It could be a game-changer. A plan in Arizona to require presidential candidates to prove their eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is approaching critical mass, even though it has just been introduced.
The proposal from state Rep. Judy Burges, who carried a similar plan that fell short last year only because of political maneuvering, was introduced yesterday with 16 members of the state Senate as co-sponsors.
It needs only 16 votes in the Senate to pass.
In the House, there are 25 co-sponsors, with the need for only 31 votes for passage, and Burges told WND that there were several chamber members who confirmed they support the plan and will vote for it, but simply didn’t wish to be listed as co-sponsors.
The proposal, which also is being taken up in a number of other states, is highly specific and directly addresses the questions that have been raised by Barack Obama’s occupancy of the White House. It says:
Within ten days after submittal of the names of the candidates, the national political party committee shall submit an affidavit of the presidential candidate in which the presidential candidate states the candidate’s citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate’s age and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in article II, section 1, Constitution of the United States.
The critical phrases are “natural born citizen” and the requirements of “article II, section 1, Constitution of the United States,” which imposes on the president a requirement not demanded of other state and federal officeholders.
At the time the Constitution was written, many analysts agree, a “natural born citizen” was considered to be a citizen born of two citizen parents. If that indeed is correct, Obama never would have been qualified to be president, as he himself has confirmed his father was a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, making Obama a dual citizen with Kenyan and American parentage at his birth.
Other definitions have called for a “natural born citizen” to be born of citizen parents inside the nation.
There have been dozens of lawsuits and challenges over the fact that Obama’s “natural born citizen” status never has been documented. The “Certification of Live Birth” his campaign posted online is a document that Hawaii has made available to those not born in the state.
The controversy stems from the Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, which states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
The challenges to Obama’s eligibility allege he does not qualify because he was not born in Hawaii in 1961 as he claims, or that he fails to qualify because he was a dual citizen, through his father, of the U.S. and the United Kingdom’s Kenyan terroritory when he was born and the framers of the Constitution specifically excluded dual citizens from eligibility.
There are several cases still pending before the courts over Obama’s eligibility. Those cases, however, almost all have been facing hurdles created by the courts’ interpretation of “standing,” meaning someone who is being or could be harmed by the situation. The courts have decided almost unanimously that an individual taxpayer faces no damages different from other taxpayers, therefore doesn’t have standing. Judges even have ruled that other presidential candidates are in that position.
The result is that none of the court cases to date has reached the level of discovery, through which Obama’s birth documentation could be brought into court.
Obama even continued to withhold the information during a court-martial of a military officer, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who challenged his deployment orders on the grounds Obama may not be a legitimate president. Lakin was convicted and sent to prison.
Burges told WND she’s asked the proposal to be assigned to the Government Committee.
“I think every American should consider it of prime importance to ensure that all candidates for the highest elected position in our nation meet all constitutional requirements,” she told WND. “We do not accept the federal government’s unconstitutional treatment of states as one of their extended branches.”
The Arizona bill also requires attachments, “which shall be sworn to under penalty of perjury,” including “an original long form birth certificate that includes the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and the attending physician and signatures of the witnesses in attendance.”
It also requires testimony that the candidate “has not held dual or multiple citizenship and that the candidate’s allegiance is solely to the United States of America.”
“If both the candidate and the national political party committee for that candidate fail to submit and swear to the documents prescribed in this section, the secretary of state shall not place that presidential candidate’s name on the ballot in this state,” the state plan explains.
The governor’s office is occupied by Republican Jan Brewer, who has had no difficulty in bringing direct challenges to Washington, such as a year ago when lawmakers adopted provisions that allowed state law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law. The state’s move prompted an immediate court challenge by Washington.
WND also has reported that similar efforts are under way in Montana, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas:
Under Montana’s plan by Rep. Bob Wagner, candidates would have to document their eligibility and also provide for protection for state taxpayers to prevent them from being billed for “unnecessary expense and litigation” involving the failure of ‘federal election officials’ to do their duty.
“There should be no question after the fact as to the qualifications [of a president],” Wagner told WND. “The state of Montana needs to have [legal] grounds to sue for damages for the cost of litigation.”
Wagner’s legislation cites the Constitution’s requirement that the president hold “natural born citizenship” and the fact that the “military sons and daughters of the people of Montana and all civil servants to the people of Montana are required by oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States and Montana against enemies foreign and domestic.”
But there are estimates of up to $2 million being spent on Obama’s defense against eligibility lawsuits. There have been dozens of them and some have been running for more than two years. So Wagner goes a step beyond.
“Whereas, it would seem only right and just to positively certify eligibility for presidential and congressional office at the federal level; and whereas, it is apparent that the federal authority is negligent in the matter; therefore, the responsibility falls upon the state; and whereas, this act would safeguard the people of Montana from unnecessary expense and litigation and the possibility that federal election officials fail in their duty and would ensure that the State of Montana remains true to the Constitution,” says his proposed legislation.
In Pennsylvania, there was excitement over the GOP majority of both houses of the state legislature as well as the governor’s office.
Assemblyman Daryl Metcalfe told WND he is working on a proposal that would demand documentation of constitutional eligibility.
He described it as a “problem” that there has been no established procedure for making sure that presidential candidates meet the Constitution’s requirements for age, residency and being a “natural born citizen.”
“We hope we would be able to pass this legislation and put it into law before the next session,” he said.
He said any one of the states imposing such a requirement would be effective in solving his concerns.
“I think the public relations nightmare that would ensue if any candidate would thumb their noses at a single state would torpedo their campaign,” he told WND.
Rep. Mark Hatfield has confirmed to WND that he will have a similar proposal pending.
He had introduced the legislation at the end of last year’s session to put fellow lawmakers on alert that the issue was coming.
“I do plan to reintroduce the bill,” he told WND. “We’ll move forward with trying to get it before a committee.”
In Georgia, Republicans hold majorities in both houses of the legislature as well as “every constitutional statewide office,” he noted.
“I would be optimistic that we can [adopt the legislation],” he said.
Hatfield said if only one or two states adopt such requirements, it readily will be apparent whether a candidate has issues with eligibility documentation or not. And while he noted a president could win a race without support from a specific state, a failure to qualify on the ballot “would give voters in other states pause, about whether or not a candidate is in fact qualified,” he said.
“My goal is to make sure any person that aspires to be president meets the constitutional requirements,” he said. “This is a first step in that direction.”
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