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The Democrats strike back

The Democrats and President Obama are taking the offensive, asking for sanctions in the form of attorney fees in two frivolous birther lawsuits, one in Tennessee and one in Florida.

Van R. Irion filed twin lawsuits in Tennessee and Arizona on behalf of the Liberty Legal Foundation and others. These are the usual birther lawsuits supplemented with two plaintiffs who are write-in candidates for President. In that case the Defendants (Democratic National Committee, Tennessee Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Chip Forrester) filed a motion for sanctions with the court under federal Rule 12(b). Judge S. Thomas Anderson of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee court ruled:

…Plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known that the claims in this case had no basis in law. Specifically, counsel for Plaintiffs reasonably should have known that Plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claims…

The Court granted sanctions yesterday (August 24, 2012) in the form of reasonable attorney fees.

In Florida, attorney Larry Klayman re-filed his already dismissed lawsuit on behalf of Michael Voeltz, adding another cause of action, declaratory relief. Here too, the second lawsuit has drawn a motion for sanctions from Barack Obama through his attorney Mark Herron, brought under Florida statute 57.105.

Because much of Voeltz’ second lawsuit was already addressed by the Leon County Court, Defendants have a good argument that Voeltz should have known that the additional cause of action under the same allegations was equally frivolous. Herron concludes:

Wherefore, President Obama requests that the Court grant his motion for attorney’s fees and sanctions because the Plaintiff’s Complaint for Declaratory Relief is not supported by the material facts necessary to establish the claim and is not supported by the application of then-existing law to those material facts alleged.

The motion was filed on August 21, 2012.

The birther lawsuit count stands today at 152. To date, defendants have largely had a free ride to entangle the President and the Democratic Party (and in many cases state officials) in frivolous lawsuits. I think it is time for them to take responsibility for their actions and for the courts to mete out some justice.

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59 Responses to The Democrats strike back

  1. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 25, 2012 at 9:32 am  (Quote) #

    Oh hoo hoo! Looks like the free ride is over for, frivolous birther cases!

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 9:54 am  (Quote) #

    I am particularly interested to see if sanctions are asked for and imposed in the House v. Obama case in Kentucky. I think they should.

  3. avatar
    john August 25, 2012 at 10:16 am  (Quote) #

    In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable. I suspect that no court is willing to ruling against Obama because the implications and ramificiations of such a decision would too great for this country. Therefore all courts must reject every case as frivolous and this open the door for a free reign ask for sanctions.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 10:29 am  (Quote) #

    Thanks for sharing.

    john: In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable

  5. avatar
    Lupin August 25, 2012 at 11:03 am  (Quote) #

    john: Therefore all courts must reject every case as frivolous and this open the door for a free reign [to] ask for sanctions.

    Can we quote you on this?

    PS: you meant “rein”, not “reign”. Look it up.

  6. avatar
    bgansel9 August 25, 2012 at 11:35 am  (Quote) #

    john: In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable. I suspect that no court is willing to ruling against Obama because the implications and ramificiations of such a decision would too great for this country. Therefore all courts must reject every case as frivolous and this open the door for a free reign ask for sanctions.

    I’m curious about your take on which aspects of these court cases have been nonsensical, as I’m sure you don’t agree that the birther themselves are. Please elaborate.

  7. avatar
    bgansel9 August 25, 2012 at 11:36 am  (Quote) #

    I think once they start piling up sanctions, these people will stop jamming our courts with fishing expeditions.

  8. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 25, 2012 at 11:48 am  (Quote) #

    john:
    I suspect that no court is willing to ruling against Obama because the implications and ramificiations of such a decision would too great for this country.

    That or they’re not willing to rule against him, because these law suits hold no water, and are a waste of the judges’ time. Our judges have an important job to do, they can’t have their time eaten up by this birther garbage.

    bgansel9:
    I think once they start piling up sanctions, these people will stop jamming our courts with fishing expeditions.

    And what a fine day that will be! “WAAAAAAH! We’re being made to own up to our own foolishness! It’s all the liberals’ fault!!!”

  9. avatar
    john August 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm  (Quote) #

    I have come to conclusion that the courts can never allow Obama’s Kenyan birth to be proven or that he is ineligible due to a foreign parent because to implications of such decision would be too great on this country. It would mean by many many that every action that Obama has performed would be void or voidable and spur off thousands and thousands of lawsuits in virtually every forum. No only that, a decision upholding Obama ineligibility would have grave implications on politicians and on the main stream media. The main stream media would end as we know it and countless individuals’ reputations would be tarnished forever. For this reason, no court will ever have the courage or the guts to uphold Obama’s ineligibility or allow it be proven in anyway. We can only hope for that honest judge, but hope is thin. I have to agree with Jerry Collette. Court actions at this point will seek to tarnish Obama’s image with the hope that he does not win reelection.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm  (Quote) #

    I personally don’t share this view, which presumes birthers acting rationally in their own interests. If birthers were acting rationally, there would not be any lawsuits in the first place. Just as their confirmation bias blinds them to the evidence, I think it will blind them to the risks of financial penalties. It might scare off a few with marginal financial resources, but I don’t think sanctions will play a significant role.

    Just my opinion.

    bgansel9: I think once they start piling up sanctions, these people will stop jamming our courts with fishing expeditions.

  11. avatar
    Dave B. August 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm  (Quote) #

    john:
    In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable.

    Have you ever read a birther complaint? From Phil Berg to Todd House, they make some of the goofiest, most nonsensical, laughable and downright bizarre claims. It’s a wonder all of them haven’t had to pay sanctions.

  12. avatar
    Lupin August 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm  (Quote) #

    Dr. Conspiracy: It might scare off a few with marginal financial resources, but I don’t think sanctions will play a significant role.

    It depends on their material impact, doesn’t it? If it bankrupts a few birthers, they certainly might want to continue the fight, but would be unable to.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm  (Quote) #

    While I agree with you that any president being found ineligible would be a huge legal mess, the courts don’t need to do anything unusual in the case of Barack Obama who probably has more proof of his eligibility than most other candidates. It’s a heck of a lot more possible that Sarah Palin was born in Canada than that Obama was born in Kenya.

    That said, I don’t think presidential eligibility is a matter for the courts in the first place, the Congress having been delegated that responsibility by the Constitution.

    john: I have come to conclusion that the courts can never allow Obama’s Kenyan birth to be proven or that he is ineligible due to a foreign parent because to implications of such decision would be too great on this country

  14. avatar
    Dave B. August 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm  (Quote) #

    john:
    I have to agree with Jerry Collette.Court actions at this point will seek to tarnish Obama’s image with the hope that he does not win reelection.

    So all you and Jerry want to accomplish is to use the courts to defame someone?

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm  (Quote) #

    What’s notable here is that in both instances, the suit was essentially the same as one already filed.

    I should add that this isn’t the first instance of sanctions. Of course we know that Orly Taitz was sanctioned, although not at the request of defendants.

    Carol Greenberg had to pay $600 in costs in the Brunner case in Ohio:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/01/take-responsibility-for-your-actions/

    Dave B.: It’s a wonder all of them haven’t had to pay sanctions.

  16. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm  (Quote) #

    john:
    I have come to conclusion that the courts can never allow Obama’s Kenyan birth to be proven or that he is ineligible due to a foreign parent because to implications of such decision would be too great on this country.

    Actually it is because you can’t prove something that isn’t true.
    Obama was born in Hawaii, end of story.

  17. avatar
    Majority Will August 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm  (Quote) #

    “I have to agree with Jerry Collette. Court actions at this point will seek to tarnish Obama’s image with the hope that he does not win reelection.”

    Like a floating turd, the true motivation of the birther bigot comes to the surface.

  18. avatar
    Atticus Finch August 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm  (Quote) #

    john:
    I have come to conclusion that the courts can never allow Obama’s Kenyan birth to be proven or that he is ineligible due to a foreign parent because to implications of such decision would be too great on this country.It would mean by many many that every action that Obama has performed would be void or voidable and spur off thousands and thousands of lawsuits in virtually every forum……

    Courts have held under the de facto officer doctrine that acts and laws signed by persons acting in the capacity of their title are valid even if the person’s appointment or election to the office is legally deficient.

    The court in Hamilton v. Roehrich, 628 F. Supp. 2d 1033 (D. Mn, 2009), articulated the rationale for this doctrine:
    The de facto officer doctrine “`confers validity upon acts performed by a person acting under the color of official title even though it is later discovered that the legality of that person’s appointment or election to office is deficient.'” Nguyen v. United States, 539 U.S. 69, 77, 123 S.Ct. 2130, 156 L.Ed.2d 64 (2003), quoting Ryder v. United States, 515 U.S. 177, 180, 115 S.Ct. 2031, 132 L.Ed.2d 136 (1995). “The de facto doctrine springs from the fear of the chaos that would result from multiple and repetitious suits challenging every action taken by every official whose claim to office could be open to question, and seeks to protect the public by insuring the orderly functioning of the government despite technical defects in title to office.” Ryder v. United States, supra at 180, 115 S.Ct. 2031 [quotations and citations omitted]; see also, Hussey v. Smith, 99 U.S. 20, 24, 25 L.Ed. 314 (1878)(“The acts of such officers are held to be valid because the public good requires it,” and “[a] different rule would be a source of serious and lasting evils.”); Equal Employment Opportunity Comm’n v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 650 F.2d 14, 17 (2nd Cir.1981)(“The de facto officer doctrine was developed to protect the public from the chaos and uncertainty that would ensue if actions taken by individuals apparently occupying government offices could later be invalidated by exposing defects in the officials’ titles.”). “The doctrine has generally been applied to individuals who are in possession of an office, are performing the duties of the office, and who maintain an appearance of right to the office.” Equal Employment Opportunity Comm’n v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., supra at 17, citing Waite v. Santa Cruz, 184 U.S. 302, 323, 22 S.Ct. 327, 46 L.Ed. 552 (1902)

    The Supreme Court in Ryder v. United States , 515 U.S. 177 (1995 stated:

    ” [In] Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), [ ] plaintiffs challenged the appointment of the Federal Election Commission members on separation of powers grounds. The Court agreed with them and held that the appointment of four members of the Commission by Congress, rather than the President, violated the Appointments Clause. It nonetheless quite summarily held that the “past acts of the Commission are therefore accorded de facto validity.” Id., at 142. We cited as authority for this determination Connor v. Williams, 404 U.S. 549, 550-551 (1972), in which we held that legislative acts performed by legislators held to have been elected in accordance with an unconstitutional apportionment were not therefore void.”

    As such, all of Obama’s appointments and acts that he signed into law including the Health Care Bill are valid.

  19. avatar
    john August 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm  (Quote) #

    “the Congress having been delegated that responsibility by the Constitution.”

    I have yet see any law supporting this. The Joint Session of Congress’s is to count and certify each states’s votes. No where in the law does it spell out any issue of eligibility. The clause “Shall have fall to qualify..” refers to problem of any particular candidate reaching the 270 electoral votes needed for certification. The issue of eligibility regarding the Joint Session of Congress is only a theorectical possibility. Even if the issue of eligibility can be raised, the NBC argument is a Constitutional question that Congress has no power to adujicate the term. That responsibility lies with the courts. The courts have used the issue of a theorectical possibility when it best suit their interests. The courts have dismissed cases on the fact in theory the Joint Session of Congress could raise the issue. At the same time, the courts have denied standing to retired military on the fact that they could be in theory be recalled to active duty and have to serve under an ineligible Commander in Chief.

  20. avatar
    john August 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm  (Quote) #

    “Courts have held under the de facto officer doctrine that acts and laws signed by persons acting in the capacity of their title are valid even if the person’s appointment or election to the office is legally deficient.”

    The people would simply not accept an ineligible President and any acts or actions performed by him or her. The people simply will not disregard the Constitution, the Supreme Law of Land, that states the POTUS must be an NBC. Regardless of the courts say, a POTUS who is NOT an NBC, all of his or her actions are therefore unlawful and unconstitutional.

    While the courts can appreciate the gravity of a POTUS who may found later to be ineligible, the courts have “invented” the de facto officer doctrine and have essentially written the Constitution off the books.

    This may be understandable considering the court may feel it is their responsibility to bring order to chaos.

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm  (Quote) #

    No, you wouldn’t have seen it, but that’s just you.

    john: I have yet see any law supporting this.

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm  (Quote) #

    Right. The courts a limited by the Constitution to actual controversies, not hypothetical ones.

    john: At the same time, the courts have denied standing to retired military on the fact that they could be in theory be recalled to active duty and have to serve under an ineligible Commander in Chief.

  23. avatar
    Scientist August 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm  (Quote) #

    john: In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable. I suspect that no court is willing to ruling against Obama because the implications and ramificiations of such a decision would too great for this country. Therefore all courts must reject every case as frivolous and this open the door for a free reign ask for sanctions.

    Let’s assume for a moment that is true. I know it isn’t, but let’s pretend. In the end, while courts certainly need to consider the rights of individuals with cases before them, courts must also peserve and protect society. A court that put the entire society at risk to protect a few litigants would be absurd and would justifiably have their rulings ignored.

    So, john, a judge that would decline to create a huge mess for the country is not corrupt but a true patriot.

  24. avatar
    Bob August 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm  (Quote) #

    Has any Birther made a proposal for a mechanism to assure eligibility for presidential candidates? Yes, there have been some utterly unworkable proposals by some Wingnuts on blogs (like automatically disqualifying anyone born in Hawaii or Arkansas) but nothing remotely realistic. Are there any Birther lobbyists working on this “problem.”

    All I see are “questions” on Right Wing websites and “jokes” by Republicans holding President Obama responsible for a situation he didn’t create and isn’t in control of.

    Obama has met the present requirement for eligibility.

  25. avatar
    john August 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm  (Quote) #

    “Right. The courts a limited by the Constitution to actual controversies, not hypothetical ones.”

    And yes, by the same token the possibility of the Joint Session of Congress bringing up the an eligibility question is too a hypothetical controversies and not actual one (As such, no Congressman ever filed such an objection and none has ever been submitted to the court as evidence.) So, yes the notion that it is Congress’s responsibility is merely a hypothetical possibility that courts are ever so happy to reach out grasp (for straws) in dismissing a birther case.

  26. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter August 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm  (Quote) #

    I see this more as the Courts striking back, then the Democrats striking back. Judges have different levels of tolerance for crap, and some let it run its course and get dismissed or lose. Other judges like to give a little kick in the seat of the pants as the idiots head out the door. Orly got sanctioned in [Florida]. Hemenway and Apuzzo came close.

    As more Birther cases lose and the string cite list gets longer and the newness wears off, probably more Courts are going to be sanctioning this stuff. Judges in most jurisdictions have the right to use their own discretion to sanction attorneys without a motion being made. This power is used sparingly, so I hope the Defendants get more aggressive in pointing out the complete lack of merits.

    I suspect that this is what underlies some of the DIY stuff that Collette and Sewell are promoting. If you read their excuses page, you will see that if a pro se plaintiff ever survives dismissal, then Collette and crew will step in with Birther lawyers. This is probably because there are different standards for attorneys and pro se plaintiffs. Attorneys are a lot more likely to get sanctioned, as they are presumed to have been professional in their representation. Surviving the Motion to Dismiss would mean there is some factual question and legal merit to the claim.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm  (Quote) #

    It’s not hypothetical at all. Obama is elected or he is not. If elected, his election is no longer hypothetical. One member of the House and one of the Senate objects or they do not. If there is no objection, then there must not be a controversy. If there is an objection, the Constitution mandates the process. It’s quite simple and straightforward.

    john: And yes, by the same token the possibility of the Joint Session of Congress bringing up the an eligibility question is too a hypothetical controversies and not actual one

  28. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm  (Quote) #

    There were a number of legislative proposals made in the wake of the 2008 election.

    Here is some information on that:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/birther-bills/

    and

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/category/legislation/

    None of these bills passed, except the one in Arizona that was vetoed by Governor Brewer. Those bills generally required submission of a long-form birth certificate (this was before Obama released his long-form birth certificate). I think one of two required citizen parents and other documentation.

    The problem as I see it, and as Judge Alsup on California saw it, is that having each of the 50 states set their own rules could head to chaos. My own views on how it should work are written here:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/04/how-we-insure-an-eligible-president/

    Bob: Has any Birther made a proposal for a mechanism to assure eligibility for presidential candidates?

  29. avatar
    Sudoku August 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm  (Quote) #

    I hope so. Fingers crossed!

    bgansel9: I think once they start piling up sanctions, these people will stop jamming our courts with fishing expeditions.

  30. avatar
    SluggoJD August 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm  (Quote) #

    john:
    In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable.I suspect that no court is willing to ruling against Obama because the implications and ramificiations of such a decision would too great for this country.Therefore all courts must reject every case as frivolous and this open the door for a free reign ask for sanctions.

    Take your meds and get back in your play pen.

  31. avatar
    brygenon August 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm  (Quote) #

    john: “the Congress having been delegated that responsibility by the Constitution.”

    I have yet see any law supporting this.

    Willful blindness is your right, but if you’ve been paying any attention you’ve seen it argued
    by professional attorneys, and then decided by a federal court — specifically by a judge appointed by President George H.W. Bush.

    From Kerchner v. Obama:

    it appears that Plaintiffs have raised claims that are likewise barred under the “political question doctrine” as a question demonstrably committed to a coordinate political department. See Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 216 (1962). The Constitution commits the selection of the President to the Electoral College in Article II, Section 1, as amended by the Twelfth Amendment and the Twentieth Amendment, Section 3. The Constitution’s provisions are specific in the procedures to be followed by the Electors in voting and the President of the Senate and of Congress in counting the electoral votes. Further, the Twentieth Amendment, Section 3, also provides the process to be followed if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, in which case the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified. None of these provisions evince an intention for judicial reviewability of these political choices.

  32. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 25, 2012 at 6:18 pm  (Quote) #

    John, you don’t understand how the law works, so stop pretending.

  33. avatar
    bgansel9 August 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm  (Quote) #

    john: We can only hope for that honest judge, but hope is thin. I have to agree with Jerry Collette. Court actions at this point will seek to tarnish Obama’s image with the hope that he does not win reelection.

    I knew you wouldn’t disappoint, John. I counted on it.

    You’re too easy to draw into this sort of admission. Never let it be said that you have a sense of propriety. Your boss must be so proud of you.

  34. avatar
    Rickey August 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm  (Quote) #

    john:
    In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable.

    Earth to court jester John: They aren’t laughing with you. They’re laughing at you, and deservedly so.

  35. avatar
    bgansel9 August 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm  (Quote) #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I personally don’t share this view, which presumes birthers acting rationally in their own interests. If birthers were acting rationally, there would not be any lawsuits in the first place. Just as their confirmation bias blinds them to the evidence, I think it will blind them to the risks of financial penalties.

    I’m betting they don’t have an endless supply of money. It may take some time, but eventually these sanctions are going to hurt enough that they will have to back off or end up in jail.

  36. avatar
    bgansel9 August 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm  (Quote) #

    Dr. Conspiracy: None of these bills passed, except the one in Arizona that was vetoed by Governor Brewer.

    It must have been on a day when my governor, Mrs. Jan Drinkwine Brewer, was sober (rare occasions as they are).

  37. avatar
    Sudoku August 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm  (Quote) #

    Plaintiffs may submit evidence to support allegations of a foreign birth. The issue is not that the courts will not allow it, the evidence simply does not exist. If they have proof, what are they waiting for? In 152 birther suits filed, no plaintiff has provided any such evidence.

    The courts have ruled, repeatedly, that the two citizen parent theory has no merit. Instead of learning the historical meaning or from court precedent, birthers just keep insisting they alone are right. Obama had written two best sellers prior to the 2008 election. It was well known his father was not a citizen. Clearly, lawyers, judges, law professors, etc., (especially the republicans and Yale Law School grads Bill and Hillary Clinton), did not believe that made Obama ineligible. That was a birther fabrication that came along later, to no avail.

    Your statement about these lawsuits seeking to tarnish Obama’s image is the only one that is accurate. That has been the sole motivation of birthers all along. The leaders of the birther movement have succeeded only in convincing their followers of their creations for ineligibility. None are true or have merit.

    I hope Obama’s lawyers copy Collette’s statements onto their motions for sanctions.

    john: I have to agree with Jerry Collette. Court actions at this point will seek to tarnish Obama’s image with the hope that he does not win reelection.

    john: I have come to conclusion that the courts can never allow Obama’s Kenyan birth to be proven or that he is ineligible due to a foreign parent because to implications of such decision would be too great on this country.

    john: In regards the Obama ineligibility, the courts have been corrupt and their decisions have equally nonsensical and laughable.

  38. avatar
    Northland10 August 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm  (Quote) #

    It’s not that he doesn’t understand, he simply doesn’t care how the law works.

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    John, you don’t understand how the law works, so stop pretending.

  39. avatar
    G August 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm  (Quote) #

    Agreed. This flood of frivolity will slow to a trickle, once the perpetrators start experiencing real monetary consequences for their stupid tricks.

    bgansel9: I think once they start piling up sanctions, these people will stop jamming our courts with fishing expeditions.

  40. avatar
    Keith August 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm  (Quote) #

    Lupin: It depends on their material impact, doesn’t it? If it bankrupts a few birthers, they certainly might want to continue the fight, but would be unable to.

    Not really. It would make them a martyr to the cause and any further sanctions wouldn’t do them any harm (can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip after all). The fees necessary to continue to file will magically appear. The Koch Brothers The Tea Party The John Birch Society The GOP Puppmaster Star Chamber The delusional RWNJ pensioners have deep pockets when it comes to chump change harassment campaigns.

  41. avatar
    Keith August 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm  (Quote) #

    john: I have yet see any law supporting this.

    It isn’t ‘a law’. It is the Constitution.

    I assume you have heard of that inconvenient document.

  42. avatar
    G August 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm  (Quote) #

    Agreed. Well said.

    Dr. Conspiracy: It’s not hypothetical at all. Obama is elected or he is not. If elected, his election is no longer hypothetical. One member of the House and one of the Senate objects or they do not. If there is no objection, then there must not be a controversy. If there is an objection, the Constitution mandates the process. It’s quite simple and straightforward.

  43. avatar
    G August 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm  (Quote) #

    Agreed!

    While Birtherism contains a number of fully delusional “true believers” admist their Cult base, a lot of their leaders and financial backers have always been nothing more than con artists and professional smear merchants. With the passage of four years, it seems apparent that a number of these professional smear merchants may have succeeded in brainwashing even themselves with their own lies and deceptions and now be “true believers” themselves. However, that doesn’t take away from what their original intent in pushing the Birther meme has been all along – a propaganda game to discredit the President.

    I’ve always suspected that a lot of these goals were really focused on the “long game” of trying to “swift boat” his chances of re-election all along. They may all proclaim that they are going after him to remove him from active service, but that simply is a fantasy scenario. The gullible rubes in the Cult might fall for it, but their propaganda artist masters always knew better. From that higher level, it always has been an act of tabloid trash level political theater and nothing more.

    Birtherism has failed in these regards. Other factors will determine the race, not Birtherism. The movement has long since discredited itself in the court of public opinion. The only folks susceptible to and sympathetic to Birtherism are those that within the tent of the Cult itself. All they do is preach to their own choir and turn everyone else off.

    I agree that the courts are meant to be a serious place. Intentional political propaganda acts and frivolous filing scams have no business there and these cynically manipulative attempts to abuse the courts in order to gain attention should be sanctioned and punished harshly. As Squeeky has pointed out, they are nothing more than a form of Paper Terrorism.

    Sudoku: Your statement about these lawsuits seeking to tarnish Obama’s image is the only one that is accurate. That has been the sole motivation of birthers all along. The leaders of the birther movement have succeeded only in convincing their followers of their creations for ineligibility. None are true or have merit.
    I hope Obama’s lawyers copy Collette’s statements onto their motions for sanctions.

  44. avatar
    AlCum August 25, 2012 at 11:41 pm  (Quote) #

    john:
    “Courts have held under the de facto officer doctrine that acts and laws signed by persons acting in the capacity of their title are valid even if the person’s appointment or election to the office is legally deficient.”

    The people would simply not accept an ineligible President and any acts or actions performed by him or her.The people simply will not disregard the Constitution, the Supreme Law of Land, that states the POTUS must be an NBC.Regardless of the courts say, a POTUS who is NOT an NBC, all of his or her actions are therefore unlawful and unconstitutional.

    While the courts can appreciate the gravity of a POTUS who may found later to be ineligible, the courts have “invented” the de facto officer doctrine and have essentially written the Constitution off the books.

    This may be understandable considering the court may feel it is their responsibility to bring order to chaos.

    Your claims are legally incorrect. Sorry.

  45. avatar
    bob j August 26, 2012 at 1:54 am  (Quote) #

    In these cases, how much latitude does the defense have with respect to sanctions?

    In Indiana, and Hawaii, Dr. Taitz was threatened with sanctions, but nothing came of it. Why?

    Mario was threatened with sanctions, but was let off the hook. Why?

    Is this a political maneuver on the part of Democrats, to highlight the RWNJs, or has the issue finally caused enough irritation for action?

    IANAL ( obviously), but I really am at a loss when it comes to these 152 cases, and the lack of accountability assigned to the plaintiffs.

  46. avatar
    Lupin August 26, 2012 at 3:24 am  (Quote) #

    Keith: Not really. It would make them a martyr to the cause and any further sanctions wouldn’t do them any harm (can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip after all). The fees necessary to continue to file will magically appear. The Koch Brothers The Tea Party The John Birch Society The GOP Puppmaster Star Chamber The delusional RWNJ pensioners have deep pockets when it comes to chump change harassment campaigns.

    Good point. I had neglected to take this into account. But do you think the Koch would bother funding lunatics like Collette? Wouldn’t their money be better spent elsewhere? Anywhere, really?

  47. avatar
    G August 26, 2012 at 3:29 am  (Quote) #

    Sorry John, but the de facto officer doctrine is the law of the land. As with everything else, just because you personally don’t agree nor like the law, doesn’t change the reality that it *is* the law.

    And for all your twisted fantasies of “rising up” against our government – just try it. You folks are only a minority segment of “We the People”. Not only is the much more adequately equipped and armed government able to handle and quickly put down any little mob-rule based insurrection stupidity you folks might try, but the rest of us “We The People” would also rise up to oppose you.

    There is no “ursurper”, except in your unhappy imagination. Obama is NBC by our laws. Your discontent is noted, but it is no justification for you or any of your ilk to try to disrespect our actual laws or overthrow our legally elected government.

    There is a legitimate process in place for changing our laws – petition your legislative representatives. That is your right. Breaking laws or attempting sedition will just get you folks deservedly arrested or worse.

    john: While the courts can appreciate the gravity of a POTUS who may found later to be ineligible, the courts have “invented” the de facto officer doctrine and have essentially written the Constitution off the books.

  48. avatar
    Keith August 26, 2012 at 5:40 am  (Quote) #

    Lupin: Good point. I had neglected to take this into account. But do you think the Koch would bother funding lunatics like Collette? Wouldn’t their money be better spent elsewhere? Anywhere, really?

    Its the trickle down effect. It gets there eventually. It isn’t them specifically funding the frivolous filers, its them funding the organizations that fund and encourage the groups that keep the ideas floating and in front of the PayPal button pushers.

  49. avatar
    The Magic M August 27, 2012 at 7:40 am  (Quote) #

    john: It would mean by many many that every action that Obama has performed would be void or voidable and spur off thousands and thousands of lawsuits in virtually every forum.

    No, for the same reason that if it turned out one of your high school teachers was not qualified to teach, you would not have your high school graduation retroactively revoked, and consequentially your college graduation, and consequentially retroactively be fired by your employer with all your salaries required to be reimbursed, all decisions you made reversed (including everyone you ever fired be reinstated with full pay, also retroactively).
    Or, if you had become a judge, none of the verdicts you gave would have to be voided.

    It’s simple things like that which have motivated the de facto officer doctrine.

    Your dreams of the Magic Reset Button are understandable, but have no basis in law and you really need to stop pretending they do.

    john: No only that, a decision upholding Obama ineligibility would have grave implications on politicians and on the main stream media. The main stream media would end as we know it and countless individuals’ reputations would be tarnished forever. For this reason, no court will ever have the courage or the guts to uphold Obama’s ineligibility or allow it be proven in anyway.

    Since when do the courts care about what consequences their rulings have for the media, or “countless individuals”?
    By your logic, a ruling like Brown vs. Board of Education would have been impossible because SCOTUS would never “embarrass” the zillions of people and countless media that had spoken out in favour of segregation.

    john: We can only hope for that honest judge, but hope is thin.

    And what makes you think that ruling, if it ever came to pass, would not be overturned on the spot, and the judge marked as the looney fool he is?
    How did Clown Joe’s shenanigans (“look, a real Sheriff thinks the BC is forged”) or the blabberings of county judge Head (“2nd Obama term means civil war”) profit your birther cause in any way?
    Do you really think finding one state judge who says “I’m not convinced the President should be on the ballot” will make a difference? The entire issue is solidly marked as “looney tunes”.
    Indeed, if I were a true birther, I’d come to the conclusion that the constant epic failures of your birther mouthpieces (Orly, Van Irion, Berg, Corsi, …) can only be explained as having been planned for exactly that outcome – that nobody will take birtherism serious again, ever. 😉

  50. avatar
    JD Reed August 27, 2012 at 9:36 am  (Quote) #

    The Magic M: No, for the same reason that if it turned out one of your high school teachers was not qualified to teach, you would not have your high school graduation retroactively revoked, and consequentially your college graduation, and consequentially retroactively be fired by your employer with all your salaries required to be reimbursed, all decisions you made reversed (including everyone you ever fired be reinstated with full pay, also retroactively).Or, if you had become a judge, none of the verdicts you gave would have to be voided.It’s simple things like that which have motivated the de facto officer doctrine.Your dreams of the Magic Reset Button are understandable, but have no basis in law and you really need to stop pretending they do.Since when do the courts care about what consequences their rulings have for the media, or “countless individuals”?By your logic, a ruling like Brown vs. Board of Education would have been impossible because SCOTUS would never “embarrass” the zillions of people and countless media that had spoken out in favour of segregation.And what makes you think that ruling, if it ever came to pass, would not be overturned on the spot, and the judge marked as the looney fool he is?How did Clown Joe’s shenanigans (“look, a real Sheriff thinks the BC is forged”) or the blabberings of county judge Head (“2nd Obama term means civil war”) profit your birther cause in any way?Do you really think finding one state judge who says “I’m not convinced the President should be on the ballot” will make a difference? The entire issue is solidly marked as “looney tunes”.Indeed, if I were a true birther, I’d come to the conclusion that the constant epic failures of your birther mouthpieces (Orly, Van Irion, Berg, Corsi, …) can only be explained as having been planned for exactly that outcome – that nobody will take birtherism serious again, ever.

    Hear, hear!

  51. avatar
    JD Reed August 27, 2012 at 10:30 am  (Quote) #

    The Magic M: No, for the same reason that if it turned out one of your high school teachers was not qualified to teach, you would not have your high school graduation retroactively revoked …. And what makes you think that ruling, if it ever came to pass, would not be overturned on the spot, and the judge marked as the loony fool he is?< …

    Just to follow up, Magic M and John:
    First, superb points, Magic. Yes, the search for that “one honest judge” is a fool’s errand from the get-go. His or her ruling would, as you stated, be instantly put on hold, and a higher court would in short order overrule it. So “one honest judge” – read delusional judge – wouldn’t cut it, John; it would take several — including if push came to shove — five Supreme Court judges. Ain’t gonna happen!

    As for the magic reset button, surely you haven’t thought it through, John, because I doubt even you would welcome the consequences of this. If every act of the Obama administration were to be repealed, this would mean voiding of billions of private decisions made by 310 million Americans, because they would have been made pursuant to acts of the federal government 2009-2013.. And it couldn’t be done in a day, a week, a month or, even in a year. As a practical matter, it couldn’t ever be done completely.

    And to borrow a Lincoln phrase, the federal government in this instance would largely have to shut down for any other business, which would mean that critical matters that needed attention would get worse. The results would be devastating, to say the least.

    John is far from the only birther to dream of the magic reset button, which would in essence make the constitution the suicide pact feared by Supreme Court Justice Jackson in 1949:
    “There is danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact,” he wrote in a dissent to the high court’s holding in Terminiello v. City of Chicago (1949).
    The magic reset button would send us far down that road. To assume ONLY for the sake of argument that Obama is an illegitimate president, these folks would inflict lasting and disastrous harm on the lives of 310 million Americans just to keep sacrosanct a piece of paper.

    This echoes Jesus’s observation that “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27, KJV). The constitution was made for Americans, not Americans for the constitution.

    Re Magic’s point about John’s diploma not being revoked if retroactively a high school teacher of his were to be found unqualified: From John’s postings, I’m beginning to get a hint that maybe one of his high school educators was unqualified — his civics teacher

  52. avatar
    Jim F August 27, 2012 at 10:44 am  (Quote) #

    What leads you to think that John graduated? I think the evidence is otherwise.

  53. avatar
    The Magic M August 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm  (Quote) #

    JD Reed: Yes, the search for that “one honest judge” is a fool’s errand from the get-go. His or her ruling would, as you stated, be instantly put on hold, and a higher court would in short order overrule it.

    As a propaganda tool, it might have had some value in the past, if it ever had happened. And that’s all it was intended for – “look, a judge thinks Obama’s papers are insufficient, doesn’t that make you suspicious, doesn’t that make you reconsider voting for him?”.

    However, whatever little propaganda value it might have had, I doubt that it would cause even a minor stir in the pot today.
    There have been too many loons out already as the elections draw nearer. One more won’t make a difference. Sheriff Joe was their last best hope. Since even he didn’t manage to pull off the intended propaganda stunt, no “one honest judge” from Texas (or wherever) will.

    Birthers’ best hope is that Mittens will bring it up (again). But since this will basically guarantee Obama’s re-election, they may not be the only ones hoping. 😉

  54. avatar
    MattR August 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm  (Quote) #

    The Magic M: No, for the same reason that if it turned out one of your high school teachers was not qualified to teach, you would not have your high school graduation retroactively revoked, and consequentially your college graduation, and consequentially retroactively be fired by your employer with all your salaries required to be reimbursed, all decisions you made reversed (including everyone you ever fired be reinstated with full pay, also retroactively). Or, if you had become a judge, none of the verdicts you gave would have to be voided.

    Unfortunately, I think in John’s brain you just revealed the hidden reason why bad teachers rarely get fired. He is now realizing it is not the power of unions, but all the degrees that would have to be rescinded and how crowded the schools would become when former students are forced to go back and retake classes that no longer count.

  55. avatar
    The Magic M August 28, 2012 at 7:20 am  (Quote) #

    MattR: Unfortunately, I think in John’s brain you just revealed the hidden reason why bad teachers rarely get fired.

    I don’t think he needs me to fuel his delusions. 😉

    But it’s worth a look at how many examples for (regulations similar to) the de facto officer doctrine one can find in everyday life.
    For example, I remember from my graduation that the exam regulations had a provision along the lines of “if after passing the exams it turns out that some prerequisite for taking them was not met, the results remain valid unless the student acted in bad faith”.
    This of course includes having taken a pre-exam by an examiner who turns out to have been unqualified.

    I don’t know if the principle originated from Kant’s “normative power of the factual” which is one of the most important principles in the law of nations. After all, nobody goes “but Prince Stoopid of Sylvania was never authorized to give away the province of Narboodle to the Tublingians in 1712, therefore it still belongs to Tomania and we have every right to take it back, by force if necessary”. (Well, Saddam tried with Kuwait, but we all know how that ended…) But it’s certainly possible.

    I understand that laymen may have a hard time understanding how the acts of an “unqualified” officer can stand as if he were qualified (especially if they really really want those acts to be void). And yes, the doctrine is not in the Constitution. However, *not* applying it would indeed generate a flurry of undo operations that would be impossible to pull off. Therefore, having the doctrine as a practical matter is much better than not having it. And once you have it, you can’t apply it selectively.

    As an analogy for john: the Constitution also doesn’t say what constitutes “proof” in a legal sense. But that doesn’t mean one has to apply an extreme and impractical standard (“a judge/jury may only indict if he/they personally witnessed the crime”).
    “Preponderance of evidence” or “beyond reasonable doubt” are not codified in the Constitution, yet they are part of everyday legal process.
    So the claim that the de facto officer doctrine is some shady made-up nonsense is quite single-minded. (Besides, I don’t recall any birther having a problem with it until it got in their way of dreaming of the Magic Reset Button. Sounds familiar? Birthers having no problems with a certain legal concept until it blocks them from getting what they want? ;))

  56. avatar
    sfjeff August 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm  (Quote) #

    john: “Courts have held under the de facto officer doctrine that acts and laws signed by persons acting in the capacity of their title are valid even if the person’s appointment or election to the office is legally deficient.”The people would simply not accept an ineligible President and any acts or actions performed by him or her. The people simply will not disregard the Constitution, the Supreme Law of Land, that states the POTUS must be an NBC. Regardless of the courts say, a POTUS who is NOT an NBC, all of his or her actions are therefore unlawful and unconstitutional.While the courts can appreciate the gravity of a POTUS who may found later to be ineligible, the courts have “invented” the de facto officer doctrine and have essentially written the Constitution off the books.This may be understandable considering the court may feel it is their responsibility to bring order to chaos.

    John- the “people’ have already decided that Obama is eligible. You aren’t willing to accept the judgement of the ‘people’ or of Congress or of the Courts.

    See a pattern here John?

    You will only accept the judgement of someone who agrees with your conclusion. And that is typical of all Birthers.

  57. avatar
    hocke August 29, 2012 at 1:49 am  (Quote) #

    Seems even in the hypothetical world of the magic reset button the notion of a VP fails to emerge. So following this logic down the rabbit hole, I don’t think they realize VP Biden becomes Pres. Joe Biden and through executive order restores all that was signed by Obama.

  58. avatar
    John Potter August 29, 2012 at 1:55 am  (Quote) #

    hocke: So following this logic down the rabbit hole, I don’t think they realize VP Biden becomes Pres. Joe Biden

    Wrong! Paul Ryan will be sworn in as President in accordance with subparagraph B of para-clause 4 of the Swiss translation of the 29th Amendment. Don’t you know anything?

    [ My best birfer imitation … every day is Opposite Day in the birferverse 😛 ]

  59. avatar
    Majority Will August 29, 2012 at 8:00 am  (Quote) #

    hocke:
    Seems even in the hypothetical world of the magic reset button the notion of a VP fails to emerge. So following this logic down the rabbit hole, I don’t think they realize VP Biden becomes Pres. Joe Biden and through executive order restores all that was signed by Obama.

    But that’s not how the birther bigot fantasizes. In their deluded world, the Constitution is suspended. I’ve read many scenarios from these idiots justifying putting Speaker Boehner in charge in a tearful, joyful ceremony as the President and the V.P. are frog marched in handcuffs from the White House.

    “Unlike in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ simply saying something is so does not make it so”.

    – Judge Clay Daniel Land, United States District Court

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