in a surprise to no one but a birther, alabama tells a "tired old man" not only that the kenyan usurper will stay on the state primary ballot but also that everybody's day in court will be on his dime:judge in obama citizenship lawsuit orders man who sued to pay democratic party's lawyer, court fees
birmingham, alabama — the jefferson county judge who dismissed a luverne man's lawsuit to block president obama from alabama ballots today also ordered him to pay the state democratic party's court costs and lawyer fees within 45 days.
lawyers for mark kennedy, the state party chairman, sought the sanctions in a motion his lawyers filed last week filed last week in the suit filed by harold sorensen. but one of the lawyers said during a hearing today that party officials would not try to collect if sorensen does not file any similar lawsuits during the 2012 election cycle.
"the democratic party has no desire to chase after a retired military man to collect," barry ragsdale, one of kennedy's lawyers, told circuit judge helen shores lee.
ragsdale then turned to address sorensen. "but if i read you're bad-mouthing the court and this decision, you will feel the full wrath of me."
sorensen told lee he cannot afford to pay the court-ordered costs.
ragsdale said sorensen's suit in jefferson county is the second one he has filed challenging obama's citizenship and right to serve as president. a montgomery county judge in 2009 dismissed the other sorenson suit, which also challenged then-republican nominee john mccain's citizenship.
"this needs to stop, mr. sorensen, and it needs to stop today," ragsdale said during the hearing.
ragsdale also criticized a request sorensen filed last week asking lee to step aside from his case. the motion, which sorensen filed without counsel, cited "racial bias, lack of judicial discretion as well as lack of knowledge of the u.s. constitution, article ii, section 1, clause 5," court records show.
"this is scandalous," ragsdale said to sorensen during today's hearing. "it's uncalled for and you owe this court an apology."
sorensen apologized. he told lee he did not seek a new judge because of the black judge's race.
"after watching you in court and observing you last week, i felt i would not have a chance with you in court," he said.
sorensen was referring to a hearing last week in which lee dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by birmingham resident albert e. hendershot.
the suits contended obama is using a forged birth certificate and fake social security number. they said he is not a natural-born citizen and is not qualified to run and serve as president.
lee explained in detail to sorensen today why she dismissed his suit, citing the state law that strips courts of jurisdiction over election-related challenges unless another law specifically grants the courts that power.
"the court has no jurisdiction to hear this matter," she said.
sorensen, who sought to have his case dismissed before tuesday's hearing, said he was trying to exercise his rights and duties as a citizen.
"i just want to go back home and go to bed," sorensen told lee. "i'm done."
more to read: the hendershot lawsuit
attorney barry ragsdale, in an as yet unsourced report:the hearing was mostly a non-event. sorensen filed a motion to dismiss his case (without prejudice) first thing this morning and was planning on skipping the hearing. judge suggested he stick around.
judge lee then announced that after reading all the motions, she was dismissing the case, not on sorensen's motion, but on our motion under the "jurisdiction stripping statute." she indicated, however, that the dismissal would be WITH PREJUDICE and that she was awarding us all costs and attorney's fees to be paid within 45 days. i thought sorensen was going to pass out and he was audibly distressed when she awarded us fees. i was actually afraid that he would have a stroke.
sorensen then told that judge that he was "a retired senior citizen, who has no money." i then reminded the judge that mr. sorensen had filed a motion for recusal which i thought needed to be addressed on the record. the judge asked sorensen to stand and explain his recusal motion. sorensen said that he was "not feeling very well" so judge let him speak seated at the table. sorensen said that the recusal was "certainly not about race" but was based on his observation of judge lee during the hendershot hearing. he said that after watching judge lee, he knew that he "didn't stand a chance" if she was the judge. he also said that he was just "an old man" who was tired of all of this and wanted to go home and never deal with this again.
i then said a few things. i demanded that sorensen apologize to judge lee for his recusal motion, which he did (albeit, accompanied by a short speech about why the citizenship of the president's father meant that the president was not a NBC). i also said that if mr. sorensen was truly sincere about quitting this nonsense, that we would forego attempting to recover fees and costs, but if he filed another case or even collaborated with the filing of another case, or even got on the internet and complained about judge lee or how she handled this case, then we would come after him for the full amount. judge lee will enter a formal order later today.
from sorensen's motion for recusal directed against judge lee:harold sorensen ... respectfully believes that circuit [judge] helen shores lee recuse herself from this case on the following grounds: due to racial bias, lack of judicial discretion as well as lack of knowledge of the U.S. constitution ... additionally, judge has violated her oath of office under the alabama constitution ...
"respectfully" ... heh.