John McCaslin

Jesse H. Merrell, who lives on Garfield Street in Washington, tells Inside the Beltway that a pair of deputy U.S. marshals paid him a visit last Friday after he had written a not-so-kind letter to U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson regarding President Obama's citizenship controversy.

Judge Robertson this month threw out a lawsuit questioning whether Mr. Obama was a native-born American citizen, and therefore qualified under the Constitution to be president.

The judge ruled that the eligibility question has been dragged through the mud long enough.

"The issue of the president's citizenship was raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and otherwise massaged by America's vigilant citizenry during Mr. Obama's two-year-campaign for the presidency, but this plaintiff wants it resolved by a court," Judge Robertson wrote when dismissing the case brought by Gregory Hollister, a retired Air Force colonel.

Mr. Merrell now reveals: "I was visited by two U.S. marshals ... after I had written a letter to Judge Robertson for his rant threatening sanctions over lawyers who filed a suit challenging Obama's right to be president over the 'natural born' citizen clause in the Constitution.

"I told them unless the First Amendment had been repealed, or they were going to arrest me, we had nothing to talk about."

Mr. Merrell says one of the marshals cited "some obscure law which made it illegal to say anything that caused 'emotional distress' to a federal judge."


If Republicans don't like newly approved pork-laden stimulus packages as cures to the country's economic ills, the Democratic Party is inviting them to come up with something better.

The Democratic National Committee has just launched the "Party of No" clock, highlighting the number of days, hours and minutes that Republicans have just said "no" rather than offering a "substantive alternative" to President Obama's proposals.

"Instead of joining Democrats in working to pass practical steps to confront the challenges we face, Republicans have been passing their time just saying 'no' to everything the president proposes," gripes DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.


Suffice it to say, actor John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld," "Dancing With the Stars," "Family Feud") is not in Washington this week to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

"I happen to hate the Irish cuisine," quips Mr. O'Hurley. "And you just don't say, 'Hey, tonight let's go out and dance Irish!' You just don't."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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