Justices to mull Obama citizenship again
Tom Ramstack (Contact)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
On the same day the Supreme Court declined to hear one appeal challenging Barack Obama's right to become president because of questions about his citizenship, Justice Antonin Scalia distributed another appeal on the same issue for the court to consider.
The new case, Cort Wrotnowski v. Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut Secretary of State, is scheduled to be discussed by the justices at their Dec. 12 private conference. They plan to decide whether to give the case a hearing - again on whether the British citizenship of Mr. Obama's father makes the president-elect ineligible to assume the office.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's nonvoting Democratic delegate to Congress, speculated that the Supreme Court is considering appeals that challenge Mr. Obama's citizenship only long enough to reject them "and lay to rest manufactured doubts about the legitimacy of Obama's election before the inauguration."
The Supreme Court on Monday turned down the previous appeal filed by New Jersey attorney Leo C. Donofrio.
Unlike Mr. Donofrio's appeal, Mr. Wrotnowski's case "includes a more solid brief and a less treacherous lower court procedural history," Mr. Donofrio wrote on his Internet blog, naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com.
He said the New Jersey appellate judge who handled his case incorrectly described his original complaint as a "motion for leave to appeal." Instead, he should have called it a "direct appeal."
Mr. Donofrio helped Mr. Wrotnowski prepare his Supreme Court appeal.
"Cort's application before [the Supreme Court] incorporates all of the arguments and law in mine, but we improved on the arguments in Cort's quite a bit as we had more time to prepare it," Mr. Donofrio said on his blog.