Conferences are private meetings of the justices at which they review cases and decide which ones to accept for formal review. This case is set for a conference Dec. 5, just 10 days before the Electoral College is scheduled to meet to make formal the election of Obama as the nation's next president.
The Supreme Court's website listed the date for the case brought by Leo C. Donofrio against Nina Wells, the secretary of state in New Jersey, over not only Obama's name on the 2008 election ballot but those of two others, Sen. John McCain and Roger Calero.
The case, unsuccessful at the state level, had been submitted to Justice David Souter, who rejected it. The case then was resubmitted to Justice Clarence Thomas. The next line on the court's docket says: "DISTRIBUTED for Conference of December 5, 2008."
If four of the nine justices vote to hear the case in full, oral argument may be scheduled.
According to America's Right blogger Jeff Schreiber, a development in a second case presented to the Supreme Court on the same issue.
The Federal Election Commission now has waived its right to respond to a complaint brought by attorney Philip Berg.
"There are a number of reasons why the respondents here would choose not to respond. First, because the court only grants between 70 and 120 of the 8,000 or so petitions it receives every year, perhaps they just liked their odds of Berg's petition getting denied. Second, because they have made arguments as to Berg's lack of standing several times at the district court level and beyond, perhaps they felt as though any arguments had already been made and were available on the record. Or, perhaps the waiver shows that the FEC and other respondents do not take seriously the allegations put forth by Berg, and did not wish to legitimize the claims with a response," the blogger speculated.
"Another thing which is not completely clear is whether the FEC is filing for itself or on behalf of all respondents," he added.
"If it were just the FEC filing the waiver, I must say that I'm surprised," Berg told America's Right. "I'm surprised because I think they should take the position that the Supreme Court should grant standing to us. I think they have a responsibility not only to Phil Berg, but to all citizens of this country, to put forth a sense of balance which otherwise doesn't seem to exist.
"However, if this was filed by the FEC on behalf of the DNC and Barack Obama too, it reeks of collusion," he said, noting that the attorney from the Solicitor General's office should be representing federal respondents and not the DNC or Obama.
But he noted that "questions surrounding this aspect of Obama's candidacy are seemingly beginning to see the light of day."