Justice Thomas distributes Obama case for conference

By Linda Bentley | November 21, 2008

Foreign national certified as presidential candidate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Nov. 19, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas distributed Leo C. Denofrio’s renewed application for a stay of the election for conference on Dec. 5.

If four of the nine justices favor review, a hearing will be scheduled.

His first application was denied by Justice David Souter on Nov. 6. However, rules of the court allow for the renewed submission to a justice of choice.

Beginning in October, Denofrio made his way up through the ranks of the courts until his constitutional question as to the meaning of “natural born citizen” reached the Supreme Court.

He submitted an application for an emergency stay to prohibit the use of what he called “defective ballots” in the state of New Jersey because they contained ineligible candidates for the office of President of the United States, and asked that the court order New Jersey Secretary of State (SOS) Nina Mitchell Wells to remove the names of Republican candidate John McCain, Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Socialist Workers Party candidate Roger Calero from New Jersey ballots.

According to Denofrio, the three candidates are not “natural born citizens,” as required by the Constitution to hold the office of President of the United States.

Leo DenofrioDenofrio contends Obama, even if it were proven he was born in Hawaii, because his father was born in Kenya, having been born with split and competing loyalties, is not a ‘natural born citizen’ as required by Article 2, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution.”

Denofrio contacted the New Jersey SOS Elections Division on Oct. 22 to determine what steps the SOS had taken to determine whether any of the presidential candidates listed on the New Jersey ballots were eligible for the office.

He was informed by Elections Manager Donna Barber the SOS took no steps to determine eligibility and assumed eligibility based only upon the fact they had been nominated.

However, New Jersey statute requires Wells to make a “statement” wherein she certifies, under her hand and official seal of office, the names … “of all such candidates for whom the voters within such county may be by law entitled to vote at such election.”

On Oct. 23, Denofrio spoke to Barber, who again informed him she had no reason to object to such party nominations and the statutory deadline for objections had passed. Barber specifically stated the Elections Division would not change ballots at such a late date.

Denofrio says New Jersey voters must rely upon the SOS to safeguard the integrity of their electoral process, especially during presidential cycles “when she must be most vigilant of her oath of office.”

If the SOS doesn’t protect the citizens of New Jersey, Denofrio states it is then up to the citizens to command Wells to do so.

As a result of Wells’ “misfeasance,” Denofrio says the state’s ballots contain the names of three presidential candidates who are not, “by law entitled,” to hold the office of President of the United States.

Denofrio states McCain was born in Panama, Calero was born in Nicaragua and Obama’s birthplace has not been verified.

He asks, “If the SOS’s role is clerical, then who is responsible for Roger Calero appearing on the ballots?”

Calero, born in Nicaragua, not only is not a “natural born citizen,” he isn’t even a citizen. He’s a resident alien who also appeared on numerous state ballots during the 2004 presidential election.

While the Socialist Workers Party was somehow qualified to place its candidate on the ballot in 10 states, five of those states refused to list Caldero on their ballots because he is not constitutionally qualified and substituted candidate James Harris, a “surrogate nominee.”

Denofrio states, “… had the U.S. legislature intended to grant ‘natural born citizen’ status to all who were born on U.S. soil, then the 14th Amendment would contain the words ‘natural born citizen,’ but it doesn’t … McCain was born in Panama. Panama is not considered U.S. soil, nor has it ever been considered as such.”

The Naturalization Act of 1790 stated, “… the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens ...”

However, Denofrio points out the Naturalization Act of 1795 specifically repealed the 1790 act and replaced it with the same clause except with the words “natural born” deleted.

Denofrio also quotes a section from the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual, which states, “Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to U.S. jurisdiction and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.”

Denofrio says McCain was neither born on U.S. soil, nor was he naturalized and is a citizen at birth by statute, which is also addressed in the Foreign Affairs Manual.

McCain is neither “natural born” nor naturalized, says Denofrio. Instead, he may claim citizenship from 8 USC 1402(a): “Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after Feb. 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.”

In other words, Denofrio states, “McCain is in the class of citizens who obtain their citizenship at birth, but not from the Constitution, but rather federal statute.”

The Foreign Affairs Manual also addresses the issue of eligibility for president as such: “It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural born citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore, eligible for the Presidency.”

As far as the issues surrounding Obama’s birth certificate are concerned, Denofrio states Obama has not been presented with a legal request from a party with proper standing to command him in any way, and therefore has no legal responsibility to produce one.

However, Denofrio says he believes if “Obama is presented with a legal request from a government authority sanctioned to make such request, that Senator Obama will respond accordingly and put the issue behind him forever.

“That being said, petitioner regretfully submits that since candidate Obama was born to a Kenyan father, he also is not eligible to the office of president since he is not a ‘natural born citizen’ by the Constitution.”

In conclusion Denofrio states had the legislature intended to grant “natural born citizen” status to all who were born on U.S. soil, the 14th Amendment would contain the words “natural born citizen.”

He said, “And so this proposition leads to the logical conclusion that a natural born citizen is a citizen born in the United States to parents, neither of which is an alien. Having an alien parent would tie such person at birth to the possibility of other loyalties and laws. And such a person, even if he is as loyal and devoted to this country as Senators Obama and McCain have proven to be, is not eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.”

Photo: Leo C. Denofrio, who retired his license to practice law to become a professional poker player, appears to have the most promising lawsuit challenging Obama and other candidates' eligibility to become President of the United States under constitutional requirement they be "natural born" citizens.
Courtesy photo