One could get dizzy from all the spin put on Judge Carter’s remarks in court yesterday and the subsequent orders in Barnett v Obama. I’m going to take the position that all federal judges basically follow the law, but they may vary in style. I thought Judge’s Carter’s style might be better understood by contrasting it with another Federal judge, presented with a similar case.
The case is Hollister v. Soetoro, the court District of Columbia District Court and the Judge, James Robertson. Hollister was Phil Berg’s case, the “interpleader” case in which he tried to force the court to decide who was really president, Obama or Biden. Berg’s 1st Amended Complaint was filed February 11, 2009 and the same day Judge Robertson issued an order “that defendants need not respond to the amended complaint and that plaintiff’s response to the motion to dismiss is due 2/13/09”. A few motions went back and forth, but the result is that on March 5, less than one month after the amended complaint was filed, the judge dismissed the case.
Judge Robinson declared that the “interpleader” case was “frivolous”. He said:
This case, if it were allowed to proceed, would deserve mention in one of the books that seek to prove that the law is foolish or that America has too many lawyers with not enough to do. Even in its relatively short life the case has excited the blogosphere and the conspiracy theorists. The right thing to do is to bring it to an early end. [Emphasis added.]
Judge Robinson, it seems, is unwilling to waste the court’s time on frivolous lawsuits.
In contrast, Judge David O. Carter seems a more patient sort. He is giving Orly Taitz explanations as to what she does wrong, He is going through all the forms including scheduling a trial date, even though there may be no trial. Whatever his personal view of the merits of the lawsuit, he is acting in a very measured and objective fashion. On the one hand he promises not to summarily dismiss the case (giving glee to the Orly tribe) but on the other hand suggesting that there will be no discovery until the motion to dismiss is dealt with, and leaving a none-too-subtle hint to the US Attorneys that a motion to stay discovery might be in order.
Carter’s even-handed may lead those of us itching for resolution (either trial or dismissal) to read too much into his statements. In the end, I am confident that he will follow the law, and Orly, if she pays attention, might get a bit of a legal education in the process.