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National Briefing / Georgia

Leader of movement against Obama is fined

October 15, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

A federal judge in Columbus fined a leader of the movement challenging President Obama's citizenship and warned her against using the legal system to pursue "political rhetoric and insults."

U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land's scathing 43-page order, issued Tuesday, said California lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz had filed "frivolous" litigation and attempted to misuse the courts to push a political agenda.

Taitz, a leader of the so-called birther movement, sued in Georgia federal court on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes. Rhodes sought to avoid deployment to Iraq by claiming Obama wasn't born in the U.S. and that he was "an illegal usurper, unlawful pretender and unqualified impostor."

Documents show the president was born in Hawaii.

Land, appointed in 2001 by President George W. Bush, had already dismissed the lawsuit, but Taitz continued filing motions. He said he fined her $20,000 "as a deterrent to prevent future misconduct and to protect the integrity of the court."

Taitz told a newspaper that Land's order was "an absolute outrage."

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