldwater into it, as he brought Reagan into national politics . . . . )

    March 7, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Veritas

    My President, Mr. Barack Obama was born in the United States. DEAL WITH IT! If not He would'nt have been elected! It has been verified again and again so stop wasting our money on redundant court proceedings etc. for these ludicris theories!

    March 7, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. jd

    These guys need to stop worrying about his birth status and focus more on his poor track record as president.

    March 7, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. JakeF

    So... is this nonsense FINALLY over?

    /of course not, that 20% still believes the Sun revolves around the Earth

    March 7, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    It is too bad that the Internet enables these wack jobs.

    March 7, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Rick

    What is the big deal? Why is everything with Obama secret? Why was his SS# originated in Connecticut but he has never lived there? Wake up America!

    March 7, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. big~tuna

    The rest of the world looks at this kinda stuff emenating from the US and just laughs at us.

    March 7, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Steve

    Just prove it, and get it over with.

    March 7, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Amunaka

    To..DC Johnny""""

    Well seems if you just change liberal to conservative in your post..you are doing exactly what your complaining about ...how's that projection thingy working for you ..

    March 7, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. RIALgal

    Let's get rid of "is considered a US citizen" and say it correctly - "is a US citizen."

    March 7, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    Now can we move on? You idiots who think the president was allowed to run without being a citizen need to see a doctor. You know the people that Obama provided for you.

    March 7, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Questioner

    "A so-called 'birther' advocate"? Which 'birther' advocate? There are many of them. And what reason, if any, did the Supreme Court give for its rejection? And how many other similar cases are still out there that haven't been decided yet? I would like to get the whole story, not just part of it.

    March 7, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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