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Settlement reached in Jordan v. Reed

Linda Jordan and the Attorney General of Washington State agreed, according to a report at Obama Release Your Records, on a settlement by which Jordan would pay  the State $3,500 for the cost of their defending a frivolous appeal filed by Jordan. The State had previously been awarded almost $13,000 in costs, but this amount had been appealed by Jordan’s attorney Richard B. Sanders.

According to ORYR, Jordan had already received donations towards her sanctions that exceed the settlement plus her attorney fees. So much for the theory that actions have consequences.

ORYR spins interview with Justice Sanders

Reality Check Radio had a great show last night (I briefly called in), featuring former Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders.

Sanders is representing birther plaintiff Linda Jordan before the Washington State Supreme Court in the matter of fees assessed Jordan as a result of her filing a frivolous appeal in the Jordan v. Reed lawsuit trying to prevent Barack Obama from being on the ballot in Washington State.

You can listen to the entire show below, or read the transcript:

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What Sanders emphasized was that he came late to the case and that his sole concern was the amount of the costs assessed against Jordan, whether they should be a market rate or the actual cost (which was about 1/3 of what the Court used). Sanders himself didn’t seem to be a birther and said essentially (and you can listen to his exact words) that anyone who wanted to prove Obama was foreign born “had a long way to go.” It seemed at first that Sanders thought he was on a birther program and was being reserved in what he said so as not to stir up an argument.

The birther spin machine at Obama Release Your Records accuses the Obots of putting words in Sanders’ mouth. I think RC did try to press Sanders on some points, but Sanders is an experienced attorney and judge, and can speak for himself. He had ample opportunity to say what he wanted to say. ORYR features a 13-minute excerpt, but also links to the full interview.

I am embarrassed in second-guessing myself when I said that Jordan had been involved with birther litigation since 2009 when she testified for Orly Taitz in Atlanta in the case of Farrar v. Obama. The reason for my hesitation was that while I was listening, I went back to this web site and searched for Jordan, finding nothing before 2011. So I was half right. Jordan did testify in Farrar but that case was in 2011-2012 with the hearing on January of 2012, and when Jordan should have known that the things she alleged in her own lawsuit would not be effective in court. To add to the confusion, Susan Daniels also testified at that hearing.

At the Farrar hearing Jordan testified that she used E-Verify to check Obama’s number on August 17, 2011 [Transcript P. 20, Lines 20-24], however, her Affidavit [Page 55] shows that the used she SSA Self Check system.

More argument on Jordan v. Reed appeal costs

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:

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Washington AG makes strong case for sanctions

The Attorney General of Washington State filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, making a strong case that sanctions in the amount of $12,675 assessed by the court in the matter of the appeal in Jordan v. Reed were reasonable and proper, and that the Court should reject Jordan’s request for a reduction in fees.

The AG makes several points:

  1. Sanctions are meant to be a deterrent against future misconduct.
  2. Jordan had been warned by the trial court and the Attorney General that her appeal was frivolous.
  3. Plaintiff Jordan herself, through multiple filings, multiplied the effort that was required of the State to deal with her appeal.
  4. Market rates are the established method of calculating attorneys’ fees in Washington State.

After reading so much incompetent rambling in birther lawsuit filings, it is always refreshing to read a clear, concise well-argued brief well-founded in the law.

I bear Linda Jordan no ill will and no doubt she engaged in her reckless pursuit of a frivolous appeal partly encouraged by a long list of birthers who got away with the same thing. Still she was warned, and for birthers as well as everyone else, actions have consequences.

Read the brief:

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Jordan docked $12,675 for filing frivolous appeal

How is it frivolous? Let me count the ways.

Washington State birther and litigant Linda Jordan has been assessed fees of nearly $13,000 for filling a frivolous appeal to a prior loss in court, where she alleged Obama was using a stolen social-security number. Jordan v. Reed was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and Judge Robertson suggested Jordan should have known better and that the case was brought for improper purposes:

… all the so-called evidence offered by plaintiff has been in the blogosphere for years, in one form or another, so too has all the law rejecting plaintiffs allegations. I can conceive of no reason why this lawsuit was brought, except to join the chorus of noise in that blogosphere. The case is dismissed.

Secretary of State Sam Reed submitted a Cost Bill for “statutory costs” to the Court in the amount of $200. That could have been the end of it, but…

The Court’s warning ignored, Jordan pressed on, filing notice of an appeal with the Washington State Supreme Court. The Secretary of State warned Jordan in a letter that if this frivolous appeal were not withdrawn by September 6, the Secretary of State would demand penalties provided by law. I love the quote from the letter: “This letter does not attempt to catalog all the ways in which your appeal is frivolous.” The Court subsequently denied the appeal and awarded costs to the State. The Washington State Attorney General filed particulars with the Court documenting expenses of $12,675.

The birther web sites are obscuring the details, leaving readers to believe that these costs were awarded against Jordan for bringing suit against Reed, when in fact they are for the appeal, not the initial suit, and after she had been duly warned.

According to the Linda Jordan Defense Fund web site, she has raised $435 towards her expense. Jordan is lucky that she hasn’t been prosecuted for illegal access to a federal database when she attempted to use E-Verify on President Obama’s social-security number.

The Obots ate my homework

The issue of Obot judicial bias has been raised just recently in the wake of two decisions that went against the birthers. The first was Jordan v. Reed in Washington state about which John, a commenter here, wrote:

Wow! This is by far the most biased and ridiculing court decision to date. The decision should be appealed and completely tossed out as it contains so much bias and ridicule and slander as to lack any real legal credibility. Is this judge a member of the Fogbow or something?

Tracy Fair, writing about her dismissal on August 23 wrote something similar:

WHAT A TOTALLY BOGUS DECISION
(IT’S LOOKS LIKE THE OBOTS WROTE THIS DECISION!)

Conspiracy theorists have a hard time understanding people who disagree with them. They are so certain about their conclusions that they believe they should be obvious to anyone, and therefore anyone who disagrees must be willfully ignoring the facts, or worse, in on the conspiracy. In these two instances, birthers blame judicial bias for the birther losses.

What birthers do not understand is that there’s no requirement for a presidential candidate to prove eligibility in Washington or Maryland. The burden of proof, assuming for a moment that the court had jurisdiction and could decide eligibility, is on the plaintiffs to show that the candidate’s not eligible. Even if birthers could prove Obama’s birth certificate a forgery (which it isn’t) and his social-security number stolen (which it isn’t) and his Selective Service registration a fake (which it isn’t), they still have absolutely no proof that Obama was born outside of the United States. For birthers, “questionable documents” = “born in Kenya” but that’s not how a legal argument works. When it comes to positive evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, all the birthers have is hearsay and a recording of Obama’s step grandmother that really says he was born in Hawaii. That gets the birthers nowhere.

So birthers, it’s not the Obots’ fault that you lost and the problem is not with the judge. The problem is your lack of supporting law and evidence. Stop blaming the Obots and take responsibility for your own failures. Stop whining.