Normally a birther lawsuit is gobbledygook, legal nonsense, crazy logic, and worthy of universal condemnation; this includes those from a certain birther attorney. It was also the case with Linda Jordan’s pro se complaint and appeal in the case of Jordan v. Reed. The court rightly dismissed the suit, upheld on appeal, and the Washington Secretary of State rightly requested and was granted costs for defending a frivolous appeal, costs of nearly $13,000.
However, the amount awarded the State was not the actual cost of the defense but rather a market rate times the number of hours. The award was about 3 times the actual expense. Some think this is a windfall for the State. True or not, there is another windfall in this story and that is the intervention of a real lawyer, a former Supreme Court of Washington justice Richard B. Sanders, arguing that the costs awarded by the court were excessive.
The argument is whether the costs are punitive or compensatory, and what the standard is for computing the costs. My article on the State’s brief is “Washington AG makes strong case for sanctions.” I am not a lawyer, so I won’t give an opinion, but here’s something better than you’ve probably ever seen in a birther lawsuit: