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Birther Movement Suffers Standing Setback, Have 'No Redressable Claim'

By Robyn Hagan Cain on December 27, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Will the Birther Movement accept defeat after losing a challenge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals?

The Birther Movement, most famously represented by one-time presidential candidate Donald Trump, is fueled by people who doubt that President Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen, one of the constitutional criterions for presidency. Birthers claim that President Obama falsified his Hawaiian birth certificate, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Ninth Circuit has now dismissed the suit.

A group of Birther-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in a California federal court on January 20, 2009, the day Barack Obama was sworn in and took office as President of the United States. The plaintiffs are military personnel, politicians, private individuals, and a self-proclaimed relative of Barack Obama.

After dividing the plaintiffs into six categories, (active military personnel, former military personnel, state representatives, federal taxpayers, relatives of President Obama and political candidates in the 2008 election), the district court assumed that only the 2008 candidates could potentially demonstrate an injury-in-fact, before concluding that the 2008 candidates lacked standing.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Birthers' lack of standing, but for different reasons than the district court.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that the 2008 candidates did not have standing to pursue their claim after the 2008 election because their interest in running against a qualified candidate lapsed once the election was complete. Once the 2008 election was over, and President Obama was sworn in, the candidates were no longer "candidates" for the 2008 general election, therefore they did not present a redressable claim.

While the Birther Movement may have suffered a setback in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the 2012 election presents a new opportunity to bring redressable claims in Birther lawsuits. Will the Birthers view the 2012 election as a renewed opportunity to challenge the constitutionality of President Obama's candidacy?

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