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!)