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Alabama chief justice may have tipped off birthers

Investigation requested

Photo of Moore with US flag in backgroundRC Radio reports that Birmingham Attorney Barry Ragsdale has notified the Alabama Supreme Court of a possible ethics violation. This came after Sharon Rondeau of the Post & Email wrote that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had spoken to someone and told them the future date of the Alabama Supreme Court decision in McInnish v. Chapman. The correct prediction of the date was published at the P&E. Lest we jump to conclusions, Ragsdale in his letter to the court cautioned:

Needless to say, given the tenor and content of the on-line blogs in question, there is reason to doubt the accuracy or veracity of anything reported by them.

Judge Moore was previously an author for WorldNetDaily.

Read the details at RC Radio.

After thinking about this for a while, I feel it more likely that Judge Moore did not have the conversation claimed by Rondeau. The “face to face” detail seems contrived, something added to make the story more believable. This story is a bit like Orly Taitz’ complaint about extra-judicial remarks by Judge Wingate in Mississippi, one that is almost certainly bogus.

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Vogt filed at Supreme Court?

According to Birther Report, a document reproduced the article there is described as “Filed at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 20, 2014.” If that were the case, then one would expect the petition to have appeared on the Supreme Court docket on March 21, but it’s not there. The case is styled: “Douglas Vogt vs. United States District Court, Western District of Washington.

The document presented at BR is not, it appears, the actual petition for a writ of certiorari, but a separate motion to expedite and file under seal. According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press study, an increasing number of sealed filings are appearing at the Supreme Court, but one must question the necessity of such a filing in this case. Naming Vogt’s fantasy forger is immaterial to his petition, as is his incompetent crank forensic analysis.

It all seems a publicity stunt to me.

McInnish Appeal denied in Alabama

mighty Klayman has struck out

Today the Alabama Supreme Court issued its 7-2 decision in the case of McInnish v. Chapman, and the decision goes against plaintiffs Hugh Chapman and Virgil Goode, who were trying to force the Alabama Secretary of State to verify Obama’s eligibility to be on the 2102 Alabama presidential ballot. Larry Klayman was the attorney for the Appellants.

The Court’s Majority issued no written opinion, only affirming the lower court decision dismissing the case.

  • Majority decision to affirm dismissal, no opinion (Stuart, Murdock, Shaw, Main, Wise)
  • Concurring opinion (Bolin)
  • Concurring opinion (Bryan)
  • Dissenting Opinion (Moore)
  • Dissenting Opinion (Parker)

Chief Justice Roy Moore issued the major dissenting opinion, and Justice Bolin issued a concurring opinion specifically addressed to Moore’s dissent. Chief Justice Moore states that under Alabama Law, Secretary of State Chapman has an affirmative duty to verify candidate eligibility. Justice Bolin agrees that candidate eligibility is an important public interest, but that Alabama statutes do not place a duty on the Secretary of State to verify it. Further Justice Bolin points out that Secretary of State Chapman is a nonjudicial officer with no subpoena power or investigative authority. Justice Bolin concludes:

Under our current structure, however, the burden of investigating a presidential candidate’s qualifications is best left – unfortunately or not – to the candidate’s political party….

As I understand his position, Justice Bolin is saying that a state statute requiring verification of eligibility for candidates for president is a desirable thing, given his belief that the federal courts are prohibited from adjudicating eligibility because of the Political Question Doctrine.

Justice Bryan also issued a concurring opinion, briefly stating his belief that legislation could be passed to allow verification of candidate eligibility.

Chief Justice Moore’s dissenting opinion goes to the details of the Alabama statutes involved and at a brief reading has no particular high points. It is an analysis on the merits.

Chief Justice Parker also dissents from the majority opinion, supporting the analysis of Chief Justice Moore, but disagreeing on the Secretary of State’s affirmative duty to investigate candidate eligibility.

A text search of all of the opinions affirms my opinion that the Affidavit of Mike Zullo is irrelevant to the decision, being cited not once, except that the dissenting opinion from Justice Parker made reference to materials submitted previously to the Secretary of State that were sufficient, in his mind, to warrant investigation. Those materials reference results of Zullo’s investigation and contain a brief statement from him.

Read more:

High-class judge shopping

Funny how quickly yesterday’s big story fades. I gave quite a lot of attention to an action Douglas Vogt filed in Seattle federal court, trying to force a judge to empanel a grand jury and let Vogt present his unqualified image analysis to it. It was pretty exciting with it’s sealed affidavit and bread crumbs left all over Internet radio leading to his mystery Jane Doe forger of Obama’s birth certificate. In the end, it didn’t work. The judge dismissed whatever it was.

Vogt and his “not an attorney anymore” associate Montgomery Blair Sibley (Sibley left his name in document metadata)  appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Writ of Mandamus to force the court in Seattle to give him his grand jury. That was denied January 14, and the case closed. (Vogt filed a motion to reconsider in January 24).

Undaunted Vogt started mailing his big package-o-papers to 175 federal judges asking them for a grand jury. That’s some judge shopping list. Vogt tried to drum up excitement by publishing the heavily-redacted reply from one judge that he took to be favorable, but nothing must have come of it because…

Having failed with everything so far, Vogt is taking the ultimate step of going before the US Supreme Court (although his motion for reconsideration is still pending before the 9th Circuit), says Vogt in a letter to the Post & Email blog. In the copyrighted letter, dated today, Vogt asks for money, $800, to defray the cost of printing 40 copies and the filing fee. Is it just me, or is it weird that a successful businessman who owns a photocopier company is asking for money to make copies? OK, I expect there are special printing requirements and maybe it makes sense to let a professional in Supreme Court filings do the work, but $800 is not all that much money for big-time executives.

The Vogt Press Release says: “Douglas Vogt will be lodging with the United States Supreme Court this month the compelling forensic evidence contained in his 95 page public and 75 page sealed affidavits.” I don’t think Supreme Court Rules are going to let him submit 170 pages—not even close, but then I wonder if the Supreme Court ever got a petition like this one before.

In his begging letter Vogt mentions, but does not explain, some urgency in getting this to the Supreme Court now because 9th Circuit delays were making were going to make it too late to file with the Supreme Court. This presumably refers to his motion for reconsideration, so far still pending. There is a limited time (90 days) after denial by the circuit during which an appeal to the Supreme Court may be filed.

This all seems silly to me unless it’s a publicity stunt for Vogt’s upcoming book, “From Forgery to Treason.” Folks who donate $25 towards his expenses will get an autographed copy of the Supreme Court filing, but alas no book. Vogt has clearly gone around the bend describing the 9th Circuit as afraid of his case.

Read more:

Lamb Loses Lawsuit

Thomas A. Lamb believes that citizens have a right to see the personal records of candidates for President, including their college and medical records. He filed suit against Obama and Romney in Alaska Superior Court to get them. (Romney was eventually dropped as a defendant.)

The Superior Court ruled against Lamb for 4 reasons:

  1. Failure to prefect service
  2. Lack of standing
  3. Lack of subject matter jurisdiction
  4. Failure to state a claim for relief

Lamb lost on appeal and on March 12, the Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal on items 2-4, not addressing service.

Read the decision.

Solved: The Mystery of the Missing Motion

You know how it is in Orly Taitz land. Everybody is out to get her and to sabotage her cases. The most recent report from her blog says that the court deep-sixed her latest brief in Taitz v. Colvin, and not only that: When she tries to call the court, her call is disconnected! The article is titled: “So far MD District Court did not docket my reply with the complaint about prior documents disappearing from the docket. what is going on? A complaint will be sent directly to Judge Hollander. I need your assistance in calling the court and asking to docket the reply and exhibits ASAP. Every time I call the court at(410) 962-2600, I am being disconnected[.]” [Link to Taitz site]

What is her solution?

  1. Write a blog article about it!
  2. Ask her readers to call the court for her!
  3. Promise to complain to the judge!

To put this in perspective, Orly wrote this desperate plea for help yesterday and the court received her paperwork [wait for it] yesterday. If Taitz had let the dust settle until today, all would have been made clear.

I am not a lawyer, but just nosing around I have found this legal principle that says the movant gets the last word. For example:

  • Plaintiff: Mommy, Tommy hit me!
  • Defense: Did not!
  • Plaintiff: Did too!

At this point, the dispute would be “fully briefed.” Tommy has had his say in the matter. Now Tommy might want to say something else, but he has to get permission first:

  • Mommy, can I please say something else?

Should Tommy’s mother give permission for something else to be said, that would be called a “surreply” and then another response to that could be made.

  • Defense: Did not!
  • Plaintiff: Did too!

In Taitz v. Colvin we have docket entries as follows on a Motion to Dismiss/Motion for Summary Judgment:

ECF # Date Description
28 1/30/2014 MOTION to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment by Carolyn Colvin Responses due by 2/18/2014 (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Law, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit D, # 6 Exhibit E)(Loucks, Allen) (Entered: 01/30/2014)
31 2/19/2014 RESPONSE in Opposition re 28 MOTION to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment filed by Orly Taitz. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4)(aos, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 02/19/2014)
32 3/2/2014 REPLY to Response to Motion re 28 MOTION to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment and Response to Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Carolyn Colvin. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Loucks, Allen) (Entered: 03/02/2014)

 

So Defense’s Motion to Dismiss has been fully briefed.  Orly then files a “Reply in support of a motion for summary judgment in favor of plaintiff” only there was no such motion that I can find (however, see update below). Here’s how the court sees Orly’s last brief, in an entry docketed today indicating Taitz’ brief would be returned to her:

image

Update:

An attorney commenting on this article points out that Taitz had attempted to make a motion for summary judgment piggy backed on another motion (a practice the courts frown on and may disallow). I do not know the process through which the Court discovered what Taitz was trying to do, but later yesterday, the court docketed her brief.

Taitz in a new article today [link to Taitz web site] and speaking of herself in the third person, describes the appearance of the docket entry as “miraculous” and goes on to take attorney Scott Tepper and unnamed web sites to task for assassinating her character. So here’s the best I can do by way of apology:

Orly, what you did in filing your brief in Taitz v. Colvin was not completely inept as I first thought, but just procedurally confusing and contrary to best practices. You’ll still lose the case.

For everyone’s reading pleasure, here is the brief and the attached exhibits:

And now for something completely different:

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