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. Chevy56

    You Republicans are just mad. Because we've got a new Democratic Presidentioal Elect who will not allow this Country to stay on fire. Thats right, you heard what I said, "we got a new Fire Chief in town, who is going to put out this fire, that you Republicans started"
    George Bush has got more sense than ya;ll. At least he's trying to help the Auto Industry. You Republicans are nothing. but a rehash.Trying to get all giddy, because you can't have your way no more. Because we've got our Democracy back. And we don't care what color he is, as long as he's an Democratic Presidential Elect.

    From Chevy56

    December 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Goodoldtxboy

    The reason that the SCOTUS is denying these cases, is because if they took one of these cases and found out the truth, that Obama was born in Kenya and he was then pushed out of the Presidency, do you know how many crazy African Americans would be rioting and looting. Think about how nuts everyone went during the Rodney King fiasco. You can take the African American out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the African American!!!!!!!

    December 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. boered1

    What a bunch of idiots!

    the argument against goes he had DUAL British/American citizenship therefore he is NOT a natural born citizen, followed by the one that goes well he is a natural born citizen but because he got a Citizenship in Indonesia to attend school and therefore renounced his citizenship in the US. The first one is totally ignorant, the US DOES accept duan British/American citizensship and therefore he IS an American citizen by birth and therefore this is a moot argument. the second is based on the fact that the US does NOT accept dual citizenship in Indonesia and America. HOWEVER since Obama never gave up his American Citizenship (yes you actually have to sign a form to give it up or publiclly renounce it, neither of which he did) AND INDONESIA accepts dual citizenship it stands to reason that he was always, and stillis an American citizen. Many countries honor citizenship of Americans without them having to give up their American citizenship. From the US standpoint, however, he was NOT a citizen of Indonesia but always an American citizen


    December 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. starboardhelm

    If Obama?Soetoro? is a natural born citizen, then why did he hire a team of lawyers and spend nearly a million dollars to keep his vault birth certificate and college records secret? What skeleton is he hiding?

    These articles always claim the Obama?Soetoro?'s 'birth certificate' has been posted online. Not true - that was not a birth certificate, not by any stretch. So, what is the MSM covering up? What are they hiding on behalf of Obama?Soetoro?

    Whether he's a natural born citizen or not does not concern me - that he refuses to simply produce thsese records and put the whole thing to rest does.

    Is this what his version of 'open, honest and transparent' administration will look like?

    December 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. roy

    Give it could not beat Obama in the vote, so just accept (like WE had to the last 8 years) that the person you did not vote for will be President. This is the biggest waste of about FRIVILOUS lawsuits!!
    And comments about Obama NOT being vetted?? What news were YOU watching?!??!!!

    December 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Barb

    McCain's status as an American citizen was brought up early in the race as he was born on the Navy base in Panama. That was not brought up very much during the election. President-elect Barack Obama has had this charge going against since he first started to run. Yes, he was born in Hawaii as American citizen. His mother was a citizen. Even if his father was a Kenyan-born British citizen, he would still be consider American because his mother is. I have friends who consider President-elect Obama as being a Muslim. He is not. So he hasn't found a new church yet in Washington. Well, he probably will when he moves to Washington. As others have mentioned, check the Constitution. I can't wait until he takes office.

    December 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Irinia

    The USA does recognize dual citizenships for minors.

    December 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Middle of the road happy camper

    Super-Stupid People. Really, grasping for straws this thin is just downright stupid. A lot of Americans (not white) have (and still do) put up with the status quo since the birth of the nation regardless of what was written in the constitution,or the bill of rights.

    But I'm neither surprised or taken with what lengths some groups will go to when they cannot accept change. I commend the U.S. Conneticut Supreme Court for throwing this waste of time lawsuit out.

    People give the man the chance to do the job and if he doesn't make a dent in the problems we are facing, then vote him out the next election.

    December 15, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Dan

    Obama never released his original birth certificate. The very day McCain's citizenship was questioned, he released his original birth certificate. Why can't Obama do the same? The fact that he refuses to do so throws up some red flags. Obama can put all this to an end by simply releasing it. If everything was legit, he shouldn't have a problem doing so.

    December 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Robin

    I have my doubts he was born in Hawaii. However, I feel we have bigger things to worry about right now. He is our PE, end of story.

    As far as McCain, they did question it. However he was born on a US Military Base, which is considered American Soil. He's a natural born citizen.

    December 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. still searching for true equality in america

    you know.. i was born in this country, raised in this country, live in this country, work in this country, pay taxes in this country and plan on dying in this country...... now all i want is to marry the person of the same sex in this country...

    people who bring frivolous law suits in front of the supreme court and waste their time when they need to be making sure that all americans are treated equally and fairly need to get a clue...

    equality for all, everyone , not just the heteros.. i mean seriously, it is almost 2009 and discrimination is still loud and clear in america, the supreme court brought equality to women and blacks, and they must do the same for gays

    December 15, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Darko

    So why doesn't SCOTUS take the case, and rule on it? They'd therefor set precedence and likely avoid further suits.

    The only rulings coming down from the lower courts are based on 'standing'. This determines nothing on the merit of the suit, but only that which person has the legal right to issue the suit.

    December 15, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. dave

    To all the citizenship nuts:

    Why isn't the Republican party joining the cause? Why is it just a few people here and there making these challenges? If it's such a good case, why is it being neglected by the powers that be? I suspect it might have something to do with bigfoot and Area 51...

    December 15, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    God could decend down from the heavens with Barack's Birthcertificate notorazed by Jesus and these idiots would still take up tax payers dollars and time in courttrying to prove that it was a phony. pathetic

    December 15, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. billy-bayou

    Is there some reason that the Supreme Court does not want to have the obama produce absolute proof of his place of birth? Are the Supremes part of the conspiecy?

    December 15, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Matt

    @ mike

    No, we DON'T think he's hiding anything. He showed a certified copy of his birth certificate online for months. Nobody can go in and take their original birth certificate out of the records department. They will only give you a certified copy that is considered the legal equivalent of the original. Moreover, birth certificates are NOT public record, so people waltzing into a records department and asking for other peoples' birth certificates are told to go eff themselves. IT'S CALLED PRIVACY. But I forgot...the GOP wants to rid the country of that inconvenient right so they can institute secular legislation of their religious dogma in an attempt to force everyone to adhere to their interpretation of the word of God. This was frivolous from the get-go and no judge dismissed it as such because it was safer to let it play out so nobody could ever say something was covered up.

    December 15, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Grimm

    to B.O. is just B.O.
    -Why not just produce the birth certificate and make it a non issue?
    Why? Because he can't!

    FYI, PE Obama did submit a copy of his certified Hawaiin birth certificate. A scanned image of it was actually shown on national news through several news stations. FOX News was one such station. This took place between the end of the primaries and the middle of the final race.

    December 15, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Brenda C

    Why want the Chicago thug just show his birth certificate? He's hired three law firms (not lawyers, law firms) to keep it closed. He's a thug and you thugs that voted him in will get what's coming to you. I hope he puts your butts to work.

    December 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Change - Yeah Left

    Once more, the dimwitted Dems stomp all over the Constitution. And no one cares. How long before the rest of our rights are taken away? I give the osamanation about a year before the clamor for his impeachment comes to a head. But, then the RULER of America (his people used the word 'rule', not me) will declare martial law and ensure that he's king of the USSA for ever and ever.

    CNN wil you post this?

    December 15, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    @ Steve– who wrote: "Indonesian laws at that time requires people who enrolled at their schools be citizens of Indonesia"

    Where did you get that? I have two friends living in Indonesia right this very minute– they have a total of 4 kids attending school there, and they've never heard of anything like that. They're in Jakarta.

    December 15, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. Carli

    Yes this is the same SCOTUS that put Bush in office, so Republicans need to STFU

    December 15, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Maggie SC

    What kind of evidence does this person have against the prospect of Obama not meeing USA qualifications to be president. If this guy has ireputablle proof then it is an injustice against the judge refusuing to se the proof and examining it to see if Obama is indeed a natural born citize. This is America folks. Please adhere to our Constirutiuoin in all things.

    December 15, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Patrick

    Yes, anyone who doesn't agree with the government should kill themselves or leave the country. Are you guys serious? You think it's that horrible to ask someone to prove that they live up to the constitutional requirements? What are the courts hiding? It should not be that hard to get a copy of the original birth cirtificate.

    December 15, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Ex-Republican

    It's quite simple, for those with any intelligence:

    Obama doesn't let the petty stuff bother him, nor does the supreme court. The President Elect and the SCOTUSA have given it the amount of attention it deserves, and have verified the validity of these nut jobs by their decision. It's the USA, and the SCOTUSA has spoken. So if YOU retards, the one's throwing out accusations, want to live by the law of this land (which you claim to be so sacred when you throw out your retarded accusations), then live up to your own beliefs you idiots! The SCOTUSA has given it's decision, and in the CONSTITUTION...that is FINAL!

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

    December 15, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Bri

    Really the US looks bad enough as it is now do we really need to sue about whether Obama can be President or not...racism anyone... The elections over, even if you were able to prove he wasnt a US citizen you still have democrat in office...or we can run the race think the GOP would have more support after that, right. You'd just have a bunch of pissed off citizens, and wow wouldln't that show the Iraqi's how lovely democracy is when we can't make it work. Really people use your brains here or get some.

    December 15, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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