Someone commenting on this blog suggested that all President Obama had to do was “sign a waiver” and then the world could beat a path to his birth certificate in Hawaii1. Believe it or not, this is not as crazy as it sounds. Vital records agencies are bound by strict statutes and regulations and in Hawaii there are laws preventing a Department of Health employee from giving just anybody a copy of a vital record unless the statute authorizes them to do so.
Quite by accident today I ran across (I travel to unusual places) something pertinent in the Hawaii Department of Health Regulations that touches on the subject from Chapter 8B, Section 2.1 Access to Vital Records:
Vital records authorized under Chapter 338, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are not available for or open to public inspection. Access to the records, including copies or information from them, is not permitted except as provided by law or regulations the Department of Health may promulgate.
Upon written request and proper identification, the state registrar or local registrar of a registration district (county) may permit an individual to examine a certificate for the purpose of verifying an entry or correcting an error: provided that the individual is eligible to receive such information as described in Paragraphs 2.5 through 2.9 herein.
Paragraphs 2.5 deals with who may access a record. The word “may” indicates that the registrar is not required to provide access, but could do so legally.
One provision3 under Paragraph 2.5.A(1) is of interest. It says:
(h) A person who presents a letter from the person named on the original birth records in which a specific request is made for a copy of such record1;
The language “specific request” would preclude a general waiver. Such a request would have to name the individual to view the record. So it appears that Barack Obama could in theory write a letter allowing Orly Taitz to inspect his original birth certificate (assuming the State Registrar, Dr. Onaka approved). In that situation, besides hell freezing over, we should be also looking at removing Obama from office by reason of mental defect under the 25th Amendment.
1Heck, if they did that, I might even go to Hawaii if they would let be bring a camera. I could thumb my nose at the birthers and say that I had seen it myself.
2This section details who is an “authorized agent” of the person registered and so it supplements the general category or “(b)(7) [a] person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant” in the Statute §338-18 Disclosure of records.
3One curious point is that the list of persons with access under paragraph 2.5 does not include someone with a common ancestor with the person named. Such a person is otherwise entitled to a certified copy under the Statute §338-18(b)(5).