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‘Birther’ bill ready for final vote in Arizona House

Judy Burges (file photo)

Judy Burges (file photo)

The House today gave preliminary approval to a bill that will require presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before their names can appear on an Arizona ballot.

The provision, which came in the form of a floor amendment to a bill that deals with presidential elections, was adopted by a 31-22 vote. The bill is now ready for a final vote by the House.

If approved by the House, S1024 will require presidential candidates to submit affidavits swearing they are qualified for the position and to attach a birth certificate as proof. If the secretary of state has reason to believe a candidate does not meet the qualifications, he or she would be prohibited from placing the candidate’s name on the ballot.

The amendment to S1024 is identical to a bill sponsored earlier this year by Skull Valley Republican Rep. Judy Burges. That bill, H2441, was approved by the House Government Committee, which Burges chairs, but was never heard on the House floor.

Both the amendment and Burges’ original bill were derided by critics as a phenomenon of the “birther” movement, a pejorative term for those who do not believe President Barack Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen. They contend he was born on foreign soil and that a Hawaii birth certificate his campaign produced in 2008 is not legitimate.

Supporters said the bill is not aimed at Obama, but rather at preventing similar debates over citizenship in the future. Burges said the goal was simply to mirror in state statute the language already in the U.S. Constitution.

“My vote has nothing to do with President Obama,” said Rep. Cecil Ash, a Mesa Republican. “I’m looking at this amendment as a way to avoid these arguments in the future.”

However, opponents said the bill makes Arizona look bad and sets a dangerous precedent.

“Can we please stop having Arizona be the laughingstock of the nation?” said Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat. She also called the birther movement “ridiculous and offensive.”

5 comments

  1. I believe no one has read the actual bill. NOWHERE does it state that Arizona will ask for a Birth Certificate. Here is the quote and the link:

    http://www.azleg.gov/search/oop/qfullhit.asp?CiWebHitsFile=/legtext/49leg/2r/summary/h.hb2441_02-18-10_gov.doc.htm&CiRestriction=%22natural+born+citizen%22

    “Provisions

    · Requires that written notice from a national political party committee for a presidential candidate that is entitled to representation on the ballot be sent to the Arizona Secretary of State (Secretary), that contains the party’s nomination of candidates for president and vice-president.

    · States that within 10 days of the submittal of the names of the candidates, the national political party committee shall submit an affidavit of the presidential candidate which states the candidate’s citizenship and age.

    · Stipulates that presidential candidate affidavit include documents that prove:

    Ø That the candidate is a natural born citizen.

    Ø That the candidate’s age.

    Ø That the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in the United States Constitution.

    · States that the Secretary shall not place that candidate’s name on the ballot if upon review of the affidavit and other documents submitted pursuant to this Act, the Secretary believes the candidate does not meet the citizenship, age and residency requirements prescribed by law.”

  2. “QUIXOTIC ATTEMPT, TILTING AT WINDMILLS”

    April 16, 2010
    Judge Dismisses Suit by Birther Activist Orly Taitz
    A federal judge has dismissed a Washington lawsuit by “birther” activist Orly Taitz challenging President Barack Obama’s citizenship.
    Taitz, a dentist and lawyer from California known for her occasional TV news appearances, filed a “quo warranto” complaint challenging Obama’s status as a natural born citizen and demanding that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provide a copy of the president’s birth certificate.
    The case landed with Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who, suffice it to say, was having none of it.
    “This is one of several such suits filed by Ms. Taitz in her quixotic attempt to prove that President Obama is not a natural born citizen as required by [the] Constitution,” Lamberth wrote in a decision published on April 14. “This Court is not willing to go tilting at windmills with her.”

  3. thats like saying…lets pass a law that says we all have Freedom of Speech. Its ridiculous. Its already a law. Why is our legislature wasting its time making Arizona a laughingstock? Do they REALLY have nothing better to do than to pass more ridiculous bills? VOTE OUT ALL THE REPUBLICANS.

  4. Why have a controversy like this? Just provide proof that our constitutional requirements have been observed. Its normal to provide proof of birth to get an operators license for a car. The presidency of this republic is much more important than a drivers license.

  5. If Obama was adopted his original (truthful) birth certificate was sealed by the State Of Hawaii and an amended (falsified) birth certificate was issued to him.

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