US Supreme Court refuses to take up Obama citizenship case
1 hour ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected a case filed by a New Jersey voter who questioned whether president-elect Barack Obama was a “natural born” American, a prerequisite for running for the White House.
In the case, plaintiff Leo Donofrio also alleged that Obama’s rival for the presidency, Republican John McCain, was not an American citizen from birth because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936.
The Zone was controlled by the United States until 1979.
The court did not give a reason for rejecting the case, which was the second such challenge the justices have refused to take up in recent weeks.
In the earlier case, which the court threw out on the eve of the historic election in which Obama beat McCain to become the first African-American to be elected president of the United States, Pennsylvania lawyer Philip Berg alleged that Obama was born in Kenya, his father’s homeland.
According to a birth certificate for Obama made public by his campaign, the president-elect was born in Hawaii in August 1961, two years after the archipelago became a state.
The US constitution provides the framework for the law on who is a citizen, saying in the 14th amendment: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Laws passed since the constitution are more specific about who is a citizen at birth.
They include anyone born inside the United States, a person born in a US possession if one parent is a citizen and lived in the United States for at least a year; and anyone born outside the United States to at least one US-citizen parent who has lived in the US for a minimum of five years.