Robert Laity from Tonawanda, NY filed a complaint against Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris in which he claims she is not eligible to serve because she is not a natural born citizen. I have written about Mr. Laity before. He had the last active Birther case in the 2016 election cycle. It was a ballot challenge filed against Ted Cruz in New York.
Laity filed his complaint in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. It was docketed on September 4th and assigned to Judge Emmet Sullivan. You might have read about Judge Sullivan in the news lately. He was the Judge in the Michael Flynn perjury case and is taking on the DoJ’s attempt to drop the case against Flynn even though he pleaded guilty twice.
Laity repeats the same debunked points that “two parent citizen” Birthers have espoused since Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. I discussed all of these in my article published on this blog last year when Birthers first noticed Kamala Harris was a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination titled, For the thousandth time: Anyone born on US soil under the jurisdiction of the United States is a natural born citizen, period.
There are other problems with this filing. First, Laity cites no statute in his petition. He claims he is filing whatever this is under his “First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. Does anyone wish to guess how far that will go with this court?
The title of Laity’s complaint is United States, ex rel, Robert C. Laity v US Senator Kamala Devi Harris. This implies Laity is filing a qui tam action under the federal False Claims Act. This is similar to the tactic that Phil Berg tried against Barack Obama. Under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act was passed during the Civil War to allow whistle-blowers to report fraud being perpetrated on the government and be rewarded with a portion of the damages recovered by the government if fraud is eventually found to have occurred. The term “whistle-blower” was not in use at the time and instead the person reporting the fraud was called a “relator” in the law.
Laity does not seek damages in his action as Phil Berg did. Berg filed his qui tam action to attempt to recover a portion of President Obama’s salary as President. His case was of course dismissed. Instead Laity is asking for the court to issue an injunction prohibiting Kamala Harris from occupying the office of Vice President this election cycle and be permanently enjoined from ever occupying the office.
Federal courts may issue injunctive relief in two forms, a temporary restraining order (TRO), or a preliminary injunction. However, the plaintiff seeking such relief must satisfy a four factor test in either case:
- that he or she is likely to succeed on the merits of his claims;
- that he or she is likely to suffer irreparable harm without preliminary relief;
- the balance of equities between the parties support an injunction; and
- the injunction is in the public interest.
Laity meets none of the four requirements for an injunction. He must meet all four. Laity’s complaint fails to address any of these requirements.
The bottom line is that Laity’s complaint is either premature as a quo warranto action or is a request for a TRO without justifications and will be dismissed even if he follows the rules for service and other rules to get that far. The case will fail as has every other case Laity and every other Birther has filed.