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Taitz expands Ebola ban

USA Map overlaid with Ebola virus imageOne wonders why a dentist from California, or even a district court judge in Texas, should be setting policy for public health in the United States. Nevertheless, that’s what Orly Taitz wants Judge Andrew S. Hanen to do in an expansion of her motion filed on October 24. There is an upcoming hearing on Taitz’ lawsuit, about which she says:

On Wednesday 29 October, we have what may be our last chance to stop or at least seriously curtain Ebola’s now wide-open entry into the US.

From the filing:

Plaintiff is seeking for this court to extend this partial ban to a full ban and stay travel to the remaining five airports with the goal of stopping proliferation of Ebola in the US, which has 70% death rate and Health Care providers, such as plaintiff, are more affected than others.

That statistic is not true for patients treated in the US; 85% is the cure rate here1, and in any case I cannot imagine how Taitz sees herself as a health care provider at special risk for catching Ebola. Recall that Taitz’ case was about the transportation of undocumented children while they were awaiting their court date. Taitz tried to show standing by claiming that she herself got sick from treating such children. There is no way Taitz can demonstrate that she is in imminent danger of catching Ebola. Judge Hanen has all he needs to dismiss this mess; let’s hope he does.

In terms of the actual death toll, measles is many times more deadly than Ebola. Measles deaths are preventable through vaccination, but junk science linking vaccines with autism have caused the vaccination rates to fall and mortality from measles to climb.


1Since the article cited, nurse Nina Pham has been declared Ebola-free.

Liberty Legal loses

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed the decision of a Tennessee district court that attorney Van R. Irion and the Liberty Legal Foundation must pay sanctions to the Tennessee Democratic Party in the amount of $10,563.25. The original lawsuit was almost identical to another suit Irion filed in Arizona District Court. After dismissing the case, US District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson ruled that the lawsuit was frivolous and ordered sanctions to be paid to the Defense. He wrote:

…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 Circuit Court affirmed, saying:

…the district court correctly set out the applicable law and correctly applied that law to the case…

SCOTUS dumps birther lawsuit bin

Monday is trash pickup day at my house, and also today the Supreme Court announced dumping of birther lawsuits, most notably an appeal from the Supreme Court of Alabama in McInnish v. Chapman. Also denied was Rudy v. Lee (with amicus brief by Herb Titus).

CERTIORARI DENIED

H/t to gorefan.

Because of the holiday, the next pick-up will be on Tuesday.

Taitz claims they’re all out to get her

Here’s the quote from her amended complaint (2nd part) in the Johnson case:

It is widely believed that each District Court and each U.S. Attorney’s office has individuals who are embedded in those offices and who are working for (National Security Agency) and FBI and not only gather information, but also tamper with records, similar to NSA tampering with phone records and e-mails, as reported by the federal whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Taitz goes on to say that this is why it appears that she sent some material directly to the judge that didn’t get on the docket. I wonder how Judge Hanen will react to that allegation of an NSA mole in his court? I wonder how Judge Hanen will react to Taitz misspelling his name on the amended complaint?

In addition, Taitz alleges that a potential witness was pressured to lie in an affidavit to make her look bad. I previously reported that Taitz represented to the court that Immigration officer, Ronald Zermeno , was willing to testify for her and to travel from California. In an affidavit, he said:

I never waived the application of Rule 45(c)(1), particularly since I have had no discussions or interactions with Dr. Taitz.

Taitz claims he was pressured to say that:

Under duress and under pressure of possible employment termination Zermeno signed a declaration where he claimed that he did not know who Taitz was until Judge Hanen ordered subpoenas to be signed on August 25, 2014 and that he did not want to testify.

In fact, several days prior to signing of the order to issue subpoenas, through written text messages and phone conversations with fellow border patrol officers, Zermeno agreed to appear at August 27, 2014 hearing before Judge Hanen and was willing to produce evidence of aforementioned violations by the defendants.

Taitz misrepresents the Zermeno affidavit that nowhere says he had never heard of Orly Taitz, and didn’t know who she was. Further, it appears clear that Zermeno was never properly served with the subpoena.

Obama attorney answers birther suit at SCOTUS

I believe the anonymous writer at Gerbil Report™ is correct in saying that this is the first time President Obama has responded to a birther petition at the Supreme Court. For whatever reason, attorney Mark Herron, who represented the President in the Florida case of Voeltz v. Obama, has filed a brief in opposition to the petition for a writ of mandamus by Voeltz. Florida Secretary of State Kenneth W. Detzner filed a waiver of his right to respond.

This case, sometimes called Voeltz III (as it is the third one by Voeltz in Florida), was famously dismissed for lack of jurisdiction by judge Kevin J. Carroll, writing:

This Court notes that President Obama lives in the White House. He flies on Air Force One. He has appeared before Congress, delivered State of the Union addresses, and meets with Congressional leaders on a regular basis. He has appointed countless ambassadors to represent the interests of the United States throughout the world. President Obama’s recent appointment of The Honorable Mark Walker, formerly a member of this Court, has been confirmed by the United States Senate. Judge Walker has been worn in as a United States District Court Judge and currently works at the Federal Courthouse down the Street. The Electoral College has recently done its work and elected Mr. Obama to be President once again. As this matter has come before the Court at this time of the year it seems only appropriate to paraphrase the ruling rendered by the fictional Judge Henry X. Harper from New York in open court in the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th St. “Since the United States Government declares this man to be President, this Court will not dispute it. Case dismissed.”

The Florida Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in this case, citing lack of jurisdiction. (Here, Florida law prevents their Supreme Court from hearing an appeal of a per curiam [in the name of the court] affirming appellate decision without opinion.)

The specific relief being requested by Voeltz is:

Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court issue a writ of mandamus compelling the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit in and for Leon County, Florida to hear to the case on the merits and issue a declaratory judgment as to the eligibility of Barack Obama to serve as President of the United States.

Attorney Mark Herron responds in his brief in opposition to the petition by arguing that state courts do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate presidential eligibility, that this responsibility is “…committed under the Constitution to the electors and to Congress…” and further that an extraordinary measure such as a writ of mandamus is not justified. A writ of mandamus is an order directing someone to so something that they have an obligation to do, and is issued when no other remedy is available. Herron argues that there is no obligation whatever for the Florida court to vacate its order and try the case on the merits rather than dismissing it.

Voeltz is being represented by birther attorney Larry Klayman. Mark Herron had previously moved for sanctions against Klayman in this case.

Documents:

Expert says Orly has a “good case” that immigrant children are spreading rare disease

imageThe chart at the right came from the Centers for Disease Control. EV-D68 is a strain of enterovirus, first isolated in the United States in 1962. There has been a bit of an outbreak of the generally uncommon virus recently. It is a respiratory virus whose symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Orly Taitz has enlisted the services of Vera Dolan, an epidemiologist writing Taitz in an email:

I have done a little research on the enterovirus outbreak. This strain of enterovirus (EV-D68) is uncommon. I believe that you have a good case to make that this outbreak is associated with the influx of illegal alien children.

I suppose that an epidemiologist trying to make the case that illegal immigrant children were spreading the virus would first want to demonstrate that the children had the virus, or came from a place where the virus was prevalent, and then show that these new cases were showing up in places where the children were being transported, and to try to rule out other possibilities. Dolan attempts to explain the lack of cases along the US border by acquired immunity in those areas due to exposure to historical illegal immigration.

In a 2011 report in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), clusters of the disease were diagnosed in the United States, the Philippines, Japan, and the Netherlands. U. S. cases (Sept. 2009) were in Georgia (6 cases), Pennsylvania (28 cases), and Arizona (5 cases). I wasn’t able to find any support for the idea that EV-D68 is common (or even present) in Latin America.

Dr. Ann Schuchat. director of CDC’s national center for immunization and respiratory diseases, points out that respiratory illnesses spread rapidly (and I would add that transportation of children isn’t necessary). She stated in a September 8 conference call:

Respiratory viruses can spread quite quickly across the U.S. we see a number of different respiratory viruses cycling each year or over a couple-year period. So we really do think that clinicians throughout the country need to be on the alert for increases in severe respiratory illness and consider this in the differential diagnosis. Geography isn’t that helpful when it comes to respiratory viruses. We know that flu transits the country pretty quickly and the unusual increases in Kansas City and Chicago may be occurring elsewhere over the weeks ahead so we want people to be on the lookout.

Nowhere is the CDC even hinting that the illness is tied to illegal immigrant children. My money is on a Japanese tourist in Kansas City.

Taitz is asking the parents of children with respiratory illnesses to call her (PLEASE DO).

Amended Complaint

Dolan is quoted in Taitz’s Amended Complaint (continuation pages) as making the remarkable statement:

As an epidemiologist, I believe that Dr. Taitz’s respiratory infection originated from close contact with infected patients who were sent for treatment to her office, in particular immigrants who were detained by the DHS without quarantine or medical treatment for existing communicable diseases and then transported to California.

I believe that Dr. Taitz is in further imminent danger of similar additional infections from immigrant patients detained by the DHS without quarantine or medical treatment for existing communicable diseases.]

This is remarkable given that it was not determined what Taitz got sick from. The full affidavit from Dolan provides no indication of how Dolan arrived at her conclusions, and identified no methodology employed. If I had to characterize her statement it would be: “Taitz said she treated lots of immigrant children with coughs, and she got one too; therefore, she got sick from treating illegal immigrant children, and she will likely get sick again if these children aren’t quarantined.”

The Amended Complaint adds a new claim of negligence, but of course, she cannot sue the government for damages resulting from a policy decision. There is that pesky sovereign immunity thing.

Postscript

I studied a couple of epidemiology textbooks as part of the process of designing software to be used by public health professionals when I was in that business. I also worked for 6 years in a district health department. I have also been a consultant to the CDC on immunization systems. That means I know more than the average person about epidemiology, but am far from an expert. What I can say is that the Dolan affidavit bears no resemblance to any epidemiology methodology I have ever seen, nor does it contain anything I would identify as using the scientific method.