Republican Rep. Carl Seel of Phoenix AZ, authored a bill, which has been approved by the legislature, that will require any presidential candidate to prove that they are a U.S. citizen in order for their names to appear on the state’s ballot. It’s now up to Gov. Jan Brewer to sign the measure into law and make Arizona the first state to have such a law.
Speaker of the House Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, said he was behind the bill because it was constitutional and required all candidates to prove that they meet the individual requirements of the office. “I believe this particular piece of legislation does not add to or detract from the qualifications for president as stated in the United States Constitution,” Adams said.
The Arizona proposal would require political parties and presidential candidates to present an affidavit stating a candidate’s citizenship, age and to provide the candidate’s birth certificate along with a sworn statement of where they have lived for 14 years. If candidates don’t have a copy of their birth certificates, baptismal or circumcision certificates along with hospital birth records and other documents are acceptable. If it can’t be determined whether a candidate who provided documents in place of their birth certificate are eligible to appear on the ballot, the secretary of state can then set up a committee to help determine whether requirements have been met.
Thirteen other states have considered similar proposals this year. Similar bills have been defeated in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine and Montana.
According to the “birthers” President Obama is ineligible to hold office because he was actually born in Kenya, despite evidence to the contrary. The Constitution states that a person must be a “natural-born citizen” to be eligible for the presidency.
Officials in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed Obama’s citizenship, but that hasn’t stopped a multitude of lawsuits being filed that challenge Obama’s legitimacy. All of these such lawsuits have been thrown out of court.
“It’s a fringe issue in my view, and it’s going to cause people to look again at Arizona and say what’s all this craziness going on there,” said Democratic Rep. Daniel Patterson of Tucson, an opponent of the bill.
UPDATE: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has decided it wouldn’t be such a great idea to have her state be forever known as the first “birther” state and vetoed the presidential birther bill. One of the one reasons she gave for the veto was that the bill asked for a submission of ‘early baptismal circumcision certificates’ in place of a birth certificate. Good call.