What if Obama really was born in Kenya?

Even if someone could establish standing for such a case, the courts might refuse to hear it under a prudential limitation called the political question doctrine. This states that courts will not settle questions that the Constitution clearly assigns to other branches. Because Congress can challenge the president’s credentials during the vote-counting process and impeach him at any time, presidential eligibility is a classic political question. (Before the Inauguration, some argued that state courts, which operate under different rules from federal courts, might hear cases challenging the candidates’ eligibility to appear on state ballots. This is highly unlikely now that Congress has ratified the election results.)

Of course, Congress could always vote to impeach Obama. In the words of then-Rep. Gerald Ford, R-Mich., during his attempt to impeach Justice William Douglas for questionable financial dealings, “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers [it] to be at a given moment in history.” Just as the political question doctrine would prevent Orly Taitz from removing Obama from office, it would stop him from challenging his impeachment in court. (Impeachment would not invalidate the actions Obama took while in office.)