Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 13: The Courts
A look at the courts and Barack Obama’s natural born citizen status
We have already looked at a few of the cases that the U.S. Supreme court has heard regarding a person’s citizenship (such as the Happersett case and the Wong Kim Ark case), and we have come to the conclusion that to date, no Supreme court decision has defined natural born citizen. Is that because no case came before them needing to define the term natural born citizen? The answer is a qualified, no, that is not necessarily the case.
In October of 2008, before the election, Leo Donofrio (attorney, musician, poker and chess player, and in my opinion extraordinary human being) sued the New Jersey Secretary of State to remove ineligible candidates from the New Jersey State ballot for the general election of 2008 for the office of the presidency. The lawsuit included the removal of the names of John McCain, Barack Obama and Roger Calero. On, November 3rd the day before the election, Leo Donofrio submitted an application for emergency stay with the U.S. Supreme court. In the official court document, under the “relief requested” section of the document, Leo Donofrio, in part, specifically asked the U.S. Supreme court (even though he had not made the same request in the lower courts) to stay the national election to be held on November 4, 2008. [i]
According to the U.S. Supreme court docket (No. 08A407), the stay application was initially denied by Justice Souter (on November 6, 2008) two days after the general election had taken place. The case was later refiled, and was submitted to Justice Clarence Thomas on November 14, 2008. [ii] On Monday, December 8, 2008, Leo Donofrio’s application for stay addressed to Justice Thomas and referred to the court was denied. [iii] No reason was given by the court for the denial.
As I understand the unfolding of events in Leo’s case Donofrio v. Wells, Leo had a procedural problem in the lower court case resulting from an Appellate Judge’s mischaracterization of the case. You can find discussions on the lower courts procedural problems resulting from the Appellate Judge’s mischaracterization at Leo’s blog Natural Born Citizen Blog.
Leo Donofio had also teamed up with Cort Wrotnowski in Cort’s case where Cort sued the Secretary of State for Connecticut, Susan Bysiewicz, for an application for emergency stay and/or injunction as to the 2008 electoral college meeting and alternatively as to Connecticut electors. [iv] Cort Wrotnowki’s application for stay and/or injunction was submitted to Justice Ginsberg on November 25, 2008 (U.S. Supreme court docket no. 08A469). [v] Like Donofrio’s case, Wrotnowski had his first filing denied. Cort Wrotnowski had to refile his case with Justice Scalia. His case was distributed to the court and then later denied on December 15, 2008. Remember in Wrotnowski’s case he also filed for an injunction against the Electoral College meeting. It is interesting to note that the Electoral College in the several states would meet on December 15, 2008, the very day Wrotnowski’s application was denied. [vi] Like in Donofrio’s case, no reason was given by the U.S. Supreme court as to their denial of Cort Wrotnowski’s case.
In both cases, Donofrio and Wrotnowski argued that the “matter reflects an important public interest and involves a Constitutional issue of first impression as to the legal significance of the term ‘natural born citizen’ as enumerated in Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States.” [vii] By using the term “first impression” in their cases, Donofrio and Wrotnowski were stating (and attempted to substantiate that claim in their filings) that there was no definition of natural born citizen in the Constitution or the courts, and, therefore, the United States Supreme court would be taking up a case of first impression.
Leo Donofrio although cognizant of his own case having issues in the lower court was confident of the Wrotnowski case being sound. Leo wrote about his own case when it was denied:
My case may have suffered from the NJ Appellate Division Judge having incorrectly characterized my original suit as a “motion for leave to appeal” rather than the “direct appeal” that it actually was. On Nov. 21 I filed official Judicial misconduct charges with the NJ Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, and I updated SCOTUS about that by a letter which is part of SCOTUS Docket as of Nov. 22. The NJ Appellate Division official case file is fraudulent.
On the chance that SCOTUS was looking at both my case and Cort’s case, I must stress that Cort’s case does not have the same procedural hang up that mine does. It may be that without a decision on the Judicial misconduct allegation correcting the NJ Appellate Division case file, SCOTUS might have been in the position of not being able to hear my case as it would appear that my case was not before them on the proper procedural grounds. [viii]
Leo Donofrio felt at the time his case was denied by the court that the U.S. Supreme court may still hear the Wrotnowski case. Of course, Wrotnowski’s case would also be denied one week later on December 15, 2008. In response to another dismissal without reason by the courts, Leo Donofrio became quite dejected and wrote a scathing piece against the U.S. Supreme court that he later redacted and in which he also (in his blog) apologized to the courts.
It is little wonder that Leo Donofrio felt spurned by the courts. He and Cort Wrotnowski did everything in their power to attempt to have the issue of who is a natural born citizen resolved by the U.S. Supreme court an action that, in my opinion, the court must take up at some point. Simply delaying the matter does nothing to protect this Nation and its Constitutional Republic. Simply delaying the matter, as many have written, potentially sets a dangerous precedent as to who can occupy the highest office in the land of the United States of America. Many still believe that this issue is not nearly as important as this book and many people believe it to be, but I ask you once again, if such a vital provision of the U.S. Constitution can be obfuscated, ignored, accused of being outdated, or worse purposefully subverted, then what provision in the Constitution remains intact? By what law do you now assert your rights with respect to those rights afforded you in the first ten Amendments of the U.S. Constitution? I would maintain that if one provision of the Constitution need no longer apply, then it is only a matter of time before those rights enumerated in the Constitution also become outdated, ignored, obfuscated and perhaps purposefully subverted which, by the way, is already happening in this great Nation and has been occurring for quite some time. It seems just a small step away that concludes that those first ten Amendments spelling out your rights are sacrificed without your knowledge and without your consent. A situation the founding fathers would have never wished upon us. But, there is still time, there are still avenues in which this matter can be resolved and that will be the focus of our next chapter.
[i] Donofrio v Wells Application for Emergency Stay — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8950650/Donofrio-v-Wells-Application-for-Emergency-Stay
[iii] U.S. Supreme Court Order List: 555 U.S. — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8950688/Donofrio-v-Wells-Orders-List
[iv] Wrotnowski v Bysiewicz Stay Application to US Supreme Court — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8969495/Wrotnowski-v-Bysiewicz-Stay-Application-to-US-Supreme-Court
[v] U.S. Supreme Court docket 08A469 — http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08a469.htm
[vi] U.S. Electoral College 2008 Presidential Election “Summary of key dates and events” — http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2008/dates.html
[vii] Wrotnowski v Bysiewicz Stay Application to US Supreme Court — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8969495/Wrotnowski-v-Bysiewicz-Stay-Application-to-US-Supreme-Court
[viii] Naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com blog “Donofrio application denied – Wrotnowski application still pending” — http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/donofrio-application-denied-wrotnowski-application-still-pending/
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