"Birther" attorney Orly Taitz, a national leader among those who claim President Barack Obama isn't an American citizen, is hailing a Tuesday decision by a Georgia judge as a victory in her movement.
Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi in the Office of State Administrative Hearings denied a motion by Obama asking to dismiss the complaint that seeks to keep his name off the state ballot during the March presidential primary. The judge's decision now sets the stage for a Jan. 26 hearing on the issue in Fulton County.
Obama is not required to attend the hearing, a court official said.
Initially filed in November by Taitz on behalf of a Georgia resident, the complaint argues that Obama isn't a natural born citizen and is ineligible from being president.
"He does not satisfy the 'natural born citizen' constitutional requirement for President to be on the ballot due to his foreign citizenship and allegiance to three other nations," the documents state.
On her blog, Taitz lauded the judge's ruling, claiming she could now depose Obama.
"I can now depose Obama and everybody else (i)nvolved without any impediment," the California attorney posted on her website.
She also noted that the victory came in Georgia, where she has suffered numerous setbacks in her attempts to prove the president was not born in the United States.
Taitz represented two soldiers in U.S. District Court in Columbus who sought to avoid deployment by arguing Obama wasn't the commander-in-chief because he wasn't eligible to be president. Federal Judge Clay Land warned Taitz against filing a frivolous suit, then fined her $20,000 after he denied the second claim.
"This is particularly sweet, as it is happening in GA, where judge Clay D. Land maligned me so badly and attacked me with $20,000 of sanctions in order to silence me, to stop me from challenging Obama," Taitz wrote.
An attempt to reach Obama's Atlanta attorney Michael Jablonski Wednesday morning was unsuccessful.
The Office of State Administrative Hearings handles disputes between the public and state agencies. For example, if the state Department of Revenue wants to revoke a business owner's alcohol license, the owner could appeal to the Office of State Administrative Hearings. It also handles ballot disputes.
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