In a surprise move, it appears that Taitz has allowed another, considerably more cool-headed attorney — Jonathan Levy of South Carolina — to draft the opening brief filed this week in the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Levy’s name appears on the brief alongside Taitz’s and he sent the brief to the court.
Stylistically, the 20-page document does not read like a Taitz screed. At one point the author concedes, in a particularly un-Taitzian phrase, that “in hindsight it is easy to criticize the District Court.”
But it’s not totally free of the crazy. For example, the brief takes issue with Judge Clay Land’s criticism of Taitz’s tale of a secret trip to Georgia by Attorney General Eric Holder, who purportedly visited to conspire with Land against Taitz. It turns out Holder was in Los Angeles that day. But, the brief argues, that’s not enough evidence:
Ultimately the District Court satisfied itself that neither allegation was true
though the reasoning is less than objective. As to Attorney General Holder, the
District Court decided that since news service accounts pegged the Attorney
General in Los Angeles that day, he could not be in Georgia on the same day.
(Doc. 28, pg. 17 of 43, fn 16). In theory the Attorney General could have jetted
over to the coffee shop across the street from the court house where the affiant
claims to have spotted Mr. Holder for a quick chat with the District Court. (Doc.
28, pg. 17 of 43). At any rate, the Court did not produce an affidavit from Mr.
Holder or other responsible party instead choosing to rely upon the supposed
factual impossibility of being in Georgia and California on the same day.
The brief ends, quoting Felix Frankfurter at length, with the argument that Land was not sufficiently restrained in dealing with an “argumentative attorney”:
Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter writing for the Court in Offutt v. United States noted that when a judge perceives she is dealing with an argumentative attorney, the best results are achieved when that judge acts with restraint so as to not offend the fair administration of justice:
“Of course personal attacks or innuendoes by a lawyer against a judge, with a view to provoking him, only aggravate what may be an obstruction to the trial. The vital point is that in sitting in judgment on such a misbehaving lawyer the judge should not himself give vent to personal spleen or respond to a personal grievance. These are subtle matters, for they concern the ingredients of what constitutes justice. Therefore, justice must satisfy the appearance of justice” Offutt v. United States, 348 U.S. 11, 13 (1954).
So has Taitz paid that $20,000 fine — the one the US Attorney was supposed to collect — yet? We’re looking into it and will let you know what we find out.
Late Update: Acting U.S. Attorney G.F. Peterman for the Middle District of Georgia told TPMmuckraker this afternoon his office is waiting on Taitz’s appeal before it attempts to collect the fine.
Here’s the full brief: