Judge ready to slap Orly Taitz with $10,000 fine

A federal judge, fed up with the Birther-in-Chief, asks her to show why she shouldn't face sanctions

Published September 18, 2009 8:15PM (EDT)

Orly Taitz, one of the leaders of the Birther movement, may have finally crossed one too many lines. The courts will, after all, overlook the occasional frivolous lawsuit, even when filed by an attorney who can't get basic procedural issues right -- just the cost of doing business. But even a federal judge has a breaking point, and Clay Land appears to have reached his.

Earlier this week, Land dismissed a suit that Taitz had brought on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, a surgeon who claimed that she couldn't follow her orders to deploy to Iraq because she's not sure President Obama is eligible, under the Constitution, to hold his current position. At the time, Land warned Taitz that if she filed any more "similarly frivolous ... actions in this Court" she'd face sanctions.

Taitz, of course, didn't seem to listen. Instead, she filed an angry motion asking Land to reconsider his decision and stay Rhodes' deployment. Apparently unaware of that old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar (not true, incidentally, but that's an issue for another time), Taitz essentially accused the judge of committing treason. And, referring to the U.S. District Court on which Land serves, she wrote, "there is increasing evidence that the United States District Courts in the 11th Circuit are subject to political pressure, external control, and, mostly (sic) likely, subservience to the same illegitimate chain of command which Plaintiff has previously protested in this case, except that the de facto President is not even nominally the Commander-in-Chief of the Article III Judiciary."

For some reason, Land wasn't especially happy about this.

In an order issued Friday, Land denied Taitz's request and announced that he was considering making good on his threat of sanctions. He ordered the attorney-slash-dentist "to show cause why the Court should not impose a monetary penalty of $10,000.00 upon Plaintiff’s counsel for her misconduct," and gave her 14 days to do so.

Land also took a swipe at Taitz's performance as an attorney, writing at one point that "competent counsel would have understood" one part of the law that was at issue. The implication was obvious.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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