I think the headline is on target.
The questioner is talk show host Lester Kinsolving; responding is press secretary Robert Gibbs. Via Politico with a tip of the hat to David Blakeslee. I wonder if this will revive the longest comment thread in the history of the universe here.
On the Supreme Court docket for Berg vs. Obama (08-570), there is a notation that on December 1, AZ attorney Lawrence Joyce filed a request to submit an amicus brief (friend of the court) on behalf of Bill Anderson. I spoke to Mr. Joyce who said he filed this petition on behalf of Mr. Anderson because he believes there is merit to the Berg case and he believes the legal burden of proof of Obama’s citizenship should be on Obama and not Berg. Berg has granted permision for the brief to be submitted.
The request begins:
Motion For Leave To File A Brief Amicus Curiae
The Court’s amicus, Bill Anderson, requests leave of this Court to file a brief amicus curiae in this case. Consent to file it has been obtained from the petitioner, whom this brief supports; the respondents have not granted consent.
The amicus is a citizen of the State of Arizona and an elector of that state for elector for President of
the United States.
The brief is here.
In contrast today, Ronald Kessler, writing for the conservative Newsmax.com disputes this case and relates a conversation he had with Berg at a dinner meeting. Kessler finds several reasons to discount the suit and believes conservatives should leave the issue and move on to more substantial issues.
Michelle Malkin joined in a few days ago with a clever column on the birth certificate kerfluffe.
The Associated Press is reporting that SCOTUS will not review the Donofrio case.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth.
The court did not comment on its order Monday rejecting the call by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., to intervene in the presidential election. Donofrio says that since Obama had dual nationality at birth — his mother was American and his Kenyan father at the time was a British subject — he cannot possibly be a “natural born citizen,” one of the requirements the Constitution lists for eligibility to be president.
Donofrio also contends that two other candidates, Republican John McCain and Socialist Workers candidate Roger Calero, also are not natural-born citizens and thus ineligible to be president.
At least one other appeal over Obama’s citizenship remains at the court. Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa., argues that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as Obama says and the Hawaii secretary of state has confirmed. Berg says Obama also may be a citizen of Indonesia, where he lived as a boy. Federal courts in Pennsylvania have dismissed Berg’s lawsuit.
The SCOTUS docket has not been updated but will be shortly. The Order’s List is here with the denial. RE: the Berg vs Obama case, someone named Bill Anderson would like to get in on the case. See that docket here…
I called the Supreme Court public information office about the significance of December 1 for this case. As I suspected, there is none currently. As I reported on November 19, the Department of Justice waived the right to respond on behalf of Obama, the DNC, etc., to the writ of certiorari filed by Philip Berg in his case against Barack Obama.
According to the SCOTUS representative, the next step is for the case to be scheduled for conference with the full Court. About 10,000 certiorari petitions are received per term with 75-80 granted. There is no set time for this petition to be heard by the full Court. The writ will be granted or denied at that meeting. We can have a docket watch for the date and outcome.
UPDATE: 12/2/08 – Lisa Liberi from Philip Berg’s office wrote to say that the Solicitor General is only representing the Federal Election Commission. Obama, and the DNC have separate counsel but the Court has had no response from them. According to Liberi, SCOTUS was waiting a week in case the responses had been mailed. A conference date with the full Court regarding the certiorari petition will be scheduled after the week passes. She also noted that Berg has a petition in the works to prevent Electors from casting Obama votes in the Electoral College.
Berg vs Obama: Response to Supreme Court Due December 1
Berg vs Obama: Dept of Justice Waives Right to Respond to Petition
Berg vs Obama: Update and current status
Donofrio vs Wells: NJ Obama citizenship case slated for SCOTUS conference
As I noted previously, Philip Berg petitioned on October 30 to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari in regard to his citizenship challenge against Barack Obama. Mr. Berg also asked the Supreme Court to stay the election in order that Mr. Obama’s citizenship could be verified. As we all know, Justice David Souter denied the request to stay the election but curiously did not dismiss the application for certiorari. Instead in accord with Supreme Court rules, December 1 was set as the deadline for President-elect Obama, the DNC and the FEC to respond to Berg’s writ. Because the Supreme Court docket 08-570 indicated that the defendants had until December 1 to respond to Berg’s application, some bloggers have erroneously proclaimed that Obama has until December 1 to produce his birth certificate. Not so. He might respond but then again he could choose not to do so.
Yesterday, I spoke with Patricia Estrada, spokeswoman for the Supreme Court, who filled in some additional details. She clarified that none of the defendants are required to file a brief in response. She also indicated that about 10,000 certiorari petitions are filed per year and under 100 are granted and then argued by the full court.
I then called the Office of the Solicitor General to ask if a response was planned by December 1. Evan Peterson emailed the following statement.
Under the Supreme Court rules, the government has until Dec. 1 to respond to the petition for certiorari. No decision has been made as to whether or when the government will file a response.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
So Mr. Berg’s odds don’t look good and it is unclear if the Solicitor General will get involved. If the Justices grant certiorari (review), I suspect it would be on the question of whether Berg had standing as a citizen to bring suit challenging the citizenship of Obama. As I understand it, then the case would go back to the District Court for trial.
UPDATE: Berg has an ad in this week’s Washington Times weekly magazine asking for donations and people to call their Congressional representatives over Obama’s citizenship.