From the January 2009 Idaho Observer:

Obama and Biden visit Supreme Court

On Wednesday, January 14, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden spent about an hour at the Supreme Court. They were invited by Chief Justice John Roberts to visit the Supreme Court. Obama and Biden met with Chief Justice John Roberts and seven other justices in a conference room for about 45 minutes, then toured the courtroom. Although Justice Alito was on the bench for two hours of argument earlier Wednesday morning, he was not present at the meeting with Obama/Biden. Reporters and photographers were not allowed in.

Obama and Biden voted against Roberts and Alito when their court nominations came before the Senate in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Roberts will administer Obamaís presidential oath and Justice John Paul Stevens, who has been on the Supreme Court during nine inaugurations, will swear in Biden.

Chief Justice Roberts sent a letter inviting Obama and Biden to meet before the inauguration.

Robertís letter noted that justices had occasionally met with incoming presidents and vice-presidents in the past. "The associate justices and I would be pleased to see that sporadic practice become a congenial tradition," Roberts said.

President George W. Bush did not visit the court before he took office eight years ago, but then the decisive case of Bush vs. Gore, by a 5-4 vote, ended the legal battle over the Florida election and threw the presidency to Bush.

Bill Clinton and his vice president-elect, Al Gore, visited the court in December, 1992. In November 1980, Ronald Reagan and his vice president-elect, George H. W. Bush, visited with justices.

Was Obama and Bidenís visit merely a cordial visit between the soon to be executive branch leaders and the highest level of the judicial branch? We wonít know, since not even the Supreme Court staff was allowed into the closed-door meeting.

The legal controversy surrounding Obamaís place of birth and his constitutional eligibility to hold the presidential office could not have been lost on the participants. With several cases already dismissed by the Supreme Court and numerous others pending in the lower courts, they all should be aware of the unresolved controversy. What subjects were discussed at this "in chambers" meeting?

"The invitation of Chief Justice Roberts for a behind-closed-door meeting with a man who is the subject of lawsuits coming before the Supreme Court concerning his eligibility to the office of president, was not only inappropriate but leaves questionable the judicial conduct of the justices with whom [Obama] and Biden met. Judges are to refrain from appearances of impropriety and partiality; from engaging in activities that compromise the mandate of an independent judiciary," said Lynn Stuter from

Many thousands of dollars have been spent by Obama and other defendants in the various lawsuits to dismiss the cases or suppress discovery of the facts at issue. Obama continues to refuse to produce the one document that would prove (or disprove) his eligibility to the office of presidentóhis long form, vault copy, Hawaiian birth certificate which could be obtained for a mere $12.50, if it exists.