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

Supreme Court rejects appeal questioning Obama's citizenship

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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 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. Hall for Obama

    Cort Wrotnowski is not a citizen of the USA because his name is not Running Bear or Little Eager. Maybe we need to ask him to leave the USA. The only true American are the Indians. I guess Mr. Cort Wrotnowski want me to pull off my shoe and aim for his hard head.

    December 15, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Ms. Jenny

    The Constitution doesn't say that one must AT MOST be a US citizen by birth. It says that one must AT LEAST be a US citizen by birth. The Constitution does NOT say that having another citizenship ON TOP of ones US citizenship makes one ineligible.

    December 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Dennis

    The US does not recoginize dual or multi citizenship. Just google "US dual citizenship" and you will see. So BO was not a dual citizen at birth.

    This situation is rediculous. It's like saying to BO prove you were not speeding on the highway on March 7 1993. Go ahead prove you weren't speeding. The plaintiff has to support sufficient evidence to have a case heard and obviously.

    I worked in Vital Statistics, vital records are not available for public scrutiny. Even if he did produce the long form they would make up some other lies.

    December 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. the kid

    Obama may be president however that does not answer the question is he a natural born citizen.... you can bet your sweet a– if McCain didn,t produce his record that Obama would be just screaming foul. how ever C N N and the other reporters have chosen this dingbat to be your president,,,,,, Dont look for any one of these people to do any digging into this matter.....JOHN KING,,, ROLAND MARTIN AND SCHIENDLER SHOULD ALL BE BOOTED OFF THE AIR ..


    December 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. mooney

    Let us pray that the truth about how crooked Obama is along with his chicago thug/criminal friends comes to light...god reveals all evil.

    December 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. carment

    CNN might as well add aticles on the flat earth theory, man did not land on the moon, and the Loch Ness monster for discussion. This "fake birth certificate" codswallop falls into the same category

    December 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. JL

    Can some one please tell me WHY is it that white America so unwilling to show love? Why always showing so much HATE?

    December 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. RichMo

    You're telling us NO ONE posted a comment on this from 12:34 to 12:58. Wow.
    Here's one I know was submitted:
    CNN SHOW US YOUR STUFF! You can do it! Use Time Warner's resources to file the report of the millenium.
    Here's a start:
    1) hire an intern. Give them a small per-diem, airfare/car budget, camera & producer.
    2) give them til Jan 5 to answer natural-born questions.
    3) Grow journalistic courage.

    December 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Sorry folks,

    My turn to correct..............

    PENALIZING THESE amarter THAN MOST...(typo)
    should read....


    December 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Barack Turned Me Republican

    There's a lot of hate here.

    Why are so many of you against Obama releasing his birth certificate?

    The Constitution requires that he be a natural born citizen. With so many lawsuits, and more to come, why not release the birth certificate.

    All he has to do is give HI permission to make his birth certificate a public record available to any FOIA request. Problem solved. Or is it?

    December 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Boo hoo

    How utterly pathetic. Sounds like ol' Cort is a Lieberman/McCain/Palin supporter! This type of thing BRINGS A HUUUUUUGE SMILE TO MY FACE!! Inauguration Day is right around the corner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...and THANK GOD FOR THAT!!

    December 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. alvino

    Both Wrotnowski and Berg need to provide an original birth certificate to CNN, no copies please. I am confident both will show a lot of inbreeding in their own lineage.

    December 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Give me a break

    For every 10 for BO there is one against. MMMMMMMMMM CNN at it best for the truth.

    December 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Boo hoo

    How utterly pathetic!! Sounds like ol' Cort is a Lieberman/McCain/Palin supporter! This type of thing BRINGS A HUUUUUUGE SMILE TO MY FACE!! Inauguration Day is right around the corner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...and THANK GOD FOR THAT!!

    December 15, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Cleveland

    These challenges are as pointless as a comment section after an article.

    December 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. n

    Not everyone who questions Obama (even on the silly birth certificate debate) is racist. There were several lawsuits that challenged McCain's citizenship status. I guess the people who started those lawsuits were also racist? There are plently of legitimate reasons to dislike Obama as choice for president that have nothing to do with race. You make yourself look very ignorant when you call everyone a racist.

    December 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Eugene

    I have a red, green, and white elf shoe that I will be throwing at Mr. Wrotingreenwichnowski this afternoon, .... after I have thrown its companion shoe on the White House lawn.

    December 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Actually...

    I'm amazed that the continual aspersion against anyone who dislikes Obama is that he's black. Frankly, I disagree with most of his policies, same as I do Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, and Nancy Pelosi. what does that make me?

    Race has nothing to do with this; McCain was challenged on the same point (with, in my opinion, stronger grounds.) There are always nuts out there, on both sides, who refuse to let something go. How many times over the last 8 years did we hear statements about Bush supposedly "stealing" the 2000 election? Its been a month, vs. 8 years...I think you can allow those elements of the Republican Party who have troubles to finish their adjustment process, given that Dems never did over 8 years.

    That Obama is the next President is a fact that can't and won't be changed. God bless him, and I hope he does well. I fear that he'll lead the country down a path to turn us into a socialist state, but I hope I'm wrong. It has nothing to do with his race, it has everything to do with his politics.

    December 15, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Gerry

    These right wing nut cases need to give this up. If what they are suggesting is true, then there is no such thing as an American citizen-since everyone one in the US has family that came from somewhere, at some time.

    December 15, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. maurice

    Maggie from Virginia December 15th, 2008 12:34 pm ET

    Give it up already… The man is going to be president. Yep, we will have a black president. If you can't deal with it, there's always suicide. cnn should perhaps retract this statement ......i can see a lawsuit brewing already.... and maggie you should be ashamed of your self. does human life mean that little to you? what an ignorant statement. as for the question of citizenship. it has been proven. however i would like obama to show the long form and be done with it. that way all of the other lawsuits will be extiguished as well. its time to move on and take the country on to bigger and better things.

    December 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    If we had a Kenyan birth certificate but an American grandmother saying he was born in America, would you belive the grandmother or the certificate?

    Being that there is a birth certificate, we need to kill the noise and let it go. the people have VOTED for the president they want. End of story.

    December 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Ex-Republican

    We are talking the law of the land, and to the best of my knowledge, the Constitution stipulates the SCOTUSA has final say.

    To all you people trying to tout the Constitution as your battle cry, use your own argument/document, about resspecting the legacy and traditions of this great nation, and listen to what the SCOTUSA decided. They in essence said "not worth our time".

    Oh wait, is the law of the land only fair when you get your way?

    December 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Give me a break!

    Somebody throw a shoe at him, too! ENOUGH ALREADY! The Supreme Court gave Bush the election in 2000...they feel sorry for America and are doing the RIGHT THING this time...dismissing stupid and frivolous lawsuits so that we can get America going again!

    December 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Lorna, NY

    What is wrong with these people? Why don't they start impeachment proceedings on Bush instead of wasting their time on this? Bush has killed thousands of people and no one is making a big deal about this. Where are people's priority?

    December 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Joe In KY

    I'm amused at how many people there are wanting to see his BC and prove his eligibility that make intelligent, focused points, and those that want to slip our consitution under the rug by cancelling off the pleas by name calling, accusations or just plain immature reaction.

    Before you call me a biggot, or a Oil over, or any other hateful thingthat you can think of simply because I dare question the eligibility of "The Chosen One", just answer me this.

    Would you feel the same if G.W. Bush refused to show his BC and two why hasn't Barry shown his? Why? Wouldn't that put all the detractors in their place if he would simply show proof? Wouldn't it solidify him as the first semi-afro-american?

    As long as there are people that love this great country and still hold it's freedom's and it's constitution to heart, you will continue to hear our voice.

    Get used to that!

    December 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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