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Kansas committee approves Birther Bill

The Topeka Capitol-Journal reports that the Kansas House Elections Committee yesterday approved a bill that would require candidates for state and federal office to provide proof of citizenship.

Representative Ann Mah (D-Topeka) called it a “birther bill.”

Rep. Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican and chairman of the House Elections Committee, said origin of House Bill 2224 was tied to anxiety about Obama’s birth status.

He said the amended version had more to do with acknowledgment  candidates for state and federal office in Kansas should be held to the same identification requirements applied to people casting votes in the state’s elections.

The version of the bill currently available from the Kansas Legislature web site states:

(e) A candidate for any national or state office who seeks nomination by either primary election or petition pursuant to subsection (a) shall show proof of United States citizenship to the secretary of state in the form of a certified copy of the candidate’s birth certificate and the candidate’s drivers license or other government-issued identification.

New Sec. 2. (a) The national political party committee for a candidate for president for a party that is entitled to continued representation on the ballot shall provide to the secretary of state written notice of that party’s nomination of its candidates for president and vice-president. Within 10 days after the submittal of the names of the candidates, the national political party committee shall submit proof of the candidates’ United States citizenship to the secretary of state in the form of a certified copy of the candidates’ birth certificates and the candidates’ drivers licenses or other government issued identification.

(b) If the national political party committee does not submit the documents required by this section, the secretary of state shall not place
those candidates’ names on the ballot in this state.

Sec. 3. K.S.A. 25-202 is hereby repealed.

Sec. 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.

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33 Responses to Kansas committee approves Birther Bill

  1. avatar
    JPotter February 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Hmmm, doesn’t explicitly state what info has to be on the BC. They’re not all created the same, so I would expect a court to hold that a state-certified BC, no matter the info incorporated, is sufficient. Don’t expect the birthers to be satisfied tho! The bill should incorporate a CDC standard(?).

    Also doesn’t explicitly say the drivers’ license can be a photocopy. If this catches on, we’ll have the birthers demanding candidates originals go on tour. Going to have to plan way ahead to get one license to all states by every state’s deadlines. Your driver’s license will need a tour manager!

    The current statute is:
    http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_25/Article_2/25-202.html

    Seems otherwise congruent, meaning nothing is being slipped by.Not outlawing third parties or anything.

  2. avatar
    kriselda jarnsaxa February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Ugh.

    I wish my state would quit embarrassing me. ::heavy sigh::

  3. avatar
    JPotter February 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    kriselda jarnsaxa: I wish my state would quit embarrassing me. ::heavy sigh::

    Could be worse *he types from his desk in Oklahoma*

  4. avatar
    y_p_w February 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    I can’t see how this will stand. This is poorly written, which I sort of expect from any birther bill.

    So the only accepted form of proof of US citizenship is a certified copy of a birth certificate? It doesn’t say where, but I’m assuming this means it must lay out birth in a US state or territory that confers jus soli citizenship.

    No Consular Report of Birth Abroad. No Certificate of Naturalization. No Certificate of US Citizenship (common with adoptions). So basically they’re de facto only allowing those born in the US to be placed on the ballot in Kansas for any national or state office. That would mean those born to overseas military families won’t be eligible for the ballot.

    Ironically, this would mean that Barack Obama II would be eligible to be placed on a Kansas ballot.

  5. avatar
    y_p_w February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    JPotter: Also doesn’t explicitly say the drivers’ license can be a photocopy. If this catches on, we’ll have the birthers demanding candidates originals go on tour. Going to have to plan way ahead to get one license to all states by every state’s deadlines. Your driver’s license will need a tour manager!

    Again – badly written. I expect that from a birther bill.

    I’m thinking a notarized photocopy of a government document might suffice, but they’re not clear about it. Also – how the heck is one to buy a drink or drive without ID.

  6. avatar
    G February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    I agree with the above assessments. The bill itself is badly written. Ironically, Obama would have no problem complying with this bill, while a McCain-style candidate might be in trouble.

    I also agree that the wording in regards to Drivers Licenses (et al) is particularly poorly written and sounds like it is requiring the actual DL to be turned over with the submission, which is ridiculous.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Every birth certificate will have a name, date and place of birth. That’s all they need.

    JPotter: Hmmm, doesn’t explicitly state what info has to be on the BC.

  8. avatar
    JPotter February 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Every birth certificate will have a name, date and place of birth. That’s all they need.

    But it isn’t all they want. It this passes, it will be followed up by the “long-form” version!

  9. avatar
    donna February 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    how can you require a “long form” when many states no longer issue them?

    when the state dept sets the guidelines for what a birth certificate contains?

    when we have full faith and credit laws regarding birth certificated and other such documents?

    state dept requirements: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_5401.html

  10. avatar
    G February 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Before we get off the rails here, the KS bill wording does NOT have any reference wording to a “long form” requirement that I’ve seen. It just says certified copy – period.

    donna: how can you require a “long form” when many states no longer issue them?

    JPotter: But it isn’t all they want. It this passes, it will be followed up by the “long-form” version!

  11. avatar
    y_p_w February 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    My issue is that it wouldn’t allow someone on a ballot who is a naturalized US citizen or even a citizen born abroad to US parents. There several categories of US citizens who this bill would disenfranchise. It would essentially add requirements to run for federal office beyond the citizenship and residency requirements.

  12. avatar
    y_p_w February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    G: Before we get off the rails here, the KS bill wording does NOT have any reference wording to a “long form” requirement that I’ve seen. It just says certified copy – period.

    Again – not a problem for me. However, there are several categories of citizenship where the citizen won’t have a US birth certificate.

  13. avatar
    JPotter February 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    G: Before we get off the rails here, the KS bill wording does NOT have any reference wording to a “long form” requirement that I’ve seen.

    G, not trying to take anyone off the rails, just a reference back to my original point that, while a certified copy should satisfy the bill (should satisfy anyone and anything!), past experience indicates nothing will satisfy certain interests. Bills like this seem well-intentioned. Which is exactly why they’re so dangerous. It is impossible to anticipate every possible circumstance. This bill won’t solve a problem; instead, it creates grounds for others to cause problems. There are existing mechanisms for handling eligibility issues.

  14. avatar
    misha February 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    JPotter: Could be worse *he types from his desk in Oklahoma*

    Could be worse: With Anita Bryant next to him. She gave up flacking oranges, to throw rotten tomatoes.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Which we all know is unconstitutional.

    y_p_w: It would essentially add requirements to run for federal office beyond the citizenship and residency requirements.

  16. avatar
    Rickey February 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Yes, the part about the driver’s license or other government ID is poorly drafted. Obviously no candidate is going to submit their original driver’s license, state ID card or passport. But does Kansas expect a copy of one of those to be certified? And how would you go about getting a certified copy of your driver’s license or passport? In New York you can get a certified copy of your driving abstract, but I don’t know how you would get a copy of your driver’s license certified.

    Also, the bill only says that the documents have to be submitted. It says nothing about who gets to decide whether the documents which are submitted are sufficient.

    Otherwise, it is a fairly benign birther bill. At least no proof of citizenship of parents is required.

  17. avatar
    misha February 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    kriselda jarnsaxa: Ugh. I wish my state would quit embarrassing me. ::heavy sigh::

    Kansas Outlaws Practice Of Evolution
    Read on: http://www.theonion.com/articles/kansas-outlaws-practice-of-evolution,2098/

    The Topeka Capital-Journal
    http://cjonline.com/news/state/2009-08-26/jenkins_remark_raises_eyebrows

    U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins offered encouragement to conservatives at a town hall forum that the Republican Party would embrace a “great white hope”…”Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope,” Jenkins said to the crowd.

    The phrase “great white hope” is frequently tied to racist attitudes permeating the United States when heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson fought in the early 1900s. Reaction to the first black man to reign as champion was intense enough to build support for a campaign to find a white fighter capable of reclaiming the title from Johnson.

  18. avatar
    y_p_w February 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Rickey: Yes, the part about the driver’s license or other government ID is poorly drafted. Obviously no candidate is going to submit their original driver’s license, state ID card or passport. But does Kansas expect a copy of one of those to be certified? And how would you go about getting a certified copy of your driver’s license or passport? In New York you can get a certified copy of your driving abstract, but I don’t know how you would get a copy of your driver’s license certified.

    I think the original document and a good photocopy can be presented to a notary with the seal placed on the document. At least that’s how a lot of requirements are done.

    Also – while US passports or passport cards are perfectly fine photo IDs, they are not necessarily proof of citizenship unless the place of birth is a US state or most US territories. I mention this not because you brought it up, but that I can imagine that the bill could be expanded for more document types. Non-citizen US nationals are eligible for US passports, and by law they can’t vote or run of office unless they become US citizens.

  19. avatar
    misha February 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Rickey: Obviously no candidate is going to submit their original driver’s license, state ID card or passport. But does Kansas expect a copy of one of those to be certified? And how would you go about getting a certified copy of your driver’s license or passport?

    Here’s what I’ve been looking for
    A genuine copy of a fake Dior

    - Allan Sherman

  20. avatar
    G February 16, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Excellent points.

    y_p_w: I think the original document and a good photocopy can be presented to a notary with the seal placed on the document. At least that’s how a lot of requirements are done.Also – while US passports or passport cards are perfectly fine photo IDs, they are not necessarily proof of citizenship unless the place of birth is a US state or most US territories. I mention this not because you brought it up, but that I can imagine that the bill could be expanded for more document types. Non-citizen US nationals are eligible for US passports, and by law they can’t vote or run of office unless they become US citizens.

  21. avatar
    Joe Acerbic February 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Which we all know is unconstitutional.

    Megadittomonkeys. It’s so blatantly unconstitutional that any details of “copy or original” etc. are totally irrelephant.

  22. avatar
    John Potter February 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    misha: Could be worse: With Anita Bryant next to him. She gave up flacking oranges, to throw rotten tomatoes.

    Hey, speaking of misha’s favorite school, ORU, it is once again an obligatory stop on the Red campaign trail, just like Bob Jones used to be. Santorum was there last week, and Monday, we get Gingrich! Umm, yay. Thankfully, I have to work, at a very safe distance, 15 miles or so.

    I did get to see George Will at my alma mater, TU. It was quite a tea party crowd; they warmed’em up with a showing of Atlas Shrugged (just kidding). Will gave his standard spiel. I am sorry to say no birtherism bubbled to the surface. Booo. Where is my entertainment? Will’s baseball stories only go so far.

  23. avatar
    aarrgghh February 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    meanwhile, down in freeper county:

    f15eagle: “needs to require an unredacted paper copy that is available for public viewing immediately upon request at any time during a business week, business hours.”

    or in more familiar words: “show me dat dam papah, boy … i said NOW, boy!!!”

  24. avatar
    Rickey February 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    y_p_w: I

    Also – while US passports or passport cards are perfectly fine photo IDs, they are not necessarily proof of citizenship unless the place of birth is a US state or most US territories.I mention this not because you brought it up, but that I can imagine that the bill could be expanded for more document types.Non-citizen US nationals are eligible for US passports, and by law they can’t vote or run of office unless they become US citizens.

    Agreed. As currently constructed, the bill is calling for a birth certificate AND proof of identity. The driver’s license or passport would provide proof of identity, but not necessarily proof of citizenship.

  25. avatar
    Tarrant February 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I like the Freeper’s claim that whatever documents are submitted have to be viewable by the public “on demand”, as if public servants have nothing better to do than keep private documents available for nobodies and nutjobs to look at – nutjobs that might try to take the document in question, or simply immediately argue it’s fake based on no information at all.

    In the end, even if documents need to be submitted to some state, it is perfectly reasonable for the state to say that one was submitted and meets the requirements, rather than putting them on public display.

  26. avatar
    Daniel February 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Tarrant: I like the Freeper’s claim that whatever documents are submitted have to be viewable by the public “on demand”

    The really pathetic part is that Obama is the only President to have made his BC, paper copy, unredacted (to the best of my knowledge) available for public viewing at his campaign HQ during the last election.

    If birthers were too lazy to go there and see it….

  27. avatar
    y_p_w February 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Tarrant: I like the Freeper’s claim that whatever documents are submitted have to be viewable by the public “on demand”, as if public servants have nothing better to do than keep private documents available for nobodies and nutjobs to look at – nutjobs that might try to take the document in question, or simply immediately argue it’s fake based on no information at all.In the end, even if documents need to be submitted to some state, it is perfectly reasonable for the state to say that one was submitted and meets the requirements, rather than putting them on public display.

    Some of the birther bills from last year made the original documents (or notarized photocopies in some cases) subject to public inspection requests.

    Such a document submitted to a state elections agency could theoretically be subject to public records requests, but those laws vary by state. In many cases it isn’t possible to view the “original” documents, but rather receive photocopies at a statutory rate per page. They could also just make such documents visible on a website or perhaps at an in-house computer terminal.

    A lot of documents are actually considered public records in California. I found out that anyone could view a copy of my property tax bill. I spent a few minutes waiting in my county clerk-recorder’s office, and played around with the self-service kiosks while I waited. The system could pull up images of most documents. I didn’t have to log in or anything. I even managed to pull an image of my home’s grand deed, which apparently anyone could see. They do charge for paper copies or certified copies, but those can be obtained by anyone.

  28. avatar
    Keith February 19, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Any chance we can get this clever woman to look at some of the birther bills for a bit of improvement?

    Vi Simpson: The Woman Who Punked The Radical Republicans in the Indiana State Senate and Their Creationist Bill

  29. avatar
    misha February 19, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    Keith: Vi Simpson: The Woman Who Punked The Radical Republicans in the Indiana State Senate and Their Creationist Bill

    “The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.”

    She should have also asked for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  30. avatar
    Joe Acerbic February 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    …and Cthulhu. Don’t settle for the lesser evil!

  31. avatar
    Majority Will February 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Joe Acerbic:
    …and Cthulhu. Don’t settle for the lesser evil!

    For 2016:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/humidcity/304807073/

  32. avatar
    Keith February 19, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    misha: She should have also asked for the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    I was thinking Zoroastrianism and Native American creation legends, myself.

  33. avatar
    G February 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    Cool Cthulhu for Prez Pic!!! I agree, she should have gotten them to at least include the FSM.

    Majority Will: For 2016:http://www.flickr.com/photos/humidcity/304807073/