California attorney Orly Taitz’ run of bad luck with military clients continues today with this decision from Judge David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Ms. Taitz, on behalf of the forty-four named plaintiffs (including numerous persons claiming military rank ranging from full colonel to sergeant), sought to challenge the qualifications of the President and to prevent him from deploying troops without explicit Congressional authorization; entering into or modifying treaties; or appointing federal judges. Her suit also sought to curtail the authority of the President (and other federal officials) to conduct foreign policy “by and through the use of currently deployed and assigned military force.” Rather than proposing a succession to the Presidency by Vice President Joe Biden, the suit called for “a complete shutdown of the government by enjoining it from acting while holding a new presidential election.”
Judge Carter, a former active-duty Marine officer who fought at Khe Sahn and won the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, concluded that none of the military plaintiffs had standing to maintain their suit. As to former Presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others who ran for president or vice president on minor party tickets in the 2008 election, Judge Carter found potential standing; but concluded the federal courts lack the power to provide the redress they sought. Because the President has taken the oath of office, the judge reasoned, the sole mechanisms for his removal under the Constitution are impeachment or invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.
In addition to dismissing all claims against the President, the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against the other named defendants: Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates, and First Lady Michelle Obama. The court opined in a footnote that “The inclusion of the First Lady in the lawsuit, considering she holds no constitutional office, is baffling.”
In the final few paragraphs of his ruling, Judge Carter observed dryly that the hearings “have been interesting to say the least.” Among the many irregularities cited by the Court were Ms. Taitz’ continual refusal to comply with court rules and procedure, her request to recuse the magistrate judge because he required her to follow the Court’s Local Rules, and her attempt “to dismiss two of her clients against their wishes because she did not want to work with their new counsel.” In addition, the Court noted its receipt of “several sworn affidavits that Taitz asked potential witnesses that she planned to call before this Court to perjure themselves.”
Ms. Taitz has not yet commented on the order.