As I noted previously, Philip Berg petitioned on October 30 to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari in regard to his citizenship challenge against Barack Obama. Mr. Berg also asked the Supreme Court to stay the election in order that Mr. Obama’s citizenship could be verified. As we all know, Justice David Souter denied the request to stay the election but curiously did not dismiss the application for certiorari. Instead in accord with Supreme Court rules, December 1 was set as the deadline for President-elect Obama, the DNC and the FEC to respond to Berg’s writ. Because the Supreme Court docket 08-570 indicated that the defendants had until December 1 to respond to Berg’s application, some bloggers have erroneously proclaimed that Obama has until December 1 to produce his birth certificate. Not so. He might respond but then again he could choose not to do so.
Yesterday, I spoke with Patricia Estrada, spokeswoman for the Supreme Court, who filled in some additional details. She clarified that none of the defendants are required to file a brief in response. She also indicated that about 10,000 certiorari petitions are filed per year and under 100 are granted and then argued by the full court.
I then called the Office of the Solicitor General to ask if a response was planned by December 1. Evan Peterson emailed the following statement.
Under the Supreme Court rules, the government has until Dec. 1 to respond to the petition for certiorari. No decision has been made as to whether or when the government will file a response.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
So Mr. Berg’s odds don’t look good and it is unclear if the Solicitor General will get involved. If the Justices grant certiorari (review), I suspect it would be on the question of whether Berg had standing as a citizen to bring suit challenging the citizenship of Obama. As I understand it, then the case would go back to the District Court for trial.
UPDATE: Berg has an ad in this week’s Washington Times weekly magazine asking for donations and people to call their Congressional representatives over Obama’s citizenship.