Sunday, October 26, 2008

US Judge rejects Obama-born-in-Kenya claim

By KEVIN KELLEY, Nation Correspondent in the US

A US federal judge on Friday rejected a lawsuit claiming Senator Barack Obama is ineligible to seek the presidency because he was either born in Kenya or is a citizen of Indonesia.

The US Constitution requires that a person be born in the United States and be a citizen of the country in order to be eligible to serve as president.

Judge Richard Barclay Surrick ruled that Philip Berg, an attorney in the state of Pennsylvania, lacked standing to bring such a suit.

The claim filed by Mr Berg, a supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, is one of several desperate attempts by Senator Obama's opponents to block what appears to be his increasingly likely victory at the polls on November 4.

Segments of the US right wing will be disappointed by the court decision thwarting this move to depict Senator Obama as less than an authentic American.

Many of the same extremists have sought to link Senator Obama closely to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is portrayed by Obama-haters as both a communist and a supporter of radical Islam.

Senator Obama has posted on his campaign Website a birth certificate showing that he was born in the state of Hawaii in 1961 to Ann Dunham, an American woman, and Barack Obama Snr, a Kenyan who was studying at the University of Hawaii at the time. Following their divorce, Ms Dunham married an Indonesian man.

"I am totally disappointed by Judge Surrick's decision and, for all citizens of the United States, I am immediately appealing to the US Supreme Court," Mr Berg said in a statement following Friday's ruling.

It is not clear whether the Supreme Court will review Mr Berg's plea for a hearing prior to the November 4 election.

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