January 3, 2013
The 52-year-old lawyer-dentist-real estate agent from Laguna Niguel,
Calif., brought her years-long battle to oust Barack Obama from the
presidency to a federal courtroom Thursday in Sacramento.
Her appearance was part of a last-minute bid to stop the counting of
Electoral College votes in Washington, D.C., that will pave the way for
the president’s second inauguration Jan. 21.
She failed. Again.
But the hearing before U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. was hardly routine.
Taitz has been dubbed the “birther queen” for her claims that Obama was
born outside the United States and therefore cannot legally be
“What we’re doing here is the right thing,” she said during the hearing
at Sacramento’s downtown federal courthouse. “It’s stopping treason.
“We are looking for one honest judge who will look at the case on its merits.”
She ran into a brick wall with England. The judge sparred with her for
more than an hour as the hearing played out in a courtroom overflowing
with spectators, many of them clearly not Obama supporters.
“Your argument, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” the judge told her at one point.
In the end, England rejected her request for a temporary restraining
order that would stop the tally of Electoral College votes and deny
Obama a second term.
The hearing stemmed from a suit Taitz filed Dec. 13 on behalf of two
Electoral College electors and three minor presidential candidates.
In an argument that England noted Taitz has pursued 13 previous times
in court, she sought to present evidence that the president’s birth
certificate is a forgery.
“It’s a joke,” she told the judge. “It’s not even a good forgery.”
She added that the president is using a stolen Social Security number,
that Obama may not really be his last name and that, basically, he is
has no right to serve, “not (as) president, not a janitor in the office
The arguments have been explored and debunked for years, but a hard-core group of believers continue to raise them.
Taitz sought to introduce evidence from witnesses about the font size
of the type on the president’s birth certificate, as well as from an
investigation launched by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa
Obama staffers had long ignored the claims, but finally addressed them
in the latest campaign when Donald Trump began to raise the issue. A
copy of the president’s birth certificate from Hawaii was posted on the
White House website in an effort to put the matter to an end.
Mention of that by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Olsen, who was
representing the federal government in court Thursday, brought derisive
chuckles from the courtroom audience.
But Olsen was not swayed. “Even if this is all true in their wildest
hopes, they still have not presented any evidence that the president is
not a natural born citizen,” he noted.
Taitz did try to present two witnesses, including one she said she had
paid to fly in from Florida, but the judge noted that his order for the
hearing allowed only oral arguments.
Taitz spent much of the hearing arguing over that point and the
audience became restless, with one man wearing a gray blazer and blue
jeans eventually standing up in the front row as if to offer his own
“Sit down,” England sternly ordered.
He did, and a court security officer moved closer to him.
“Why do you keep filing these lawsuits when they keep getting rejected?” England asked at one point.
Taitz responded by comparing herself to Thurgood Marshall and his
persistence in filing suits to fight segregation. She explained that one
of the plaintiffs is a Republican elector for Mitt Romney, who came in
second to Obama in November.
“But second,” England countered. “What part of second don’t you understand?”
Finally, the judge rejected the request for a restraining order, saying Taitz had no hope of prevailing anywhere.
“There is absolutely no way that this case will survive the challenge it faces,” he said.
The reaction from courtroom watchers was unmistakable. “Mockery,” one
man shouted as he stormed out, followed by another who was holding his
“That really stinks,” he proclaimed.