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Has Orly been shopping?

OC Weekly has a new article suggesting Orly Taitz did just that, titled “Did Orly Taitz Shop for the Texas Judge Who Set Today’s Border-Crosser Hearing?” The idea isn’t new. I got an email August 22 from a reader pointing out the post at Orly’s site about her exchange with a Congressional assistant about the judge in Taitz v. Johnson, Andrew S. Hanen, having strong objections to the government’s handling of immigration issues. Judge Hanen, a 1978 graduate of Baylor University Law School, was appointed federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southeastern District of Texas by President George W. Bush, and joined the court in 2002, his first judgeship.

Judge Hanen became national news through a December 20, 2013 article in National Review that said, in part:

A federal judge in Texas has issued a searing indictment of the Obama administration’s immigration policy. He accuses the government of “completing the criminal mission” of human traffickers “who are violating the border security of the United States” and assisting a “criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals.” The judge calls the administration’s behavior “dangerous and unconscionable” and says that “DHS should cease telling the citizens of the United States that it is enforcing our border security laws because it is clearly not. Even worse, it is helping those who violate these laws.”

That came from his order in the case of U.S. v. Nava-Martinez, published the week before the article.

Prompted by the August 22 email, I published my own article on the 26th briefly mentioning what Taitz said about Judge Hanen, but not alluding to the judge shopping angle.

In fact, the Southeastern District of Texas has no fewer than 14 serving judges (and 5 vacancies); however, the Brownsville Division has only one district judge, Judge Hanen. (It also has a senior judge and a magistrate judge.)  Taitz, who filed in the Brownsville Division could, I suppose, have effectively picked the judge by picking the court.

According to one eyewitness report, Judge Hanen pointedly asked Taitz at today’s hearing why she, a California attorney with witnesses residing in California, didn’t file her case in California.

If my time zone calculator (often awry) is correct, the hearing is scheduled to start in about 10 minutes. There should be a special RC Radio show tonight featuring observer Tomtech with details.

Popular Politics Internet Radio with RCRadio on BlogTalkRadio

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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.

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Have birthers found their one honest judge?

I’m still waiting to find one honest birther

Douglas Vogt filed something with the US District Court in Seattle, trying to force the judge to refer Vogt’s birther allegations to a grand jury. The Court responded that a civil lawsuit cannot be used to initiate a criminal case. The Court of Appeals agreed. Birthers have failed in every one of their more than 200 legal actions, and sometimes they (including Vogt) blame the judge, rather than their own ineptitude, and lack of a valid legal claim. It is the nature of a crank to disrespect authority (or else they wouldn’t be cranks in the first place).

Federal judges can refer matters to a grand jury for investigation, and I along with others wondered why Vogt didn’t just write the judge a letter rather than waste the resources of the Court by filing it formally. What I did not envision was what happened next: Vogt sent letters and 170 pages of crank forensic document stuff to 175 federal judges (their original list had 625)!

My reaction to the results is “the glass is mostly empty” as only 3 judges even bothered to reply, two of whom said they would pass the documentation on to the US Attorney, who normally runs federal grand juries. One judge, however, reportedly responded with something that put some birther hearts all aflutter:

“I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue.”

One of my pet peeves with US English grammar is the placement of the period in relation to quotation marks: The period always goes inside and so we do not know whether there is a period in the original at that point or not. Here’s the redacted image from Montgomery Blair Sibley, Vogt’s legal ghost writer (Sibley was disbarred and cannot actually represent Vogt):

Heavily redacted letter

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Judge shopping

Christmas PackagesIt’s just 46 shopping days until Christmas. Have you picked out that special federal judge for that special someone?

There have been over 200 lawsuits filed against Barack Obama’s eligibility to be President. Almost all have been lost. Just a few are still in the courts, and a few losses are still being appealed. Still it’s a pretty dismal picture. Some of the judges have distinguished themselves with pithy sayings like DC Federal District Judge James Robinson, memorably writing:

The issue of the President’s citizenship was raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and otherwise massaged by America’s vigilant citizenry during Mr. Obama’s two-year-campaign for the presidency, but this plaintiff wants it resolved by a court.

or the unforgettable reply to Orly Taitz from Judge Clay D. Land in Georgia (Rhodes v. MacDonald):

Unlike in Alice in Wonderland, simply saying something is so does not make it so

Others provide a mini legal education for those who choose to learn, like Judge R. Barclay Surrick’s scholarly explanation of standing in Berg v. Obama.

Judges have striven mightily to make sense of the tangled prose submitted by pro se birther plaintiffs and sometimes by their incompetent attorneys. They do our court system credit.

Most recently was the case of In Re: Douglas Vogt where Vogt filed a lawsuit to try to get a federal judge to convene a grand jury to investigate Barack Obama’s birth certificate, when the FBI and the US Attorney refused him. Seattle judge Robart has issued an order to show cause why he should not dismiss Vogt’s action, an order with no hint of sympathy for Vogt’s cause (sometimes a judge will suggest ways to fix a pleading, but not here). So we can expect within a month or so to see this thing dismissed.

So are we soon to be rid of Vogt’s gambit? Perhaps not. The legal brain (using the term loosely) behind the Vogt legal essay appears to be Montgomery Blair Sibley, a former attorney who has filed several birther cases on his own without success. Sibley, writing at Birther Report:

Thus there remains only 625 people – the judges of the federal district courts – that have the authority to call a Grand Jury to hear the allegations of Obama’s ineligibility. The first to receive that plea or – poetically, volley – in this, the last legal battle to be waged over Obama’s eligibility is Judge James L. Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The key word there is “first,” implying that if one judge refuses, then there are plenty more to submit lengthy computer files of nonsense to. I think Vogt opens himself up to sanctions if he files the same thing over and over again in different courts. Word will get around what he and Sibley are trying to do.

Update: Vogt indeed suggests that he does intend to send his file to all of the judges. On his ObamaForgeryBook web site, he writes:

If the judge in Seattle does not act as he should we intend to mail the complaint to other Judges around the county until we find one Federal Judge that sees what Barack Obama is doing to the country and also wants to get him legally out of office before he destroys the country and turns it into a socialist hell. So if you can contribute to our ends please do so. It will cost $26 to mail the complete filing in color to a Federal Judge. There are over 600 Judges.

Since he does not mention the $350 filing fee, it appears that these will not be filed as lawsuits.

Even if they found a judge who is, along with his staff, so technically incompetent as to think Vogt’s claims are worthy of investigation, there still remain two other insurmountable barriers. Sibley himself admits that no US Attorney is going to act on his claims, and without the consent of the US Attorney, a grand jury cannot issue an indictment and their internal deliberations are by law secret. Even if he convinced a grand jury, no one would ever know. And even if Sibley miraculously got the sign-off from a US Attorney, there is one more insurmountable hurdle: grand juries cannot indict the President while still in office. Impeachment is the only route, and that’s not going to happen either.

So given that the whole scenario is impossible, why do it? I guess it comes from the craving of all derided conspiracy theorists—to have their day in court and to be judged “not crazy.”

To bifurcate, or not to bifurcate, that is the question

Sorry, it’s Taitz again

If you’ve been following the history of the lawsuit of Taitz v. Mississippi Democrat Party, you know that it’s been a complicated process. Originally filed in Mississippi State Court on Valentine’s day this year, the case has had many twists and turns. After filing the case, Taitz demanded a new judge and then filed an amended complaint, adding defendants, and a Civil RICO (racketeering) action. Defendant Mississippi Secretary of State removed the case to federal court and Taitz has been fighting to return it to state court (judge shopping, I guess). Attorney Scott Tepper, who exhibits an almost encyclopedic knowledge of birther arcana, is co-counsel in Mississippi for the Mississippi Democratic Party Executive Committee (MDEC). Taitz filed Bar complaints against Tepper in both California and Mississippi, both tossed out. Taitz demanded that every member of the MDEC be warned that they were liable for criminal prosecution if they continued to help Obama stay on the ballot.

Taitz’ attempt to return the case to state court failed, but now she’s attempting to divide the case (which she previously glued together) into two parts, one that could be heard in state court, with the RICO complaint left in federal court. This bifurcation multiplies the complexity of the thing and the MDEC has opposed this latest whoop-de-do by Taitz. The MDEC motion filed today, and joined by the Secretary of State,  appears at the end of the article.

Rather than simply trying to get the case out of court as fast as possible, the MDEC is also using language that builds on an already-existing foundation for a motion for sanctions against Taitz under 28 U.S.C. §19271. Unlike sanctions under federal Rule 11, §1927 specifically targets attorneys and because misconduct under §1927 requires bad faith on the part of the attorney, it is appropriate for warnings to be made now in order to ward off, or provide grounds for sanctions later, should Taitz continue to multiply the proceedings.

If Taitz had stuck with her original complaint, the case would have remained in state court, and almost certainly she would have had a judgment by now. As it is, this case will certainly drag on past the Election if it is not simply dismissed before then.

One interesting footnote in the MDEC filing is a reference to a Mississippi Medicaid regulation that says:

Most United States citizens are natural-born citizens, meaning they were born in the United States or were born to United States citizens overseas.

If you enjoy hearing Taitz chewed up and spit out, this filing is for you:

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Orly goes SHOPPING

I’m not talking about after-Christmas sales. I’m talking about shopping for judges.

Taitz and a group of birther legislators in New Hampshire brought a motion before the New Hampshire Supreme Court, seeking to prevent President Obama from appearing on the ballot. They alleged that the President is not eligible because he has too many social-security numbers or something. The New Hampshire Elections commission, who saw nothing resembling evidence in the rambling presentation of Taitz and 5 NH legislators, previously approved Obama for the ballot after verifying that the proper forms had been filed by the President’s campaign. Taitz asked the NH Supreme Court to intervene.

According to Taitz [link to Orly Taitz web site] the NH Supreme Court has declined to assume jurisdiction in the dispute. (As an attorney on another web site has observed, New Hampshire law RSA 665:9 states: “The decision of the ballot law commission shall be final as to questions of both law and fact, and no court shall have jurisdiction to review the decision.”) Next step, the US Supreme Court. Taitz said:

I will be filing with the Supreme Court of the United States  a petition for stay of counting of Obama’s votes pending decision on certiorari petition. As NH is in the first circuit, it will go to Justice Breyer. If he denies, I will refile with one of the conservative justices.

In further news, Orly seems not to know what a trial is. According to her description, the hearing scheduled for January 26 in Georgia on another ballot challenge is a “trial.” As usual, she is asking her supporters to show up.