U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth issued an order (PDF) yesterday scolding Orly Taitz, a lawyer and "birther" activist, for "wasting the Court's time" by failing to redact social security number information in court papers in violation of federal rules.
"Plaintiff is either toying with the Court or displaying her own stupidity. She made the correct redactions when she re-filed her Complaint and Amended Complaint," Lamberth wrote. "There is no logical explanation she can provide as to why she is now wasting the Court’s time, as well as the staff’s time, with these improper redactions."
Taitz, who lists a California address in court records, has filed lawsuits around the country seeking to prove that President Barack Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen and is ineligible for office.
In this case, Taitz filed a Freedom of Information Act suit against the U.S. Social Security Administration in February in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In her complaint, she alleges that Obama is linked to 39 different social security numbers. She claims the Social Security Administration unlawfully refused to turn over information she requested on those numbers.
The federal rules for civil cases require parties to list only the last four digits of social security numbers in filings. Lamberth, in his opinion yesterday, wrote that he struck several documents filed by Taitz this summer that included unredacted social security numbers.
The government did not seek sanctions against Taitz, but Lamberth noted that “repeated violations of the Rules are in fact sanctionable… Moreover, wasting the Court’s time with nonsense is not the way for plaintiff to have any hope of prevailing in this case.”
The documents in question were filed in opposition to a pending motion (PDF) by the Social Security Administration for summary judgment. A spokesman for the Justice Department, which is litigating the case, declined to comment. A Social Security Administration representative could not immediately be reached.
Taitz, in an e-mail this morning, said she planned to refile her opposition to the summary judgment motion today. She accused court staff of lying to Lamberth about her communications with the court about her previous filings and reiterated her theory about Obama’s “illegitimate usurpation of the White House.”
Last year, Lamberth dismissed a separate lawsuit Taitz had filed challenging the president’s citizenship.
“This is one of several such suits filed by Ms. Taitz in her quixotic attempt to prove that President Obama is not a natural born citizen as required by [the] Constitution,” Lamberth wrote in the April 2010 decision. “This Court is not willing to go tilting at windmills with her.”