Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Obama Birther Case In Georgia Unlikely To Bring The President, Despite Judge's Order
The White House appears prepared to ignore a recent ruling by Georgia Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi that would require President Obama to attend a birther hearing in Fulton County, Ga., on Thursday.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney outlined Barack Obama's weekly agenda on Monday, noting that the president is scheduled to hit Las Vegas, Denver and Detroit on Thursday in a whirlwind tour to talk middle class job creation.
That's not likely to sit well with Malihi, who last week rejected an effort by Obama's legal team to quash a subpoena that would require president appear in court that day. The complaint, like many others of its kind, claims Obama isn't a natural-born citizen and therefore can't be president.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Malihi's decision to deny the administration's efforts to counter the subpoena:
In his order, Malihi noted that Obama's legal team had argued that no president should be compelled to attend a court hearing.
"This may be correct," Malihi wrote. "But [Obama] has failed to enlighten the court with any legal authority."
Obama's court filings fail to show why his attendance would be "unreasonable or oppressive" or why his testimony would be "irrelevant, immaterial or cumulative," the judge wrote.
The White House on Monday referred questions to Obama's reelection campaign, which had no public comment.
Birther queen Orly Taitz, who represents one of the complainants, is also likely to be unhappy with the administration's apparent decision to not take Malihi's order seriously.
Over the weekend, Taitz predicted that the hearing would "be 100 times bigger than Watergate."
Taitz had earlier received a $20,000 fine for a frivolous suit in Georgia. In that suit, she represented two soldiers who were seeking to avoid deployment over their belief that Obama wasn't eligible to be president.
Earlier this month, she reacted to Malihi's original decision to deny a motion by the administration to have the challenges dismissed by saying she would now be able to "depose" the president.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke with attorney Melvin Goldstein, who is not involved with the case, to get some insight on what might happen if the administration simply turned a blind eye to the court order. While unprecedented, he said Malihi could possibly refer the matter to a Fulton County Superior Court judge, who could then decide whether to enforce the subpoena. If necessary, Goldstein suggested, the judge could hold the president in contempt.
To read related articles, click here.
Posted by Brett at 10:46 AM