Judge tosses birther suit, threatens lawyer with sanctions
By Daniel Tencer
Published: September 16, 2009
Updated 5 hours ago
A federal judge in Georgia has threatened Orly Taitz, de facto leader of the birther movement, with sanctions if she ever brings another “frivolous” case before him, news reports say.
Judge Clay Land of the US District Court in Columbus, Georgia, threw out a case brought by US Army Captain Connie Rhodes, who earlier this month sued for the right to refuse deployment orders to Iraq, on the argument that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, President Barack Obama, was not born in the United States and is therefore not the legitimate head of the army.
According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Judge Clay stated in his ruling that the plaintiff “has presented no credible evidence and has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as president of the United States.”
The ruling continues: “Instead, she uses her complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the president is ‘an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.’”
As WTVM-TV in Columbus reported, the judge also stated that Rhodes’ attorney, birther leader Orly Taitz, “will be subject to counsel sanctions for bringing any future actions in his court which are similarly frivolous.”
The judge’s ruling represents a significant legal defeat for Taitz and the birther movement, which received a great deal of attention from the media this summer. Media watchdog groups specifically targeted CNN’s Lou Dobbs, who gave the discredited theory that Obama was not born in the United States a disproportionate amount of coverage, according to some observers.
Taitz was behind this summer’s release of a purported “Kenyan birth certificate” for President Obama, which was dated two years after the president’s 1961 birth date, and contradicted Hawaiian officials’ long-standing insistence that the president’s Hawaiian birth certificate is legitimate.
Judge Clay ruled that that document, which evidently formed the backbone of the plaintiff’s case, was illegitimate because Taitz’s organization paid money to acquire it, making it tantamount to bribery.
However, the legal actions challenging President Obama’s citizenship have not ended. A US District Court judge in California recently allowed another lawsuit challenging President Obama’s citizenship to go forward. This one, brought by Capt. Pamela Barnett, also involves Taitz. The first hearing is set for October, when the judge will review a motion to dismiss the case.
No Asterisks in this life, it's all about scoreboard - Ari Gold
In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Taitz said she would keep fighting if Rhodes wanted to, despite the judge's threat. "Listen, Nelson Mandela stayed in prison for years in order to get to the truth and justice," she said.
Talk about a wingnut.
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