UPDATED: Open Thread on Donofrio v. Wells, cert. denied, 55_ U.S. ___ (2008)

The PUMAs, conspiracy theorists, and election denialists of the world continue to bemoan a constitutional crisis that will never come, and wait with bated breath to see whether the Supreme Court will, after a conference, accept appellate review of Leo Donofrio’s state-law claim that the New Jersey Secretary of State failed to appropriately vet the eligibility of President-Elect Obama. Per SCOTUS’ website, the cert. conference is set for today… but per SCOTUSblog, a website run by appellate advocates and professional Court-watchers, Donofrio v. Wells is nowhere on today’s docket.

I have a theory as to what that means, and here’s a hint: “in the matter of Donofrio v. Wells, Docket #08A407, certiorari denied without opinion.”

Expect a full admission this afternoon, from Leo Donofrio, that his case was denied, dismissed, etc., etc. We’ll report on it as it happens. In the meantime, if you’re new to this controversy, read some of our prior articles:

  • Amateur historian and neo-confederate “JudahBenjamin,” who’s spent a good long while speculating as to why President-Elect Obama may be ineligible to serve, has wasted his life.
  • Leo Donofrio, the aforementioned pro-se (self represented) litigant pushing a similar claim on SCOTUS, suffers from similar failings. You know what they say: a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client…
  • Even assuming his claim had merit, it likely falls outside the field of SCOTUS’ appellate review, as it derives from state law, making his defeat at the New Jersey Supreme Court final.

Oh, and one more thing. You should probably take this case no more seriously than the defendant (NJ Secretary of State Wells) and the party in interest (Barack Obama) take it. Obama declined to exercise his right to intervene and brief the case as an amicus. Mrs. Wells submitted a five-page letter as her brief. In other words, they’re not worried. Just saying…

UPDATE: per Loquitor (commenting below), the Court today granted certiorari in two cases – guess what’s not on the list? We can therefore assume the Court denied certiorari, permanently ending Donofrio’s quest to tilt at this particular windmill. Shocking.

In *more interesting* news, the Court (unsurprisingly) took certiorari of Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli, a case that poses the question of whether the President can permanently detain legal U.S. residents without charge. I’ll say no… the Fourth Circuit said no, too, at least not without due process. Unlike Donofrio’s case, the plaintiff in Al-Marri (Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri) actually suffered a real injury, poses a legal question that won’t waste the Supreme Court’s time, and engages the attention of real lawyers. Donofrio should take notes.



  1. I don’t see it as a liberal/conservative issue…. rather, it strikes me as a living in reality/denialist issue.

  2. Berg and Donofrio’s cases are not on
    today’s “cert granted” list:


  3. Thanks so much! That’s good news :)

  4. Second Cousin of Sam · ·

    What…what’s that, Scraps? Obama is a member of the Nation of Islam? I’ll alert the media right away!

  5. Hmm… having read through most of the comments on your other post about this issue, I doubt this will quell the noise.
    On the other hand, this thread will be just as entertaining!!!

  6. Speaking about reality, there’s still no 8definitive proof* of where BHO was born:


    That doesn’t mean he wasn’t born there, but it does mean that those who say where he was born is known are liars and/or delusional.

  7. 24Ahead: does that mean that the doctor that testified he was there, and the birth announcement in Hawaii, were also parts of a huge conspiracy, begun the second of his birth, to get him into the Oval Office?

    Also, WSJ Law Blog agrees with me: CERT DENIED.

  8. [T]hose who say where he was born is known are liars and/or delusional.

    Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s known. How’s that?

    Just for symmetry, let me add another premise:

    In the world of actual events (and there is only one such world, so don’t even think of starting a “that’s your opinion” defense, me boyo), should it turn out (as it will) that Obama was born where and when he says he was, anyone who gave time and mindspace to loony theories about his birth certificate will be marked not as “liars and/or delusional” but as pathetically, perpetually, irrelevantly, completely, batshit fucking insane.

    Remember: this goes on your permanent record.

  9. And. lest we promote a mistaken impression here, Ames has never to my knowledge given me or anyone else permission to curse freely on this site. It’s a revocable privilege, not a right.

    I can only plead that the stupid, it burns so terribly …

  10. It’s news to me that there’s a doctor who testified he was present at BHO’s birth. Does anyone have, you know, a credible source for that?

    And, the announcement didn’t say where BHO was born.

    Once again, no one has ever provided any *definitive proof* that BHO was born in HI.

  11. 24AheadDotCom… what would this “definitive proof” you’re demanding look like? I mean, is there something specific you’re looking for?

  12. FroO!!!!!! Well, Didionsmommy passed me this article on the whole birth certificate thing. Executive summary: nothing will convince them. We’ll be hearing about this for years.

  13. 24Ahead: No one has ever or could ever provide proof that you are not Satan. Therefore by your logic it is reasonable for me to assume that you are.

  14. 24Ahead: Sorry, I meant to say definitive proof. Please explain to me what definitive proof you can provide that you are not Satan. There is certainly no official document or government agency that has said you are not.

    Your argument requires everyone to believe that both Obama and the State of Hawaii are lying about Obama’s birth. My argument that you might be Satan requires no such conspiracy and has no contrary evidence. It is therefore superior to your argument against Obama.

  15. StrangeAppar8us · ·

    Indeed. And Donofrio’s filing stipulates that Obama WAS born in Hawaii and that his COLB is verifiably accurate…thereby conceding 90% of the Berg and Wrotnowski arguments. Oopa!

    And HIS filing was supposed to be the one with the greatest traction. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk.

    Oh, well. The Freepers and PUMAtoids won’t concede this till Monday. And, even, then, there’s sure to be some “But, but, but…” slip’n’slide of watery logic that will keep hope alive through Dec. 15…and Jan. 20…and 2012…and 2016.

    Dumb springs eternal.

  16. Actually, there’s no proof that Obama was BORN at all. Why should we believe he’s not actually a man-eating shapeshifting lizard-creature from the fifth dimension, just like our LAST few Presidents?


  17. I’m fairly convinced that Obama’s secretly a Founder, just shape-shifted to look like an American President.

    Any Star Trek fans out there?

  18. He is probably qualified, but why would he spend $1,000,000. on lawyers to keep the BC secret? What is he hiding?

  19. Scruz- he’s not. He has counsel for the campaign, but they haven’t put any work into the Berg/Donofrio cases. He didn’t even defend in either case.

  20. Executive summary: nothing will convince them. We’ll be hearing about this for years.

    Indeed. The folks who think Oswald wasn’t the only gunman show no signs of stopping – going strong since 1963; the Moon landing hoax crowd, 1969. As Phil Plait said, it won’t matter if we have a Moon colony in the future, they’ll still claim the first landing was staged. The 9/11 Truthers have settled down to a dull roar since 2001, but they’re as deeply entrenched as any of them, especially on Facebook and other internet communities. Long after you and I have passed on, there will be some Birthers, somewhere, insisting the Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen.

  21. lol Didn’t McCain have to show proof of eligibility? The panama canal thing,right? Dont remember him hiring four law firms to get that bad boy and prove his eligibility,Do you? Ames? Comment number 8 seems so sure this will all be cleared up by Barrack.In fact he is so sure he just can’t understand why Barrack should have to show a B.C. even if McCain did.After all Barrack is the Massia now isn’t he ames?(Who comes first the messia or the antimessia Ames?:)
    Oh hell Ames is more than likely real ignorant or just doin his job lol.

    Funny how I need A B.C. to renew my D.L. but bucko needs squat to be prez.Wake up dumb ass’s

    Red :)

  22. lern 2 spell, n00b.

    (Seriously. Spellcheck is your friend.)

  23. Just wondering. Is Donofrio of the opinion that we will need to review (and rescind) every decision, act and “illegally” official action of the four US Presidents born after the Constitution who had a foreign born parent? Or is this just limited to President-elect Obama? Or did he even consider the consequences of this specious argument?

  24. I was wondering that myself! It looks like Arthur appointed Justices Blatchford and Gray. Their appointments were clearly invalid; ironically, Justice Gray wrote U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, which the Obama denialists rely upon heavily. Since Gray was invalid, that opinion, which he wrote is also invalid. So, oddly, maybe Arthur WAS a citizen, meaning… owww. My head….

  25. […] went as far as to push a poorly-pled lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was presumed rejected as of Friday. For real court-watchers, though, Friday’s news was much bigger, with significantly more […]

  26. […] went as far as to push a poorly-pled lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was presumed rejected as of Friday rejected. For real court-watchers, though, Friday’s news was much bigger, with significantly […]

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