From Peach Pundit:
The attorneys representing the clients include California attorney Orly Taitz and Georgia State Representative Mark Hatfield. Hatfield previously filed a bill in the legislature requiring presidential candidates to produce their “original, long form birth certificate”, despite no legal description or standard for such a document exists outside the confines of conspiracy based websites. Taitz, for her part, has been fined $20,000 by a federal judge in Georgia for filing frivolous cases challenging the President’s citizenship. The fine was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court – with the consent of conservative Justices Scalia and Thomas.
Those two justices are significant because the birther movement is frequently tied to conservatives and more specifically, Republicans. The Democratic Party of Georgia has stated that “Republicans” are trying to remove President Obama from the ballot, implying that there is an organized effort by the GOP to use this as an election strategy. Given the involvement of a sitting House member, it is a charge that makes it problematic for Republicans to deny. General silence on the issue from Republican elected officials and party leaders, it is a charge that sticks so long as it remains uncontested. This is a mistake.
We are taught from a young age that we will be judged by the company we keep. Republicans cannot afford to keep the company of the paranoid and delusional. There is no rational reason to question a state’s official documents, nor justification for creating supra-constitutional requirements of citizenship. The birther argument transcends disagreements of policy and politics, and spirals those who engage into pure nuttery. This cannot be condoned by Republicans any longer.
Republican leaders have a choice to face with birthers. They can continue to remain silent, and accept the small minority to define the rest of the party as out of touch fringe who have an irrational need to remove a duly elected President by any means necessary. The party must decide if it wishes to coddle those who are blinded by paranoia, or demonstrate to independent voters that Republicans plan to win on policy.
It is not sufficient for a party to indicate only for which it stands. It sometimes must also be clear on that which it does not. The systematic strategy of stripping the legitimacy from elected Presidents is bad for America and the concept of representative government. Republicans who rightfully chided Democrats for questioning Bush’s legitimacy after the 2000 electoral debacle are now complicit in the same behavior. This must change, for the sake of the country.
Unfavorable views of Mitt Romney have soared, doubts about Newt Gingrich remain widespread and Barack Obama has advanced to his highest personal popularity in more than a year — all in advance of the State of the Union address in which Obama makes his case for a second term.
Fifty-three percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll express a favorable opinion of Obama overall, up by 5 points from last month to the most since April 2010. It can matter: Favorability is the most basic measure of a public figure’s popularity.
Obama may be benefitting from a less-grim economic outlook, but also by comparison to the Republicans, deep in their intramural food fight. As he’s gained, Romney has stumbled badly, with unfavorable views of the recent Republican front-runner up by 15 points in just two weeks.
Forty-nine percent of Americans now see Romney unfavorably, a new high in ABC/Post polling this cycle. That far outstrips his favorable rating, 31 percent, down 8 points to a new low. The shift, moreover, has been led by political independents, swing voters in national politics.
While that reflects a remarkable reversal of fortune for Romney, Gingrich, too, has lost ground, dropping 6 points in favorability since December — and with more than half of Americans, 51 percent, now seeing him unfavorably, up from the low 40s last fall. While it would be speculation to link the slip in favorability to recent criticisms by his ex-wife, his decline occurred among married adults. …
The sharpest shifts have been among independents. Unfavorable opinions of Romney have soared by 17 points in this group since Jan. 8, to 51 percent; favorable opinions have dropped by 18 points among independents in the same period, to just 23 percent. Gingrich, for his part, has lost 11 points among independents since December, to 22 percent favorability. Obama, by contrast, gets a 51 percent favorable rating from independents.
This is published in Atlanta’s legal newspaper, the Daily Report:
An attorney for a Georgia voter questioning President Barack Obama’s eligibility for the March 6 primary said the president probably won’t attend a hearing on the issue Thursday, even though a subpoena compelling his appearance stands.
Van R. Irion, who represents plaintiff David Welden, acknowledged Monday that Obama likely will avoid the trial-like proceeding before Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings Deputy Chief Judge Michael M. Malihi.
At issue are claims that Obama either wasn’t born in the United States or that he’s ineligible for re-election because his father wasn’t a U.S. citizen—even though he released copies of Hawaii birth documents and other presidents had foreign-born parents. …
Obama hadn’t sought reconsideration in filings with the court by Monday. Jablonski, who has served as an attorney for the Democratic Party of Georgia, and the Obama re-election campaign declined to comment.
The president’s other options include ignoring the subpoena or appealing to Superior Court. If he refuses to appear, the administrative hearings judge may refer the case to Superior Court for a finding of contempt of court, according to the rules of the Office of State Administrative Hearings.
There is a range of opinions among anti-Birthers of Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi’s actions in the Georgia ballot challenges. I’ve been working hard to give him the benefit of the doubt. I have to admit, with all the hooplah, it is getting harder to do, so I thought I would share a couple of critical evaluations.
From Crucial Verbalist:
There is some early, tentative indication that Judge Malihi — in denying defense’s Motions to Dismiss and to Quash (and the manner in which he did), in sua sponte moving the hearing to a newer courtroom with better AV facilities “for the convenience” of the plaintiffs, and in approving a live feed and video recording by a Birther PAC — is getting swept up in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in matters of great moment on the national stage. Not to put too fine a point on it: this Administrative tribune may figure himself a spoiler for the Democratic Party in 2012, a Great White Corsi, a smear artist in jurist robes. Or, he has talked himself thusly into the idea that he is a neutral arbiter (never mind that to do so he must ignore a number of established legal principles) …
This is what ALJ Malihi is setting up as his platform for giving the Democrats a bit of good ol’ Southern grief. I’m not saying that he should have prejudged the plaintiffs’ arguments on the merits. I am saying that his misguided lapses in getting this far have created an untenable situation, and that judicial conduct that is considered “proper” is so considered for a reason. It is a self-protection.
He can’t possibly be prepared for the paroxysm of hate, fury, and fear — all of it utterly blind and incapable of either reason or argument — that he is about to unleash. He will find himself trying to feign a judicial temperament in front of the full, awful display of moral idiocy. He will try, belatedly, to guide the record into pockets of sanity, vestiges of relevance, any sense of logical argument at all, any sequence of if this, then that where “that” bears any relationship to “this,” any understanding of law, any consistency, even any objective or plea for relief that he, or anyone, could fulfill — but there will be none. He will grasp at the merest slivers, straws in the wind, hoping for a fact, a witness, a piece of evidence, anything that will restore his proceedings to any semblance of law. …
Good going, Georgia. Own it.
From Piffle, a lawyer, at The Fogbow:
The first part of Jablonski’s MtD sought dismissal with respect to three of Orly’s would-be plaintiffs (Judy, Lax and MacLaren) on several grounds: (1) that Orly had impermissably added them in an amended complaint instead of by motion; (2) that although the challenge statute may confer standing to Georgia resident voters, these three stooges do not have standing because they are from out of state; and (3) by trying to sneak in this trio via an amended complaint, Orly was effectively adding a cause of action after the deadline for initiating challenges had lapsed. (On partially overlapping grounds, the MtD asked the court to reject the addition of the Secretary of State and the Executive Committee of the Dem Party as parties.)
In his blanket dismissal of the MtD, Deputy Chief ALJ Malihi (the “DCALJ”) ignored these parts of the MtD altogether. Instead of doing a workmanlike job of dispensing with the several legitimate threshold issues before him, he eagerly leaped to lock horns with Jablonski on the singular issue of whether the DCALJ had jurisdiction to rule on presidential eligibility in a challenge brought in a presidential preference primary. (And guess what? The exalted DCALJ is ever-so-positive that he does!)
Due to a sloppy headline by Associated Press, Ga. judge orders president to appear at hearing, Birfistan is agog that President Barack Obama will be present at the administrative hearing scheduled by Judge Michael Malihi on Thursday in Atlanta.
All of Birfistan except Dean Haskins, who has now discovered that Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq. lies to her supporters, is mean as a “cactus loofah” and is the worst lawyer on the face of the Earth. Welcome almost to reality, Dean Haskins. You are very close.
According to White House Dossier:
Obama, however, will be nowhere near Atlanta on Thursday. According to the White House, he will be out West promoting the agenda he plans to lay out in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Obama Thursday plans to make appearances in Las Vegas and Denver areas before traveling on to Detroit to spend the night.
Nowhere near Atlanta. How can that be if he was court-ordered, as AP claims, to Atlanta? Easy. He was not ordered. But just about every media outlet subscribing to AP has that error in its headline. It’s very sad, but at this moment, there are 42,400 Google entries for that exact misleading headline.
Even though President Obama was not ordered by Judge Malihi to attend Thursday’s hearing, what if he had been? It wouldn’t mean the President has to agree to be there.
Appearing on Free Republic:
Raised in Kansas, uh huh.