Nation/World

‘Birther’ attorneys argue case before federal appeals court

PASADENA, Calif. – Leaders in the so-called “birther” movement argued their case over President Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship before a federal appeals court Monday in Southern California, claiming the full birth certificate he released last week had been doctored.

But it was unclear how far their arguments would go, given the previous failed lawsuits on the issue.

Obama’s production of the vital record was aimed at quashing any lingering doubt among critics who contend he shouldn’t have been elected because he couldn’t prove he was a citizen.

But it has not deterred Orly Taitz, an attorney at the forefront of the birther movement. On Monday, Taitz told a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the long-form birth certificate released by Obama is “not a true and correct image.”

“It’s very inventive computer art,” she said.

Taitz and attorney Gary Kreep, on behalf of more than 40 plaintiffs, are seeking to revive a lawsuit challenging Obama’s citizenship that was dismissed by U.S. District Judge David Carter in late 2009. They asked the panel to remand the suit to Carter in Orange County.

Carter dismissed the case on the grounds that the federal court system was not the proper venue to challenge a president’s election.

The appellate panel seemed to concur, wondering how the lawsuit could have merit, given it was filed after the election and Obama had already taken office.

“You did not file a claim at the time when the kind of relief you would be talking about might be plausible,” Judge Raymond Fisher said. “It doesn’t do anything for your candidates now.”

It wasn’t immediately known when the judges would rule.



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