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Jan 22 2012

A judge in Atlanta is suffering from an Obama delusion

I just thought that I should point out that, now, almost four years after the first claims were spread suggesting that Obama is a secret Kenyan and non-citizen, and after birth certificates have been shown, and Orly Taitz exposed as a mad woman, and political brainwashing has been excoriated at every level, there are still naifs in this world who believe Obama is a bad-juju voodou priest Manchurian Candidate OF DOOM. And these naifs have far more power than anyone is safe having with that level of delusion.

Via The Star Tribune, via The Ay-Pee:

A judge has ordered President Barack Obama to appear in court in Atlanta for a hearing on a complaint that says Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen and can’t be president.

It’s one of many such lawsuits that have been filed across the country, so far without success. A Georgia resident made the complaint, which is intended to keep Obama’s name off the state’s ballot in the March presidential primary.

An Obama campaign aide says any attempt to involve the president personally will fail and such complaints around the country have no merit.

The hearing is set for Thursday before an administrative judge. Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi on Friday denied a motion by the president’s lawyer to quash a subpoena that requires Obama to show up.

No shit this has no merit.

The only reason these suits are coming up, again and again, and more specifically this one right now, is to try to tie Obama up in courts while he should instead be campaigning for reelection. It’s disturbing to me that any judge that thinks this complaint — by a complainant obviously infected by outrageous levels of hatred for Barack Obama and a ridiculous meme stuck in their head by people with no scruples, no less — has any merit whatsoever. Such a judge, in gainful employment with regard to determining the hand of justice and meting out fates to those who cross your nations laws, is a) deluded, and b) woefully uninformed about the state of the world.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from years of watching this nonsense, it’s that the Dunning Kruger effect and the Peter Principle in combination with religious or politically conservative zealotry (and the two of those often go hand in hand) leads to some very bad situations — like judges thinking they can order the President to prove something that’s been proven time and again. Perhaps next, they could demand that he prove that he did not travel to Mars via secret teleportation mission, a la Stargate.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    The complaint isn’t that Obama was born in Kenya, the complaint is that Obama is Black. Most of these folks know quite well that Obama was born in the US and has a birth certificate to prove it. But since they can’t claim that being Black is a disqualification for being President, they do the Kenya song and dance.

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Perhaps next, they could demand that he prove that he did not travel to Mars via secret teleportation mission, a la Stargate.

    Shhh .. Don’t give the Presidents true nature and drakest secrets away!

    Also don’t go giving them any (more) ideas.

  3. 3
    frankb

    Maybe the President will use his newly acquired powers to detain the judge as a terrorist. We are talking about substantially different levels of power here.

  4. 4
    tim gueguen

    This whole business is one place where the Canadian system is superior to the American one, no arguments. Anyone who is a Canadian citizen can become Prime Minister. Should by some miracle the Green Party win the next election party leader Elizabeth May, originally an American, could be PM.

  5. 5
    Rieux

    As an attorney, I’d urge a note of caution and skepticism regarding this story, because the A.P. clearly has some important details wrong.

    Birtherism is indeed idiotic and racist, and Orly Taitz is its patron saint in both respects—but on purely legal grounds (I am an attorney, FWIW), I’m not so convinced that this particular litigation is horrific. Maybe I’m biased in a weird way, because part of my job is defending clients against obviously frivolous and stupid lawsuits—and this one is considerably less blatantly stupid than several I’ve litigated.

    Anyway, Obama has filed to run for President in Georgia, as well as the other 49 states. Georgia statutes, as I understand them (not much—I don’t practice there) allow citizens to challenge the eligibility of candidates for elected office in an administrative-court proceeding. What happened here is that a Georgia citizen who’s an ally of Taitz filed a complaint alleging that Obama doesn’t meet one or more of the eligibility requirements for President (to wit: (a) natural born citizen of the United States; (b) at least thirty-five years old; and (c) permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years). As is the case with any candidate, the complaint forces the candidate to produce evidence that he is in fact eligible.

    Next, attorney (ugh) Taitz served Obama’s campaign counsel a subpoena seeking the presence of Obama himself at the hearing. Obama’s attorneys then filed a motion to quash that subpoena, and if the judge’s memorandum opinion is any indication, they did a fairly poor job, raising much weaker arguments than they could and should have. The Georgia administrative judge denied the motion.

    At this point, the AP bungled the story, reporting that “A judge has ordered President Barack Obama to appear in court in Atlanta”—a sentence (like the story that followed it) that implied that the judge has mandated that Obama himself attend the hearing. (Frankly, the motion to quash from Obama’s counsel made the same mistaken presumption.) But that’s bullshit. All the judge has done is refuse to quash the subpoena—that’s not a court order mandating personal appearance; it’s just a refusal to destroy the subpoena. We’re just back where we started, with Obama having been served with a subpoena to appear in the case. Again, contrary to the A.P.’s implication, the Georgia judge has not ordered Obama to personally appear in his (administrative) court.

    Here’s what I suspect will happen next: Obama’s campaign counsel will appear in the Georgia administrative tribunal on the prescribed date bearing plenty of documentary evidence (prominently including a certified copy of the President’s Hawaiian birth certificate) that he meets the eligibility requirements for the Presidency.

    Taitz could perhaps pitch a fit that Obama has defied her subpoena by refusing to show up himself, but if so that merely places the onus on her to file a motion to compel the President’s appearance. I wouldn’t at all put it past her—but what, pray tell, would be the grounds for such a motion? Why does the litigation in question require the President’s personal presence in the administrative hearing room? How does she expect said presence to help her case?

    Then, on the merits, I can’t see how Taitz doesn’t lose the case immediately. There’s nothing the slightest bit suspicious or out-of-the-ordinary about (1) an individual party in civil litigation appearing at a hearing via counsel rather than in person or (2) a party proving residence, “natural-born” status, etc., via a certified copy of a birth certificate. The complainant in the case has disputed Obama’s eligibility; his counsel can produce more-than-sufficient documentary evidence demonstrating eligibility; ergo the complainant loses. Q.E.D.

    Now, if the judge demands a standard of proof vastly beyond what’s ordinarily required in civil court—say, if he actually takes birthers’ fairy tales about forged birth certificates, etc., seriously—there could be trouble. And at that point the judge will deserve the scorn that Jason and others are heaping on him. (And Obama’s counsel will appeal.) But not yet.

  6. 6
    Rieux

    Whoops—I put in the “IAAL” bit twice. Have I mentioned that I’m an attorney?

  7. 7
    Allie

    The Obama campaign is actually selling mugs with Obama’s birth certificate printed on the side. I think it’s a fantastic response to the birther idiocy.

  8. 8
    Lyra

    Oooh, I like those mugs. Very clever and amusing.

  9. 9
    Nicolas

    Too bad, Obama and his attorney did not follow Rieux’s advice but rather decided to boycott the hearing. The would give the judge a reason to give a default ruling. If not on the ballot, Obama would not get the 17 electoral votes from Georgia. How many more states can Obama afford to just “give up” before election?

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