In a Tuesday order, U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land sanctioned California attorney Orly Taitz $20,000 — double the amount he said he was considering.
Land also gave Taitz 30 days from Tuesday to pay, adding that if she fails to, the U.S. Attorney “will be authorized to commence collection proceedings.”
The order stems from a Sept. 17 motion Taitz filed on behalf of former client Capt. Connie Rhodes, who sought to stop her deployment to Iraq on arguments that President Barack Obama couldn’t legitimately hold office. Land told Taitz the previous day that she could face sanctions if she ever again filed a “frivolous” suit in his court. When Taitz filed the motion for emergency stay, Land gave Taitz two weeks to explain why he shouldn’t sanction her $10,000.
On the deadline, Taitz, who no longer represented the captain, responded with a motion to recuse Land from the case and a request to extend her deadline.
“While the Court derives no pleasure from its imposition of sanctions upon counsel Orly Taitz, it likewise has no reservations about the necessity of doing so,” Land states. “A clearer case could not exist; a weaker message would not suffice.”
In her motion to recuse Land from the case, Taitz argued that he may have had improper contact with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Additionally, she argued Land’s ownership of Microsoft and Comcast stock, which she said had ties to Obama’s administration, meant the judge had a stake in the outcome of Rhodes’ case.
Taitz also likened her plight to the late civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall in the 1940s and ’50s.
“To suggest that an Army officer, who has received a medical education at the expense of the government and then seeks to avoid deployment based upon speculation that the president is not a natural born citizen, is equivalent to a young child, who is forced to attend an inferior segregated school based solely on the color of her skin, demonstrates an appalling lack of knowledge of the history of this country and the importance of the civil rights movement,” Land states.
“Counsel’s attempt to align herself with Justice Marshall appears to be an act of desperation rather than one of admiration. For if counsel truly admired Justice Marshall’s achievements, she would not seek to cheapen them with such inapt comparisons.”
In his 43-page order, Land lays out a timeline of Taitz’s actions in his court, discusses why her numerous court filings were frivolous and addresses point-by-point her arguments for why he should be recused from the case.
Land says that Taitz’s issue is that Obama hasn’t shown sufficient proof that he is a natural born citizen — a complaint beyond the judiciary’s scope. Superficially, Taitz appears to understand that she must shape a legal argument to get by that restriction, the judge adds, and while people have the right to ask the president for proof, they don’t have the right to avoid deployment by using speculation Obama can’t hold office.
“The absolute absence of any legitimate legal argument, combined with the political diatribe in her motions, demonstrates that Ms. Taitz’ purpose is to advance a political agenda and not to pursue a legitimate legal cause of action,” Land states. “Rather than citing to binding legal precedent, she calls the president names, accuses (Land) of treason and gratuitously slanders the president’s father.”
In addition, Land calls Taitz’s argument that she needed more time to respond to his two-week deadline as “shockingly devoid of reality that it is difficult to know how to respond.” Her response to the judge’s order, in which she makes the allegations of bias against Land, is “breathtaking in its arrogance and borders on delusional. She expresses no contrition or regret regarding her misconduct.”
The original $10,000 sanction, Land says, isn’t enough to stop Taitz’s misconduct and $20,000 is the minimum needed to deter her.
Land concludes his order by stating that a copy of it will be sent to the State Bar of California, “for whatever use it deems appropriate.”
“Regrettably, the conduct of counsel Orly Taitz has crossed these lines, and Ms. Taitz must be sanctioned for her misconduct,” the judge continues.