WASHINGTON (ABP) – The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Oct. 3 a challenge to Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president.
Justices refused without comment to review a February decision by the California Supreme Court dismissing a lawsuit that claimed election officials must determine the eligibility of candidates for president before putting their names on the ballot.
The refusal closes a challenge to Obama’s election by conservative activist Alan Keyes and other members of the American Independent Party including former Southern Baptist Convention second vice president Wiley Drake. In the case, Keyes v. Bowen, they contended that Obama isn’t eligible to be president because he was born outside the United States.
The case was one of dozens of “birther” suits that courts have dismissed on procedural grounds. Plaintiff attorney Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation is still hoping to argue the issue on its merits, however. A separate lawsuit, Drake v. Obama, is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and an appeal is certain whoever wins.
Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., was on the state’s 2000 ballot as a candidate for vice president of the United States. He, Keyes and party official Markham Robinson want Obama’s election invalidated, claiming he does not meet the constitutional requirement that the president be a “natural born citizen.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.