A number of states saw attempts in their legislatures to pass some sort of legislation aimed at providing stricter controls over who could run for President of the United States. The Arizona legislature actually passed a bill, but it was vetoed by Governor Brewer.
Many said that those so-called “birther bills” were thinly veiled attacks on Barack Obama, who the birthers have long believed was not born in the USA and hence not eligible to be President. Now that the President is duly installed in the White House for a second term, and constitutionally precluded from ever running for President again, that criticism is harder to make stick, except…
Now, in the post-Obama-election climate, Texas leads the way for perhaps a new string of birther-inspired legislation aimed at ensuring that Presidential candidates have unassailable paperwork. The Texas bill is sponsored by Arlington State Representative Bill Zedler, who says his bill has “nothing to do with Obama.”
HB 650,titled “AN ACT relating to the eligibility of presidential and vice-presidential candidates to be placed on the ballot,” contains a provision not seen in any of the previous birther bills, that the candidate must, in addition to an affirmation of eligibility, provide:
Authorization for the secretary of state to obtain a certified copy of the candidate ’s birth certificate from the original issuing authority
This can hardly be interpreted any way but as a reference to birther allegations that President Obama forged the birth certificate he showed to the Press on April 27, 2011, and subsequently published on the White House web site. I suppose that there are two ways to look at that provision: one is to say that it is a sop to the birthers, acknowledging the validity of their doubts about Barack Obama; another is to see it as an attempt to preempt any future birther controversy. In either case, it would not be effective. It can have no effect on Obama’s election and conspiracy theorists in the future will be as oblivious to evidence as the birthers are today.
Zedler is also sponsoring a bill to require strip dancers to have a state license.
Read local news coverage at:
Show me the birth certificate
Not to be outdone, Missouri also has a birther bill in process. HB 41 has had its second reading. This bill would require:
…the state committee of each established political party to provide the Missouri Secretary of State with verifiable evidence of the identity and proof of status as a natural born citizen of the United States for each nominee for President and Vice President of the United States and the origins of the evidence. …
The evidence itself must be:
…the most complete record of birth available by the controlling legal authority at the time of the nominee’s birth,…
What is remarkable about the Missouri bill is that it actually provides a definition of “natural born citizen”:
“Natural born citizen” means having been declared a national and citizen of the United States at birth under specified United States Code or having been declared a national and United States citizen under federal law as it existed at the time of the nominee’s birth.
This is similar to language in a prior bill in Missouri that did not become law.