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What's Obama's Birther Legal Bill?
Mother Jones ^ | 1-26-10 | Stephanie Mencimer

Posted on 01/31/2010 4:42:58 PM PST by STARWISE

Activists charge that Obama has spent millions to silence them in court. Not exactly, say the government’s lawyers.


Is President Barack Obama spending millions of dollars to hide the truth about his citizenship?

During Obama's 2008 run for the White House, his campaign and a host of other credible sources repeatedly debunked the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and was thus ineligible to serve as president.

But this failed to quell the "birther" movement, whose acolytes have filed more than 60 civil lawsuits challenging the president's citizenship. None of these suits have gone anywhere in court.

But birthers say that's because Obama has unleashed a phalanx of powerful lawyers to silence them—spending $1.7 million in the process, according to WorldNetDaily (WND), an enthusiastic online promoter of the birthers' cause.

Given the sheer number of cases, it seems plausible that the president and the government may have been forced to devote real resources to their defense.

But in fact the opposite may be true: The birthers' own copious legal bungling could wind up costing them more than Obama will have to spend defending himself.

The birthers have peppered dozens of state and federal courts around the country with legal challenges—against the president and other government officials and organizations who had some role in allowing Obama's name to be placed on the ballot, including the Federal Election Commission, various state election officials, and the US Supreme Court. Some of the suits, particularly those filed by the movement's leading lady, California lawyer/dentist Orly Taitz, have been headlined by members of the military claiming they've been wrongfully made to serve in foreign wars by an illegitimate commander in chief.

Most recently, birther attorneys have represented car dealers who charge that Obama is a phony president who lacked the authority to order a restructuring of Chrysler that they say cost them their businesses.

WorldNetDaily has noted that FEC filings show that Obama's presidential campaign has paid out more than $1.7 million since the election to the law firm of Perkins Coie. Until recently, that firm was home to Obama's campaign lawyer, and now White House counsel, Robert Bauer—the very same DC lawyer, says WND, who has defended Obama in many of the birther lawsuits.

Ergo, WND concluded, Obama must be devoting that entire $1.7 million to crushing birthers in court. This is a ridiculous claim: Even after an election is over a presidential campaign has plenty of need for lawyers as it winds down operations and meets campaign finance law requirements.

But WND's editors believe they have a smoking gun in a letter Bauer sent on April 3 to John David Hemenway, a DC lawyer representing retired Air Force Colonel Gregory Hollister in a suit against "Barry Soetoro…de facto President in posse." (Some birthers claim Obama is actually an Indonesian citizen who shares his last name with his Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.)

The lawsuit claims that Hollister may be unable to perform his duty to uphold the Constitution if Obama called him out of retirement and ordered him to war, because Obama isn't a natural-born citizen.

A US District Court judge dismissed the "frivolous" case and reprimanded the 83-year-old lawyer for filing it. Nonetheless, Hemenway appealed, prompting Bauer to send him a letter warning that Obama would seek sanctions if he pursued the matter.

WND and many of its readers apparently believe this letter proves that Obama has teams of expensive lawyers working round the clock to stomp out the suits and intimidate the underdog plaintiffs and their attorneys.

The White House never responded to WND's questions about the legal fees, and Bauer didn't respond to Mother Jones. But the birthers' lawsuits don't exactly seem to be requiring Obama's lawyers—government or private—to burn the midnight oil.

Roger West, an assistant US attorney in the central district of California, represented the government in a lawsuit brought by Taitz on behalf of perennial presidential candidate Alan Keyes, asking the court to require that Obama prove he is a natural-born citizen.

The case has dragged on for more than a year, mostly because Taitz, a graduate of an online, unaccredited law school, failed to serve the defendants. Judge David O. Carter dismissed the suit in October for a host of reasons, but Taitz has appealed.

Yet West says that far from bleeding his office, Taitz and her co-counsel Gary Kreep have assembled such a weak case that he hasn't had to spend much time on it.

"I filed one motion that didn't take too long, we've had two hearings and that's it," he says. "It's not like we've devoted some sort of task force to this."

Army Major Rebecca Ausprung handled two of the birther cases against the Department of the Army that disputed Obama's authority as commander in chief to order soldiers to war. Ausprung says she spent a few hours drafting motions and doing research, and she did have to make three short trips to Georgia from Arlington, Virginia.

She prevailed in both cases. "The monetary cost to the government in defending these two cases was extremely minimal," she says.

Or consider a case filed by one of the most prolific birther litigants, Philip J. Berg, that went all the way up to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. In November the court dismissed the appeal and ordered Berg to pay the legal costs for the defendants, which included the Federal Election Commission.

Here was the government's big chance to recoup its millions. But when the FEC submitted its bill, the grand total came to $20.40. This doesn't include the cost of the time government lawyers spent writing briefs and appearing in court.

Yet it's clear that as much of a nuisance as these suits are for the government, that's all they are: a nuisance.

In fact, the plaintiffs may be spending far more time and money on these cases than Obama or the government is, in part because of their failure to abide by basic court procedures.

In one of the Georgia cases Ausprung handled, a federal judge sanctioned Taitz in October for $20,000 for, among other things, pursuing a case long after a judge had dismissed it and her own client had discharged her. Taitz has refused to pay the fine.

So far, judges have been remarkably tolerant of the birthers' shenanigans—despite being handed abundant opportunities to throw their petitions out of court. In one case, Taitz allegedly encouraged supporters to contact the judge by phone and mail to lobby for her cause—a glaring ethics violation that he chose to ignore.

Another of her cases only went forward because the federal judge basically begged the defendants to let Taitz serve them—the first step in any lawsuit, but one that Taitz had neglected to take for about seven months.

The judges' written opinions suggest that by giving the birthers' cases a full airing, they hope to put some of the most outrageous allegations to rest.

But not only have the birthers shown little gratitude to the judges who have indulged them, their court losses have also fueled the conspiracy theories that the judges had hoped to extinguish.

Taitz accused US District Judge Clay Land of having improperly discussed one of her cases with Attorney General Eric Holder, and submitted a sworn eyewitness account describing a clandestine meeting in a Columbus, Georgia, coffee shop between the judge and a man with a "trim upper lip mustache, not large of stature and general olive complexion"—whom the source naturally assumed to be the attorney general.

On the day in question, however, Holder was making a public appearance 2,000 miles away in Los Angeles. Expect the birthers' theories to become even more far-fetched as their legal endeavors continue to fail.

KEYWORDS: apuzzo; article2section1; barrydunham; barrysoetoro; berg; birthcertificate; birthers; britishsubject; certifigate; citizen; citizenship; donofrio; dualcitizen; dualcitizenship; dunham; eligibility; hawaii; hemenway; honolulu; indonesia; ineligible; kenya; kerchner; kerchnervobama; larrysinclairslover; lawsuit; legalbills; marioapuzzo; naturalborn; naturalborncitizen; obama; obamatruth; obamatruthfile; orly; orlytaitz; passport; philberg; philipberg; posey; quowarranto; soetoro; taitz; usurper
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To: STARWISE; Congressman Billybob

Has Congressman Billybob ever offered his opinion?

I think I’m asking him now.


21 posted on 01/31/2010 5:37:08 PM PST by onyx (BE A MONTHLY DONOR - I AM)
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To: onyx

If the American citizen is paying to defend his case then we have standing. I’m not an attorney but I did stay in the Licoln bedroom.

22 posted on 01/31/2010 5:37:22 PM PST by ncfool (The new USSA - United Socialst States of AmeriKa. Welcome to Obummers world.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

“If the leftist MotherJones is talking about, it is getting to be a thorn in the lefties foot.”

Maybe even Mother Jones has a limit ;-)

23 posted on 01/31/2010 5:37:30 PM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: onyx; Congressman Billybob

Ok !

24 posted on 01/31/2010 5:37:41 PM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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Let me get this straight...they make a blanket denial of 1.7 million and then fail to give the “correct” figure? What is the denial based on? Do they concede he’s spent even a penny on the issue? Not as far as I can tell. Get serious.

25 posted on 01/31/2010 5:39:44 PM PST by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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I’d like to know why is it that after 60+ suits that go no where, people are even being allowed to file these frivolous suits and waste taxpayer money over a lost cause that never was.

26 posted on 01/31/2010 5:41:39 PM PST by DaGman
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For all her buster,Stephanie Mencimer has obfiscated and dodged the question as to why Obama has spent 2 million dollars defending these cases instead of producing a true certified copy of his Certificate of Birth Long Form? That only coasts about 50 bucks.

Why spend 2 million when all Obama needs to spend in 50 bucks, Eh Stephanie?


Conclusion: Obama spent 2 million because his defacto birth is nnot in the United STates of America as required by Article II of the Constotution. What else could one logically conclude, eh?

Stephanie is 2 cards short a dick,,,,eerrr deck!!!!

27 posted on 01/31/2010 5:44:05 PM PST by Candor7 (((The effective weapons against Oba- Fascism are ridicule, derision , truth (.Member NRA)))
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To: STARWISE; Congressman Billybob; rodguy911
It's not really fair to ping the Congressman without this link to steady drip , and to point out the one important finding about Obama's Kenyan father's British citizenship at the time of his birth.

Rodguy911 and I seem to think that point might have sticking power.

28 posted on 01/31/2010 5:48:16 PM PST by onyx (BE A MONTHLY DONOR - I AM)
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Even if the federal government lawyers were spending a lot of time on these cases (which you accurately reported, they aren’t), that would result in no additional expense to the government.

In other words, we (the government) hire them to do nothing but sit around doing nothing twiddling their thumbs waiting for a case to come along so they're actually being useful in these cases. That's the only scenario where these 60+ cases aren't taking time, effort and expense away from attorneys' other duties and in turn causing us to hire more attorneys to step in to handle the extra workload.

29 posted on 01/31/2010 5:56:31 PM PST by bgill (The framers of the US Constitution established an entire federal government in 18 pages.)
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To: FrankR

” Hawaii officials swear they have “seen” his birth certificate...”

Dr Fukino made two ambiguous statements on Barry’s birth certificate.
October 2008
“Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records,
have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health
has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures,” Fukino said.”

If she had seen the original birth certificate, why would she have to verify that the DOH has it on record ?
I think “ seen “ refers to viewing the paperwork that verifies that the DOH has Barry’s birth certificate somewhere.
Although she does verify that there is an original birth certificate that has not been made public.

Her later statement no longer refers to birth certificate.
But, vital records-plural.
Which adds more confusion.
She does not state what those records are.
And then she pronounces him a natural-born American citizen-whatever that is.
And of course, she does not offer any evidence to support her conclusion.
Or how she determined NBAC , her new Constitutional term.

July 2009 “I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health,
have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii
and is a natural-born American citizen.
I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement
issued in October 2008 over eight months ago....”

I don’t know if Barry is a natural born citizen or Indonesian or was legally adopted or had his name changed or is actually older than he claims or has a different father.
What I do know is that he is a pathological liar
who refuses to
release his original birth certificate to the American people.

30 posted on 01/31/2010 6:01:41 PM PST by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: onyx

Ok ...

“Rodguy911 and I seem to think that point might have sticking power.”

For SURE! Those of us involved in this
research for about 2 yrs believe that
our dear Founders were deeply concerned
about split allegiance, and so the
language in which they stated their
special citizenship requirements for
POTUS only.

31 posted on 01/31/2010 6:02:37 PM PST by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: LucyT

If the leftist MotherJones is talking about, it is getting to be a thorn in the lefties foot.
I wonder what her screen name is...

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>"Why didn’t you mention the theory that he lost his citizenship when he was “adopted” in Indonesia? "

Theory?.... Wuz he wuz, or wuz he not, "adopted" by his Indonesian Step Father?

Well wuz he?

33 posted on 01/31/2010 6:15:52 PM PST by rawcatslyentist (Jeremiah 50:31 Behold, I am against you," O " you most proud, said the said the Lord GOD of hosts)
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To: DaGman

Maybe so the public can see that we need to clean up the nation’s law enforcement system. See

34 posted on 01/31/2010 6:22:48 PM PST by butterdezillion
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To: STARWISE; rodguy911; Congressman Billybob

Right! Well, I am late to the “birther” investigation,
but like rodguy911, I have found validity in the British citizenship if his Kenyan father that would seenm to make him ineligible. A little fact overlooked by George Soros.

35 posted on 01/31/2010 6:33:13 PM PST by onyx (BE A MONTHLY DONOR - I AM)
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To: DaGman

Yes, why have a Constitution and why should people be allowed to go into court when it’s violated? Why have a rule of law at all? Why not just run everything Ci-cago style? Fascism is gooood, especially affirmative action fascism in which people are allowed to assume dictatorial power because of their skin color. That old Consittution thing—wasn’t it a product of slaveholders? Who needs it?

36 posted on 01/31/2010 6:38:51 PM PST by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them or they more like we used to be?)
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After his “I’d rather be a good one term president rather than a mediocre two term...” I think he knows he can’t prove he is an NBC to satisfy the states enacting new laws of verification of qualifications. It is also why he will continue for more economy killing measures to saddle us with. Progressives suck!

37 posted on 01/31/2010 6:41:48 PM PST by DCmarcher-976453 (SARAH PALIN 2012)
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To: DaGman

Because we have a constitution. If we do not fight to preserve one teeny little part of the constitution, then eventually the next clause will be overlooked, then the next, then maybe that annoying first and second amendments can be tweaked, ad infinitum

38 posted on 01/31/2010 7:00:48 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ...In the US the number is 54%)
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To: rawcatslyentist

The purported Indonesian school record describes the family relationship as parent Lolo Soetoro, stepfather and the student Barry Soetoro as stepson. The implication is that Indonesia is likely to have mandated by law that the stepson, Barry Soetoro, become a citizen of Indonesia and a Muslim for the school record to exist at the time in which the record was created. The validity of the school record cannot be legally proven without an order from a court of law having lawful jurisdiction to grant right of discovery, and/or Obama’s granting permission to obtain copies of his personal records. So far, Obama has used legal assistance to obstruct all efforts to obtain the required permissions or court orders required to obtain legal discovery of any evidence which may be pertinent to such a case.

Consequently, the school record and the legal divorce papers are the presently available records which document the stepfather and stepson relationship. The papers documenting a legal adoption are presently unavailable, and they may not exist if the adoption was not formalized in legal paperwork.

39 posted on 01/31/2010 7:02:33 PM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: hondact200
No it was NOT a letter from the congressman. As I see it, it was addressed to him, Durbin and Burris and signed by Orland Park which is a village in Cook County, Illinois!!!

Looks to me as a hoax???

40 posted on 01/31/2010 7:46:15 PM PST by danamco
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