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Monday, April 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Birthers Lack Standing to Fight Obama, Court Says

(CN) - The 9th Circuit doomed another challenge to President Barack Obama's citizenship on Thursday, finding that none of the so-called birthers could show an actual injury.

Including active members of the military, state-level elected officials, an alleged member of Obama's family and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, the plaintiffs claimed in a 2009 lawsuit that Obama was ineligible to be president because he was not a U.S. citizen.

U.S. District Judge David Carter dismissed the complaint in California after finding that none of the plaintiffs had standing to sue. A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court affirmed unanimously from Pasadena on Thursday.

Lt. Jason Freese, an active military plaintiff, argued that he and other soldiers could show injury because he "would face disciplinary action by the military" if he or other soldiers were to "refuse to follow President Obama's orders, despite his ineligibility for the presidency," according to the ruling.

The panel found this and all of the various plaintiffs' other arguments unconvincing.

"The notion that he will be disciplined by the military for obeying President Obama's orders is entirely speculative," Judge Harry Pregerson wrote for the court. "He might be disciplined for disobeying those orders, but he has an 'available course of action which subjects [him] to no concrete adverse consequences' - he can obey the orders of the commander-in-chief. In the absence of a concrete injury, Freese asserts nothing more than an abstract constitutional grievance that, far from being particularized to him, is shared by all citizens generally." (Emphasis in original.)

The judges similarly rejected arguments for standing put forth by Keyes and other candidates in the 2008 presidential election.

"They cannot claim competitive standing because they were no longer candidates when they filed their complaint," Pregerson wrote.

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