The Supreme Court has declined to stay the $20,000 fine levied by U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land against California attorney Orly Taitz.
Ms. Taitz, who represented Army CPT Connie Rhodes in her challenge to the President’s eligibility (and who may have exceeded her client’s direction in doing so, according to this letter from CPT Rhodes), was cited last year by Judge Land for violating Fed.R.Civ.P. 11. In a foreshadowing of United States v. Lakin, Judge Land noted that Ms. Taitz “provided no legal authority to support the proposition that even if the President were found not to be eligible for the office, that this would mean all soldiers in the military would be authorized to disregard their duty as American soldiers and disobey orders from their chain of command.” Rhodes v. MacDonald, 670 F. Supp. 2d 1363, 1376-77 (M.D. Ga. 2009), aff’d, No. 09-15418 (11th Cir. Mar. 15, 2010). The judge concluded that the action brought and maintained by Ms. Taitz was an attempt “to use the legal process for an improper purpose” — i.e., the political goal of removing the President. Id., 670 F. Supp. 2d at 1379.
After losing her bid to have the sanctions overturned by the Eleventh Circuit, Ms. Taitz sought a stay from Justice Thomas, who turned her down. She was undeterred: “It was never seen by Justice Thomas, there’s not evidence it was seen by Justice Thomas.” With her request now rejected by the full Court, she reportedly questions whether the justices actually decided her request:
Taitz told TPMMuckraker she is convinced that none of the members of the court read her request, and that clerks made the decision for the justices.
Ms. Taitz claims she is in no danger of failing to pay her fine, when and if she accepts its legitimacy: “I have means to pay, the public is collecting funds … Within a month, I will have the $20,000.”