Author: Ryan Strong
Occidental successfully opposed a legal motion filed by persistent birther Orly Taitz to compel the college to release President Barack Obama’s college records, including his application. Birthers such as Taitz believe that President Obama has a fake birth certificate and was not born in the United States, thus making him an illegitimate president. The judge soundly rejected Taitz’s argument, decreeing that basic legal requirements were not met and ordered her to pay $4,000 in sanctions to compensate the college for time and resources spent dealing with the matter.
Tea Party activists traveled to Occidental and served a secretary in AGC with the motion to compel on Oct. 31. The paperwork was then passed to General Counsel Carl Botterud, who decided to show up in court to present the college’s case, and the court hearing occurred shortly afterward.
“I decided that out of abundance of caution, since I wasn’t familiar with the judge, that it would be better to show up than not,” Botterud said. “It was a 99 percent probability in my estimation that it would go nowhere and get denied.”
Botterud called and emailed Taitz to notify her that he would appear in court to oppose the motion.
“It is the college’s position that your application is without merit, frivolous, and warrants sanctions,” Botterud wrote to Taitz, according to legal filings which included the email correspondence.
Taitz responded forcefully and personally to Botterud in an email that was part of the court filing for the case.
“Your opposition will constitute Obstruction of Justice, Aiding and Abetting in the elections fraud in forgery and treason in allowing a foreign citizen to usurp the U.S. Presidency with an aid of forged IDs and usurp the civil rights of the U.S. citizens,” she wrote. “At any rate your opposition and your attempt of intimidation and your allegiance or lack of allegiance to the United States of America is duly noted. Just make sure not to forget to bring with you Mr. Obama’s application, registration, and financial aid application.”
When Botterud arrived in the courtroom, he was approached by Taitz and asked if he had the President’s records with him, according to a court observer’s report. The report noted that Botterud was “obviously amused,” when he replied, “No.”
“It was a ridiculous question,” Botterud said in an interview with The Occidental Weekly. Botterud did say that the college would comply with any legitimate court order to release any student’s information, including President Obama’s. In absence of a court order, the college is required to follow privacy laws for all students and alumni that prohibit the release of most student records.
The college took the position that Taitz’s subpoena was improper and her arguments concerning Obama’s birthplace did not provide sufficient reason to release the documents.
Judge Charles Margines gave Taitz the opportunity to present her points. Taitz’s lawsuit, in which Occidental College is listed as a third party and President Obama is the primary defendant, claims that President Obama is a non U.S.-born citizen with a fake social security number who is ineligible to serve as President. All of these theories have been repeatedly disproven by all reasonable and reputable news organizations, academics and legal experts. Taitz was attempting to get Occidental to release Obama’s records because she thinks they will help prove her case.
However, the judge agreed with Occidental that the subpoena and motion to compel were riddled with fundamental procedural errors and denied Taitz’s motion with prejudice. According to the court observer, Judge Margines did comment on Taitz’s quality of evidence when she presented a folder of it to the judge.
“You should know that evidence is not stuff printed from the internet,” Margines said, responding to Taitz’s continued argument after he made the decision to quash the subpoena and award $4,000 in sanctions to Occidental College.
“He let Ms. Taitz have her say in court and then he ruled appropriately,” Botterud said. “It’s always good to find a judge that follows the law and does the right thing.”
Taitz had a different point of view. “The judge did not give a damn about this country,” she wrote on her blog in response to the ruling. “Sadly he is not any different from all the other judges. I am yet to see one single judge who gives a damn about this nation. I feel like I am in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.”
On a radio podcast he went on after the case, attorney Jay Ritt, a friend of Botterud’s who was brought on to assist Occidental defend its position, commented on Taitz’s legal skills.
“I would like to take credit for a spectacular job preparing papers and going down to the Orange County Superior Court and arguing this case and getting sanctions, but I honestly believe a rhesus monkey could have beaten Ms. Taitz and got a sanction award based on the awful lack of merit to the subpoena itself,” Ritt said. “And the case itself, from what I could tell, seems just ludicrous on its face.”
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