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US Federal Judge Fines anti-Obama 'birther' attorney $20K

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Shamu, Oct 16, 2009.

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    Shamu JF-Expert Member

    Oct 16, 2009
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    Federal judge fines anti-Obama 'birther' attorney $20K

    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]By The Associated Press [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]10.15.09 [/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]COLUMBUS, Ga. - A federal judge fined a leader of the movement challenging President Barack Obama's citizenship and warned her against using the legal system to pursue "political rhetoric and insults."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land's scathing 43-page order said California lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz filed "frivolous" litigation and attempted to misuse the federal courts to push a political agenda.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Taitz, a leader of the so-called birther movement, sued in Georgia federal court on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes. Rhodes sought to avoid deployment to Iraq by claiming Obama wasn't born in the U.S. and that he was "an illegal usurper, unlawful pretender and unqualified impostor."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Documents show the president was born in Hawaii.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Land, appointed in 2001 by President George W. Bush, had already dismissed the lawsuit, but Taitz continued filing motions. He said he fined her $20,000 "as a deterrent to prevent future misconduct and to protect the integrity of the court."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]"The absolute absence of any legitimate legal argument, combined with the political diatribe in her motions, demonstrates that Ms. Taitz's purpose is to advance a political agenda and not to pursue a legitimate legal cause of action," Land wrote in Rhodes v. MacDonald.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]He added that while Taitz's speech is protected by the First Amendment, "the federal courts are reserved for hearing genuine legal disputes, not as a platform for political rhetoric and insults."[/FONT]