August 16th, 2010
01:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Justices reject appeal over fine of 'birther' attorney

The Supreme Court has allowed a California lawyer-dentist to be fined $20,000 in a case that questioned President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship.
The Supreme Court has allowed a California lawyer-dentist to be fined $20,000 in a case that questioned President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship.

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has allowed a California lawyer-dentist to be fined $20,000 in a case that questioned President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship.

The justices, in a brief order Monday, declined to stay a federal judge's motion last October against Orly Taitz, an outspoken figure in the "birther" movement.

Taitz had represented Capt. Connie Rhodes, an Army physician from Columbus, Georgia, who protested her pending deployment to Iraq. Taitz had argued in court the deployment was illegal because Obama had no authority to act as commander in chief since he was unconstitutionally serving as president.


A motion for a restraining order was ultimately rejected by Judge Clay Land of the Middle District of Georgia. According to court records, Taitz then filed for a rehearing, and publicly labeled the ruling an "act of treason."

Rhodes later said that second motion, which also was rejected, was filed without her consent. Land then ruled the lawyer had filed "frivolous" litigation, had abused the civil judicial process, and fined her.

"Counsel's pattern of conduct conclusively establishes she did not mistakenly violate a provision of law," wrote Land. "She knowingly violated Rule 11 [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure]. Her response to the court's show cause order is breathtaking in its arrogance and borders on delusional."

The judge also said Taitz was promoting a political agenda.

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati turned aside Taitz's subsequent motion for relief. She then filed an emergency stay of application to Justice Clarence Thomas. The 49-year-old Moldovan native argued in her application that "Land's order can only be characterized as a legal 'hit job.' Land really wanted to deter any further legal actions against Obama."

Thomas refused to intervene, so Taitz refiled the request to fellow conservative Samuel Alito. He referred the matter to the entire court, which also rejected the appeal.

The high court and other courts had dismissed earlier, unrelated lawsuits from individuals questioning Obama's citizenship. State birth certificate records show he was born August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

His mother is a native of Kansas; his father was born in Kenya.

Among the claims of various "birther" movement organizers are that the president was born in Kenya or Indonesia; that his birth certificate is a forgery; and that he had dual American-British citizenship at birth because of his father's Kenyan heritage and therefore is not a "natural born" citizen, as is required to be eligible for president under the U.S. Constitution.

.The case is Taitz v. MacDonald (10A56).


Filed under: Orly Taitz • President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. republicans hate america

    there you go now shut up and go to iraq which you no doubt supported when the previous dimwit president ordered everyone else to go.

    August 16, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Lynn

    Is Orly Taitz even a legal American citizen? She was born in Russia and says she became an American citizen, but let her prove it, She's another one who loves the spotlight.

    August 16, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. S.positive

    What a FOOL...

    August 16, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. S.positive

    It one thing to talk stupid, it is another thing to Act $20,000 STUPID...

    August 16, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. ....

    I cannot believe this has gone as far as it has with this retarded woman waste our taxpayer money on this garbage! she should pay for that as well! and the only one who's citizenship should be questioned is hers! does she not realize she is born to immigrant americans hereself? what a complete moron

    August 16, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. David in Houston

    Dang...the GObP must be sending out free tin-foil hats with its campaign donation requests!

    These loons are laughable at best!

    America...gotta love it!

    August 16, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Iraida Rivero

    The only thing I can say is "we are definitely in deep, deep trouble" when even the Supreme Court is avoiding the issue. But let's face it, who made the law in favor of the 1) "homeless" 2) Proposition presented by Mr. Wilson, and which the citizens overwhelmenly voted in favor, and the Supreme Court reversed the law, and completely disregarded the peoples vote, so much "for the people" "by the people" and 3) emminent domain, therefore, it is not surprising, that they would not have the fortitude or integrity to do the right thing. It is required by the law to show the proof of natural born, but I guess Obama for some mysterious motive is above the law, with the blessing of our politicians and what is worse the ultimate in our law "Supreme Court". I wonder how long before they declare total communism. May God have mercy on the USA, and its citizens.
    r.

    August 16, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Joe

    None of this nonsense would happen if Obama was white. The whole birther silliness is a proxy for the inability of racists to cope with the fact that a black man is in the white house. I'm glad the Supreme Court slapped this down. Not that it will stop the crazies, of course.

    August 16, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Thomas refused to intervene, so Taitz refiled the request to fellow conservative Samuel Alito. He referred the matter to the entire court, which also rejected the appeal. "

    It is important to note her response to Thomas' decision not to entertain her nonsense: she questioned whether the signature on it was really Thomas' signature. Sound like familiar "reasoning"?

    Taitz constitutes the epitome of conservative "thought" in America today...if you don't like a fact or the evidence poses a threat to your ideological insistence that the world work the way you tell it to, then deny deny deny, pretend that fact or evidence doesn't exist or isn't real and then invent an illogical conspiracy to irrationally explain it all away.

    August 16, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. GOP = Scorched-Earth Politics

    Lawyer-Dentist? What kind of business is this clown trying to run? Especially considering how many lawyers and dentists file bogus cases and rip-off consumers.

    August 16, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. me

    The irony in this is that President Obama is someone who has had a passport since his early childhood. This is someone who has had to state and prove his country of birth to the US gov't for nearly his whole life. Personally, I'd like Orly Taitz to show what planet she's from!

    August 16, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. rdepontb

    Orly, you had only to file your grievance at FoxNews. That should have taken care of things, right? They are plugged into the other birthers, who would have given you support, who would have come out of the woodwork to join you. You missed your chance!

    August 16, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. steven harnack

    That's right! Hit them in the wallet for these frivolous lawsuits and nuisance cases. Once again Republicans say one thing(against wasting the court's time) and do the opposite(waste court's time re birthers and gay marriage) but then as their intellectual Newt says, they don't need to live by their words, it's just that they were anointed to say the words to everyone else.

    August 16, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. GOP = "I hope he fails"

    “Borders on the delusional.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    For your reading enjoyment, I compiled a list of only a few items on the conservative alternative reality list.

    THE ALTERNATIVE REALITY
    o Where President Obama faked his own birth in Hawaii
    o Where Hitler was a liberal, and Thomas Jefferson an evangelical Christian
    o Where climate change is a hoax
    o Where evolution is a lie
    o Where you choose to be gay
    o Where “swift boaters” are on to John Kerry for lying about his military record.
    o Where the Senate parliamentarian is biased, and the Republican Party is unbiased
    o Where “the media” is biased, but FOX “News” is fair and balanced (we report you decide)
    o Where Sarah Palin writing notes on her hand is the same as Obama using a teleprompter
    o Where cutting taxes leads to an increase in government receipts.
    o Where the poor take advantage of the wealthy, and blacks victimize whites
    o Where the Bible is inerrant and liberal scientist are covering up evidence of the great flood
    o Where guns are needed to keep the government from taking over (Skeeter & Junior vs. the U.S. Armed Forces)
    o Where Oral Roberts heals stuff....but still dies
    o Where terrorist are planting pregnant women in America to birth a new generation of American citizen/terrorists.
    o Where every other religion is a lie, but Christianity the absolute, unaltered truth.

    August 16, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Delusional crackheads lose again.

    August 16, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. DJ in TX

    Even the "conservative" Supreme Court is dismissing this "birther" notion. Time to let it go. Any politician going that route does not deserve the office they are running for.

    BTW – all this happened in Georgia – a conservative state and they didn't listen to this nutjob. Clarence Thomas – a staunch conservative; Alito – conservative, both declined to rule. Alito sent it to the entire court and it was soundly rejected. Enough said!!

    August 16, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Hendrik

    Orly Taitz, one of the prominent faces of the Republican party. Where, oh where, are we going? This is scary stuff.

    August 16, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Jamie from Riverside

    Poor Orly. So where does an unstable, frivolous lawsuit birther go from here now that she's been slapped down by the Supreme Court?
    I see a job as a Fox News contributor coming up.

    August 16, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. MPeters

    So, let me get these arguments straight:
    1. Obama is not a citizen because he was born in Kenya. FACT: His mother is a citizen; regardless of his place of birth, Obama would therefore be an American citizen by virtue of his mother's citizenship alone.

    2. His birth certificate is a forgery. Please refer to Point #1. His place of birth does not matter as to whether he is a citizen. However, since there is a birth certificate from Hawaii that says he was there, as well as two newspaper articles, I think calling the entire state of Hawaii a liar and fraudulant is a lil extreme.

    3. Because he washe is a dual-citizen, be's not "natural born." Points #1 and 2 could also subject Obama to this argument, but as stated in Point 2, is it really fraudulant. Really? As for the fact that he's a dual citizenship...if a person happens to have Canadian Immigrant parents who legally immigrated and nationalized themselves, had a child, who was a dual citizen (because Canada recognizes the child as a citizen by virtue of his parents being citizens) does the fact that the child is a dual citizen, but born in America and raised here his entire life, make that child ineligible to be President. No. And the fact that he spent 5 years in Indonesia doesn't matter either, children of American diplomats do that all the time, and I should hope that "living abroad" doesn't disqualify someone as "natural born."

    As an Aside: HECK YEAH RULE 11!!! My first year Civil ProCedure law professor would be so proud. =)

    August 16, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Marie MD

    What some people won't do to get out of doing their military duty. What I find funny (NOT!) is that she's not even an American born citizen!! Send her back to wherever she came from.

    August 16, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. CHUCK

    Looks like Captain Rhodes does not want to deploy. Here we go. Now anyone that not want to deploy will be trying to use the same argument. It's starting to spread. Before long our battlefield troops will be saying the same thing. There are way too many senior officers hiring lawyers and disobeying orders.

    August 16, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Conservative Democrat

    Another example of the Republicans ignoring the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings when the decisions don't suit them.

    August 16, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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