Arizona has become the first state in the Union to pass a birther bill requiring presidential candidates to prove natural born citizenship in order to appear on the state’s ballot. HB 2177 now goes to Governor Jan Brewer who has not indicated whether she will sign or veto the measure. She also has the option of letting it sit for five days and become law without her signature.
According to the Arizona Republic, the legislation would require that, for proof:
“Those documents can be either a long-form birth certificate or two or more other permitted documents, including an early baptismal certificate, circumcision certificate, hospital birth record, postpartum medical record signed by the person who delivered the child or an early census record.”
One quote has to be included here, not because of the substance, but because of the – well you figure it out. “It’s essential that we bring back the integrity to the office.” The quote is from Rep. Judy Burges (R-Skull Valley).
Others who supported the bill were quick to assure voters and the media that the bill had “nothing to do with [President] Obama.” It was, so they claim, just a matter of confirming for voters that candidates met the federal constitutional requirements for office. Ironic how that concern never caused such a law to be proposed before Obama became president, given that it had “nothing to do with [him].”
Notice, if you will, that the law requires a “long form” birth certificate, whatever that is. But, it has nothing to do with Obama. If you don’t have a “long form” birth certificate, you must have two pieces of proof. Now notice that the two forms of proof do not include birth announcements in local newspapers. So say you had a Certificate of Live Birth certified by the government of the State of Hawaii, backed up by newspaper announcements of your birth. You wouldn’t qualify to be on the presidential ballot in Arizona. But, of course, it has nothing to do with Obama. Infant baptism works. Infant circumcision works. Newspaper announcements? Nah. But, it has nothing to do with Obama.
Good thing I don’t plan to run for president. I don’t think I could get on the ballot in Arizona with my Certificate of Live Birth. No, I didn’t have an infant baptism [my grandfather was Jewish and my parents not much for religion]. As for circumcision, well, yes, but I don’t have a certificate. Like our President, I do have a newspaper birth announcement somewhere in a baby album in a box in the garage. Ask yourself how many this law would disqualify. If your family doesn’t believe in infant baptism or infant circumcision, if you were born at home because your folks wanted a natural childbirth. How many people does this cut out of that part of the American dream we were all taught in our youth, “Anybody in America can grow up to be President”?
Lord, it’s embarrassing to live in Arizona.
Contributor, aka tidbits. Retired attorney in complex litigation, death penalty defense and constitutional law. Former Nat’l Board Chair: Alzheimer’s Association. Served on multiple political campaigns, including two for U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR). Contributing author to three legal books and multiple legal publications.