Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.
A freshman representative has introduced a bill to the U.S. Congress that would require presidential candidates to provide a birth certificate and other documents to prove their eligibility to occupy the Oval Office.
Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., filed H.R. 1503, an amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which increased required campaign fund disclosure and was later amended to establish the Federal Elections Commission.
According to the Library of Congress’ bill-tracking website, H.R. 1503 would “require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of president to include with the committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution.”
George Cecala, a spokesperson for Rep. Posey’s office, told WND that constituents had been calling, questioning whether Barack Obama – who has publicized a Certificate of Live Birth, but not his official birth certificate – has demonstrated that he meets the Constitution’s requirement to be a natural-born citizen.
“Those are legitimate constitutional concerns,” Cecala said. “Folks have brought the issue up, and the court really hasn’t clarified. And I think American citizens have a right to have answers from their government.”
“When 7-year-olds play soccer in Brevard County, to be in Little League they have to prove their residency,” Cecala said. “To be president there are three requirements: one is citizenship, two is the age of 35, and three, you have to have been a resident for 14 years. We’re simply saying when you file your statement of candidacy with the FEC, you should also file documentation that you fulfill the three requirements to be president.
“There’s two standards here,” Cecala told WND, “one for Little League and one for president.”
“Opponents of President Bush used the 2000 election results and the court decisions to question the legitimacy of President Bush to serve as president,” explained Rep. Posey in an official statement. “Opponents of President Obama are raising the birth certificate issue as a means of questioning his eligibility to serve as president. Neither of these situations is healthy for our republic. This bill, by simply requiring such documentation for future candidates for president will remove this issue as a reason for questioning the legitimacy of a candidate elected as president.”
Cecala further told WND that there’s no political motivation in proposing the bill, and the Congressman hopes passing the bill will help clear the air for the president, enabling the government to get beyond the election controversy to dealing with the nation’s other important issues.
“Once we pass this bill, we can be assured that future elections won’t have this problem,” Cecala said. “It’s not an attack on President Obama; it’s just clarifying for future elections.”
Cecala also explained that if passed, the amendment to election law would require Obama, just like any other candidate, to provide a birth certificate in any future presidential elections.
H.R. 1503 has been referred to the House Committee on House Administration.
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, 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.”
Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Although Obama officials have told WND all such allegations are “garbage,” here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama’s eligibility:
New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn’t properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.
Pennsylvania Democrat Philip Berg has three cases pending, including Berg vs. Obama in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a separate Berg vs. Obama which is under seal at the U.S. District Court level and Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, (now dismissed) brought on behalf of a retired military member who could be facing recall to active duty by Obama.
Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.
Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut’s secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.
Chicago attorney Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama’s vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.
Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama’s eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama’s citizenship. His case was denied.
In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.
Also in Ohio, there was the Greenberg v. Brunner case which ended when the judge threatened to assess all case costs against the plaintiff.
In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama’s citizenship. The case was denied.
In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama’s birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia’s secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.
California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters.