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.