WASHINGTON -- A small but determined band of conservative protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court Friday morning to pray the justices would invalidate Barack Obama's election.
The court was deciding whether it would hear oral arguments in Donofrio v. Wells, which argues that Obama's placement on the New Jersey presidential election ballot was invalid because he is not a natural born citizen. The justices are expected to dismiss the case.
Discussions with several of the 18 demonstrators who gathered despite freezing temperatures revealed disjointed, confusing and increasingly conspiratorial reasons for their presence. Several alleged varying degrees of a coverup to hide the circumstances surrounding Obama's birth; none were willing to accept the much simpler explanation that Obama was in fact a natural-born citizen eligible to be president.
If, as everyone expects, the Supreme Court decides not to hear the case challenging Obama's citizenship, it's unlikely this crowd will be satisfied. The citizenship skeptics may become the 9/11-was-an-inside-job crowd of the Obama era.
The essence of the case being appealed to the Supreme Court, Donofrio v. Wells, is that Obama does not meet the constitution's requirement that the president be a natural-born citizen because his Kenyan father was a British Citizen when Obama was born in 1961. Plaintiffs argue that Obama would have had dual US and British citizen when he was born, making him ineligible.
Roger Bredow, who traveled to Washington from Bethlehem, GA, helped organize the small protest. He said the case rests on an interpretation of Article II of the constitution and immigration laws written in 1790 and 1795.
He did acknowledge that citizenship laws had been substantially amended in the last two centuries. But, "The reason that you look at those is to determine the intent of the founding fathers," he said.
The citizenship questioners organized on fringeWeb sites and through YouTube videos. Several questioned why the mainstream media wasn't covering their conspiracy-mongering.
Pete Anderson, a retiree from Springfield, VA, spun a theory involving "staged backpack nukes already in this country" that were somehow involved in preventing the media from reporting on Obama's citizenship.
"There is a theory -- as crazy as it may seem -- that we are now in a state of siege," Anderson said.
It was tough to follow Anderson's logic, and even fellow demonstrators thought it was too far out there.
"I didn't bring my tinfoil hat," Bredow ribbed, cutting into our interview.
The two demonstrators went on to bicker between themselves over the true reasons for the media's silence.
Earlier Friday morning, the demonstrators prayed and said the pledge of allegiance.