As some of you might recall, I've been keeping tabs on some of the continuing court antics of Dentist/Lawyer Orly Taitz, High Priestess of the Birther Movement. Her frivolous court filings - which start out at chiropteran excrement insane and go downhill from there - have been providing me with a great deal of entertainment lately. Of course, that's at least partially because I don't actually have to waste time and effort responding to them, and can stop reading them anytime I want (really, I can).
Apparently, not everyone has been as amused by Taitz's apparent inability to grasp subtle nuances of legal procedure (such as the inadvisability of responding to a contempt citation by accusing the judge of treason). Judge Clay Land, of the US District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, has just weighed in on her conduct, and he certainly doesn't seem to be as amused as I am.
If you've been keeping score, you might remember that Land recently ordered Taitz to show cause as to why he should not fine her $10,000. I suppose you could say that she succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations, because Land declined to fine her the $10K. She's on the hook for $20,000 instead. Land justifies this decision in a 43-page ruling that certainly pulls no punches.
I've pulled some of the more remarkable quotes from the ruling for your enlightenment and entertainment. It looks to me like the man certainly has a good grasp of the situation.
Addressing Taitz's demand that he recuse himself, Land writes:
Counsel therefore seeks to burden the federal judiciary further by having another judge subjected to her unprofessional conduct and by prolonging the inevitable with an unjustified extension of time to respond to the show cause order. (p.11)
Regarding the timeliness of the affidavit demanding recusal, Land writes:
Counsel had ample opportunity to seek removal of the undersigned prior to the undersigned's devotion of substantial time to this matter. The Court observes that after the Court ruled against counsel's claims in the Cook case and before she filed the present action, counsel filed no affidavit pursuant to § 144 that the Court possessed a personal bias warranting disqualification. After the Court held a hearing in the Rhodes case but before a ruling was made, no § 144 affidavit was submitted. Even when counsel filed her motion for reconsideration, in which she accused the Court of treason, she did not file a § 144 affidavit. Only after the Court devoted substantial time to this case and ultimately found counsel's conduct sanctionable, ordering her to show cause why she should not be subjected to a financial sanction, did she file her § 144 affidavit. (pp. 14-15)
Responding to Taitz's assertion that his ownership of Microsoft and Comcast stock creates a financial conflict of interest, Land points out that:
Thus, the legal matter from which counsel seeks recusal of the undersigned is the sanctions proceeding against her. While that proceeding will certainly affect Ms. Taitz's financial condition, it is fantasy to suggest that these proceedings will in any way affect the fortunes of Microsoft and Comcast. Furthermore, counsel's suggestion--that if she were to succeed on her frivolous claim, and as a result the President were removed from office, that these two companies would suffer as a result-is so speculative and ridiculous that it is not worthy of additional comment. The Court must nevertheless remind counsel that she has been fired by her former client, who has made it clear that she no longer wishes to pursue the matter. Therefore, counsel cannot possibly succeed on her main claim that she maintains would topple Microsoft and Comcast because she has no means to appeal the Court's dismissal of that claim. (p. 18)
Replying to Taitz's complaints about the speed of his rulings:
Counsel's contention that the expedited nature of the Court's rulings demonstrates that the Court had prejudged the case is laughable. First, as the Court has noted previously, counsel sought expedited consideration. She sought an injunction enjoining the U.S. Army from deploying her client, which was to occur within days of the filing of her Complaint. Yes, the Court ruled quickly. Had the Court not done so, counsel undoubtedly would have accused the Court of some conspiracy to delay ruling until after the deployment had occurred.
Land on one of Orly's more self-serving comparisons:
To suggest that an Army officer, who has received a medical education at the expense of the government and then seeks to avoid deployment based upon speculation that the President is not a natural born citizen, is equivalent to a young child, who is forced to attend an inferior segregated school based solely on the color of her skin, demonstrates an appalling lack of knowledge of the history of this Country and the importance of the civil rights movement. Counsel's attempt to align herself with Justice Marshall appears to be an act of desperation rather than one of admiration. For if counsel truly admired Justice Marshall's achievements, she would not seek to cheapen them with such inapt comparisons. (p. 23)
For those of us who might think (or, perhaps, hope) that Orly Taitz lies at the outer limits of lunatic wingnuttery, Land provides a sobering glimpse of things that dwell beyond even Taitz's realm of fantasy:
Although counsel's present concern is the location of the President's birth, it does not take much imagination to extend the theory to his birthday. Perhaps, he looks "too young" to be President, and he says he stopped counting birthdays when he reached age thirty. If he refused to admit publicly that he is older than the constitutional minimum age of thirty-five, should Ms. Taitz be allowed to file a lawsuit and have a court order him to produce his birth certificate? See U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 4. Or perhaps an eccentric citizen has become convinced that the President is an alien from Mars, and the courts should order DNA testing to enforce the Constitution.(7)
(7) The Court does not make this observation simply as a rhetorical device for emphasis; the Court has actually received correspondence assailing its previous order in which the sender, who, incidentally, challenged the undersigned to a "round of fisticuffs on the Courthouse Square," asserted that the President is not human. (p. 27)
Returning to the matter of Taitz's complaint about the speed with which the expedited ruling she had requested was handed down, Land notes:
Her argument that she should have been given more time to respond before the Court issued its ruling, when she had requested the expedited consideration, is so shockingly devoid of reality that it is difficult to know how to respond. (p.30)
Another gem comes on page 32:
Her response to the Court's show cause order is breathtaking in its arrogance and borders on delusional.
Back on the topic of the Marshall comparison:
Defiantly defending the "position of the patriots," she scoffs at the notion that a federal court would consider sanctioning her when she is on the side of such freedom fighters as the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, a comparison that, if accepted, would disgrace Justice Marshall's singular achievements. (p.32-33)
And, at the end of the order, there's this final little slap:
The Court further directs the Clerk of this Court to send a copy of this Order to the State Bar of California, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, for whatever use it deems appropriate.
Reading the order, it seems to me that Judge Land has every intention to insure that Taitz pays her fine. I hope for her sake that her friends in the looney bin birther movement can help her raise the funds.