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What’s a heaven for?

Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?

I don’t think Robert Browning’s exhortation has been lost on the birthers. They’ve grasped in the form of over 200 lawsuits, attempts to rally millions to the nation’s capitol and to sway both the electorate and Congress—none with much of any success.

On the legal front, they have been stymied by the lack of standing. In federal court, unless some statute gives leave, an individual can only bring a lawsuit when they can show standing. To show standing, a plaintiff must allege (1) an “injury-in-fact” that is “concrete and particularized,” and “actual or imminent.” While Donald Trump using his celebrity and the power of the media was able to get Barack Obama to release a copy of his birth certificate, Orly Taitz (et al) was not able to do this through the courts because her interest in the President’s birth certificate is not “concrete and particularized.” Despite what she might believe, she’s nothing special.

While not a birther lawsuit, there is a current lawsuit of interest involving a birther attorney, Larry Klayman, who has made a very great reach suing no less than:

Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T, Jason Katz, Palalk, Marissa Meyer, Yahoo! Inc., Tim Armstrong, AOL, Tony Bates, Steve Ballmer, Skype, Microsoft, Apple, Timothy Cook, Salar Kamangar, YouTube, LLC, Larry Page, Google Inc., Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Department Of Justice of the United States, National Security Agency, Keith B. Alexander, Barack Hussein Obama, II, Eric Holder, Sprint Communications Company and Daniel Heese.

So is Klayman attempting to grasp onto the publicity teat of the Edward Snowden revelations about NSA intelligence gathering, or does he have a point?

Klayman and his three co-plaintiffs are attempting what is called a “class action.”  A class action allows multiple people to sue multiple people when the cause of action is similar. So how is this type of suit different from the typical ones with the issue of standing? Class actions at the federal level (such as Klayman v. Holder) are governed by FRCP 23 and 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332(d). Here I rely on my legal degree, De Facto Juris Doctor Pro Hac Vice, which lets me look up stuff on the Wikipedia and act as if I know what I am talking about. In my inexpert guy on the Internet opinion, I don’t think that a class action overcomes the issue of standing at all. If no member of the class has standing, the class doesn’t have standing.

Class action privacy lawsuits have been around for some time, going back to a suit against DoubleClick, Inc. over tracking cookies. That case was settled out of court. The question then and now is the whether the loss of privacy is harm when there is no concrete injury. In the case of Low v. LinkedIn, the court said: “Plaintiff was unable to articulate a theory of what information had actually been transmitted to third parties, how it had been transferred to third parties, and how LinkedIn had actually caused him harm.” It would seem to me that the same sort of problem occurs with Klayman’s class action against the NSA (et al) in that he cannot show how the information collected actually damaged him or his co-defendants, nor does he even know that any information was collected on him.

What is interesting is that up to this point, the last thing I thought about doing was reading Klayman’s argument. I trust the legal discussions in the Wikipedia much more than I would Larry Klayman. My trust may be correctly placed, but ignoring what the crackpot says is never a  good idea.

According to a paper at Bloomberg Law (that readers here may find instructive), there are two emerging theories of injury, “statutory injury” and “fear as injury.” It would seem that statutory injury is the most promising approach, a violation by the government of a protected right. Arguments based on direct appeal to the Constitution have not worked well in the past (Klayman here invokes the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments), but also invokes 18 U.S.C. §2702 (a)(1) that deals with the “contents of a communication” and tries to make it apply to “records of communications,” a dubious gambit.

The case was filed in June and the docket is up 29 entries. I don’t see an entry suggesting that the class has been certified by the Court. Oh by the way, Klayman wants $20 billion. For that kind of money, he should have showed up at the Status Conference (but he didn’t).

The opinions expressed in this article should not be considered legal advice. I am not a lawyer.

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30 Responses to What’s a heaven for?

  1. avatar
    Curious George November 19, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    “Oh by the way, Klayman wants $20 billion.”

    Apparently those WND donations aren’t materializing? Lots of money is needed for the start of the next American revolution. 😉

  2. avatar
    The European November 19, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    KKKlayman is even more disgusting than Dr. Taitz. He knows what he tries to do. Just never shows up.

    He is a guy who neither has a gun nor does he travel. Doesn’t have the money to pay the fare (that is what he told the court in his child molesting case.) Yes, a child molester. That is something no one ever accused Dr. Taitz of.

  3. avatar
    Lupin November 19, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    The European: KKKlayman is even more disgusting than Dr. Taitz. He knows what he tries to do. Just never shows up.

    He is a guy who neither has a gun nor does he travel. Doesn’t have the money to pay the fare (that is what he told the court in his child molesting case.) Yes, a child molester. That is something no one ever accused Dr. Taitz of.

    I could not agree more.

    I used to see him on Bill Maher’s POLITICALLY INCORRECT show way back when (during the Clinton impeachment says) and I don’t recall ever seeing such a loathsome guest. Even Witchy Witch and Right-Wing Floyd were more sympathetic. Coulter was appalling in a harpy-sort of way, but not loathsome. Klayman was truly despicable.

  4. avatar
    The Magic M November 19, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Curious George: Apparently those WND donations aren’t materializing?

    Neither is Corsi’s big $250 million case against Esquire. Add “WND will own Esquire when this is over” to the list of my favourite claims that never came to be.

  5. avatar
    RoadScholar November 19, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    The European: That is something no one ever accused Dr. Taitz of.

    Well…. almost no one. 😉

  6. avatar
    The European November 19, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    RoadScholar: Well…. almost no one.

    I see what smiley you used.

    But to be sincere: I have watched Dr. Taitz for much too long. Sometimes I can’t bear her any longer. So I send her insulting posts sometimes. She is unable to block me – all her internets belong to me. She has to notice / read them before she deletes.

    Knowing her personality, I am sure that she “abused” her sons in a very wide sense. But she surely did not sexually molest them, like KKKlayman did with his daughter.

  7. avatar
    donna November 19, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    isn’t today 11/19/2013?

    klayman said on September 23, 2013:

    On November 19, 2013, a day that will hopefully live on in the history of our once great republic, I call upon millions of Americans who have been appalled and disgusted by Obama’s criminality – his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda – among other outrages, to descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that he leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.

    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/klayman/130923

    Larry Klayman puts his money where his mouth is: Date set for revolution

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/301734_Larry_Klayman_puts_his_money_w

  8. avatar
    donna November 19, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    AND on november 15, 2013: Larry Klayman and Friends to Give Obama ‘Last Chance’ on Nov. 19

    In his Nov. 1 WorldNetDaily column calling on left and right to unite at his Nov. 19 rally, Klayman wrote: “[T] he nation’s ‘leaders’ are so corrupt that it is no longer a question of whether revolution will ultimately break out, but simply when. In the words of French King Louis XV, ‘Apres moi le deluge,’ meaning let the people be damned, and after me I don’t care if all hell breaks loose. Indeed, this came to pass when French citizens stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, in addition to the king’s noble court, government officials and judges, were later taken to the guillotines.”

    He continued, “This is the last chance for Obama and his Democratic and Republican enablers to escape more serious remedies by the populace.”

    http://splcenter.org/blog/2013/11/15/larry-klayman-and-friends-to-give-obama-last-chance-on-nov-19/

  9. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 19, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    So if this is the “last chance”, does that mean he’ll stop after it fails?

  10. avatar
    donna November 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:

    In the end, no more than a hundred people showed up for today’s big event.

    Nevertheless, Klayman told Tea Party activists that he is still confident that the Reclaim American Now rally will force the president to resign and that grateful Americans will beseech Klayman and his allies to organize a new Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

    Below are some of our favorite pictures from the revolution.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/larry-klayman-rally-overthrow-obama-draws-slightly-fewer-millions-expected

  11. avatar
    CarlOrcas November 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    donna: In the end, no more than a hundred people showed up for today’s big event.

    Doesn’t it go until late this afternoon……6 or so?

    Any hour now!!

  12. avatar
    The Magic M November 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    donna: In the end, no more than a hundred people showed up for today’s big event.

    Stalinist propaganda 101 sez: “Huge success, we were only a few million short of our goal.” 😉

    KKKlayman: “To the tens of people in attendance, and the billions who are with us in spirit around the whole White, uh, wide world…”

  13. avatar
    Arthur November 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: So if this is the “last chance”, does that mean he’ll stop after it fails?

    Stop? That’s what’s called a “fat chance.”

  14. avatar
    Rickey November 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    donna:

    He [Klayman] continued, “This is the last chance for Obama and his Democratic and Republican enablers to escape more serious remedies by the populace.”

    Apparently Klayman has extended his deadline to the day after Thanksgiving. I’m sure that Obama is changing his holiday plans as we speak.

    A comment at the 2 Million Bikers Facebook page:

    Beverly Morrison; where is everyone. I had hoped we would have something like the egyptians when they threw out morsi. How sad that more people aren’t there.

  15. avatar
    Arthur November 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Rickey: Apparently Klayman has extended his deadline to the day after Thanksgiving. I’m sure that Obama is changing his holiday plans as we speak.

    One can take in the Klayman Katastrophe from this live feed:

    http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/11/watch-larry-klaymans-reclaim-american-live-video/#0wP04t3jzm5E9E06.99%22

    I can’t wait to hear Bradlee Dean! He’s just an elegant monologist.

  16. avatar
    roadburner November 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    donna: Andrew Vrba, PmG:In the end, no more than a hundred people showed up for today’s big event.Nevertheless, Klayman told Tea Party activists that he is still confident that the Reclaim American Now rally will force the president to resign and that grateful Americans will beseech Klayman and his allies to organize a new Continental Congress in Philadelphia.Below are some of our favorite pictures from the revolution.http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/larry-klayman-rally-overthrow-obama-draws-slightly-fewer-millions-expected

    looking at those photos, anything near 100 is somewhat optimistic

  17. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Oh, it does warm the cockles of my heart to see a birther rally fail so hard. One hundred is a pretty optimistic number! The on-screen zombie count, for the Wii version of Dead Rising has more characters on the screen at one time than any of these photos.
    Course they behave about the same way. Just standing there, looking stupid.

  18. avatar
    Curious George November 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    This will be photoshopped into a glorious million man march on WND. What a hoot!

  19. avatar
    Benji Franklin November 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    donna: Below are some of our favorite pictures from the revolution.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/larry-klayman-rally-overthrow-obama-draws-slightly-fewer-millions-expected

    I notice one of the photos of Klayman is captioned, “God is behind Larry Klayman.”

    Since God is obtrusively everywhere, this statement cannot mean that God occupies only space beyond the place where Klayman is seen ranting, as seen from this camera angle.

    Since Larry Klayman is undeniably, a “behind”, as in “ass whole”, I take it that the caption’s author thinks Klayman IS GOD, so the caption seems to argue that God is ass whole Larry Klayman.

    Close enough!

  20. avatar
    Curious George November 20, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Less than 100 people by my estimate. Go Larry, Go!

    Where were Zoo-Lowe and Arpaio? Are they getting a little nervous about their association with the antics of the one man Revolution?

    Yep, this is the guy who has their daffydavits earmarked for the Alabama Supreme Court. What a hoot!

  21. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 20, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Curious George:
    This will be photoshopped into a glorious million man march on WND.What a hoot!

    They’re gonna need ILM’s help in a big way, to get even half the number of people they were hoping for.

  22. avatar
    Kiwiwriter November 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Curious George:
    “Oh by the way, Klayman wants $20 billion.”

    Apparently those WND donations aren’t materializing? Lots of money is needed for the start of the next American revolution.

    He wants $20 billion to finance the revolution. The only problem is, once the revolution starts and he takes over the government…the previous regime’s money won’t have any value, will it?

    So what’s he going to do with the worthless paper? Cover his walls?

  23. avatar
    Curious George November 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Kiwiwriter: He wants $20 billion to finance the revolution. The only problem is, once the revolution starts and he takes over the government…the previous regime’s money won’t have any value, will it?

    So what’s he going to do with the worthless paper? Cover his walls?

    He’ll convert the funds into “KlayArpLos,” the true definition of “funny money.”

  24. avatar
    donna November 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    more on klayman’s “revolution”:The wingnut revolution is upon us. Oops, no, you missed it.

    Approximately 100 conservative activists gathered in front of the White House on Tuesday for a kickoff of what organizers call “the second American revolution.”

    Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman, who emceed the event, told attendees if President Barack Obama does not resign by Nov. 29, conservative activists will meet in Philadelphia to elect a shadow government.

    Two people per state? That’s not a revolution, that’s a Senate.

    Bishop Dan Johnson of the Heart of Fire Church in Louisville, Ky., prayed with ralliers, asking God to “cause [elected officials] to get on their knees, not to Allah, but to God almighty.” In his prayer, Johnson denounced homosexuality, permissive parenting, pornography and welfare.

    “We have a scoundrel living in that building,” [Former Rep. Bob Barr] said, pointing at the White House, “and need to do something about it.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/

    The new declaration says Obama must “immediately step down from his usurped office and seek refuge in a nation more of his liking.” Grievances against Obama include gun-control proposals, immigration reform agitation, a departure from “Biblical morality,” alleged help for al-Qaida associates in the Middle East, an allegedly fabricated birth certificate and executive actions that loop around Congress.

    Activists seek to dissolve the United States until Obama is forced from office.

    “He’s kind of like a skunk,” one attendee joked. “He’s half white, half black, and everything he does stinks.”

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/11/19/conservative-activists-plan-to-elect-shadow-president-if-obama-doesnt-resign-by-black-friday

  25. avatar
    Crustacean November 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    At least now we know who wants to destroy America.

    donna: Activists seek to dissolve the United States

  26. avatar
    Keith November 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Kiwiwriter: He wants $20 billion to finance the revolution. The only problem is, once the revolution starts and he takes over the government…the previous regime’s money won’t have any value, will it?

    So what’s he going to do with the worthless paper? Cover his walls?

    Buy Bitcoins?

  27. avatar
    Rickey November 20, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Media Matters has a worthwhile report on yesterday’s epic fail.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/11/20/second-american-revolution-rally-falls-999870-p/196994

  28. avatar
    JPotter November 20, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Rickey:
    Media Matters has a worthwhile report on yesterday’s epic fail.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/11/20/second-american-revolution-rally-falls-999870-p/196994

    Thanks for the link … looks like LARP for wingnuts, esp. the bit about electing a new gov’t in Phillie LOL

    Mustachio Joe is starting to look old. This whole birther gag really is getting long in the tooth 😉

  29. avatar
    The Magic M November 21, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    JPotter: looks like LARP for wingnuts, esp. the bit about electing a new gov’t in Phillie LOL

    Another common crank MO – once they’ve been unsuccessful for long enough, they simply declare themselves the new rulers of their own little dream world.
    In my country, there are at least three right-wing “shadow governments”, each led by some old white guy who loves to call himself “President of the Reich” (they call each other “traitors” of course because “there can be only one” ;)).

    The next step is usually some made-up court sending out “verdicts” containing long jail and even death sentences.

  30. avatar
    Paper November 21, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    —–

    Ah, but birtherdom’s reach should exceed its grasp,
    Or what’s a doorknob for?