Attorney Orly Taitz, the “birther” lawyer under threat of sanctions by U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land for filing a “frivolous” lawsuit, filed a motion Friday asking the judge to recuse himself because of personal contacts and financial stakes he may have with President Barack Obama’s administration.
Land was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush.
Taitz represented Army Capt. Connie Rhodes when she filed a Sept. 4 complaint arguing Rhodes shouldn’t be deployed to Iraq because Obama couldn’t legitimately hold office. Land not only ruled against Rhodes, but ordered Taitz to explain why he should not fine her $10,000 for filing a “frivolous ” lawsuit.
On Friday, Taitz asked for an extension to respond to that order, but also asked that Land recuse himself from the case. In her motion for recusal, Taitz:
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* Says Land may have improperly been in contact with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
* Says the fact that Land owns stock in Microsoft and Comcast could give the judge a financial stake in the outcome.
* Likens her plight to that of the late civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall in the 1940s and ‘50s.
“The primary reason for the undersigned counsel to file this motion to recuse, however, is that Judge Clay D. Land has by his own actions created a constitutionally intolerable situation in which he is both complaining party, prosecuting attorney, judge and jury regarding the charges of frivolous filing and sanctionable conduct which he has leveled ...” Taitz states.
“What, for example, was ever more political in 20th century Georgia than the question of school desegregation?” Taitz asks. “Surely this distinguished southern judge would have jailed Thurgood Marshall in the 1940s and ‘50s for contempt when the future Supreme Court justice repeatedly filed cases demanding on constitutional as well as social and psychological grounds the desegregation of primary and secondary public schools against well-established precedents such as Plessy v. Fergusson …”
Taitz also states that she suspects Land’s decisions may have been influenced by the government and questions whether his orders were guided by someone else or based only on what she called his “blind personal prejudice.” Either way, Taitz states, Land should be recused.
Taitz also objected to Land’s use of the word “birther” in his earlier rulings.
“Since the undersigned certainly did not invent or ever adopt the term “birther”, awareness of this label is a pejorative appellation (often coupled with even more colorful epithets such as “bats--t crazy”), and since she does not go around introducing herself or her clients as part of a ‘movement’ in any sense, certainly not in court, it can only be concluded that Judge Clay D. Land has derived his information, and prejudice, and bias, against the undersigned by reference to material which is exclusively available from extrajudicial sources,” Taitz states.