Editor’s Note: The term “birther” has taken on a negative connotation in many circles and is often used to derisively label a person. Here at Raised on Hoecakes we use the term “birther” to describe those who believe and are convinced President Obama is not eligible to be president due to issues with his birth and citizenship. “Birthers” to us is a heck of a lot easier than writing “those who believe Obama is not Constitutional eligible to be president” every time we want to discuss the issue. If the term offends you, we apologize, but will continue to use it for the sake of expediency.
It has not been a good month for those in the “birther” movement. If this were a baseball game, they’d be out of the batter’s box and sitting on the bench after striking out swinging.
STRIKE ONE: The District Court in Washington DC dismissed the case of Sibley v. Obama. In this case the plaintiff Montgomery Sibley sued to have Obama removed from office under “quo warranto” which is …
… an extraordinary remedy by which a prosecuting attorney, who represents the public at large, challenges someone who has usurped a public office or someone who, through abuse or neglect, has forfeited an office to which she was entitled. In spite of the fact that the remedy of quo warranto is pursued by a prosecuting attorney in a majority of jurisdictions, it is ordinarily regarded as a civil rather than criminal action. Quo warranto is often the only proper legal remedy; however, the legislature can enact legislation or provide other forms of relief.
In his ruling, Judge John D. Bates shot this theory down as it appears to have escaped the notice of Mr. Sibley that under the statutes, only prosecutors may remove someone from office under “quo warranto.”
Those little details will bite you in the butt every time.
What is truly interesting in this case is one of the comments Judge Bates makes:
As Chief Judge Lamberth recently stated with respect to a similar suit, “[t]his Court is not willing to go tilting at windmills.” Taitz v. Obama, 707 F. Supp. 2d 1, 3 (2011).
This means the case law and precedence has built to the point where judges are now citing other birther lawsuits. Furthermore, in this case, the judge cited a comment that basically demeaned and derided Sebley’s entire case.
Generally speaking, it is never a good sign when you read the judge feels your case is akin to “tilting at windmills.”
Sibley had some other rather strange claims in the suit as well and all were dismissed.
STRIKE TWO: The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in the case of Keyes v Bowen. Keyes had sued (along with others) saying that Obama was ineligible and therefore had harmed Keyes as he ran for the presidency in 2008.
Without comment, the high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Alan Keyes, Wiley Drake and Markham Robinson.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the challengers did not have legal standing to file the lawsuit.
The U.S. Constitution says only “a natural born citizen’’ may serve as president. The challengers allege that Obama, whose father was Kenyan, was born in that African country, rather than in Hawaii. They claim his Hawaii birth certificate is a forgery. Hawaii officials have repeatedly verified Obama’s citizenship.
Keyes and Drake ran against Obama on the American Independent Party ticket and Robinson serves as the party’s chairman.
SWING AND A FOUL BALL: Birther lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz lost her bid to become a Senator representing the state of California. Taitz came in a surprising 5th place, but under the rules of California elections, only the top two vote-getters advance to a run off for the Senatorial seat. While Taitz will not running in the general election, 5th place (121,136 votes and 3.1% of the votes cast) is a strong showing in an overly crowded field of candidates.
However, what stuck us about this result was a comment on election night made by Taitz herself:
“According to most reliable polls from start to finish, I’m leading,” Taitz said. “As you know, I’m a grassroots candidate, I’m not an establishment candidate. The Republican Party establishment does not like people who rock the boat, and so they are supporting another candidate, but I do have a lot of support.” (emphasis ours)
What is this woman smoking?
Diane Feinstein, who came in first place had 1571.30% more votes cast for her then Taitz. Even the second place finisher, Elizabeth Emken, received 398.87% more votes than Taitz. It is hard to believe that Taitz was ever leading the race and certainly wasn’t leading the race at any time late in the day.
Sadly, her comment is quintessential Taitz. She makes outrageous statements hoping people will believe them in spite of facts being against her.
SWING AND A MISS! On June 30, 2011, we reported World Net Daily CEO Joseph Farah and author Jerome Corsi filed a lawsuit against Hearst Corporation, Esquire magazine and writer Mark Warren for $285 million dollars. That lawsuit has been dismissed.
At issue was a satirical piece on Esquire.com where Warren wrote:
Jerome Corsi’s Birther Book Pulled from Shelves!
In a stunning development one day after the release of Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book, as well as announcing an offer to refund the purchase price to anyone who has already bought either a hard copy or electronic download of the book.
We noted at the time we thought the suit was without merit and even hypocritical as satire is protected speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution and Corsi was claiming Obama isn’t eligible for the office of the President under that same Constitution. It almost seemed to us that Corsi and Farah believe the Constitution only applies when they want it to.
The case centered around whether the Esquire piece was a “news release” or “satire.” If it was portrayed as “news,” Esquire would lose in that they lied in a story and that lie caused damages to the book sales. If the article was satire, it was protected speech.
In what is almost hard to believe, the judge did not have to decide whether the article was a parody. Plaintiff Joseph Farah decided for him:
About an hour after esquire.com issued the Blog Post, Mr. Farah told the Daily Caller that the Blog Post was “a very poorly executed parody.” Findikyan Decl., Ex. 28 (dailycaller.com post May 18, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.). In other words, Plaintiffs immediately recognized the satiric nature of the Blog Post. Mr. Farah also took to the radio airwaves immediately following the Blog Post to mock those who asked him for comment, saying, “are you guys serious? . . . You think I’m gonna pull a best-selling book off the shelves?” Id., Ex. 43 (WND.com post May 18, 2011 at 9:24 p.m.).
In dismissing most of Corsi and Farah’s complaint, Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote:
All of Plaintiffs’ common law claims are based on the same underlying allegations regarding the Blog Post. Because the Blog Post is satire on a matter of public interest that is protected by the First Amendment, Plaintiffs’ common law claims of defamation (Count I), false light invasion of privacy (Count II), tortious interference with business relations (Count III), and misappropriation invasion of privacy (Count V) will be dismissed.
Corsi and Farah had also sued under the Lanham Act, which gives protection against commercial speech which harms the value of a commercial property. In this case, Corsi and Farah claimed the satirical post hurt the sale of the book. Judge Collyer shot this theory down saying:
Here, Defendants referred to the Corsi Book in the Blog Post, which was satirical speech on a matter of public interest and not commercial speech. The Blog Post contained an expression of views regarding the dispute over whether President Obama qualifies by birthright to be President of the United States. Because the expression cannot be characterized as commercial speech, the Lanham Act does not apply and Count IV will be dismissed.
Corsi and Farah have said they will appeal. Good luck with that. It is tough to win a lawsuit when your own words and actions contradict that upon which you have based the lawsuit.
Until then, that is STRIKE THREE.
Do not pass GO. Do not round the bases. Go back and sit your butts on the bench.
Like Steve McCroskey, who famously muttered “looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking,” it appears a lot of birthers are moaning “looks like we picked a bad month to be a birther.”