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Substitute birther bill in Georgia

Republican Mark Hatfield (R – Waycross) announced a substitute for the much-maligned birther bill HB401 in the Georgia house has been drawn up and will be introduced. In the new version, the implementation date for the legislation is postponed to 2013, just as an attempt was made to make a similar bill in New Hampshire “not about Obama” by postponing the implementation date until after the next presidential election. This according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The text of the proposed substitute bill to HB401 was not immediately available, but according to an interview on Reality Check Radio, Hatfield affirmed that the extra-constitutional requirement that a President had never held dual citizenship was also in the revised version.

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24 Responses to Substitute birther bill in Georgia

  1. avatar
    y_p_w March 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    It’s going to create unnecessary obstacles to Presidential candidacy unless they get rid of the requirement for a certified photocopied “long form” and get rid of certain requirements that some “long forms” don’t even meet.

  2. avatar
    GeorgetownJD March 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    y_p_w:
    It’s going to create unnecessary obstacles to Presidential candidacy unless they get rid of the requirement for a certified photocopied “long form” and get rid of certain requirements that some “long forms” don’t even meet.

    Hardly. You did not listen to the radio interview, did you? Rep. Hatfield explained that any information absent from the certified birth document submitted by a candidate can be supplied by other documents.

  3. avatar
    GeorgetownJD March 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    y_p_w:
    It’s going to create unnecessary obstacles to Presidential candidacy unless they get rid of the requirement for a certified photocopied “long form” and get rid of certain requirements that some “long forms” don’t even meet.

    Okay, I see from another post you made on another thread where you are going with this. If I understand correctly, your concern is that the secondary evidence offered would be subject to the whims of the Georgia SOS. If so, maybe you have a point, but I don’t see the law as able to withstand challenge on Full Faith and Credit grounds — assuming, of course, that the bill miraculously makes it out of committee and passes the Georgia House by Wednesday evening and then is approved by the Senate.

    Worried? The birthers are — and should be.

  4. avatar
    y_p_w March 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    GeorgetownJD: Hardly.You did not listen to the radio interview, did you?Rep. Hatfield explained that any information absent from the certified birth document submitted by a candidate can be supplied by other documents.

    I understand that. However – the original bill (and apparently the substitute) create a need to collect the information if a “compliant” birth certificate can’t be produced or if the candidate doesn’t wish to part with such a document. The bill I read made no mention of the documents being returned. I thought that it meant submitted documents were made public records to be filed by the Georgia SoS and subject to public inspection and copying.

    My contention is that this creates a system where some candidates merely submit an easy enough to obtain birth certificate and leave it at that, while others (solely by accident of state of birth) would need to spend time tracking down supporting documents and hoping that the Georgia SoS finds them sufficient.

    It would also be difficult enough to authenticate school and private records.

  5. avatar
    Sef March 13, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    y_p_w: I understand that.However – the original bill (and apparently the substitute) create a need to collect the information if a “compliant” birth certificate can’t be produced or if the candidate doesn’t wish to part with such a document.The bill I read made no mention of the documents being returned.I thought that it meant submitted documents were made public records to be filed by the Georgia SoS and subject to public inspection and copying.

    My contention is that this creates a system where some candidates merely submit an easy enough to obtain birth certificate and leave it at that, while others (solely by accident of state of birth) would need to spend time tracking down supporting documents and hoping that the Georgia SoS finds them sufficient.

    It would also be difficult enough to authenticate school and private records.

    It also creates a requirement that governments maintain the original documents that are made available to the candidates. As we all know s*it happens and and these may become unavailable. Witness the 1890 Census records. Say the “Big One” hits San Andreas or New Madrid. Are these legislatures saying that there can be no President from these states? Given this, I doubt any of them will pass Constitutional muster.

  6. avatar
    y_p_w March 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Sef: It also creates a requirement that governments maintain the original documents that are made available to the candidates.As we all know s*it happens and and these may become unavailable.Witness the 1890 Census records.Say the “Big One” hits San Andreas or New Madrid.Are these legislatures saying that there can be no President from these states? Given this, I doubt any of them will pass Constitutional muster.

    I remember that the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 destroyed San Francisco City Hall. That created a lot of fun, as Chinese who couldn’t otherwise prove their status could claim their papers were destroyed in order to bring in relatives.

    However – having obtained recent certified copies of California birth certificates (from multiple agencies), I noticed that they were produced via a printer spitting out a kind of pixelated text from what was obviously a scanned image of the original signed BC. There were some aliasing artifacts, including letters having thinner lines. The entire image was stored in an electronic database, and the probability was that the local agencies no longer had the original paper copy.

    I’m guessing that they would have an incentive to back up their files and perhaps have them stored somewhere else – maybe across the country and/or via an electronics records archiving company.

    I’m pretty sure that these scanned images would be enough to be considered an “exact copy”. Most photocopiers these days are essentially digital scanner/printers, and those should be sufficiently considered as “exact copies”.

  7. avatar
    Sef March 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    y_p_w: I remember that the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 destroyed San Francisco City Hall.That created a lot of fun, as Chinese who couldn’t otherwise prove their status could claim their papers were destroyed in order to bring in relatives.

    However – having obtained recent certified copies of California birth certificates (from multiple agencies), I noticed that they were produced via a printer spitting out a kind of pixelated text from what was obviously a scanned image of the original signed BC.There were some aliasing artifacts, including letters having thinner lines.The entire image was stored in an electronic database, and the probability was that the local agencies no longer had the original paper copy.

    I’m guessing that they would have an incentive to back up their files and perhaps have them stored somewhere else – maybe across the country and/or via an electronics records archiving company.

    I’m pretty sure that these scanned images would be enough to be considered an “exact copy”.Most photocopiers these days are essentially digital scanner/printers, and those should be sufficiently considered as “exact copies”.

    The point is that sh*t happens and there can be no guarantee that a state’s documents would be available. This places a burden on the state which may not be possible to overcome at some time in the future, thus all states’ residents would not be equally treated.

  8. avatar
    Daniel March 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    It’s also unconstitutional in that it establishes real or perceived criteria for eligibility that are not in the Constitution.

    I.e no where in the Constitution does it state that a candidate must be able to supply witnesses to his birth, or physician’s signatures, or school; records, or hospital addresses.

  9. avatar
    Sef March 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Daniel:
    It’s also unconstitutional in that it establishes real or perceived criteria for eligibility that are not in the Constitution.

    I.e no where in the Constitution does it state that a candidate must be able to supply witnesses to his birth, or physician’s signatures, or school; records, or hospital addresses.

    Or any document whatsoever. And nowhere in the Constitution does it say that states must maintain these documents. FWIW, the original Declaration & Constitution are not even legible.

  10. avatar
    bob March 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    In reading the rest of AJC’s post, it looks as if Hatfield told birthers just the opposite. And implied pushing back the enactment date to 2013 was to get rid of birther stink.

    If you are going to pander to birthers, go all in: absolutely no one wants a birther bill that doesn’t apply to Obama.

  11. avatar
    Reality Check March 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    I posted a copy of the interview with Mark Hatfield and Kyrsten Sinema on my blog.

    http://rcradioshow.blogspot.com/2011/03/transcript-of-interview-with-mark.html

    Here is a rather remarkable section. Loren asked Rep. Hatfield about the requirements to be a representative in Georgia. Rep. Hatfield didn’t know. However, Senator Sinema from Arizona actually knew more about the Georgia requirements than Mr. Hatfield:

    “LC: If I – I’m going to change subjects here a bit if I could, wanted to ask something slightly different. The bill, of course, is just limited to the president and the vice president. I was looking for the code section earlier, couldn’t stumble across it. I believe to serve in the Georgia House you have to be a U.S. citizen.

    MR. HATFIELD: No, I’m not aware of any U.S. citizenship requirement. Now, I wouldn’t tell you you’re wrong on that, but I haven’t looked at that issue. But I wouldn’t argue the point. I mean, I think you should be a U.S. citizen. If it’s not required, you should be.

    RC: Hey, Loren, let me step in here. I want to bring on Kyrsten Sinema. She’s my second guest of the evening. We’re running a little long. I know it’s a great discussion.
    Kyrsten, can you hear me okay? This is R.C.

    MS. SINEMA: Yes, I can hear you just fine. I actually have an answer to the question that was just posed to Mr. Hatfield. Now, I’m a senator in Arizona and not in Georgia, but I do know the rules in Georgia, and you indeed do have to be a United States citizen to be an elected official in the state of Georgia, because you have to be qualified to vote, and as we know, only U.S. citizens are qualified to vote. So while Mr. Hatfield may not know the answer to that, it’s pretty clear, and it’s spelled out pretty clearly in Georgia statute.

    LC: I actually just managed to pull this up.

    Members of the Georgia House must be citizens of the U.S., at least 21 years old, a Georgia citizen for at least two years, and a legal resident of the district they are running in for at least one year.”

  12. avatar
    Keith March 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    bob: If you are going to pander to birthers, go all in: absolutely no one wants a birther bill that doesn’t apply to Obama.

    Actually, a birther bill that does not apply to Obama would be a birther’s wet dream.

    Their line would be “what is Obama afraid of”? and “wouldn’t it be Presidential to comply with the birther laws even though they aren’t in effect yet?” and see “Andy Martin is complying early, see Sarah Palin is complying early”, etc. etc. etc.

  13. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny March 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    Keith: Actually, a birther bill that does not apply to Obama would be a birther’s wet dream.

    Their line would be “what is Obama afraid of”? and “wouldn’t it be Presidential to comply with the birther laws even though they aren’t in effect yet?” and see “Andy Martin is complying early, see Sarah Palin is complying early”, etc. etc. etc.

    Andy Martin cannot comply, since he was not born of citizen parentS. As for Sarah Palin, I want an affidavit from every Canadian hospital that she was not born there and sworn statements by Dmitri Medvedev and Putin that she does not qualify for Russian citizenship as the spouse of an Ancient Russian indigenous person.

  14. avatar
    James M March 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Keith:

    Actually, a birther bill that does not apply to Obama would be a birther’s wet dream.

    How will President Obama ever be re-elected with all twelve birthers refusing to vote for him?

  15. avatar
    Keith March 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Paul Pieniezny: Andy Martin cannot comply, since he was not born of citizen parentS.

    Ahh… So a birther bill would be an OBots wet dream too!

    not.

  16. avatar
    Sef March 14, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    James M: How will President Obama ever be re-elected with all twelve birthers refusing to vote for him?

    And they may not even be registered voters.

  17. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 14, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    Hatfield affirmed that the extra-constitutional requirement that a President had never held dual citizenship was also in the revised version.

    Is Hatfield really that stupid, or his he just playing to his Tea Party constituency?

    In other words, introducing a bill that he knows has no chance of passage in order to win brownie points among his supporters — which is better for him that actually getting passage of an Oklahoma-style bill that commits the sin of acknowledging that a state-issued, short-form COLB is legal proof of birth.

  18. avatar
    Lupin March 14, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    Am I correct in saying that all those people backing these bills basically believe that the American voters are stupid enough to vote for Jean-Claude Mohammed al-uzi von Stalin ?

    And that one of your two parties would be daft enough to put his candidacy up?

    Otherwise why bother?

  19. avatar
    misha March 14, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Lupin: And that one of your two parties would be daft enough to put his candidacy up?

    Why not? Sarah Palin already ran for VP. Talk about daft. She thought Africa was a country. She could not find Israel on an unmarked map.

    Fox News can’t use a map either:

    Fox News graphics department has shaky grasp of Mideast geography:
    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907270040

  20. avatar
    Tarrant March 14, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Lupin –

    Birthers seem to consider mere “eligibility” for an office as having some sort of status equivalent to the office. If you read through freep now and then someone (james077 often) shows that numerous court rulings and federal regulations support the idea that someone born here is eligible for the office. It isn’t uncommon for someone to reply something like:

    “So you’re saying you believe that if one of Osama bin Laden’s concubines was flying over the US, had a stopover here, gave birth to a son, he’s eligible and you would support him as President?”

    And he will reply “Of course I wouldn’t support him”, to which they get all haughty and act like they won because they feel like the eliibility point was conceded with it wasn’t at all.

    They can’t separate the two – holding the office itself and merely being eligible for it, ignoring that millions of voters would have to ELECT – its really them projecting their hatred of Obama. Obama won, they hate him, therefore since he was elected fairly they have to assume the voters would vote for anybody and thus find some other reason to not let him run at all. Most of them by their comments are deathly afraid he might win again in 2012, thus the sole goal is to make sure he doesn’t get that chance.

  21. avatar
    misha March 14, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Tarrant: Most of them by their comments are deathly afraid he might win again in 2012, thus the sole goal is to make sure he doesn’t get that chance.

    Which is exactly what McConnell said. This from the homeliest man I have seen in the past 10 years. McConnell is what someone looks like when there is a shark in the family tree.

    When Shrub ran the deficit from surplus to $1T, there wasn’t a peep from his crowd. Now that there is a black man as pres, they got religion.

  22. avatar
    Lupin March 14, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Who will save us from this man?

    http://www.artotyrite.org/aluzi.jpg

  23. avatar
    Lupin March 14, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    misha: McConnell is what someone looks like when there is a shark in the family tree.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wfVc6oZKLBE/TMbiK8Ddi1I/AAAAAAAAATc/H7DlVhGvic0/s320/mcconnell_turtle.jpeg

  24. avatar
    misha March 14, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    misha: McConnell is what someone looks like when there is a shark in the family tree.

    Lupin: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wfVc6oZKLBE/TMbiK8Ddi1I/AAAAAAAAATc/H7DlVhGvic0/s320/mcconnell_turtle.jpeg

    Even better.