After threatening to hit Laguna Niguel lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz with a $10,000 sanction less than a month ago, Georgia federal district court judge Clay Lands has passed down a new, final ruling: She actually will have to pay $20,000.
In a 43 page opinion (posted below) that accuses Taitz of "wasting judicial resources," Lands excoriates her for continuing to file "frivolous" suits attacking Barack Obama's eligibility to be President, and bristles at her accusations that Lands himself is biased. He also was annoyed by perceived incompetence on her part: "The Clerk's Office was burdened by Ms. Taitz's inability to follow the Court's rules regarding pro hac vice admission and the Court's rules for electronic filing," Lands writes. "On five separate occasions in a short period, the Clerk's Office personnel error-noticed counsel for her failure to follow simple rules. At the hearing, counsel failed to make coherent legal arguments but instead wasted the Court's time with press conference sound bites and speeches."
Regardless on where you stand on the President's eligibility, you've gotta admit parts of the ruling are pretty funny.
At one point, Lands follows Taitz's argument to its logical conclusion. If courts are to be deciding Presidential eligibility, then the courts would have to hear claims from even an "eccentric citizen has become convinced that the President is an alien from Mars, and the courts should order DNA testing to enforce the Constitution." That line comes with this footnote: "The Court does not make this observation simply as a rhetorical device for emphasis; the Court has actually received correspondence assailing its previous order in which the sender, who, incidentally,challenged the undersigned to a 'round of fisticuffs on the Courthouse Square,' asserted that the President is not human."
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The steep fines shouldn't come as a shock to Taitz. In response to the judge's earlier, tentative $10,000 sanction, she filed a motion asking the court to recuse Lands from her case, claiming that he appeared to have been unduly influenced by outside forces.
Taitz tells Talking Points Memo that she has no intention of paying. "This is a form of intimidation," she said. Lands's opinion, though, mentions that the U.S. Attorney's office will collect the money if she doesn't promptly hand it over.
And yes, we're still waiting for an opinion from Santa Ana federal judge David Carter as to whether her lawsuit filed closer to home will be allowed to proceed.