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Ticket Replay: Supreme Court refuses to debate Obama citizenship

During the next week or so from time to time The Ticket will republish some of our favorite items from this past political season. This one originally appeared here on Dec. 8, 2008, but the Court's decision certainly has not halted the passionate debate over whether the president-elect was born in the United States or not, which would make him ineligible to become president on Jan. 20.

(UPDATE: Alan Keyes stoked the Obama birth certificate controversy anew in February 2009. See Ticket coverage here.)

As predicted in The Ticket earlier today, the Supreme Court has dismissed without comment a New Jersey suit seeking to block the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama over allegations he's not a natural-born American.

Not that the ex-senator, who's named about half his Cabinet and heads for a lengthy Hawaiian vacation soon, seemed the slightest bit worried over the suit.

The main contentions have been that Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate is a fake because he was born in Kenya, and because Obama's father was Kenyan, which was British at the time, Obama has dual citizenship, which isn't native-born American.

The same, now defunct suit by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey charged that John McCain is not a native-born American either so couldn't become president. (His father, a career Naval officer, was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone when McCain was born.)

Even fewer were worried over the McCain possibility, given his parents' American citizenship and the location of birth being a U.S. Navy hospital on a U.S. military base in a then-U.S. territory.

Not to mention the minor implications of the Nov. 4 voting. (And, frankly, some have doubts about the citizenship of anyone in New Jersey.)

The court's dismissal means that the minimum four justices did not deem it worthy of an actual hearing. Another suit by Philip Berg of Pennsylvania remains at the court, arguing that not only is the Hawaiian certificate fake but that because Obama attended Indonesian schools that required local citizenship, he is also Indonesian.

But it looks increasingly like it's up to the "reader comments" sections of numerous blogs, including The Ticket, to continue the argument and settle the legality of the upcoming inauguration.

--Andrew Malcolm

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Many news outlets had writesr commenting on the issue. Those who dismissed the issue invariably said

1. Obama had made public his birth certifcate and/or
2. Factscheck had authenticate his bc and/ or
3. Hawaiian government officials had authenticate his bc.
(1 and 3 above are false. )

Yet no reporter has yet to investigate the issue. No one had said something like, "I had interviewed X and Y or some other named and unnamed sources and I am satisfied that Obama is a natural born citizen."

Well the suit by Leo Donofrio may be defunct. But I am curious about the case now before the Supreme Court docket # 08-570. This case in my opinion should be of major importance to all United States citizens. It is a challenge before the United States Supreme Court to contest a ruling by a Judge Barclay Surrick who in his ruling said that the average citizen does not have the right to police (defend) the United States Constitution. Well speaking for myself I was in the United States Military, I took and Oath that included this statement "to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign an domestic." As of this date I have not retracted that Oath nor will I. Contrary to what Barclay Surrick says I feel that I have ever right to still defend the document that gives me the freedoms that I enjoy. I would hope that all US citizens would feel the same way about that document, contrary to popular belief that document is not a DEAD Constitution but an ENDURING Constitution. I personally would hope that the United States Supreme Court would do their job and defend that same document and the rights that it gives to each and every one of us.

Why is it that no hospital in Hawaii has records of Obama being born there? Why has Obama spent more than $800,000 on three law firms (and thousands of tax payers’ money) to fight the birth certificate issue rather than just show the certificate that indicates the hospital in which he was born?

Americans were FOOLED. Almost everything about Obama is FAKE and he may not meet constitutional requirements to be President. The Obama image was manufactured by a very expensive campaign, financed with hundreds of millions of dollars, donated largely by U.S. enemies such as George Soros.

Brainwashed by the media, Americans became as foolish as the most ignorant Venezuelans, Bolivians and Ecuadorians who believed in CHANGE and YES WE CAN and now see that CHANGE means change toward Marxism, loss of freedom and rights, and greater poverty, despair and corruption. And YES WE CAN means Marxists like Castro, Chavez and Obama CAN fool people

It seems Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov was right when he warned that, through media manipulation, Americans would be brainwashed and would allow their country to be taken over by Marxists:

If Obama does not meet Constitutional requirements to hold the office of President, the Court must decertify the election. Americans have the right to be protected from Marxists planted by U.S. enemies to destroy us.

In response to the comments posted by Jerry, I would like to thank him, gratefully, for his military service to America. And, for his astute, patriotic message on the citizenship controversy regarding Barack Hussein Obama. I would like to add this question: why has Obama responded to the controversy by spending nearly a million dollars on three law firms opposed to $12.50 to produce a copy of his "supposed" Hawaiin birth certificate? As a CITIZEN of the United States, I stand with Jerry in defending the ENDURING document he references. If the Supreme Court does not do what is right in this case, tragically, it will render our Constitution null-and-void. God help us.

The Country is heading to a Constitutional crisis the closer we get to Obama taking the oath of office. If he is indeed ineligible then he cannot serve as President. There are many lawsuits filed around the country, not just the few indicated by this article. Alan Keyes is suing here in California in Sacramento Superior Court Case 80000096. Visit the court website and read the material it is an eye opener.

The only real question here is why Obama and the Democratic party failed to answer this question before placing his name on the ballot?

1) Obama has released a scanned image of his birth certificate. It is readily available online. It states that he was born in Honolulu.

2) this is legal document, certified by the state, and valid in any court of law.

3) Factcheck has examine the document and has confirmed that there is, in face an embossed seal on the back side of it (where Hawaii places the seal).

He was born in Hawaii.

Get over it.

I, for one, am amazed that a person named Barrack Hussain Obama has actually been elected by the people of the United States. That he supposedly beat out a true American hero (McCain) and a spirited Alaksa governor who's only fault was being dangerously honest (Palin.) I believe that Obama's lies begin with his claim to be a "black" president, when in fact he is just as much "white" as "black. How is it that his college was funded as a exchange student form another country? And it goes on and on, to the point of being very frightening. Americans go under the assumption that there is someone watching out for us to prevent the very thing that Obama is getting away with at this moment: becoming president of the United States although he is not himself an American citizen. Apparently, those "watching out" are not concerned wioth the people of America. It reeks of "conspiracy" to a level never seen before. Our rights under the constitution are being compromised, and I do fear he (Obama) will go even further. Taking away our ability to defend ourselves, especially from aour own government, is what he has in mind. I think Americans have a real reason to be afraid, very afraid.

Well Borg's case is up for review Jan 19th, the supreme court is going to look at it..I can't understand why americans don't beleive in that the constitution should be upheld,,,this guy is to be the freekin president of the united states!!...America stand up against Obama bunch of "ball-ess" wimps!.I mean cmon..he won't show his long form of his birth certificate..wats up with that?..he's hiding something...its obvious..

No court has ever heard this matter on its merits. In other words, no court has allowed discovery to go forward and required Obama and the DNC to appear and produce what they used to determine that Obama met the "natural born" standard. No independent experts in documents or immigration law have had an opportunity to review and opine on this. Obama posting a suspect document is all that has been done to date. This controversy is over a $10.00 birth certificate that Obama refuses to produce.

As Obama and the DNC had to sign papers certifying that he met the "natural born" standard to get his name on the ballot in every State, it is extremely disturbing that the only "evidence" to support this is the suspect Certification of Live Birth Obama produced to various pro-Obama websites. In some of these cases the courts made statements that this needs to be addressed with the Secretary of State for each State as that is their obligation. When the Secretary of States were sued they came to court and stated they relied on the Democratic National Committee and had nothing to do with qualifying candidates before they were placed on the ballot. This only points out that our election laws are filled with holes and no one has apparently qualified Obama and citizens have taken it upon themselves to pursue and seek a final answer to this very important question.

There have now been upwards of 30 to 40 lawsuits filed on this issue around the country. Many of these cases have been dismissed on the legal technical argument that the average citizen lacks standing to ask a candidate this question. There are now at least two cases that have been filed by candidates who were on the ballot with Obama and therefore do not have this lack of standing problem. One is filed by Alan Keyes here in California Sacramento Superior Court Case 80000096, visit the court website and read the Writ. It names Obama, Biden, Debra Bowen the Secretary of State and the 55 Democratic Electors. It asks Ms. Bowen to produce the evidence that was used to place Obama's name on the ballot, among other things.

Other suits have been filed, including one in Washington State by 12 voters under a Washington State law that allows such challenges.

Another lawsuit was filed in Hawaii seeking the court to order a copy of the original/vault/long form birth certificate. The State of Hawaii has announced they are holding it but that it can only be produced if Obama signs a release and pays $10.00. Some of the lawsuits have also served discovery in Hawaii seeking the same thing.

Requests are also being made for a Senator and a House Member to sign a letter to the President of the Senate to require a hearing to review the evidence used to qualify Obama and make the determination that he is a "natural born citizen" before they validate the results of the electoral college. All citizens should be contacting their Senators and House Members asking them to do this to avoid the potential of an ineligible President taking the oath of office.

The Press continue to insulate Obama from this and have failed to ask he or the DNC the hard questions on this to avoid a potential Constitutional crisis. It should never have gotten this far and the "natural born" qualification made long ago before the election.

Lawsuits and challenges by the American People who refuse to accept an ineligible candidate as President will not go away quietly. At some point whatever it is that Obama appears to be trying to hide, as there is no other logical conclusion at this point over a $10.00 birth certificate, will come out. If it proves Obama is ineligible there will be a national crisis as Obama is removed from office. Open and transparent seems to have been forgotten before they even take office.

Obama produced a copy of a birth certificate and at the same time has made sure that his medical records are sealed. If you had nothing to hide would you really care if a the supreme court had access to your original birth certificate? They need to put this to rest and not sweep it under the rug.

Gee, how come the LA Times does not reort the facts that the US Supreme court has it on their Docket for discussion on Jan 9??? Just go to the US Supreme court and search for 'Berg' to get the update.

This has been an incredible slap in the face to the American People by Obama and the Democratic Party. The questions revolving around Obama's birth certificate and questions about whether he meets the "natural born citizen" requirements of the Constitution have been raised as far back as April of 2008. The only response has been by Obama producing a worthless document called a Certification of Live Birth, or short form Certification to various pro-Obama websites. This short form does not include verifiable information such as the name of the hospital in Hawaii, doctors or witnesses.

The Certified copy of Obama's Birth Certificate that would contain the name of the hospital, etc. can easily be produced if he would sign a form and pay $10.00. Obama to this day refuses to do so. The Democratic National Committee ("DNC") have been conspicuous by their absence or comment on this issue. As the DNC has the responsibility for vetting or qualifying candidates before their name is placed on the ballot have simply dropped the ball. This urgently needed to be answered BEFORE THE ELECTION TO AVOID ELECTING AN INELIGIBLE CANDIDATE. We have before us a Constitutional crisis by the failure of Obama or the DNC to be open and transparent and provide the documentation that was used to qualify Obama on this point.

Here is a Hawaiian land program that shows the form and how to fill it out and send in a $10.00 check to obtain a copy of the certified birth certificate. Read pages 7-11:

If Obama is not a "natural born citizen" and contrary to what the press and Obama corp are publishing, this has not been proven, then Obama is not eligible to hold the office. If Obama takes the oath of office and is subsequently proven to not to be a "natural born citizen" he will be removed from office and all acts that he takes will be null and void.

This is a horrible position for Obama and the DNC to have placed the country with everything else that is happening. They appear to have placed their personal interests over the American People. Ineligibility never goes away.

Obama has produced a Certificate of Birth which is a State issued piece of paper issued no matter where you were born.

Obama has not produced a Birth Certificate from a U.S. hospital showing he was born in the U.S.

I keep reading uniformed posters repeating over and over that Obama posted his Birth CERTIFICATE (In Hawaii called CERTIFICATE of Live Birth) for everyone to see, so the issue should just be put to rest

IN FACT Obama only produced a CERTIFICATION of Live Birth, as opposed to his CERTIFICATE of Live Birth.

Do some research on the difeerences between these documents.

Why is Obama HIDING his CERTIFICATE of live birth?


Obama, put the issue to rest and produce your CERTIFICATE of live birth, NOT Just the Certification

Do you really think the US Supreme Court would have the courage to even discuss the merits of Obama's citizenship? I have a bridge I want to sell you.

Antonio Sosa writes: ---“ Why is it that no hospital in Hawaii has records of Obama being born there? “---

Well, Antonio, that is because Fidel Castro’s agents snuck into the hospital disguise as janitors and purged out all the records from 47 years ago.

Antonio Sosa writes: ---“Why has Obama spent more than $800,000 on three law firms (and thousands of tax payers’ money) to fight the birth certificate issue rather than just show the certificate that indicates the hospital in which he was born? “---

Because Cuban lawyers are expensive.

Antonio Sosa writes: ---“ Americans have the right to be protected from Marxists planted by U.S. enemies to destroy us”---

Darn those Cubans and their dastardly plots.

John Adams, I have already pointed out to to the fallacies in your arguments. However I will touch upon a few of the key ones here.

Obama has produced a certified copy (the short form) of his birth certificate. This is a legal document, valid as evidence of birth in ANY court of law in the U.S. This legal document clearly states that he was born in Honolulu. The last time I checked, Honolulu is a city in Hawaii, a U.S. state. This is all he needs to show to prove that he is a natural born citizen.


As for that Hawaiian Home Lands Program that you keep bringing up, I have already told you that that is a special program of land grants limited to people with 50% or more native (ethnic) Hawaiian ancestry. Additional documentation is required under that program to verify that the applicant is indeed 50% or more ethnic Hawaiian. The requirements to be POTUS do not include being 50% or more ethnic Hawaiian, so the requirements of the Hawaiian Home Lands program do not apply to being POTUS.

Ann, you state: “No court has ever heard this matter on its merits. In other words, no court has allowed discovery to go forward and required Obama and the DNC to appear and produce what they used to determine that Obama met the "natural born" standard.”

Ann, that is because no one with applicable standing on this issue is questioning it. Those who have the authority (Republicans as well as Democrats) have determined that this is a bogus issue.

you can go to Supreme Court web site and look up the cases on this, you will also see the lawyers that represent the Obama side, note that none are Obama lawyers.
so where are those 3 law firms spending 800,000, did that come from some ones rear end. you Birthers are so easy to mislead, the heck with reality
web link:
click on dockets
then each in turn search for:
Donofrio (no lawyer for Obama)
Berg (lawyer:Gregory G. Garre Solicitor General, United States Department of Justice)
Lightfoot (no lawyer for Obama)
Wrotnowski (lawyer:Richard Blumenthal Attorney General Office of the Attorney General )

so tell me dear dummies, where are the Obama law firms? Bedein anti-Obama is so easy, just make stuff up! Idiots!

The author of the article writes:
"Even fewer were worried over the McCain possibility, given his parents' American citizenship and the location of birth being a U.S. Navy hospital on a U.S. military base in a then-U.S. territory."

McCain's birth certificate shows he was born in Colon Hospital in the city of Colon, Panama. There was no "base hospital" in 1936 when he was born.

Here is a link to his certified birth certificate:

Here is a link to the summary of an article published in two law reviews (Michigan's and Arizona's) by law Professor Gabriel Chin, who concluded that McCain is not a natural born citizen.

SUMMARY: "Senator McCain was born in 1936 in the Canal Zone to U.S. citizen parents. The Canal Zone was territory controlled by the United States, but it was not incorporated into the Union. As requested by Senator McCain's campaign, distinguished constitutional lawyers Laurence Tribe and Theodore Olson examined the law and issued a detailed opinion offering two reasons that Senator McCain was a natural born citizen. Neither is sound under current law. The Tribe-Olson Opinion suggests that the Canal Zone, then under exclusive U.S. jurisdiction, may have been covered by the Fourteenth Amendment's grant of citizenship to "all persons born . . . in the United States." However, in the Insular Cases, the Supreme Court held that "unincorporated territories" were not part of the United States for constitutional purposes. Accordingly, many decisions hold that persons born in unincorporated territories are not Fourteenth Amendment citizens. The Tribe-Olson Opinion also suggests that Senator McCain obtained citizenship by statute. However, the only statute in effect in 1936 did not cover the Canal Zone. Recognizing the gap, in 1937, Congress passed a citizenship law applicable only to the Canal Zone, granting Senator McCain citizenship, but eleven months too late for him to be a citizen at birth. Because Senator John McCain was not a citizen at birth, he is not a "natural born Citizen" and thus is not "eligible to the Office of President" under the Constitution."

as a Marine that voted for Obama I am very pleased that he chose a great American hero, Marine Commandant Gen Jim Jones to be his National Security Advisor. Gen. Jones has a long family history of serving America, he swore alligience to America & Obama in his new role. Tragically there are anti American idiots such as Carol Robinson that hate Obama, too bad!

The State of Hawaii has produced a legal document certifying that he was born IN HONOLULU.

End of the discussion.

From SCOTUS in 1898

"The foregoing considerations and authorities irresistibly lead us to these conclusions: the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes. The Amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born, within the territory of the United States, of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States. Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin's Case, 7 Rep. 6a, "strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject;" and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, "if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle." It can hardly be denied that an alien is completely subject to the political jurisdiction of the country in which he resides -- seeing that, as said by Mr. Webster, when Secretary of State, in his Report to the President on Thrasher's Case in 1851, and since repeated by this court,"

I think that settles the matter.

"Obama has not produced a Birth Certificate from a U.S. hospital showing he was born in the U.S."

hey dummy, try to get a passport with a hospital certificate, it won't be accepted, must be a stste issued certificate like the one Obama has shown!

Barack Obama has provided adequate proof that he is a natural born citizen. What is lacking in this conversation is proof that he was born anyplace other than Hawaii. That is one big reason why the courts keep tossing these frivolous suits.

Happy New Year!

The document produced by Obama clearly states THE PLACE OF BIRTH AS HONOLULU

Get that through you pointy tinfoiled heads.

With regard to my former posting on December 29, 2008 at 10:05 p.m., “vma224” who claims to be a Marine, states about my posting: “Tragically there are anti American idiots such as Carol Robinson that hate Obama, too bad!” My reply to this statement is as follows: vma224 is clearly a questionable Marine. The Marine’s that I know, to include those in my family, are mature, respecting, courteous individuals. They do not attack a stranger by calling the stranger an “idiot”. To the contrary, the posting comments directed toward me by vma224 appear to be hostile and immature. Further, my posting is PLAINLY patriotic and pro-American, and is very supportive of a decent American veteran, “Jerry”. For vma224 to dishonestly distort this fact by characterizing me as an “anti American idiot” begs the question as to who is actually the idiot. More importantly, by way of the stated deception, it appears that vma224 is as much of a FRAUD as his candidate, Barry Soetoro, aka Obama. Vma224 also leaps to making another false claim in stating that I “hate” Obama. Nowhere in my posting did I state the term “hate”. In fact, I do not hate Obama, or anyone, for that matter. I simply hold Obama to account for the fraud he is perpetrating on the American people. The Soetoro-Obama fraud represents the most serious breach to the Presidency that this country could experience. Vma224 states, “too bad!” in a manner that would be consistent with an angry, immature adolescent. Finally, vma224, in the future, please begin your opening sentence with a capital as in the capital letter “A” in the word “as”. And here is the correct spelling of the word, “allegiance”.

Carol Robinson, I am a Marine, and every Marine I know has high regard for Gen Jim Jones, if Gen Jones think's Obama is ok, then I would have to agree. I don't know about it being courteous, but your response seems very negative. The fraud I see is the one you believe in. The vast majority of Americans hold Obama in high regard. Sorry you don't, maybe you should just leave the country.
Calling you an idiot seemed reasonable to me!

There is enough questions that the Obama birth situation should rbe reviewed before he is sworn in. If it turns out there is no issue as to his natural born citrizen status, so be it, but:

1. His father was a citizen of the UK, and thus he was born with dual citizen status;
2. He was potentially if not likely a citizen of Indonesia for a significant portion of his life, and may have travelled under foreign (Indonesian or UK) passports.
3. There is a small possibility he was born in Kenya. The State of Hawaii says no, but the State of Hawaii is not the final word on the matter, especially since they have not produced the primary documents.

This should be vetted before Obama takes the oath. Not doing so is inviting more problems down the road.

Enough of the "Obama has produced a valid birth certificate...."


The "Certificate" he produced has a blotted certificate number. At the bottom of the "certificate" it clearly states that, "any alterations invalidate this certificate".

Simple enough - it isn't valid.

You birthers are hopeless.

I stopped reading this blog when I read this by Andrew.

"Even fewer were worried over the McCain possibility, given his parents' American citizenship and the location of birth being a U.S. Navy hospital on a U.S. military base in a then-U.S. territory. "

Sir, you need to check the facts. They do not support the above statement. John McCain, was not born on US soil. McCain's long form vault copy Birth Certificate shows he was born Colon Hospital Panama. That area of Panama has never been under or part of the United States. Not even by treaty or military use. He was not born on a Military base.

Sloppy at best Mr. Andrew.


Hawaii was NOT a state. Law is the law.

If we can't follow the written legal statute for presidential candidates, let's just vote for Castro.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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