Justices Back $20K Fine|Against ‘Birther’ Lawyer

(CN) – The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a $20,000 fine against California attorney Orly Taitz, a leader of the “birther” movement challenging President Obama’s citizenship.

     Taitz appealed the fine to Justice Samuel Alito after the 11th Circuit backed U.S. District Judge Clay Land’s decision to impose the fine “as a deterrent to prevent future misconduct and to protect the integrity of the court.”
     “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,” Land wrote in his 43-page ruling.
     The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta agreed, calling Taitz’s arguments “unpersuasive.”
     Taitz had sued on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, who fought deployment to Iraq by claiming Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, as records indicate.
     The lawsuit called Obama an “illegal usurper, unlawful pretender and unqualified impostor.”
     In his dismissal last September, Judge Land said Taitz used the lawsuit “as a platform for spouting political rhetoric.”
      “Although counsel has managed to fuel this ‘birther movement’ with her litigation and press conferences, she does not appear to have prevailed on a single claim,” Land wrote.
     Justice Alito rejected Taitz’s appeal without comment.

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