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Missouri House defines “natural born citizen”

The Missouri House yesterday (March 29, 2012) approved  House Bill 1046, legislation to require that presidential candidates submit birth certificates to the Missouri Secretary of State.

One interesting feature of this bill is that the birth certificate submitted by the candidate would become a “public record.” The birth certificate requirement is somewhat confusing and might present a problem, not for Obama but for others.

Evidence used to verify a nominee’s status as a natural born citizen must be in the form of the most complete record of birth available from the controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth.

Now does that mean “available at the time” or “controlling at the time?” I think it’s the latter, and if that’s right it only says the most complete record of birth available from Hawaii (the controlling authority at the time of the nominee’s birth).

But what is remarkable almost beyond belief is that this legislation defines “natural born citizen” in a way that is consistent with consensus legal opinion on the subject:

“Natural born citizen” means having been declared a national and citizen of the United States at birth or having been declared a national and United States citizen under federal law as it existed at the time of the nominee’s birth.

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46 Responses to Missouri House defines “natural born citizen”

  1. avatar
    Litlebritdifrnt March 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Actually Doc I don’t think it does. What does “declared” mean? We “declare” that an NBC is someone born in the US regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Birthers “declare” an NBC as someone born in the US to two citizen parents. Had they written “at birth by virtue of being born in the United States” then it would not be subject to any different interpretation. The way it is written it is still open to massive amounts of speculation. JMO.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    The legislation says “been declared a national and citizen of the United States at birth” not “declared a natural born citizen at birth.” In fact, this definition doesn’t even require birth in the United States. Under this bill Obama’s status is assured under US v. Wong.

    Litlebritdifrnt: Had they written “at birth by virtue of being born in the United States” then it would not be subject to any different interpretation. The way it is written it is still open to massive amounts of speculation. JMO.

  3. avatar
    Litlebritdifrnt March 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    But who does the “declaring” ?

  4. avatar
    Jim March 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    The only problem I can readily see is that it would conflict with federal privacy laws. So, I would think, if anyone wanted to challenge it they could get it overturned.

  5. avatar
    JPotter March 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I found this part interesting, and posted this comment at NBC’s:

    Who determines what constitutes the “most complete record of birth available by the controlling legal authority” …. ?

    OH, wait …. the real hook is the next phrase: … at the time of the nominee’s birth.

    A backdoor way of saying, “show us the ‘long form'”? This standard of proof is nuts! How to document what was available from whom, to whom, when? This seems to be saying, either show us your copy received at birth, or failing that, the original from the archives. If your “most complete available” copy has been lost or destroyed, and vital records technology / procedures / standards have evolved since your birth (as they have for anyone old enough to be eligible), then how are you supposed to get a certified replacement of a retro / antique certificate?

    No, this is definitely an attempted end-run around certifications.

    Flies in the face of FF&C clause.
    ________________________

    Also, I don’t recall having been “declared” a citizen of anything at birth. Nor was my son. Did i miss something? Is that what circumcision is for?

  6. avatar
    G March 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    I am fine with how this particular bill reads and see no real problems with it.

    They seem to have stayed away from any of the actual “Birther” nonsense that has invalidated other bills. Nor does this particular bill make the sloppy error that AZ and others have done of openly inviting any one to tie up courts with unfounded frivious challenges.

  7. avatar
    RetiredLawyer March 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Stooopid law. 1. it requires that a candidate supply a birth certificate. (Not everyone has one, albeit they were born in the US). 2. It requires that the birth certificate be made public. (A major invasion of privacy.) 3. It does not allow for the fact that if a person was adopted while a child either the original birth certificate refers to someone else, or the original birth certificate is unavailable, and a substituted one is in place. The substitute shows the adopting parents as the parents. 4. No one “declares” someone to be a citizen, hence, that language is unneeded, and will create mischief. 5. A state has no constitutional right nor obligation to create any test for a candidate for Federal office, other than the ones already in the Constitution. Therefore a state can not require a birth certificate in the first place.

    This proposed law is a sop to the birthers.

  8. avatar
    1% Silver Nitrate March 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    So, can Mitt Romney supply his long-form birth cert?

  9. avatar
    RuhRoh March 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I am not as euphoric as you are Doc, and I don’t see how it defines NBC. Maybe I am on the short bus, but this “definition” seems to have more holes than Swiss cheese.

  10. avatar
    misha March 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    1% Silver Nitrate:
    So, can Mitt Romney supply his long-form birth cert?

    I just want to see the BC for Seamus. He lived through that car ride, so I think he has the stamina to be president.

  11. avatar
    RuhRoh March 30, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    misha, I’ve resisted taking the bait on the Seamus (dog issue) until now, but I have to agree that while it happened 20 some odd years ago, it is a huge insight into Romney’s character.

    You don’t even know how involved I am in the dog world. Even so, I could ALMOST forgive Romney if he ever showed a moment’s repentance. Lots of normal, kind people do really unwittingly abusive things to their dogs on a daily basis after all. They just don’t know what they don’t know.

    But Romney has had over 20 years to reflect on this horrific incident and he still thinks he did the right thing. Despite 20 years of commentary on why it was the wrong thing in countless ways. That is telling…

  12. avatar
    Scientist March 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    1% Silver Nitrate: So, can Mitt Romney supply his long-form birth cert?

    He might have 2- one from Michigan and one from Ontario. It depends where you would prefer him to be born. He’s flexible.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    I think you are reading “available at the time” instead of what it says: “controlling at the time.”

    JPotter: OH, wait …. the real hook is the next phrase: … at the time of the nominee’s birth.

  14. avatar
    RuhRoh March 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    1% Silver Nitrate: So, can Mitt Romney supply his long-form birth cert?

    Are you really worried about Romney’s citizenship, or are you trying to make a point?

  15. avatar
    realist March 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    As has been stated, the bill has a myriad of problems constitutionally, such as the word “declared.” No one “declares” someone a citizen at birth. Just who is supposed to have done or will do this “declaring,” and there are many others that have been mentioned above.

    Most deliciously is that it cries out for the “long form” BC and MO only issues a short form. 🙂

  16. avatar
    Sef March 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Scientist: He might have 2- one from Michigan and one from Ontario.It depends where you would prefer him to be born.He’s flexible.

    It depends on what the Etch A Sketch says.

  17. avatar
    Sef March 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    I doubt this will be a time when “As Missouri goes, so goes the nation” will hold true.

  18. avatar
    mimi March 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    RuhRoh: Are you really worried about Romney’s citizenship, or are you trying to make a point?

    I think the point is that Michigan no longer issues long form birth certificates, but probably did when Mitt was born. Under this bill, if Mitt lost his original, he can’t get on the ballot.

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Well, there is 8 USC 1401 – Nationals and citizens of United States at birth

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1401

    I think they may have intentionally made a loophole for John McCain. Notice that it supports persons who are declared citizens at birth any time, and citizens at birth when they were born. McCain is a citizen at birth by a statute passed after he was born. Gabriel Chin would not like this definition.

    realist: No one “declares” someone a citizen at birth.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Are you sure that’s the right way to construe the bill? Does “at the time of the nominees birth” specify the controlling authority or the form of the record? I guess I need to get my paper on statutory construction to see what the lack of a comma means.

    http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/83138919

    IANAL, but as I see it if they meant a long form, they should have written:

    the most complete record of birth available from the controlling legal authority, at the time of the nominee’s birth

    rather than what they did write:

    the most complete record of birth available from the controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth.

    mimi: I think the point is that Michigan no longer issues long form birth certificates, but probably did when Mitt was born. Under this bill, if Mitt lost his original, he can’t get on the ballot.

  21. avatar
    RuhRoh March 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Wait, maybe I am misinformed, but wasn’t McCain determined to be natural born because of a retroactive law? I may be confused on this one though..

  22. avatar
    jayHG March 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Yeah, they were crowing about it over at free republic until one guy rained on their parade by calling the bill shit and saying that it defined natural born citizen wrong.

    Then they were uupppppppp-set!!!

    See how stupid and knee jerk birthers are??? All they saw was “birth certificate required equals get Obama!!!” Sometimes they are too stupid to be believed. Of course, none of it matters cause Obama was born in Hawaii, there is nothing to prove otherwise, and no bill will pass that either changes the meaning of NBC as it has been understood to mean for however many hundreds of years, OR adds some provision that would disqualify Obama.

    So birthers are screwed no matter what.

  23. avatar
    y_p_w March 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Are you sure that’s the right way to construe the bill? Does “at the time of the nominees birth” specify the controlling authority or the form of the record? I guess I need to get my paper on statutory construction to see what the lack of a comma means.

    I think mimi’s interpretation is probably correct if it ever came down to enforcing the law.

    Granted, many jurisdictions no longer produce paper documents as the “original” and as a matter of policy issue abstracts as certified copies unless there’s a special request. Hawaii did this just for Obama. New York City will do it on request. I thought that Louisiana wouldn’t issue a “long form” until Bobby Jindal managed to get a copy. I remember reading a comment from someone whose family lost all their documents during Hurrican Katrina, and claimed that they could only get computer printout birth certificate forms as replacements.

    Still – there’s some more room for interpretation. What exactly does “form” mean? If some office only used photostats at the time of birth, would that be the only format that’s acceptable, or does the law have room for interpretation that they mean a reasonable representation. In California, there are many ways to get a birth certificate depending on the particular office. Most forms are now scanned electronically and printed out via laser printers. However, I can imagine some copies being rush jobs soon after birth, where the vital records employee would produce a copy straight from the original on a photocopier or high-resolution scanner. I’ve mentioned that the first copy of my marriage certificate appeared to be made this way. I had it filed the day I was married and ordered and received a certified copy the same day. Later copies were clearly from lower-resolution scans printed from a database.

    I’ve seen Jon Huntman’s BC, which appears to be a sharp looking copy from a microform (otherwise sharp but shows some dirt marks). If he runs again and can only get a copy that’s from a low-res scan, does that count? Or what if the reproduction method changes – let’s say from a paper document to some sort of special holographic form.

  24. avatar
    misha March 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    RuhRoh: You don’t even know how involved I am in the dog world.

    Dogs Against Romney http://www.dogsagainstromney.com/

  25. avatar
    G March 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Thanks for your input! You really made a non-lawyer like me take a much harsher look at all of the words used and think through the issues in much more depth. Initially, I was simply comparing the language used here in comparison to all of the others I’ve seen, and viewing it as “fairly ok” in comparison.

    In general, I see this as one area of election law in which a legitimate argument can be made for desire of “improvement” as a result of Birtherism – just NOT based on the bogus arguments of Birtherism. I do agree with others on this debate that such laws are NOT necessary, as our system has been working just fine without them, but I have no problems with the general argument of wishing to legitimately improve the system either. You’re points made me re-examine whether even this seemingly harmless bill achieves that or simply creates its own unique set of problems.

    RetiredLawyer: Stooopid law.

    The wording of the Bill didn’t actually specify “birth certificate”. It merely said “record of birth”. I can see the potential concern that no such record may exist which meets the condition of assuming that such a record was every “kept and maintained” by a “controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth ”… So I agree that there is a possible loophole flaw here, where no official record on file might exist.

    So, I think their general intent seemed fine on the surface; it just contains some loopholes in what will become increasingly rare instances. At some point, as our world continues to modernize, fewer and fewer people will be able to get far in life without having an official paper trail needing to be generated to prove both identity and birth. I personally view working towards everyone having both as necessary goals in a modern digital age.

    Evidence used to verify a nominee’s status as a natural born citizen must be in
    the form of the most complete record of birth
    available from the controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth, must be kept and maintained by the Secretary of State, and must be deemed a public record under Chapter 610.

    However, I do see a potential “Birther-nonsense” concern of needlessly specifying a format of a record from a “controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth instead of simply asking for whatever the current controlling legal authority of their record provides in these matters. If someone these days didn’t have a BC generated at the time of their birth and they plan to run for President, I do think it reasonable to expect that the rectify getting something documented and filed as a Birth Certificate document PRIOR to actually running for that office.

    But the weird specificity of how they phrased things now comes across as an irrational Birther demand for “LFBCs” instead of accepting a current certified COLB…and even worse, seems to preclude allowing legitimate records to be issued for those increasingly rare instances in which someone’s birth didn’t get recorded by an official government agency shortly after the actual birth event happened. Any law that won’t accept the current HI COLB, for example, is an unacceptably flawed law and is still suffering from being infected with “Birtherism” and not actually an objective and practical solution.

    So thanks, until you made me think really hard about it, I didn’t realize how problematic and “bad” just this particular phrasing still seems to be.

    RetiredLawyer:
    1. it requires that a candidate supply a birth certificate. (Not everyone has one, albeit they were born in the US).

    Another very valid point of debate. If this was the *only* concern in a law, I can see where a state might win an argument saying that whatever is submitted on an application for public office becomes a matter of public record and that a candidate or party filing must agree to waive their right to privacy on those submission documents.

    However, I fully agree that is an unnecessary erosion of privacy rights too. A law can require that a certified birth certificate can be filed / or must be shown to the appropriate state authority over election certifications (usually the SoS) and require that State authority to attest that it has seen/accepted that document as part of the filing… but really, I don’t see any real justification for why the public has a right to see those underlying documents at all. Mere curiosity is NOT a justified reason to erode privacy rights IMHO.

    A more reasonable law would merely require that just the official certification of candidacy document(s) can become public record and that they contain whatever necessary language & signatures on them, which attest to the validity and completeness of the application, in accordance to all applicable terms to run for and hold that particular office.

    RetiredLawyer:
    2. It requires that the birth certificate be made public. (A major invasion of privacy.)

    I never even thought of that scenario. Personally, I think such issues of where adoption and citizenship are concerned need to be dealt with at the level of having any adoption BCs still always reflect the original place & time of birth. I don’t know whether they do or not, but I think that is where such issues need to be addressed and not at the step of any application that wants to use BCs as a source identity validation document. So I think BC filing documentation statutes need to cover this scenario and not just further muddy complexities in ballot and election laws.

    RetiredLawyer:
    3. It does not allow for the fact that if a person was adopted while a child either the original birth certificate refers to someone else, or the original birth certificate is unavailable, and a substituted one is in place. The substitute shows the adopting parents as the parents.

    I completely get your point and argument here. I also can see why this gets to the heart of what understandably is frustrating to the common lay person, who feels this simply creates their justification for demanding that the federal definition of “citizenship” is made more crystal clear…and also somehow “confirmable”… This simply gets to the heart of any “legitimate” perception out there that the existing system leaves them “concerned”, whether such concerns are have any real foundation underlying them or not…

    RetiredLawyer:
    4. No one “declares” someone to be a citizen, hence, that language is unneeded, and will create mischief. 5. A state has no constitutional right nor obligation to create any test for a candidate for Federal office, other than the ones already in the Constitution. Therefore a state can not require a birth certificate in the first place. This proposed law is a sop to the birthers.

  26. avatar
    G March 30, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I see your point. Definitely an area of where the specific meaning becomes even more unclear and subject to different interpretation.

    I would view that as another problematic flaw and not a feature of how this proposed bill currently reads.

    Dr. Conspiracy: Are you sure that’s the right way to construe the bill? Does “at the time of the nominees birth” specify the controlling authority or the form of the record? I guess I need to get my paper on statutory construction to see what the lack of a comma means.http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/83138919IANAL, but as I see it if they meant a long form, they should have written:rather than what they did write:

  27. avatar
    mimi March 30, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Are you sure that’s the right way to construe the bill? Does “at the time of the nominees birth” specify the controlling authority or the form of the record? I guess I need to get my paper on statutory construction to see what the lack of a comma means.

    http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/83138919

    IANAL, but as I see it if they meant a long form, they should have written:

    rather than what they did write:

    the most complete record of birth available from the controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth.

    I don’t know. It sounds to me as though Missouri is going to have to research what the ‘most complete record of birth’ was available in each of the places where each candidate was born, at the time of each candidate’s birth.

    Else scram.

    Yes, it does sound crazy as I type it. But… that’s how I read it.

    As we know, Hawaii does not issue a long form if you request it. Not a certified one. Dianna Cotter (Danae) can attest to that.

    Obama had to ask for special dispensation.

  28. avatar
    J. Potter March 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I think you are reading “available at the time” instead of what it says: “controlling at the time.”

    Yeah …. that’s exactly how I read it … and after much staring … how I am still reading it!

    I think you’re giving the author too much credit. Even if made clearer, whether it the document or the issuer, both are problematic. Does it allow for any evolution or transfer or termination of an authority?

    When these bills attempt to spell out exactly what they want, they fail, as covering all posibilities in a sound manner is very tricky. Taking a vague approach (trying to encompass the forest) to avoid the problems created by specificity (tying to list every tree), guarantees a mess.

    It’s another solution in need of a problem. System as-is can be messy, doesn’t remove all doubt for everyone …. but what would? These bills are designed to address unreasonable concerns held by unreasonable people.

  29. avatar
    Scientist March 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    mimi: I think the point is that Michigan no longer issues long form birth certificates, but probably did when Mitt was born. Under this bill, if Mitt lost his original, he can’t get on the ballot

    Mitt has an out. He has said that corporations are people. All he has to do is incorporate himself and he can use the incorporation papers and be on the ballot as “Mitt Romney, Inc.” In fact, anyone can do that to get around this law. It would acttually be more honest if all the candidates ran as corporations. Then they could be their own super-PAC.

  30. avatar
    insomnia March 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    G: Personally, I think such issues of where adoption and citizenship are concerned need to be dealt with at the level of having any adoption BCs still always reflect the original place & time of birth. I don’t know whether they do or not, but I think that is where such issues need to be addressed and not at the step of any application that wants to use BCs as a source identity validation document. So I think BC filing documentation statutes need to cover this scenario and not just further muddy complexities in ballot and election laws.

    My brothers, sister and I were all adopted in the 1960’s. We all have BC’s showing our adopted parents as “parents”. But my sister also has a baptismal certificate dated 3 days BEFORE her BC lists her as being born! So obviously in the case of adoption (at least in the 60’s) ANY of the information on the BC might be wrong/fabricated. Without access to our “originals” we will never know. (Ohio is a “closed” adoption state for births in the 60’s).

    What would birthers do with that? Who know who are birth parents are?
    What would this law do in this instance, with contradictory information on two separate “birth records”?

  31. avatar
    misha March 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Scientist: Mitt has an out. He has said that corporations are people.

    Willard – “Corporations are people, my friend.”
    Audience member – “Are dogs people?”
    Willard – “I’ll have to ask Seamus.”

  32. avatar
    insomnia March 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Sorry – should read “Who knows who our birth parents really are?”

    Typing too fast!

  33. avatar
    RetiredLawyer March 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    G,

    The problem with adoptees is that if the birth certificate states the natural parent’s name, that is a massive invasion of her privacy. Is it not? If it does not state the natural parent’s name, then it is not a accurate record of the event, other than a child was born on such and such day at such and such location, who later (sometimes much later, like two years for my daughter) got a specific name.

    The major issue is that states do not have any authority over the qualifications of anyone running for Federal office. Recently, that was affirmed by the Federal courts in a number of cases in which states sought to enforce their term-limit laws on Representatives and Senators elected from that state. They were firmly told you can’t do that.

    G:
    Thanks for your input!You really made a non-lawyer like me take a much harsher look at all of the words used and think through the issues in much more depth.Initially, I was simply comparing the language used here in comparison to all of the others I’ve seen, and viewing it as “fairly ok” in comparison.

    In general, I see this as one area of election law in which a legitimate argument can be made for desire of “improvement” as a result of Birtherism – just NOT based on the bogus arguments of Birtherism.I do agree with others on this debate that such laws are NOT necessary, as our system has been working just fine without them, but I have no problems with the general argument of wishing to legitimately improve the system either. You’re points made me re-examine whether even this seemingly harmless bill achieves that or simply creates its own unique set of problems.

    The wording of the Bill didn’t actually specify “birth certificate”.It merely said “record of birth”.I can see the potentialconcern that no such record may exist which meets the condition of assuming that such a record was every “kept and maintained” by a “controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth ”…So I agree that there is a possible loophole flaw here, where no official record on file might exist.

    So, I think their general intent seemed fine on the surface;it just contains some loopholes in what will become increasingly rare instances.At some point, as our world continues to modernize, fewer and fewer people will be able to get far in life without having an official paper trail needing to be generated to prove both identity and birth.I personally view working towards everyone having both as necessary goals in a modern digital age.

    However, I do see a potential “Birther-nonsense” concern of needlessly specifying a format of a record from a “controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth instead of simply asking for whatever the current controlling legal authority of their record provides in these matters. If someone these days didn’t have a BC generated at the time of their birth and they plan to run for President, I do think it reasonable to expect that the rectify getting something documented and filed as a Birth Certificate document PRIOR to actually running for that office.

    But the weird specificity of how they phrased things now comes across as an irrational Birther demand for “LFBCs” instead of accepting a current certified COLB…and even worse, seems to preclude allowing legitimate records to be issued for those increasingly rare instances in which someone’s birth didn’t get recorded by an official government agency shortly after the actual birth event happened.Any law that won’t accept the current HI COLB, for example, is an unacceptably flawed law and is still suffering from being infected with “Birtherism” and not actually an objective and practical solution.

    So thanks, until you made me think really hard about it, I didn’t realize how problematic and “bad” just this particular phrasing still seems to be.

    Another very valid point of debate.If this was the *only* concern in a law, I can see where a state might win an argument saying that whatever is submitted on an application for public office becomes a matter of public record and that a candidate or party filing must agree to waive their right to privacy on those submission documents.

    However, I fully agree that is an unnecessary erosion of privacy rights too.A law can require that a certified birth certificate can be filed / or must be shown to the appropriate state authority over election certifications (usually the SoS) and require that State authority to attest that it has seen/accepted that document as part of the filing… but really, I don’t see any real justification for why the public has a right to see those underlying documents at all.Mere curiosity is NOT a justified reason to erode privacy rights IMHO.

    A more reasonable law would merely require that just the official certification of candidacy document(s) can become public record and that they contain whatever necessary language & signatures on them, which attest to the validity and completeness of the application, in accordance to all applicable terms to run for and hold that particular office.

    I never even thought of that scenario.Personally, I think such issues of where adoption and citizenship are concerned need to be dealt with at the level of having any adoption BCs still always reflect the original place & time of birth.I don’t know whether they do or not, but I think that is where such issues need to be addressed and not at the step of any application that wants to use BCs as a source identity validation document.So I think BC filing documentation statutes need to cover this scenario and not just further muddy complexities in ballot and election laws.

    I completely get your point and argument here.I also can see why this gets to the heart of what understandably is frustrating to the common lay person, who feels this simply creates their justification for demanding that the federal definition of “citizenship” is made more crystal clear…and also somehow “confirmable”…This simply gets to the heart of any “legitimate” perception out there that the existing system leaves them “concerned”, whether such concerns are have any real foundation underlying them or not…

  34. avatar
    Scientist March 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Just a thought. if all the state legislatures are going to take the time to debate and pass such laws, why not simply use the time to amend the Constitution to allow any citizen to run? Citizenship could be shown by a passport, which would take the matter out of the hands of states and make it federal. Adoption would not be an issue either.

  35. avatar
    G March 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    That is a very valid question.

    The only two historical examples of adoption we’ve had at the Presidential level are Bill Clinton & Gerald Ford.

    However, both of those cases were quite different from the very real and common adoption situation you describe. With those two, they were adopted by step-fathers and still had their real mother and therefore, their underlying birth info was still known.

    I still think the proper place to address this concern is on what is recorded on an adoptee’s BC and that this justifies why the original birthplace (maybe just at the state/territory level) and birthdate need to carryover, regardless.

    From what you mentioned, I guess that this doesn’t happen, at least not under certain state laws. So I would conclude that is a problem that has not been addressed…but that it still needs to be fixed at this state BC level and is just too hard to address via exception handling in elections and such.

    insomnia: What would birthers do with that? Who know who are birth parents are?
    What would this law do in this instance, with contradictory information on two separate “birth records”?

  36. avatar
    G March 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Further, such exception scenarios, like yours are not likely to be seriously addressed until something happens that requires needing to address them. Until then, they really aren’t a priority concern in the overall picture.

    Someone in your situation would probably need to take actions to make this an issue to address via legislation or run for that office in order to create a situation to make a court case out of it…

    insomnia: What would birthers do with that? Who know who are birth parents are?
    What would this law do in this instance, with contradictory information on two separate “birth records”?

  37. avatar
    donna March 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    HRJ 34 – Requires Missouri Candidates to submit non existent long forms

    Yes, as this link explains

    MISSOURI BIRTH CERTIFICATES

    Missouri Vital Records issues only certified copies of Missouri birth certificates (short forms), which are typically acceptable for passport, social security, employment, personal identification purposes and other legal purposes.

    http://nativeborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/hrj-34-requires-missouri-candidates-to-submit-non-existent-long-forms/

  38. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Scientist: Mitt has an out.He has said that corporations are people.All he has to do is incorporate himself and he can use the incorporation papers and be on the ballot as “Mitt Romney, Inc.”In fact, anyone can do that to get around this law.It would acttually be more honest if all the candidates ran as corporations.Then they could be their own super-PAC.

    Press conference, Dec. 17, 2034—-

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my great honor and privilege to introduce the next President of the United States. Please welcome… President Verizon!”

  39. avatar
    Northland10 March 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    G: The only two historical examples of adoption we’ve had at the Presidential level are Bill Clinton & Gerald Ford.

    I sometimes wonder, if his name was Steve Dunham, even changed from his birth name, would this have cut down on at least a third of the birthers? I suspect the remaining 2/3rds would have been made up of “no democrat president allowed” and the other “the sheriff is a n____.’

  40. avatar
    Joey March 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the eventual Republican nominee was born in a state that doesn’t issue long forms and the Republican lost the election because he or she couldn’t qualify for the ballot in Missouri while Obama used a hard copy of what everyone’s already seen on whitehouse.gov

  41. avatar
    G March 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Probably correct. Clearly the “muslim sounding name” is partially behind some of these irrational knee-jerk fears out there…

    Northland10: I sometimes wonder, if his name was Steve Dunham, even changed from his birth name, would this have cut down on at least a third of the birthers? I suspect the remaining 2/3rds would have been made up of “no democrat president allowed” and the other “the sheriff is a n____.’

  42. avatar
    Joe Acerbic March 31, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Scientist: Mitt has an out.He has said that corporations are people.All he has to do is incorporate himself and he can use the incorporation papers and be on the ballot as “Mitt Romney, Inc.”

    The newborn corporation would fail the age requirement quite miserably.

  43. avatar
    Agent Black March 31, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    People need to get over the birth certificate fiasco.

  44. avatar
    misha March 31, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Northland10: I sometimes wonder, if his name was Steve Dunham, even changed from his birth name, would this have cut down on at least a third of the birthers?

    Or Paul Allen instead of Saul Alinsky.

  45. avatar
    J. Potter March 31, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Agent Black:
    People need to get over the birth certificate fiasco.

    What fiasco?

  46. avatar
    Majority Will March 31, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Agent Black:
    People need to get over the birth certificate fiasco.

    The fiasco that exposes the horrifyingly ignorant, hypocritical and bigoted lunatic fringe that wastes U.S. tax dollars and resources with idiotic lawsuits?

    We’re doomed to suffer these racist fools again if people forget their stupidity.