Clay D. Land

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Clay Daniel Land
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
Assumed office
October 1, 2014
Preceded by C. Ashley Royal
Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
Assumed office
December 21, 2001
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by J. Robert Elliot
Personal details
Born Clay Daniel Land
March 24, 1960
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Education University of Georgia (B.B.A.)
University of Georgia Law School (J.D.)

Clay Daniel Land (born March 24, 1960) is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

Education and law practice[edit]

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Land received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia in 1982 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia Law School in 1985. He was in private practice in Columbus, Georgia, from 1985 to 2001.

Political career[edit]

Land served as a member of the Columbus City Council from 1993 - 1994. In 1994 he was elected to the Georgia State Senate as a Republican. He served three terms (6 years) representing District 16, the same seat previously held by his cousin Ted. J. Land from 1979 - 1991.[1][2]

District court service[edit]

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. He has served as Chief Judge since October 1, 2014.[3]

Notable case[edit]

Land was in the spotlight in late 2009 when he tried the case Rhodes v. Macdonald, in which Army physician Connie Rhodes 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

After Rhodes asked for Taitz to be removed as her attorney,[7] 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.[8][9] Upon learning of Land's ruling, Taitz told Talking Points Memo that she would not pay the fine, calling it "intimidation".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hon. Clay Land (GA SS 16)". State of Georgia (Legislative archives). November 8, 2000. Retrieved April 3, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Members Of The General Assembly Of Georgia". State of Georgia. January 1990. Retrieved April 3, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Judicial Milestones". United States Courts. 
  4. ^ Justin Elliott (September 16, 2009). "Birther Orly Taitz Compares Self To Mandela, Wants Judge Tried For Treason". Talking Points Memo. Archived from the original on September 22, 2009. 
  5. ^ Motion for stay of Connie Rhodes' deployment
  6. ^ Justin Elliott (September 18, 2009). "Judge Clay Land v. Orly Taitz, Part II". TPM Muckraker. 
  7. ^ 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. Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. 
  8. ^ Justin Elliott (October 13, 2009). "Judgment Day: Birther Taitz Fined $20,000 For Misconduct". Talking Points Memo. 
  9. ^ Land, Clay D. (October 13, 2009). "Order". United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
J. Robert Elliott
Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
2001–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
C. Ashley Royal
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
2014–present