EDITOR’S NOTE: We are still working on our second post of a series on the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. We promised it for today, but unfortunately is it not ready for posting. We apologize.
Some corners of the conservative world were all a-titter as dentist, real estate agent and lawyer Orly Taitz had filed a lawsuit claiming Barack Obama was not eligible to be president as he is not a “natural born citizen” as required by the US Constitution Article 2, section 1, clause 5. The case is Noonan v. Bowen (2:12-CV-02997-MCE-DAD,) and was filed on December 13, 2012.
While the case was being scheduled, Taitz filed a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent California Electors from casting their Electoral College votes for Obama as well as seeking to stop California Secretary of State Debra Bowen from certifying the state’s election results.
Taitz was granted a hearing on the TRO which was scheduled for January 3, 2013.
This too set the “birther nation” all a-twitter.
We read post after post and tweet after tweet saying Taitz’s case would be heard in front of the Supreme Court on January 3.
“Finally,” they exclaimed, “we can get rid of the guy who is ineligible to sit in the White House!”
When we read the posts and tweets, we had to hang our head in shame. There is just so much wrong with them. First, the case was being held in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of California. That is not only the US Supreme Court as many of the posts and tweets imply, but it is not even the California Supreme Court. Secondly, a hearing for a TRO is not the same thing as a trial.
Taitz wanted to present witnesses but the judge, using rules for federal courts, ruled that the arguments would be oral arguments restricted to 20 minutes per side.
Taitz was not happy and according to news reports from the hearing spent a great deal of time arguing that she should be able to present witnesses.
Remember that the issue here is whether Obama meets the “natural born citizen” clause. In order to obtain a TRO, Taitz would have to show standing to sue, the likelihood of succeeding on the merits at a trial, and imminent damages to the plaintiffs if the TRO is not issued. There are other criteria as well, but if any of the ones we mentioned are not met, the TRO is dead in the legal water.
The “standing” issue went against Taitz fairly early as none of the people suing were on the ballot. This meant that the casting of Electoral College votes would not affect them. In fact, Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Olsen noted that one of the people suing is in jail.
Without standing, Taitz could not show “imminent harm.”
Whether Taitz would succeed on the merits at a trial would be difficult for Taitz to prove. Taitz herself has never won a trial, a hearing or even a motion on the birther issue using the same “evidence” she was bringing forth in this trial.
Furthermore, in “birther lawsuits,” birthers are “oh fer everything.” In original decisions on court cases, there are 198 decisions, with birthers losing 190 of those decisions and 8 decisions still pending. Appeals courts have ruled against birthers in over 70 decisions. The birthers have never won an appeal. In decisions made by the US Supreme Court on birther issues (including whether to even hear the case,) the birthers are 0-22.
We don’t see that as a great “likelihood of success at trial” for Taitz.
However, we want to highlight that Taitz not only loses on the merits of the issue, but on the process and legal arguments which Taitz seems incapable of understanding.
These are the witnesses Taitz wanted to use during the hearing:
1. Paul Irey (you have his affidavit and article) former employee of National Security agency, 57 years of experince in typesetting, typing systems and computer graphics
2. Pamela Barnett U.S. army intelligence officer seeking to authenticate a FOIA response from the state department as was received by Chris Strunck (you have FOIA in exhibits)
3. possibly former senior officer of Scotland Yard elite unit of anti Communist Proliferation and anti organized crime Neil Sankey
Neil Sankey has nothing to do with the eligibility issue. He has not seen the birth certificate. He was going to be called to say that the whole eligibility issue was a criminal conspiracy. How does that impact whether Obama is eligible or not? It doesn’t. Not one bit. His testimony is worthless.
Pamela Barnett has the same issue. Her testimony deals with an alleged forged Secret Service card for the President as well as an issue on the social security number for the President. Even assuming the Secret Service card and the social security number is fraudulent, it does not go to the issue of whether Obama is a “natural born citizen.” A “natural born citizen” can be a criminal. He can commit criminal acts. He can commit fraud. He can be a murderer. What judges and courts have repeatedly told Taitz is that the testimony of someone that someone like Barnett brings doesn’t go to the issue Taitz is trying to prove.
Yet Taitz doesn’t get it.
Then there is Paul Irey.
We had written on the birther issue a year and a half ago. Whether Obama was a “natural born citizen” was first raised by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign. It was a loser of an issue then and it was a loser of an issue in 2011. (It is even more of a loser of an issue today.)
As we were presenting what we thought and why, Paul Irey himself appeared in our comments section.
We wrote another post about the issue because Mr. Irey had dismissed our concerns not on the basis of what we had said, but rather that because we had not supported him, we must be an “Obama supporter” or an “Obot.”
While we were bothered by Irey’s ad hominem attack on us as it showed the lack of quality of basic research on his part, we decided to see what he was saying. Not only did we find his methods to be incredibly sloppy, we found any claim on being an “expert” on the subject to be without basis.
Taitz says Irey is a “former employee of National Security agency.” That is possible. We do find it interesting that in our entire discussion with him, Irey mentioned his 4 years of service in the Air Force, after which he left the military to work in the printing industry. It is possible that Mr. Irey was in the NSA prior to his Air Force service, but it seems to be backwards to us.
His four years in the Air Force is critical because he listed those four years as the extent of using a typewriter which is what Taitz calls “typing systems.” We asked if he had ever repaired a typewriter. (No.) Had he studied different typewriter designs. (No.) Had he ever changed a ribbon? (Couldn’t remember.) We don’t see how that classifies Mr. Irey as an “expert” on the typewriter he used, much less other typewriters. And for the record, we asked if he had ever used the typewriter the Hawaii Department of Health used when issuing the Obama birth certificate. (Once again, “no.”)
Mr. Irey’s work history as a typesetter is impressive. Typesetters traditionally run printing presses. We have great respect for typesetters. Our dad supervised a printing shop and we would often go to watch the typesetters do their. A good typesetter could make or break the look printed material. Yet even birthers do not claim the birth certificate was printed on a printing press. The state of Hawaii certified the birth certificate of the president was created on a typewriter. Birthers claim the birth certificate was either a total digital image and never exists in the physical world or the falsified image was printed by an inkjet, laser printer or copy machine. Mr. Irey has no expert experience in these devices of which we are aware. If anything, a typesetter might be able to tell the fonts and sizes of fonts. In fact, Mr, Irey relies on his alleged expertise with fonts to say that the copy of the birth certificate distributed to the press as well as found on the White House web site used different fonts when the certificate was created and in his opinion, forged.
We asked Mr. Irey the simple question “if a different font was used at different points on the birth certificate, what fonts were used?” We never got an answer. We then asked “what font family was used?” We never got an answer.
Not exactly what we’d expect of an “expert.”
Finally, Taitz claims Irey is an “expert in computer graphics.” According to Mr. Irey, he is a self taught user of Photoshop. The problem is that birthers claim the birth certificate was created in Adobe Illustrator.
We cannot see what qualifies Mr. Irey as an “expert” in any of the things he was going to testify about. That is our opinion at this time.
But here’s the kicker – it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter whether Irey is the world’s foremost authority on everything associated with computer images.
Because the image on which he is performing all of his “tests” and the image upon which he basis his conclusions are not “certified copies.” They are copies of a certified copy. In other words, he is not testing the real thing.
Judges in previous cases have tried to tell Taitz that they cannot accept conclusions on an image that is not official when the official document has been certified to be accurate. She just doesn’t get it. Instead, she continues to whine and plead that judges go outside of the rule of law and rule in her favor. When they do not, she complains the judges are corrupt.
(Generally speaking, claiming a judge is corrupt is not a good way to win favor with a judge.)
The actual hearing did not go well for Taitz at all.
The judge said the petition did not meet the basic requirements for a restraining order, including that attorneys prove their case is likely to succeed at a trial, and said the plaintiffs lacked standing, failed to submit legal documents on time and had made unsupported claims.
“The state of Hawaii has already certified all of this to be not true,” the judge said.
It is also not a good sign when a judge tells a lawyer, “Your argument, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” as Judge England did on January 3, 2012.
If Taitz wants to prance around the country with some circus on this issue, we can’t stop her. Yet Taitz’s actions and her continued whining and lack of understanding is embarrassing.
We simply believe that any conservative who is interested in supporting the truth should run away from Taitz. Don’t encourage her. Don’t donate to her.
It is far past the time to abandon the birther issue.