Highlights from the hilarious “birther” case

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A fringe political movement known as the “birthers” continue to claim President Barack Obama ’91 was ineligible for the presidency because he was actually born outside the U.S. Last week, a federal judge dismissed the complaint of a soldier who argued for conscientious objection to service in Iraq due to her opinion of Obama’s fitness for the presidency. The court threatened sanctions for Orly Taitz, counsel for the strident soldier – and in a 14-page decision, waxed livid about the frivolousness of the case. Here are some highlights from Rhodes v. Macdonald, by Judge Clay D. Land of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia:

* “Plaintiff…has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as President … Instead, she uses her Complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the President is ‘an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.’…She continues with bare, conclusory allegations that the President is ‘an alien, possibly even an unnaturalized or even an unadmitted illegal alien . . . without so much as lawful residency.'”

* “Then, implying that the President is either a wandering nomad or a prolific identity fraud crook, she alleges that the President ‘might have used as many as 149 addresses and 39 social security numbers prior to assuming the office of President.’ …Acknowledging the existence of a document that shows the President was born in Hawaii, Plaintiff alleges that the document “cannot be verified as genuine, and should be presumed fraudulent.'”

* “In further support of her claim, Plaintiff relies upon ‘the general opinion in the rest of the world’ that ‘Barack Hussein Obama has, in essence, slipped through the guardrails to become President.’… Moreover, as though the ‘general opinion in the rest of the world’ were not enough, Plaintiff alleges… that according to an ‘AOL poll 85% of Americans believe that Obama was not vetted, needs to be vetted and his vital records need to be produced.'”

* “Finally, in a remarkable shifting of the traditional legal burden of proof, Plaintiff unashamedly alleges that Defendant has the burden to prove his “natural born” status… Thus, Plaintiff’s counsel, who champions herself as a defender of liberty and freedom, seeks to use the power of the judiciary to compel a citizen, albeit the President…to ‘prove his innocence’ to ‘charges’ …based upon conjecture and speculation. Any middle school civics student would …recognize the irony of abandoning fundamental principles upon which our Country was founded in order to purportedly ‘protect and preserve’ [them].”

* “To the extent that it alleges any ‘facts,’ the Complaint does not connect those facts to any actual violation of Plaintiff’s individual constitutional rights. Unlike in Alice in Wonderland, simply saying something is so does not make it so…Her claims are based on sheer conjecture and speculation. She alleges no factual basis for her ‘hunch’ or ‘feeling’ or subjective belief that the President was not born in the [U.S.] Moreover, she cites no legal authority supporting her bold contention that the alleged ‘cloud’ over the resident’s birthplace amounts to a violation of her individual constitutional rights.”

* “Capt. Rhodes does not seek a discharge from the Army… She has not previously made any official complaints regarding any orders or assignments that she has received, including orders that have been issued since President Obama became Commander in Chief. But she does not want to go to Iraq (or to any other destination where she may be in harm’s way, for that matter). Her ‘conscientious objections’ to serving under the current Commander in Chief apparently can be accommodated as long as she is permitted to remain on American soil.”

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