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Dec 04 2012

Klayman’s New Birther Suit

The birthers continue to do their best impression of the black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, determined to fight on even after having all their legal limbs hacked off. Not to worry, though — they have Larry Klayman representing them in court now.

A lawsuit challenging Barack Obama’s presence on the 2012 presidential election ballot because of questions over his constitutional eligibility that was thrown out by a judge who earlier determined it wasn’t timely has returned to haunt election officials in the state with a request that the Obama victory results be quashed.

“Defendant Barack Hussein Obama is a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States, and its Constitution, which plaintiff must protect and defend by oath,” according to the complaint, which was delivered to Secretary of State Ken Detzner today.

The case earlier this year was dismissed by Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, who said Obama’s eligibility could not be challenged at that time because under Florida election law, technically, Obama hadn’t been nominated to the position…

In his decision then, Lewis noted that the United States Supreme Court has concluded that “every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States.”

However, attorney Larry Klayman, who is representing Voeltz, said, “The judge equated being a ‘citizen’ with a ‘natural born citizen’ and cited no authority to conclude the two terms are the same. He quotes other state’s cases, where judges reached that conclusion, but that’s not precedent for him. What other courts said in lower cases means nothing to him.”

Given Klayman’s track record of losing crazy and frivolous cases, this is a giant step sideways from Orly Taitz.

27 comments

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  1. 1
    Ben P

    However, attorney Larry Klayman, who is representing Voeltz, said, “The judge equated being a ‘citizen’ with a ‘natural born citizen’ and cited no authority to conclude the two terms are the same. He quotes other state’s cases, where judges reached that conclusion, but that’s not precedent for him. What other courts said in lower cases means nothing to him.”

    I see this argument sometimes in other contexts. My response is always between “your honor, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….”

    Yes, a Minnesota state court decision is not binding law on a Florida state court, but if they’re both interpreting identical laws and identical facts….well, there’s not any reason why the court wouldn’t cite them as a source of law.

  2. 2
    slc1

    However, attorney Larry Klayman, who is representing Voeltz, said, “The judge equated being a ‘citizen’ with a ‘natural born citizen’ and cited no authority to conclude the two terms are the same

    This seems to be a popular delusion held by the birthers. They seem to believe that there are three kinds of citizens, natural born citizens, citizens by birthright, and citizens by virtue of naturalization. Virtually all legal scholars, AFAIK, have concluded that there is no distinction between the first two categories. I wonder what lunkhead Larry is going to point to as a precedent?

  3. 3
    typecaster

    We need to be precise about our terms. Klayman is saying:

    “Defendant Barack Hussein Obama is a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States, and its Constitution, which plaintiff must protect and defend by oath,” according to the complaint, which was delivered to Secretary of State Ken Detzner today.

    This isn’t birther nuttiness, since it doesn’t reference Obama’s place of birth. It’s pure “Your Honor, the scary man scares me. Make him go away!”. It’s still infantile idiocy, of course. But it isn’t really birtherism.

  4. 4
    baal

    http://wonkette.com/491174/birther-lawyer-orly-taitz-does-not-seem-to-be-very-good-at-law

    Orly was just reprimanded by the court, “You should know that evidence is not stuff printed from the internet.” From the prior posts on Klayman here, I don’t hold high hopes that he’ll do better than that low low bargain basement expectation.

  5. 5
    eric

    Love that last paragraph. “He cites no precedents for his position. And the precedents he cites shouldn’t count.”

    Reminds me of the old saw “your honor, my client wasn’t there. He has an airtight alibi for the murder. And besides which, he did it in self-defense.”

  6. 6
    Ben P

    http://wonkette.com/491174/birther-lawyer-orly-taitz-does-not-seem-to-be-very-good-at-law

    I clicked through to the Occidental Observer article to read that, and it made me laugh loud enough that people looked at me funny.

    The short version, Taitz sued Obama and Occidental College then (improperly) served a subpoena on the college for the production of all of Obama’s college records. The general counsel of the college told her they couldn’t produce the records without a court order because they are private records by statute, and that they considered the subpoena frivolous and worthy of sanctions.

    She responded by writing back that the College was guilty of obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting in election fraud, and treason, and that they should “make sure and bring the records to the hearing.”

    The college’s general counsel along with a hired lawyer appeared at the hearing. When taitz asked the general counsel of Occidental college if he’d brought the records he, apparently “visibly amused” just said “no.”

    Taitz made her argument, the college made its, and the judge quashed the subpoena, awarded Occidental College $4000 from Taitz as a sanction and told Taits that:

    “You should know that evidence is not stuff printed from the internet,”

    After the hearing, the outside counsel for Occidental College said this

    “I would like to take credit for a spectacular job preparing papers and going down to the Orange County Superior Court and arguing this case and getting sanctions, but I honestly believe a rhesus monkey could have beaten Ms. Taitz and got a sanction award based on the awful lack of merit to the subpoena itself,”

  7. 7
    d.c.wilson

    The amazing thing about Taitz is that, no matter how many times she fails and no matter how sanctions are laid on her, she approaches every one of her filings with totally convinced that this will be the one she will finally win!

  8. 8
    d.c.wilson

    I really don’t get this birthed argument. The courts have always held that if someone is born in the US, they are a citizen. How could this be considered anything other than a natural BORN citizen?

  9. 9
    richardelguru

    ‘Birther Suit’ sounds surprisingly like ‘Birthday Suit’, well maybe not so surprising.

  10. 10
    Argle Bargle

    The birther argument isn’t that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. Their complaint is that he’s black, something automatically disqualifying one to be president or even an American citizen.

  11. 11
    MikeMa

    I miss the 2008/2009 version of birtherism where there were more active plaintiffs (Keyes, Taitz, Apuzzo, Berg)and there were a LOT of crazy commenters with huge piles of nothing lighting their way.

  12. 12
    eric

    @7 – I’ve seen it in other fields (though not to Taitz’s extreme): someone thinks the degree they have gives them special magic powers to never be wrong. I’m sure in Taitz’ own mind, her logic goes something like: I’m a lawyer. I know the law better than any of my critics. So I don’t have to listen to them – they can’t possibly be smarter about this than I am.

  13. 13
    Ben P

    @7 – I’ve seen it in other fields (though not to Taitz’s extreme): someone thinks the degree they have gives them special magic powers to never be wrong. I’m sure in Taitz’ own mind, her logic goes something like: I’m a lawyer. I know the law better than any of my critics. So I don’t have to listen to them – they can’t possibly be smarter about this than I am.

    I just chalk it up to stupidity.

    I see plaintiffs lawyers that write crap like that. “We’ll see you in court!” “Just make sure you bring the documents to the hearing!” Most of them are dumb enough to realize it just doesn’t impress most other lawyers.

    One of my bosses responded to a “we’ll see you in court!” with “well, its that big white building downtown, do you need directions?”

  14. 14
    lofgren

    The birthers continue to do their best impression of the black knight

    Further proof that liberals are the real racists.

  15. 15
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    I have to say one thing for the Birthers; they’re remarkably persistent. I kind of admire that. Notsomuch the part where they ignore reality, though.

  16. 16
    Dr X

    @WMDKitty (Always growing and learning):

    I have to say one thing for the Birthers; they’re remarkably persistent.

    I wonder if the end of Obama’s second term will stop them. They could continue filing suits claiming that official acts by Obama are voided because he was never the president. Maybe they could sue for a judicial asterisk and the designation: Pretender. Kind of like popes erased by the Catholic Church.

  17. 17
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    @Dr X — Somehow, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did just that.

    <tangent>
    Whoa. The Catholic Church can do that? Just… erase a pope? Like, *poof*, gone, vanished from the official records, shuffled off somewhere to fade into obscurity?

    That’s kind of impressive, but scary. How much of history has been lost because of things like that, where the official records were “creatively edited” to the tastes of whomever was in power…
    <tangent>

  18. 18
    John Pieret

    I suppose Klayman would have to take his shoes off several times to notice that, even if Obama’s results in Florida were (giggle) “quashed,” he’d still be President.

    Next he has to overturn the results in Ohio, Virginia and Colorado. Uh, huh!

  19. 19
    Dr X

    Oh, WMDKitty, you’re not familiar with the Catholic Church practice of nullifying past popehoods? My all-time favorite case is that of Pope Formosus. After he was dead and entombed for some time, he was exhumed and put on trial, excommunicated and de-poped. IIRC, they actually propped his corpse in a chair during the trial. They would designate some of the dethroned popes “antipopes.”

    There were times when several individuals claimed the papacy supported by rival factions, with no one person clearly being the authentic pope. As time went on, factions consolidated power and the Catholic Church had to tidy up history lest anyone question the solid line of succession from the first Pope Peter, chosen by Jesus, through to the present pope. Not kidding, they maintain that Peter was a pope.

    Here’s a list of popes according to the Catholic Church.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

    The list includes murderers, molesters, men with multiple mistresses and children, several father-son popes, a (probably) teenaged pope and a party to a 19th century child kidnapping, the latter being the notorious Edgardo Mortara kidnapping that had the entire civilized world, including the U.S government, condemning the Vatican. So far the pope accessory to kidnapping, Pius IX, who is also the inventor of Papal Infallibility, is still in very good standing with the Catholic Church. Maybe he’ll be an antipope someday, but clearly that won’t come any time soon.

  20. 20
    iknklast

    I have a bit of problem with this, anyway. I was taught in school that if you have a parent who is an American citizen, you are an American citizen. I have a brother-in-law who was born in Germany to American parents, and he is an American citizen. Obama’s mother was definitely an American citizen.

    Is there some reason this doesn’t count in this case?

  21. 21
    Ichthyic

    It’s still infantile idiocy, of course. But it isn’t really birtherism.

    I beg to differ. that is a textbook definition of the birther movement.

  22. 22
    Ichthyic

    How much of history has been lost because of things like that, where the official records were “creatively edited” to the tastes of whomever was in power…

    probably more than you would want to know. OTOH, how could we possibly figure it out, since all the records were “creatively edited”?

    :)

  23. 23
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Could be worse. I misread this as “birthday suit” at first.

  24. 24
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I have a bit of problem with this, anyway. I was taught in school that if you have a parent who is an American citizen, you are an American citizen. I have a brother-in-law who was born in Germany to American parents, and he is an American citizen. Obama’s mother was definitely an American citizen.

    Is there some reason this doesn’t count in this case?

    …he’s black. You do understand that’s what this is about, right?

  25. 25
    dingojack

    Azkyroth – as in the Emperor has no clothes?
    Dingo
    —–
    In that case, I suppose that Klaymation’s imaginary birfer suit would be double breasted?

  26. 26
    bradleybetts

    “Defendant Barack Hussein Obama is a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States, and its Constitution, which plaintiff must protect and defend by oath,” according to the complaint, which was delivered to Secretary of State Ken Detzner today.”

    How exactly does he threaten the safety and security of the United states? I have yet to hear a coherent answer on this front from anyone.

  27. 27
    slc1

    Re bradleybetts @ #26

    Suppose it were true. What the fuck does Klayman expect the court do do about it? Apparently, Klayman is unfamiliar with Article II, section 2 of the
    Constitution which clearly states that only the Congress has the power to remove a president from office.

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