High court turns aside another lawsuit questioning Obama citizenship
March 7th, 2011
10:47 AM ET
12 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. diridi

    in plain language, he is a jus soli citizen of America....good for Supreme court that dismissed....o.k. Just because he is black president, all this nonsense...period....I vote for him in next election. period...

    March 7, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. ja

    wasted paper, we need to send the socalled birthers to sensitivity sessions or better yet, check their sanity, how did it even reach the supreme court for rejection

    March 7, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    I wish these birthers would just hang it up. I don't agree with Obama on his policies, but this is just nonsense.

    March 7, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    A waste of money and time. What is a "birthers "?

    March 7, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Anna

    The fact that the Supreme Court refuses to confirm Obama's status as a citizen born in the US just adds fuel to the fire. If he was born here then it shouldn't be a problem, should it? What're you hiding, Mr. President (what a joke)?

    March 7, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Constitutional Patriot

    Will these so called "birthers" ever give up? I guess you can't fix stupid.

    March 7, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. DR

    I honestly can't believe these people. I'm glad the Supreme Court recognizes these thoroughly ridiculous accusations as such.

    Ever see Anderson Cooper's interview with that Rep from Texas? It's comical.

    March 7, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. rusty155

    When are these IDIOT going to give up. Get over It all ready.

    March 7, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. GI Joe

    They're idiots wasting everyone's time and money.

    If Clinton and McCain and the Republican Party could have disqualified President Obama, they would have done it 3 years ago. The idiots watch too much Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin CRAP.

    March 7, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Sheila Cloudcroft

    You know, this DEEPLY concerns me. If the man has nothing to hide then the courts would not be hiding this from open public scrutiny. Barak Obama should not be above the law. This would be an issue REGARDLESS – Arnold Schwarzenneger cannot become president – why should this man have? This nails the coffin for me: the man was not born legally in the United States and thereby this presidency is a fraud. Too much media madness and public manipulation went into seating him in the highest office of our nation. Too many politicians have too much face to lose if this is uncovered.

    If they wanted to seat a black president are there not millions in this country intelligent and savvy enough to have been put into that seat? What is wrong with this country!

    This deeply alarms me big time. I can't believe such evil is taking place here and IT'S NOT BEING STOPPED AT ANY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT!

    March 7, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. kenneth fusilier

    Good maybe the birthers can go away for good

    March 7, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. Barry from Wisconsin

    The Supreme Court – despite its rightward tilt, has, hopefully once and forever, buried this nonsensical drivel from the right-wing wackos.

    March 7, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Paul NYC

    Reality has a strange way of slapping down stupid conspiracy theories. I'd say it's time that these birthers moved on but they will just use this ruling as a way to make more money off of paranoid and misinformed people.

    March 7, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. WayneF

    Maybe the birthers shoud try suing, for fraud, the two Hawaii newspapers which printed birth announcments for the president 2 days after he was born.

    March 7, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. mm

    These people should be fined everytime they bring this frivilous case to the Supreme Court.

    March 7, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Mathieu

    Good news from SCOTUS! Too bad that the Supreme Court's rejection probably will only add fuel to the fires of the silly but dangerous birther conspiracy.

    March 7, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. ST

    It is always a burden to everyone to have people around who are mentally unstable. These birthers are consuming the precious time of people like those at the Supreme Court. They have a lot that matters to deal with and what are needed by stable people to be dealt with.

    March 7, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Mel

    REALLY?? The man's produced his birth certificate! What more do they want? Him to produce a tattoo branded on him that says "birthed in the USA"??

    March 7, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Bill McGrath

    Will these people ever stop? Despite all the evidence that has been presented and verified, there are still some who simple refuse to accept the facts. What do you want to bet that this same person clings dearly to religious beliefs for which there is no evidence. Go figure!

    March 7, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Arlon

    How many times is it going to take for people to learn that he wouldn't have been inaugurated if there was any issue with his eligibility?

    March 7, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. dlewis78

    Ignorance is still bliss in America. What factual ground could they possibly have? Hawaii is part of the United States and was so when President Obama was born....deal with it.

    March 7, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Pensacola

    If the man would just show the real certificate then the questioning would stop. By continuing to block his birth certificate most people wonder what he is hiding.

    March 7, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. nellie bly

    If birthers want to work on something time consuming that is actually worthwhile, why don't they tackle cancer, AIDS or poverty? The President has had a passport since he was a wee one. His place of birth has been on record virtually his whole life. I'm not sure what planet the birthers are from.

    March 7, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Scarf

    To make a "birthers" look real stupid, ask them how the birth of Obama made the local newspapers in Hawaii when he was born. A delusional response would be that there is a conspiracy to change recorded history regarding that documented proof. Obama has to go but let's get off the birther delusion. Being a birther means you are stupid.

    March 7, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. knowitall

    give it up losers. your candidate lost. losers lost lose loser

    March 7, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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