A U.S. District Court hearing to determine if a Army captain fighting deployment to Afghanistan because of the challenged the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency was rescheduled for Monday.
Capt. Connie Rhodes filed the complaint last week and Judge Clay Land granted an emergency hearing Friday afternoon in the Columbus federal courthouse.
Rhodes, a medical doctor who was with her unit in Fort Riley, Kan., did not attend the hearing. That prompted Land to reschedule it for noon Monday.
Rhodes is scheduled to arrive at Fort Benning Saturday and deploy within seven days.
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Rhodes’ attorney Orly Taitz — a national figure in the “birther” movement — was in Land’s court. Rhodes was ordered by her commanding officers not to leave Kansas, Taitz told the court.
“That is not the information I have from Fort Riley,” said Maj. Rebecca Ausprung, with the Department of the Army, Litigation Division in Washington. Rhodes had not informed her supervisor, Ausprung told the court.
Land made it clear he wanted to hear from Rhodes.
“I am going to require her to appear, so I can ask questions of her,” Land said.
Ausprung said the Army would make Rhodes available.
The complaint filed by Rhodes 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.
Land 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.
Outside the building Taitz held an impromptu news conference, showing a paper she claimed proves Obama was born in Kenya.
Staff writer Alan Riquelmy contributed to this report.