Obama citizenship question goes to U.S. Supreme Court

By Chris Rizo | Oct 27, 2008

Barack Obama (D)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-The former deputy Pennsylvania attorney general who challenged Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's qualifications to be president has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lafayette Hill, Pa.-based attorney Philip Berg, a self-described "moderate to liberal" Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, alleged that the Illinois senator is not a U.S. citizen and therefore ineligible for the presidency.

He had his lawsuit rejected Friday by U.S. District Judge Richard Barclay Surrick of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Disputing Obama's Hawaiian birth, Berg claimed Obama is either a citizen of his father's native Kenya or that he became a citizen of Indonesia after he moved there as a young child.

For his part, Obama has posted on his Web site a Certificate of Live Birth indicating he was born in Honolulu in 1961.

In his ruling, Surrick said Berg lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. The judge also said that the harm from an allegedly ineligible candidate was "too vague and its effects too attenuated to confer standing on any and all voters."

In a statement, Berg said he was within his rights to file suit challenging Obama's qualifications.

"I am totally disappointed by Judge Surrick's decision and, for all citizens of the United States, I am immediately appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court," he said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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