Arizona ‘birther’ law; Obama’s birth certificate vs. mine
Recently, Arizona state legislators passed a bill that would require presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before being listed on the ballot. If the Arizona secretary of state deems the birth certificate inadequate, the candidate can be restricted from the ballot. As per Arizona HB 2177, presidential candidates must provide all of the following in order to qualify:
- Certified copy of the presidential candidate’s long form birth certificate, or
- Early baptismal or circumcision certificate
- Hospital birth record
- Postpartum medical record for mother or child signed by doctor or midwife or the person who delivered or examined the child after birth
- Early census record
- Sworn statement identifying candidate’s places of residence in U.S. for fourteen years
The first requirement within the affidavit of qualifications for presidential candidates is clearly directed at President Obama; in fact, the bill originated from a fringe group that believes the president is not a natural-born citizen. Under the proposed guidelines, numerous Americans would be ineligible despite meeting the actual requirements as put forth by the Constitution, leaving presidential desires to the whim of a partisan elected official. Donald Trump, who claims to be interested in running for president, also started rehashing the birther conspiracy theories as way to earn cheap political capital from a very limited demographic.
After reading about House Bill 2177, I found myself thinking about my own birth certificate, which I have used to gain employment, obtain a driver’s license, and for other government services. In light of the birthers’ claims including their new pack leader, Donald Trump, should we question the legitimacy of our own citizenship? After all, the birth certificate, or “Certification of Birth,” generated in my home state, Pennsylvania, is less detailed than the “Certification of Live Birth” generated by the state of Hawaii. Are the birthers not arguing over semantics at this point?
Legal scholars have called the Arizona birther law “laughable,” and clearly unconstitutional. If Governor Jan Brewer chooses to sign the bill into law, it will undoubtedly be challenged by the Department of Justice. In the end, the birth certificate provided by Barack Obama is, and always has been, adequate for purposes of proving his citizenship, and is much more detailed than anything many Americans have in their records. This conspiracy theory has been debunked numerous times, and needs to be put to bed for good. Ask yourself this: Did you get a birth announcement when you were born?
Hawaii’s Certification of Live Birth vs. Pennsylvania’s Certification of Birth
|Obama (HI)||Mine (PA)|
|Date of Birth||X||X|
|Hour of Birth||X|
|Location of Birth||X|
|Island of Birth||X|
|County of Birth||X||X|
|Mother’s Maiden Name||X||X|