The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay $20,000 in sanctions against attorney-dentist Orly Taitz, a leading figure in the so-called “birther movement.”
Taitz was fined by U.S. District Judge Clay Land of Columbus, Ga., last year in connection with her motion for a restraining order to prevent the deployment to Iraq of her client, Capt. Connie Rhodes, a U.S. Army physician. Taitz argued the deployment order was illegal because President Barack Obama was serving illegally as president. Land rejected the motion as frivolous. Taitz subsequently publicly declared his decision “an act of treason” and filed a motion for a rehearing.
Land rejected the second motion and issued an order for her to show why she should not be fined for abuse of judicial process. Rhodes then sent a letter to Land saying Taitz had filed the rehearing motion without her consent. Land ultimately imposed the $20,000 sanction for Taitz’s violation of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Land wrote: “Counsel's pattern of conduct conclusively establishes that she did not mistakenly violate a provision of law. She knowingly violated Rule 11. Her response to the Court's show cause order is breathtaking in its arrogance and borders on delusional.”
Taitz unsuccessfully appealed the sanctions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and then filed an application for a stay with Justice Clarence Thomas. When Thomas denied the application, she refiled it with Justice Samuel Alito Jr. who referred it to the full Court.
In her stay application, Taitz said, “Land’s order can only be characterized as a legal `hit job.’ Land really wanted to deter any further legal actions against Obama.”
The Court in Taitz v. McDonald rejected the application without comment.