Friday, December 23, 2011

A sad Christmas for future Speaker Tim Jones: Birther lawsuit appeal rejected

Christmas joy vanished this week for future Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

On Thursday, the Ninth District Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of the dismissal of his birther lawsuit. Alleged lawyer Orly Taitz' motion for an emergency writ of mandamus, filed Nov. 8, was laughed off by the court, as have all of the other filings claiming that Barack Obama's presidency is illegitimate because he was not born in this country.

The decision says that Jones did not even have any standing to be a plaintiff in the case, which has been termed Drake v. Obama:

Plaintiffs allege that state representatives have "unique standing" because they have a "special non-delegable constitutional right and responsibility to verify the qualifications of the Chief Executive Officer of the United States of America who is responsible for allocating large sums of [federal] funds, since receipt of funds from any officer without legal authority would be complicity in theft or conversion."

In South Lake Tahoe, we rejected as insufficient to establish standing a similar contention that a public official could conceivably be exposed to civil liability while carrying out his official duties. 625 F.2d at 238-39. We noted that whether the officials could in fact be subject to civil liability was dependent on "multiple contingencies," including the likelihood of any civil suit and the question whether the official would be immune from any such suit. Id. at 239. The alleged harm to the state representatives in this case is just as speculative and conjectural as in South Lake Tahoe, for similar reasons. This group of plaintiffs therefore fails to establish standing.

The same opinion applies to the other Missouri state representative who latched onto the frivolous lawsuit, Cynthia Davis, who since was term limited out of her job, ran for state senate and lost, and is currently running for lieutenant governor as a Constitution Party candidate.

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