Your Occasional Update on the Legislative Progress of Birtherism

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 2 2011 8:15 AM

Your Occasional Update on the Legislative Progress of Birtherism

State Sen. Michael McLachlan , R-Danbury, submitted a bill proposal mandating U.S. presidential and vice presidential candidates provide their birth certificates for their names to be placed on the ballot.

"You have to have a birth certificate to get a driver's license," McLachlan said. "The same should be true to become president or vice president."

He submitted his proposal Jan. 20 after hearing several arguments about President Barack Obama 's citizenship, he said. "They claim that he is not a natural-born citizen."


Republican lawmakers have filed three bills that seek to make President Barack Obama prove his U.S. nationality, to change the 14th Amendment, and to restrict the citizenship rights of children born in the States.

House Bill 2544 would stop Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett from placing a presidential candidate's name on a ballot unless an "original long-form birth certificate" has been submitted with the "date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and the attending physician and signatures of the witnesses in attendance."
HB 2544 also requires a candidate to submit sworn statements of where he or she has lived for the past 14 years, that the candidate does not hold dual or multiple citizenship and that the person's allegiance "is solely to the United States of America."
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Judy Burges, has the support of 25 Republican members of the Arizona House, and 16 Republican members of the state Senate. No Democrats have said the support the bill.

The Arizona bill actually has a chance of passing and getting signed, and the "original long-form birth certificate" qualification, while it would be subject to a legal challenge (not everyone who was born in America has one; I know people who've lost theirs and gotten replacements), it's the first legislation written strictly enough to disqualify the Obama documents we've seen.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



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