Clay D. Land

Clay D. Land

Clay Daniel Land (born 1960) is a United States federal judge.

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Land received a B.B.A. from the University of Georgia in 1982 and a J.D. from the University of Georgia Law School in 1985. He was in private practice in Columbus, Georgia from 1985 to 2001.

On September 21, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Land to a seat on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia vacated by J. Robert Elliot. Land was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 13, 2001, and received his commission on December 21, 2001.

Land was in the spotlight in late 2009 when he tried the case Rhodes v. Macdonald, in which an Army physician attempted to secure a restraining order against her being deployed to Iraq, on the argument that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States and was ineligible to serve as President. Land rejected the argument as frivolous. Within hours of Land's decision, the physician's attorney, Orly Taitz, told the news site Talking Points Memo that she felt Land's refusal to hear her case was an act of treason.[1] Two days later, she filed a motion to stay Rhodes' deployment pending rehearing of the dismissal order. She repeated her treason allegations against Land and made several other intemperate statements, including claims that Land was aiding and abetting purported aspirations of "dictatorship" by Obama.[2] Land rejected the motion as frivolous and ordered her to show cause why she should not be fined $10,000 for abuse of judicial process.[3]

After Rhodes asked for Taitz to be removed as her attorney,[4] on October 13, 2009, Judge Land issued a scathing 40-page ruling sanctioning Taitz and imposed a monetary penalty of $20,000 under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[5][6] Upon learning of Land's ruling, Taitz told Talking Points Memo that she would not pay the fine, calling it "intimidation".


  1. ^ Justin Elliott (September 16, 2009). "Birther Orly Taitz Compares Self To Mandela, Wants Judge Tried For Treason". Talking Points Memo. 
  2. ^ Motion for stay of Connie Rhodes' deployment
  3. ^ Justin Elliott (September 18, 2009). "Judge Clay Land v. Orly Taitz, Part II". TPM Muckraker. 
  4. ^ Alan Riquelmy (September 19, 2009). "Letter signed Capt. Connie Rhodes says she had never agreed to an appeal, says Rhodes will file complaint against attorney Orly Taitz". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. 
  5. ^ Justin Elliott (October 13, 2009). "Judgment Day: Birther Taitz Fined $20,000 For Misconduct". Talking Points Memo. 
  6. ^ Land, Clay D. (October 13, 2009). "Order". United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 

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