- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2008

UPDATED:

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear one of the appeals challenging whether President-elect Barack Obama’s citizenship disqualifies him from becoming president.

The court’s order said only that, “The application for stay addressed to Justice [Clarence] Thomas and referred to the court is denied.”

Leo C. Donofrio, a New Jersey lawyer who filed the case, argued that Mr. Obama had British citizenship when he was born, thus disqualifying him from being president under the Constitution’s requirement of being a “natural-born citizen.”

“My case is done,” he said. “I’m perfectly comfortable with their decision.”



Preventing Mr. Obama from becoming president was less of a consideration for him than ensuring constitutional law is followed, he said.

“I’m not worried about Barack Obama, I’m worried about the precedent of law,” Mr. Donofrio said. “This sets a precedent for someone who doesn’t have a tie to this country” to become president.

Birth records show Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father who was then a British citizen. His father’s citizenship made Mr. Obama both American and British, Mr. Donofrio argued.

More than a dozen lawsuits have challenged Mr. Obama’s presidency based on his citizenship. Two are pending before the Supreme Court.

One appeal, filed by Pennsylvania lawyer Philip J. Berg, argues that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and that his “certification of live birth” from Hawaii is falsified. Hawaiian officials said the birth records correctly list Mr. Obama’s birth as Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu.

A federal court in Pennsylvania dismissed Mr. Berg’s lawsuit, which prompted his appeal to the Supreme Court.

An appeal by a Connecticut man challenges the legitimacy of the presidential election based on questions of Mr. Obama’s eligibility as a dual national at birth. The high court is scheduled to discuss whether to grant that case a hearing at a private conference Dec. 12.

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