Meet Orly Taitz: Lawyer, Dentist and Birther in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Crusade

  • Print

Lawyer Orly Taitz’s lawsuit challenging President Obama’s right to hold office has so provoked a federal judge that he compared her crusade to Alice in Wonderland.

Yet Taitz has emerged by some accounts as the most visible face of the movement seeking to prove that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is ineligible to be president, the Washington Post reports. She has “developed a scenario” in which Obama’s mother persuaded bureaucrats to alter his birth records and allow him into the United States. Or perhaps he is a citizen of Indonesia, she says, where Obama lived for a time with his mother.

Taitz works out of a law office in Rancho Santo Margarita, Calif., that is right next to her dental office with the name Appealing Dentistry. According to the Post, she is a “dentist, lawyer, wife of a software executive, mother of three and a leading proponent of the so-called birther campaign.”

A Georgia judge threatened Taitz with a $10,000 sanction for filing a frivolous suit on behalf of an Army captain who says Obama lacks power to deploy her to Iraq. “Unlike in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ” wrote U.S. District Judge Clay Land, “simply saying something is so does not make it so.” She later withdrew as the captain’s lawyer, and is now focusing on a different case filed on behalf of “a slew of plaintiffs,” the story says.

Taitz grew up in the former Soviet republic of Moldova, then moved to Israel, where she met her future husband when he was visiting from the United States, the Post story says. He proposed on their second date, which wasn’t surprising, Taitz confessed, because “he wasn’t the first one” who had asked.

While she is attracting media attention for her lawsuits, most of her calls on the morning of the Washington Post interview are from dentists desperate for a job. Taitz, whose co-counsel compares her to the warrior goddess Athena, makes for good press, the Post observes.

“Today Taitz, 49, is wearing white high-heeled slingbacks; bare legs; a white skirt; black and white shirt; enormous eyelashes; and her characteristic air of charming but ferocious tenacity, part Meg Ryan, part Madame Defarge,” the Post says.

Yet some express fears that Taitz is attracting the attention of militia groups and others who don’t confine their protests to lawsuits. Said Robert Haggard, a frequent poster to the Politijab website, “We don’t believe that Orly herself is dangerous; the problem is, she is attracting these people who are, and have a history of being so.”

For her part, Taitz speaks of fears of repressive regimes and conspiracies. According to the Post, “her rhetoric is laced with a suspicion that Obama may be an agent for a foreign power, a modern Manchurian candidate.”

Corrected at 12:12 p.m. CT to say that Land is a Georgia judge.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.