COLUMBUS, Ga. — Orly Taitz, the so-called "birther" attorney who’s led charges across the country against President Barack Obama's legitimacy to hold office, continues to defy a federal court order to pay $20,000 in sanctions and to challenge the judicial system.
The California attorney/dentist/real estate agent has risen to the national stage with her arguments that Obama can't be the president because he wasn't born in America.
Two of her cases in Columbus challenging Obama's legitimacy to hold office were tossed out by U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land. Then her second client, Capt. Connie Rhodes, wrote a letter to the court in September 2009 claiming that Taitz exceeded her authority as an attorney and that she no longer wanted the California lawyer to represent her.
Taitz kept pushing the issue of Obama’s legitimacy with Land, who ultimately gave her a warning and then a time limit to explain why he shouldn’t levy a hefty fine against her. In October 2009, when Taitz did reply, though not to the judge’s specific command of why he shouldn’t sanction her, Land then issued $20,000 in sanctions against her.
Taitz appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, and the appeals court upheld Land’s sanctions in May.
She then forwarded U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a brief for stay, in which she asked that the sanctions be reversed.
According to the Supreme Court’s website, that application was received July 8 and denied by Thomas on July 15.
On July 20, Taitz posted a motion requesting that she be allowed to verify that it is, in fact, Thomas’ signature on the denial of her application. She’s also sent her request for stay to Justice Samuel Alito, though she said a clerk told her it had been returned because of a small technical issue.
“So, they’re playing a new game,” Taitz said Wednesday. “This cannot happen in the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Columbus attorney William Mason, who taught law at Columbus State University, said Taitz raises issues that someone would bring up in a writ of certiorari. To Mason, “writ of certiorari” is the key component. Taitz’s filing is an application for stay.
“It’s not in the proper form or the proper time,” Mason said. “A writ of certiorari is a very formal document. You actually have to send it to a printer and send it in booklet form.”
In addition, the document would state on its cover, “Writ of certiorari.” Inside, it would state “Issues presented,” and it would explain in two or three pages how the appeals court erred, he said.
The Supreme Court gets around 8,000 such writs each year, and they examine about 80 a year, Mason added.
A request for stay is done under extraordinary circumstances once a case has been appealed properly by filing a writ of certiorari, which hasn’t happened. If it had, the issue should have been whether the court could sanction her $20,000. Instead, Mason said, Taitz appears to challenge the underlying argument that Obama can’t legitimately be president.
“There’s no logical way to address what she’s doing,” he said. “I have written certs to the U.S. Supreme Court. This is not how you do it.”
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