After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press.

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Dec. 9 2008 11:44 AM

Case Not Closed

After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

For the lawyers, radio hosts, and denizens of the Internet who want Barack Obama to be disqualified from the presidency, it was Black Monday. The Supreme Court had finally read Donofrio v. Wells, the lawsuit that accuses both Obama and John McCain of lacking "natural born citizenship." The court dismissed it. Its denial of cert was so curt—"The application for stay addressed to Justice Thomas and referred to court is denied"—that you might have thought the case had blown across a receptionist's desk and been filed by accident.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

"Yes, they didn't take it to the next level of full briefs and oral argument," Donofrio wrote on his blog after the news came in. "But they certainly heard the case and read the issues. … Getting the case to the full Court for such consideration was my goal."

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That was not what Donofrio's supporters had wanted. On Friday, about two dozen of them gathered outside the Supreme Court to talk to reporters, wave flags, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of them questioned whether they could prosecute Obama for spending "foreign money" they alleged had been donated to his campaign. One questioned whether Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was the president-elect's real father or whether his real filial relationship to Frank Marshall Davis or Malcolm X had been covered up.

"There aren't a lot of people out here today," admitted Steve Brindle, a Pennsylvanian huddling in the cold. "There are a lot of people talking about this back home. Really, everyone's asking questions."

Robert Schulz, whose We the People Foundation had bought full-page newspaper ads questioning Obama's citizenship, was ready for the high court outcome. On Monday afternoon he asked Donofrio and two other lawyers with outstanding suits about Obama to come to the National Press Club to discuss their next steps. Donofrio didn't show, but Pennsylvania attorney (and occasional 9/11 skeptic) Philip J. Berg joined California attorney Orly Taitz at the podium of the club's Murrow room.

The room filled up early: About half of the small room's overflow crowd consisted of worried Obama skeptics who gasped and nodded at the testimonies of the attorneys and their litanies of facts that the press had covered up. Most members of the media were, themselves, part of the Obama Truth squad. Shelli Baker, the host of AM radio's Morning Song, spent five minutes unspooling a theory that tied Obama to Arab sheiks and world government. "I would be willing to testify," said Baker, "that, indeed, the media has been corrupted by foreign oil money."

Thus corrupted, reporters spent two full hours listening to Schultz, Berg, and Taitz describe their allegations accusing Obama of document forgery, arrogance, radical ties, and "foreign allegiance" to Kenya. "This is the largest hoax in 200 years," said Berg. "Obama knows where he was born. He knows he was adopted in Indonesia. Obama places our Constitution in a crisis situation, and Obama is in a situation where he can be blackmailed by leaders around the world who know he is not qualified."

Taitz, one of the lawyers representing Alan Keyes in his suit to stop California electors from voting for Obama next week, argued that her client had been injured by Obama's hoax—he was on the ballot in California and had to compete against a fake candidate. (Keyes won 0.4 percent of the vote there.)

"I was born in the former Soviet Union," Taitz said. "I have to tell you, one of the reasons I am so up in arms about this case is that during this election, the media in the United States was worse than Communist Russia."

"You guys have been traveling with him for two years!" Berg said, white knuckles gripping his podium. "You guys have access. Someone could stand up and say where's your birth certificate? What's your status in Indonesia?"

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