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Legal Ethics

Embattled Lawyer Seeks Judge’s Recusal, Cites Possible ‘Whisper’ By AG Holder

Posted Oct 5, 2009 2:35 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Attorney Orly Taitz was already facing a threatened $10,000 sanction from an aggravated federal judge last month, after he told her never to pursue a "frivolous" suit again and she immediately filed a motion for reconsideration the next day in the same case. It concerned contentions by Army Capt. Rhodes that President Barack Obama lacked the power to deploy her to Iraq, saying his election as the nation's commander-in-chief is invalid.

But now Taitz has thrown down the glove once more. In a motion Friday she seeks the recusal of U.S. District Judge Clay Land, stating or implying that the Obama administration may have been influencing him improperly, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

In an affidavit Taitz filed yesterday in support of the recusal motion, Robert Douglas of Alma, Ga., contends that he saw U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder one day in July, as Douglas was waiting in a coffeeshop for the 12th Street federal courthouse in Columbus, Ga., to open. Douglas was there to attend a hearing in a case involving Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, who was then seeking conscientious objector status in a case before Land, the newspaper recounts.

“Red flags went up immediately in my mind and the questions remain, as yet,” states the affidavit by Douglas. “Why does the attorney general of the United States need to be present in an obscure hearing well off his beaten path? Could it possibly be, since Holder did not present himself in open court, he may have had a little ‘whisper in the ear’ to a federal judge in order to bias his judicial vision and adhere to the president’s agenda of obstruction?”

The article doesn't include any comment from the judge or the court administration.

However, in an order last month dismissing a "frivolous" case Taitz brought in the Middle District of Georgia on behalf of Rhodes that was supported by "no reliable factual allegations," according to Land, the judge made a general observation:

"Unlike in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ " he writes, "simply saying something is so does not make it so."

In a letter filed with the federal court on Sept. 18, Rhodes says she didn't give Taitz permission to file the motion for consideration and no longer wants Taitz to represent her, the Ledger-Enquirer reports.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Judge Warns Lawyer Who Said Obama Can’t Deploy Army Captain to Iraq"


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