We learned a few days ago that Birther attorney Mario Apuzzo had passed over the weekend from complications associated with COVID-19. Apuzzo was 65 years old and had been hospitalized with COVID and pneumonia.
Apuzzo filed one of the early Birther lawsuits against then President Barack Obama on behalf a handful of plaintiffs as Obama was about to be inaugurated as the first black president in 2009. The lawsuit, Kerchner v Obama, was of course dismissed at the district court level and failed on appeal to the 3rd Circuit and in the Supreme Court.
You can read Mario Apuzzo’s obituary here. Apparently he was quite active in his local Italian American community.
Apuzzo was the second or third attorney (Orly Taitz may have been the second but Orly was such a copycat it is difficult to tell) to use what was later described as the “two citizen parent” theory for the definition of the term natural-born citizen as used in article II of the US Constitution. New Jersey attorney Leo Donofrio had included this argument in a lawsuit filed in New Jersey about the time of the November 2008 election.
Birther blogs like the Post & Email are praising Apuzzo as an “expert Constitutional attorney”. Let’s get that straight. Apuzzo was no expert on the Constitution. He tried to argue on his blog, in comment streams, and in actual cases his theory that to be eligible to be president one had to have two US citizen parents. He lost every case in which in tried to make this argument.
Apuzzo never wrote or published a single article in a reputable, vetted, law journal. The overwhelming majority of real constitutional experts disagreed with him. In short, he pushed a crackpot theory not accepted by real experts. His appeal in the dismissed Kerchner v Obama case in the Third Circuit was ruled to be frivolous. It was only after Apuzzo groveled before the court in a response to the OSC that monetary sanctions were waived. The ruling that the appeal was frivolous stood.