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. Sara

    Just, LOL!

    People need hobbies.

    December 15, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Veronica

    Shocking! Uh, no, not really. Sometime's people been to be beat, repeatedly, about their empty heads before they MAY catch on. It is abundantly obvious that Wrotnowski has entirely too much time on his hands and that he's too ignorant to see the truth, right in front of his face.

    I think this would fall under a 'frivolous lawsuit.'

    December 15, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Dee

    These people are so silly. Even if this were to go through, Biden (DEMOCRAT) would still be interim president, and Obama would surely be appointed high up in the administration. No matter what these people try to do, Obama isn't going away any time soon. Get used to it!

    December 15, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Elaine

    Then I guess the real Americans are the Indians...

    December 15, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Heidi

    Is anyone else enraged that, with the current economic crisis, these conspiracy theorists think frivilous, baseless lawsuits are a good use of our taxpayer dollars?

    P.S. If you want to know how much credibility the people bringing these lawsuits have, search "Philip J. Berg." He's a disgruntled Hillary supporter, 9-11 "truther," and has been successfully sued for legal malpractice, fined $10,000 for bringing frivilous lawsuits (*gasp), and ordered to attend ethics training!

    Is it time to tell these ridiculous people to get over it and quit wasting our time and money??

    December 15, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. BO is just B.O.

    I researched this and the guy has a definate case. Problem is do you uphold the constitution or the presidential vote?

    This is a lose/ lose for all of us.

    This was posted earlier and is true. Look it up.
    He had TWO citizenships at Birth and the constitution basically says that when it comes to running for president you can't have dual allegiance.

    Why not just produce the birth certificate and make it a non issue?
    Why? Because he can't!

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. hillvoter

    This is an excellent argument for abolishing the anchor baby laws.

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. D. Holiday - L, Town

    It's true. Ignorance does still carry a big stick. Raise up you idiots. "Change has come to America."

    You had Bush for 8 years. Now it's our turn. Don't get too angry though because I'll tell you what, It's not good for your blood pressure.


    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Linda K.

    To Steve:

    Children can have dual citizenship. My husband is Thai and four of my children had dual American/Thai citizenship when they were young. Now that they're grown, they are all U.S. citizens and have, by default, given up their dual citizenships.

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |

    the next lawsuit will probably be that Hussein Obama is not qualified to be president of the United States because his name is Hussein, or because he is black or white or rather of a mixed race? or because he fathered black babies.....

    when is the american ignorance gonna end, stupid people?!!!!

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Darryl

    Sorry, Republicans, I guess having the Supreme Court force your candidate on us despite the votes has become an empty well. Guess you're stuck with that quaint "one person – one vote" democracy.

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. PA Independent

    So Obama was (according to anybody rational) born on U.S. soil to an American citizen mother, but because his father was born in another country then subject to the British crown, the theory is that he is not a natural born citizen? Somebody please tell me how the Constitution, Courts, Congress or any other authority has defined "Natural Born"? That's right, you can't – because they haven't. Common sense would suggest any person who was a citizen at birth is a "natural born citizen", and since there has never been an official definition of the word....go ahead, just try to get the Supreme Court to retroactively overturn a valid election on the basis of a trumped-up argument after the fact. Ludicrous.

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Charlie

    If mexican children born in the US after their mother jumps the border are considered citizens...

    I think Obama is ok.

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    CNN WRITES: ...Wrotnowski claimed that because Obama's father was a Kenyan-born British subject, the president-elect DOES MEET the Constitution's requirement ...

    Is it "DOES MEET"????? Jeez!!! Isn't Wrotnowski the person who believes Obama DOES NOT MEET the requirements to be a US Citizen???

    ALL in ALL – Give it UP!!! Do you truly believe Obama would have gotten this far is he were not a citizen????????? Dang!

    December 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Laura

    I love Obama so much! He is like such like a rockstar to me! I don't know really anything about his background, let alone his policies, but I think he is already the greatest president ever. Did I say president? I meant greatest leader of the universe. Smooches for Obama.

    December 15, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Andy H

    Steve, Berg has changed his tune at every turn trying to prove Obama isn't a natural born citizen. The crap about Indonesia is just the latest twist. First he said he was born in Kenya and that he didn't have a US birth certificate. So Obama produced his birth certificate, then Berg complained it was a copy (like we all get) & not the long original version. So the head of the Dept of Health for State of Hawaii said he personally had inspected Obama's original long form birth certificate and that it was valid.

    So now Berg is trying to say that because Obama had dual citizenship as a child in Indonesia he became a naturalized citizen when he moved back to the U.S. This is crap once you are born in the U.S. you are ALWAYS a natural born citizen, you can never change that.

    The US Supreme Court refuses to hear most cases brought before it. They only see cases if they believe the lower courts erred on a point of law or procedure.

    December 15, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Rachel

    That guy needs to get a life! He needs to be watched possibly in a padded cell before he lets his brain overtax and does something foolish! I don't know how many ways he has to be told that Obama is a U. S. Citizen. Maybe he should go back to the homeland his ancestors were born in. That name is very un-American!

    December 15, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Tony, Memphis

    Seth, Michigan December 15th, 2008 11:40 am ET

    Birth certificate and certificate of live birth are two very different things…do your research, please, before writing an asinine statement like the one above.

    Actually Seth, maybe you should do some research. A certificate of Live Birth IS a Hawaiian 'Birth Certificate'...

    December 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |


    December 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Joe, Chicago IL

    The HI 'long form' has not been released to the public. HI, through the 60s, has issued foreign born children to US citizens, HI birth certificates.

    The 'long form' contains the doctor's signature for children born in HI. If not born in HI, the country of birth is listed. Releasing the 'long form' will take care of any questions regarding eligibility.

    Since Kenya has 'sealed' all of Obama's records and the original HI form posted by Obama's campaign was a copy of a form issued in 1972, there is sufficient question to ask for proof since all we have is Obama's word that he is a citizen.

    McCain had to produce his proof of citizenship in the 2000 elections. There was much furor regarding whether he was born on a US military base in Panama or off site. The question was asked in 2000 and McCain released his records.

    All Obama has to do is release his 'long form' and there will be no question he is legit. By not releasing the long form and sealing all of his Kenyan records, you have to question, why?

    Knowing how CNN moderates these forums...this will not be posted.

    December 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. ricki

    Why does the President Elects' paternal grandmother claim he was born in Kenya and she witnessed the birth? It doesn't change my belief that B. O. is still the future prez but why would she say that?

    December 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Matt

    How much taxpayer money is being wasted on this? These people need to get their tin foil hat covered heads examined.

    December 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Uncle Fester

    Frivilous lawsuit, anyone? Your tax dollars at work

    December 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. Maggie from Virginia

    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.

    December 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. proud army and navy mom

    to jim and others,

    please get a life. PE Obama is our president, and if you don't like it, you can exit the country anytime. ok?

    December 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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