Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
The demand for documentation of Barack Obama’s eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is surging, with lawmakers in several states now working on legislation that could be used to require future presidential candidates to reveal precisely how they are qualified under the U.S. Constitution’s demand for a “natural born citizen.”
WND already has reported on a bill co-sponsored by some three dozen lawmakers in Arizona who want to require candidates not only to submit the information, but state officials to independently verify the accuracy.
Bill sponsor Rep. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley, told WND she already has started getting questions from other states who want details about the proposal.
A separate proposal has been created by a freedom of information action group in New York state, and now the National Conference of State Legislatures, which monitors and tabulates the work of legislative bodies, confirms through its database that several other plans are in the works.
Some of the proposals are very clear even without the full text. In New Hampshire, for example, a pending plan would require “certified copies of birth certificates for nominees for president and vice president.”
Others are a little more oblique. In Georgia, for example, lawmakers propose a bill “relating to procedures for qualification of candidates generally, so as to require each candidate for public office to be in compliance with certain disclosure requirements.”
There is no definitive word on what that would mean to presidential candidates.
An Indiana proposal is equally unclear, because it “authorizes a challenge to a candidate’s eligibility to seek an office to be filed by a registered voter of the jurisdiction conducting the election.” It could apply only to local elections.
In Virginia, a summary says the proposal “provides that candidates shall provide evidence of their qualifications for office to have their names printed on the ballot. The State Board of Elections shall provide a list of acceptable forms of evidence.”
And in the New York state plan proposed by a freedom of information organization to state lawmakers would provide that “an individual seeking placement on the New York State’s election ballot(s) for the office of president or vice president of the United States must present proof of eligibility, as per requirements that are stated in Article 2, section 1, paragraph 5 of the U.S. Constitution.”
“To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to 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.”
The bill also provides:
“Congress finds that under … the Constitution of the United States, in order to be eligible to serve as President, an individual must be a natural born citizen of the United States who has attained the age of 35 years and has been a resident within the United States for at least 14 years.”
The sponsors’ goal is for the bill to become effective for the
2012 presidential election. The legislation now is pending in a House committee and has more than a dozen co-sponsors.
But whatever support Posey’s plan has, it faces massive obstacles in a House and Senate dominated by Democrats, as well as a president whose own status could be impacted by its requirements.
In Arizona, state Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, said the controversy over Obama and his birth certificate has raised questions.
“It just makes sense and will stop any controversy in the future to just show you are a natural born citizen,” she told the Arizona Capitol Times.
If states start adopting such election requirements, their laws possibly could have an impact similar to federal legislation, since the information submitted to meet the requirements presumably would be public.
The issue with Obama’s eligibility is that although a computer-generated image of a “certification of live birth” was posted online by his campaign, the image does not actually document a birthplace.
Hawaiian law at the time, for example, allowed family members to register a birth in Hawaii by submitting information to the state.
A second significant factor is the multitude of documents that Obama has kept from the public.
Besides his actual birth documentation, the documentation includes kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.
Thirdly, another significant factor is the estimated $1.7 million Obama has spent on court cases specifically preventing any of the documentation of his life to be revealed to the public.
And as WND has reported, however, no controlling legal authority ever directly addressed the question of whether Obama met the U.S. Constitution’s requirements to be president, that is being 35 years of age, a resident for at least 14 years and a “natural born citizen.”
The Arizona proposal, H2442, also would require that the secretary of state in Arizona independently verify that the documents submitted are correct. Any failure could cause the candidate’s name to be withheld from the ballot, officials said.
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.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard helps light up the night at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.
Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.