An Army captain fighting deployment to Afghanistan has challenged the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency in a federal complaint filed this month, and has employed attorney Orly Taitz — a national figure in the “birther” movement — to represent her.
The complaint of Capt. Connie Rhodes, filed Friday in the Columbus division of U.S. District Court, is similar to the July 8 suit filed by Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, who sought conscientious objector status and a temporary injunction. Taitz represents both.
Judge Clay Land, who will hear Rhodes’ case, tossed out Cook’s case in July. Land said the judicial branch shouldn’t inject itself into “political disputes” and shouldn’t get involved in hypothetical debates that haven’t yet become actual legal disputes.
The Rhodes complaint makes similar arguments.
“Plaintiff ... submits and charges that the current de facto president is an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, an unqualified imposter ...” the complaint states. “(She) submits that she cannot lawfully act under his authority, but that she is being forced to do so without any opportunity or remedial avenue whatsoever.”
Rhodes seeks to stop U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the commander of Fort Benning and others from giving any order to her or others until Obama’s legitimacy is established, the complaint states. She also seeks conscientious objector status based on her doubts of Obama’s constitutional qualifications.
A hearing on Rhodes’ complaint hasn’t been scheduled.