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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Fines ‘Birther’ Attorney $20,000

(CN) - A federal judge in Georgia slapped a California attorney with a $20,000 fine for using the court system to push her "birther agenda" that challenges President Obama's citizenship.

Judge Clay Land threatened to fine Orly Taitz last month after he dismissed a lawsuit she filed in Georgia Federal Court on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, who tried to avoid being sent to Iraq by claiming Obama was not a natural-born citizen. The lawsuit called Obama an "illegal usurper, unlawful pretender and unqualified impostor."

Land threatened Taitz with sanctions if she continued filing such lawsuits. She continued filing motions.

"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," the 43-page ruling states.

The "birther" movement claims Obama wasn't born in Hawaii as documents indicate.

"Calling the president a usurper ... added nothing to the advancement of plaintiff's legal cause of action," Land wrote. "It providees good rhetoric to fuel the 'birther agenda,' but it is unbecoming of a member of the bar and an officer of the court."

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