'Birther' lawyer to be sanctioned

Oct. 15, 2009 at 1:41 AM
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COLUMBUS, Ga., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A judge in Georgia fined "birther" Orly Taitz $20,000 for filing a "frivolous" lawsuit to use the courts to challenge President Barack Obama's citizenship.

U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land's order came in a case in which Taitz, a California lawyer and dentist, had filed a claim on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, who argued she should not have to serve in Iraq because Obama was not born in the United States and had no right to deploy her, the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer reported.

Land dismissed the suit and Taitz asked him to reconsider. Land received a letter from Rhodes saying Taitz no longer represented her.

The judge told Taitz she could face sanctions if she filed another "frivolous" suit in his court. When Taitz filed a motion for emergency stay, Land gave her two weeks to explain why he shouldn't fine her $10,000.

After she challenged that ruling, he raised the fine to $20,000.

"What she's saying is the judicial branch of government has been subsumed by the executive," attorney Josh McKoon, former president of the Muscogee County Republican Party, said. "That's not a legal argument. That's something designed to be in the newspaper."

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