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. David

    This is getting a might bit ridiculous. Obama is an American plain and simple. And if you really want to get down to who a real American is-how many of us are descendants of immigrants who came here from other countries. This is a nation founded by immigrants. The people who can truly say that they are natural born citizen are people of first nation's descent – the native's who roamed this land long before the Mayflower arrived at her shores.

    I am proud that Obama was elected President. If you cannot handle having him as President them move to another country – one that you find more to your liking.

    December 15, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Robin in SC

    Shouldn't this say that "the president-elect does [NOT] meet the Constitution's requirement...?" Judiciary junk at any rate.

    December 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. obama-mama

    This nut job apparently has too much time on his hands. Why don't he find something contructive to do.

    December 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Lisa M

    No they will not let you see someone else's birth certificate, nor will they give you a copy.

    Give up the desperation antics.

    Do these kooks think that McCain isn't eligble because he wasn't born in the 50 stats?

    What do they hope to gain?

    If they are worried about illegal aliens in the USA, they need to take up that issue. The current law is born in the USA(needs to go away) or born of at least 1 American parent.

    Neither Obama or McCain fails the natural born American rules.

    Grow up.

    December 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Yelena

    If it was a woman president-elect and she had the same story as Obama, she wouldn't have gone away so easily. You want to overlook everything suspicious about Obama for the sake of being a part of history. Obama is a history already. We have to look forward to the future - the gender-blind America. We will see if the media will be gracious and favourable to a woman president-elect.

    December 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Ken in NC

    It is a shame that so many people can spend so much time trying to destroy what our country has done in this last election. If only they would work with others putting that energy towards solving the problems of this nation the world would be a better place to live.

    Consider this. Under US Laws, a pregnant mother crosses the border from Mexico illegally and gives birth to a child in the United States, she could still be deported but our laws deem the new born to be a US citizen by virture of it's birth on US soil. Now this is a child with two Mexican parents and the child is a US citizen. Give it a break. You are not going to win this one.

    December 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. bernj

    Proof reading is kind of important CNN.

    December 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. DC

    He's already proven his citizenship why is this even an issue? its a waste of time

    December 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Casey

    Some people will never accept a black man as President, hence the stupid lawsuits. Funny, there was more argument against having McCain which is why Congress actually has signed a document claiming that they recognize him as a natural-born citizen of the United States and eligible to run for President... despite being born in Panama under circumstances that were not explicitly covered by the Constitution.

    These same idiots don't realize that dual citizenship AS A CHILD isn't something you CLAIM; and Obama, when he turned 21, did not claim that Kenyan citizenship (which is what the British citizenship turned into when Kenya became its own country).

    I can't wait until he's sworn in and all of this stuff becomes moot; I just worry about what the next attack would be, especially after all that rhetoric from the McCain/Palin campaign. Frankly, they should have been charged with inciting violence.

    December 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. Marc

    Is it legal to demand someone else's original birth certificate in HAWAII? If it's not then Phillip Berg (of PENNSYLVANIA) has ZERO rights to complain about it. If the Hawaiian authorities protects their official records against anyones who THINKS that has the rights to see them, and just that no other justification but the mere thought of a right, then Berg must move to challenge such protection first.
    And anyway, he was born in Hawaii! Base a claim in 'hot air' doesn't make it valid!

    PS: CNN why my last 20+ posts are still awaiting moderation?

    December 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Harold

    some people have no life; I guess they want their 15 minutes of fame; this is why our courts are clogged with stupid lawsuits like this; other litigants lose value time in seeking justice because of ididots like this!!

    December 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Matt

    Anyone else find it crazy that they are already trying to pin things on Obama and Bush had none of this BS for his eight years...

    December 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. katiec

    Hopefully this will be the LAST.
    With all the important issues facing our country it is irresponsible to "bother" our supreme courts with all this nonsense.
    Give it up people, he won fair and square.

    December 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. obamafan

    would this question have been raised if he was white?

    December 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. kate from Nebraska


    December 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Mike in Ca

    Racists and wack jobs continue....what a surprise

    December 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Yvonne

    What a waste of the court's time. These people bringing these frivilous lawsuit are just sore losers. What a tragedy these people cannot accept and support President elect Obama.

    December 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Terry, Dallas Texas

    Enough already. This man won the election by a huge margin and will be sworn in as POTUS in a little over a month so please just get used to it. It's time to move on.

    December 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz





    December 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. JS

    Has anyone ever pointed out that all the presidents from George Washington to Andrew Jackson were "born British subjects". There are such idiotic right-wing wack jobs in this country... it is ludicrous.

    December 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Damon

    Quit, Quit, Quit. Why are you wasting time trying to see if this man is an American citizen. Find something constructive to do if you really care about this country.

    December 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Earl

    My questions to Mr. Wrotnowski; So at what point does a person become a citizen, since most American are descendents of immigrants? Is Mr Wrotnowski to eligible vote or he is a decendent of Native Americans?

    December 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Abyssinian Lion

    Isnt it time for these guys to continue the search for UFOs,Bigfoot and the Lochness monster?--Maybe even Man,Bear,Pig?

    December 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I can only hope that the holiday's are good for these racists busy bodies. We can only hope that this nonsense will be the end of a 300 year nightmare for all !!!

    December 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. kene

    Wrotnowski name dosn't even sound like American. I think he should think before going after Obama.

    December 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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