Georgia judge will rule on Army officer's 'birther' lawsuit

COLUMBUS, Ga. — During a hearing in U.S. District Court Monday, an attorney for an Army officer fighting deployment to Iraq questioned Barack Obama’s legal right to serve as president, asserting he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii.

Judge Clay Land, inquisitive throughout the 90-minute hearing, said he will issue a decision by noon Wednesday on Capt. Connie Rhodes’ request for a temporary restraining order to block her deployment.

Rhodes was represented by Orly Taitz, a California lawyer and a national figure in the "birther" movement that claims Obama was not born in the United States and does not meet the qualifications to be president.

Maj. Rebecca Ausprung, with the Department of the Army, Litigation Division in Washington, told Land this case was about Rhodes, not Obama.

"There was a lack of any reference to Capt. Rhodes," Ausprung said after Taitz spent about 30 minutes addressing the court. "This case is about Capt. Rhodes and her deployment."

But Taitz kept going back to Obama’s birth certificate. Twice she called Obama a "usurper."

Land repeatedly pointed out it was a courtroom where the rule of law was all that mattered.

"Whenever I give you a minute, you go off on these talking points," Land said.

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