See how deep the rabbit hole goes

Dave Weigel:

A few days after its main sponsor met with Donald Trump, Arizona’s “birther bill” has passed the state Senate. The bill requires a sworn statement confirming the candidates residents and… drum roll… (sorry for the caps):

A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE’S LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE THAT INCLUDES AT LEAST THE DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH, THE NAMES OF THE CANDIDATE’S MOTHER AND FATHER, INCLUDING INFORMATION SUFFICIENT TO DETERMINE THE CITIZENSHIP OF BOTH PARENTS, THE NAMES OF THE HOSPITAL AND THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN, IF APPLICABLE, AND SIGNATURES OF ANY WITNESSES IN ATTENDANCE.

That’s for every candidate, so only Donald Trump can qualify for the ballot as of right now. This has been written so that Barack Obama’s certificate of live birth, which does not include the name of the hospital and attending physician, does not count.

Zandar speculates:

In other words, if this becomes law in Arizona, President Obama cannot be on the ballot in 2012 in that state. That would more or less become a Constitutional nightmare even if Obama won the general election and the electoral college, because he would not be eligible for the office of President according to Arizona law. But hey, if enough states pass birther laws and Obama’s unable to be on the ballot in those states, we’re going to have a hell of a problem here.

I still say it’s just a matter of time til a Serious Person uses triple reverse contrarianism to dip his toes in the birther water, e.g. “now I believe Obama was born in this country and that this is a real certificate of live birth, but there are certain irregularities blah blah blah and not all of these much-mocked `birther’ are the lunatics the media makes them out to be.” My money’s on Charles Lane who did this with “death panels” last year.

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174 replies
  1. 1
    James K Polk, Esq. says:

    Just wait until they figure out they can pass laws that ban Democrats from office…

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    My sons don’t have long forms of their birth certificate. A hospital issued long form is handed out and some parents save these as keepsakes. They are not intended to replace the state issued birth certificate which is a legal document.
    I didn’t even save the hospital bills.
    It’s time to tell them they can’t run for President.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The stupid. It burns. Squared. Cubed.

  4. 4
    John PM says:

    I think that is going to run into problems with the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. If this law passes it will take almost no time for it to be declared unconstitutional.

  5. 5
    shirt says:

    Unconstitutional. The state cannot dictate who is qualified for a federal election. It’s just a gimick to end home birthers.

  6. 6
    nevsky42 says:

    So how many other states’ birth certificates besides HI does this bill arbitrarily invalidate?

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I just realized something.

    This:

    A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE’S LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE THAT INCLUDES AT LEAST THE DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH, THE NAMES OF THE CANDIDATE’S MOTHER AND FATHER, INCLUDING INFORMATION SUFFICIENT TO DETERMINE THE CITIZENSHIP OF BOTH PARENTS, THE NAMES OF THE HOSPITAL AND THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN, IF APPLICABLE, AND SIGNATURES OF ANY WITNESSES IN ATTENDANCE.

    Why don’t we just do this whole hog, and also require certification of the citizenship back to great grandparents, on both sides, to be absolutely sure of the blood purity of the Presidential candidate? Oh, and while we’re at it, make sure there’s no Jewish blood in there anywheres?

    I mean, that’s where this is heading, isn’t it?

  8. 8
    Poopyman says:

    That would more or less become a Constitutional nightmare even if Obama won the general election and the electoral college, because he would not be eligible for the office of President according to Arizona law.

    Arizona law has no standing in determining who is and is not eligible to be POTUS.

    Q E Motherfucking D

    Having said that, it’ll be interesting to see how state laws pertaining to what goes on ballots stand or fall on this issue.

    ETA: And as this stupidity deepens, just how long before Hawaii declares war on Arizona?

    ETA Again: Or vice versa?

  9. 9

    I wonder how many other candidates, declared or otherwise, would fail under this set of requirements? I mean, Hawaii can’t be the only state that doesn’t include the name of the hospital and the attending physician, right?

  10. 10
    jibeaux says:

    I wonder if Unknown Hinson would be able to run for president? He says he’s named after his dad, as listed on his birth certificate.

  11. 11
    Dennis SGMM says:

    At least this measure will prevent actual bastards from running. The metaphorical ones will, of course, continue to represent the GOP.

  12. 12
    PurpleGirl says:

    @nevsky42: Probably all 50.

    I recently had to order a copy of my birth certificate. I went online to the NYC gov site. Birth certificates have been contracted out to Vital Check for processing, printing and certification. It looks like Vital Check handles this for all the states and territories of the USA.

    Because I need the paper as soon as possible, I didn’t ask for the “vault” copy which would probably match the “uncertified for correction purposes photocopy” I do have. I’ll see what they actually send me. And it should have the hospital I was born at, both parents’ names and a bunch of other stuff that they asked me so they could verify who I was. (Even though I had the certificate number from the correction-purposes photocopy.)

  13. 13
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus):
    I’m too lazy to dig out my California-born son’s birth certificate but, IIRC it doesn’t list the hospital or the attending.

  14. 14
    jibeaux says:

    what is “Information sufficient to determine the citizenship of both parents”? I’m fairly certain there’s not much that would qualify on either my own birth certificate or my kids’, nor was I asked for anything that would prove my own citizenship upon entry to the hospital. Good thing, too, if I’d been asked for my passport between contractions, harm would have been inflicted.

  15. 15
    Elisabeth says:

    INCLUDING INFORMATION SUFFICIENT TO DETERMINE THE CITIZENSHIP OF BOTH PARENTS

    So if one of the parent’s name is Hernandez or Li or Hussein can we go ahead and assume the child is not qualified?

    They aren’t even pretending anymore.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    still say it’s just a matter of time til a Serious Person uses triple reverse contrarianism to dip his toes in the birther water,

    Somebody at Slate, or Dickie Cohen, or one of those web-only Washington Post torture cheerleaders that Fred Hiatt and the Graham-Wyemouths imagine are cutting edge libertarians

  17. 17
    Punchy says:

    This has been written so that Barack Obama’s certificate of live birth, which does not include the name of the hospital and attending physician, does not count.

    Is Dave Weigel an idiot or a teatard? So much failure in one blurb. From MSNBC’s article just DAYS earlier:

    The first is that the original so-called “long form” birth certificate — described by Hawaiian officials as a “record of live birth” — absolutely exists, located in a bound volume in a file cabinet on the first floor of the state Department of Health.
    (snip)
    She found the original birth record, properly numbered, half typed and half handwritten, and signed by the doctor who delivered Obama, located in the files.

    Yes, law would have to be amended for Obama to release this, but it DOES exist, and could be demonstrated. Of course, that wont be neccy, as this AZ law is clearly unconsty.

  18. 18
    SBJules says:

    How about asking for the free birth announcements that appeared in local papers.

  19. 19
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @James K Polk, Esq.:
    That would be unconstitutional! They will instead pass laws banning anyone who belongs to a political party whose name contains the letter “D.”

  20. 20
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Some enterprising reporter could have a lot of fun trying to get every legislator who supported this bill to verify that they would be eligible to serve as President.

  21. 21
    ppcli says:

    I expect it will turn out that half of the candidates for president in the Republican primary won’t be able to provide such a thing. I checked my kids’ birth certificates – both born in the US, but in different states. One has the signature of the physician, the other doesn’t. I wasn’t a U.S. citizen at the time they were born, but there is, of course, nothing on the birth certificate to indicate that. My wife was a citizen then [“natural born” too!] but there is nothing to indicate that either.

    Really, this is a sign of how much this is all about Obama’s perceived “otherness” and nothing else. Nobody grumbled about McCain’s status, even though he was acknowledged to have been born outside the U.S. Obama has a birth certificate provided and posted, so people fasten on the phrase “certificate of live birth” and say – that’s not what we want! We want a – a – um – a “long form” birth certificate! (A phrase I had never heard before, and I expect nobody else had either.) And then they start adding conditions to what they want to see. And, um, yeah – the parents’ citizenship! And witnesses! And, um… It doesn’t occur to them to ask if there actually are such things on such documents as a uniform rule, or whether they can be expected to contain the information they demand, because “of course, everyone knows that Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee are 100% Real Americans. Don’t need no birth certificates to know that!” And, of course, if it turned out that Michele Bachmann’s birth certificate somehow lacked one of these things – no doctor’s signature, perhaps, or nothing that would indicate the citizenship of the parents – then they would change the conditions right away.

  22. 22
    kindness says:

    I doesn’t matter WHERE President Obama was born. It only matters that he has an American mother or father. No one is saying his mother wasn’t American so why does everyone forget that is all it takes?

  23. 23
    Poopyman says:

    Just for reference in the comments sure to follow, this is the definition of “natural born citizen”:

    Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in the gaps left by the Constitution. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are “citizens of the United States at birth”:
    __
    — Anyone born inside the United States %
    — Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person’s status as a citizen of the tribe
    — Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
    — Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
    — Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
    — Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
    — Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
    — A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.
    __
    % There is an exception in the law — the person must be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. This would exempt the child of a diplomat, for example, from this provision.

  24. 24
    drkrick says:

    Zandar’s concern is a little overblown. Arizona can decide who appears on the ballot there, but they have no say in deciding who is “eligible to be President.” The Constitution decides that, and their grandfather rule standard of evidence isn’t binding on anyone else.

    There’s another interesting Constitutional issue, though. If Arizona essentially defines birth certificates in a way that makes it impossible for residents of Hawaii (any others?) to satisfy, isn’t there a full faith and credit question?

  25. 25
    Seitz says:

    I wonder if the state of Arizona even provides this. Doubtful that these morons even checked. What if it gets lost? How many native born Arizonans does this block from the ballot?

    Is Dave Weigel an idiot or a teatard? So much failure in one blurb.

    What you quoted Weigel as saying is still accurate. The COLB is not a “qualifying” document under this law. Which is exactly what you quoted him saying. Yeah, there is a long form document that the state doesn’t release, but why the hell should Hawaii have to change its laws to please Arizona. Fuck Arizona.

    Plus, that’s one of the alternate goals of legislation like this. One goal may be to get Obama removed from the ballot (as if he’s going to win Arizona anyway), but I think the goal of a lot of the dipshits behind laws like this is to get at the real birth certificate, because they’re just POSITIVE that there’s something embarrassing there, like a different name, or a check box that says he’s caucasian or something. Why that would be embarrassing, I’m not exactly sure, but I’m not dumb enough to truly think like a wingnut.

    But yeah, there’s no way this law survives a court challenge.

  26. 26
    PurpleGirl says:

    @kindness: Because they are looking for every little thing that they could to prove he’s not worthy of being president. They want that ultimate technicality, even though most of us know it doesn’t matter because Stanley Ann Dunham was indeed a citizen having been born in Witchita, Kansas to a two citizens.

    ETA: It does become absurd and surreal. The stupid it burns.

  27. 27
    cleek says:

    here’s how it will work:

    Sully’s absurd Trig fascination is spreading to other people. and this allows them to say things like:

    Given the amount of publicity (and support) presidential candidate Donald Trump has gotten in recent weeks by picking up the Obama-wasn’t-born-here mantra, the silence on this other question is indeed startling. The evidence Scharlott’s cites about about Palin’s possible hoax is by no means conclusive, but it certainly raises as many questions as the logic about Obama’s birthplace.

    In light of Scharlott’s evidence that Palin staged a hoax, as well as the ongoing absence of any proof that Palin is actually Trig’s mother, one wonders if the media will now, finally, seek to determine the truth–especially because Palin is considered a candidate for president.

    tada! sure, nothing’s conclusive. but the media should be asking questions!

  28. 28
    jibeaux says:

    @Punchy:

    Well, the part you excerpted doesn’t say it contains the name of the hospital, or technically the name of the doctor. The signature of the doctor does not actually mean you’re going to be able to discern the name.

  29. 29
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    THE DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH, THE NAMES OF THE CANDIDATE’S MOTHER AND FATHER, INCLUDING INFORMATION SUFFICIENT TO DETERMINE THE CITIZENSHIP OF BOTH PARENTS

    Wait a sec. Why in the hell would the last part (citizenship of the parents) matter if the place of birth is within the US? Being born in the US grants one citizenship, regardless of the nationality of the parents (with a few exceptions)?

    Are the AZ lawmakers complete idiots or willfully obtuse?

  30. 30
    Tsulagi says:

    See how deep the rabbit hole goes

    Just as Peak Wingnut, so goes Peak Hole. There are no caps or limits on their holes.

  31. 31
    twiffer says:

    couple of points. firstly, the citizenship of one’s parents does not matter if one is born in the US. born on US soil, you’re a natural born citizen. simple as that. second, what about adoptees? my birth certificate lists my adoptive parents; would they have to dig out the original with my b-mom and unknown b-father? how would that work in regards to state adoption privacy laws? third, AZ knows this will be struck down as unconstitutional. but it would be struck down by obama’s admin, thus confirming (to these fucking lunatics) that he has something to hide.

    stupid, yes. but stupid with sinister intent.

  32. 32
    Brachiator says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Why don’t we just do this whole hog, and also require certification of the citizenship back to great grandparents, on both sides, to be absolutely sure of the blood purity of the Presidential candidate? Oh, and while we’re at it, make sure there’s no Jewish blood in there anywheres? I mean, that’s where this is heading, isn’t it?

    No. As crazy as this shit is, no.

  33. 33
    mws says:

    I think we all understand that this runs afoul of the Supremacy Clause. But I think the point is to throw a legal monkeywrench into the machinery of Obama’s reelection. Obviously it will be challenged and it may eventually wind up in our Supreme Court. Will we get another 5-4 unpublished partisan decision that effectively selects the Republican candidate? Oh, I can’t wait to see the semantic hoops through which Scalia, Roberts, and Alito jump.

  34. 34
    cleek says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Why in the hell would the last part (citizenship of the parents) matter if the place of birth is within the US?

    you really have to get down into the birther mythology to understand this, but the short answer is that even if you have an American parent there are residency requirements. and the birthers say O’s mother might not have met them.

  35. 35
    PaulW says:

    To the residents of Arizona:

    Stop voting Republican. It’s not helping.

  36. 36
    joes527 says:

    Is “long form” birth certificate even a well defined concept? Or was it cribbed from the voices in their heads right into the legislation.

    My impression is that there is no such thing in general. All 50 states do whatever they want, and change what they do from time to time.

    Whether or not you have a birth certificate that meets all the criteria depends on where and when you are born.

    Or is there a national standard “Certificate of birther certified birth certification?”

    And, yes, this is all academic. The folks in AZ are actually just going after the darkies.

  37. 37
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Are the AZ lawmakers complete idiots or willfully obtuse?

    Both. You’re forgetting the tons of convoluted bull shit that was shoveled during the election that “proved” that Obama had actually been born in Africa or Indonesia or fucking Liechtenstein. It just frets these people to no end that “one of them” is president and they’re not going to give up even after Obama finishes his second term.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Are the AZ lawmakers complete idiots or willfully obtuse?

    Yes.

  39. 39
    Poopyman says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Are the AZ lawmakers complete idiots or willfully obtuse?

    Nothing prevents a complete idiot from still being willfully obtuse.

  40. 40
    singfoom says:

    Obviously, if the SCOTUS refuses to allow this law, it’s degrading states rights, and Arizona will secede and start a second civil war.

    The hoverround brigades will fight this federal overreach!

  41. 41
    Dave says:

    @John PM: This. It’s the same reason states cannot term-limit federal representatives.

  42. 42
    patrick II says:

    The birth certificate Obama has is the same as every other Hawaiian citizen has. If Obama’s birth certificate is inadequate to establish Obama’s place of birth and citizenship then it is inadequate for every other Hawaiian. How do Hawaiians get passports and visas if they have no valid proof of birth? Your first driver’s license and probably your marriage certificate all require a valid record of birth. Are we dealing with a state where everyone is an illegal alien driving without license and living in sin?

    I wonder if there are any Hawaiian birthers? It would seem they would have to be the dumbest people on earth — well, excepting James Inhofe.

  43. 43
    zzyzx says:

    Seriously, what stops a state from decreeing that no one who does not win a Republican primary will be put on the ballot in their state?

  44. 44
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @singfoom:

    The hoverround brigades will fight this federal overreach!

    The bad news is that they’re armed with fully-loaded Depends. The good news is that they can only throw them about seven feet.

  45. 45
    drkrick says:

    @kindness:

    I doesn’t matter WHERE President Obama was born. It only matters that he has an American mother or father. No one is saying his mother wasn’t American so why does everyone forget that is all it takes?

    I don’t think that was exactly what the law said at the time the President was born. If the child was born outside the US , the father was not a US citizen and the mother was below an age threshold (I think it was 19), there were certain requirements about total and recent residency in the US for the mom.

    Although the President’s father was not a US citizen and his mother was young enough to trigger the residency requirements, both facts are moot since the President was born in the US. But for the folks who have adopted a standard of proof that no evidence short of a time machine is good enough to satisfy, it leaves the question open.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ppcli:

    Nobody grumbled about McCain’s status, even though he was acknowledged to have been born outside the U.S.

    Not true.

    Paulista wingtards screamed about McCain’s “foreign” birth, even though, by long established law, he’s as natural born a US Citizen as just about anyone else…born of a Naval officer and his wife in a Naval Hospital in the then US sovereign Panama Canal Zone.

  47. 47
    Chris G says:

    This bill presumes that other states’ birth certificates include all of the information it seeks to require, which strikes me as completely bonkers (that’s a legal term). Arizona in 2011 can’t retroactively dictate what a birth certificate from Hawaii in 1961 or Michigan in the 1950s or New York in the 1940s must contain. Hell, John McCain was born in Panama on an Army base in the, what, 1930s? Good luck with THAT birth certificate having everything Arizona’s looking for.

  48. 48
    David in NY says:

    I think Mitt Romney may be an interesting case here. His dad, George, was born in Mexico, and there was talk that he was not a “natural born citizen” when he was running in ’68. Wonder if Mitt’s birth certificate shows enough to prove his dad was an American citizen? I would bet not.

  49. 49
    stuckinred says:

    @Dennis SGMM: With the pin in!

  50. 50
    Punchy says:

    @Seitz: I realized he was reff’ing the COLB after I hit “send”, which, yes, doesn’t have all the shit the other one has. My point was that–at gunpoint, if necessary–he can provide what they ask. It’s not as if it doesn’t exist at all.

    Of course, whatever he presents will be called fraudulent, invented by Birth Cert Fairies, etc., so whats the point…

  51. 51
    Dave says:

    Can we just give Arizona back to Mexico?

  52. 52
    joes527 says:

    @singfoom:

    Obviously, if the SCOTUS refuses to allow this law, it’s degrading states rights, and Arizona will secede and start a second civil war.

    y’know. Fighting the civil war was the right thing to do because of the whole slavery thing. But in 2011 I’m having a hard time finding a downside to FACILITATING secession for the folks who clamour for it.

  53. 53
    Uloborus says:

    How’s that nullification law coming along, Arizona? Did you sign that one into law yet? Did the Constitution Fairy finally flutter down to your state congresspeople’s bedsides and whisper into their ears ‘Dude, you HAVE no authority over federal law’?

    This particular law fascinates me. I’m not sure that any birth certificate anywhere has the parents’ citizenship information. Not only are they desperate to prove that a Democrat cannot possibly be legitimately president, they’re morons.

    On the other hand, how many of them are caught up in a form of mob mentality where they feel that if they don’t go along with the insanity their peers and constituents will turn on them? The Republican party is the one that heavily supports conformism.

  54. 54
    jibeaux says:

    Hell, John McCain was born in Panama on an Army base in the, what, 1930s?

    That seems almost impossibly recent for McCain….

  55. 55
    stuckinred says:

    @jibeaux: Did you know he was a POW?

  56. 56
    Martin says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Are the AZ lawmakers complete idiots or willfully obtuse white?

    Fixed!

    So Arizona gets to rewrite Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution. Quite the originalists they are.

  57. 57
    misterbones says:

    Dougj:

    My money’s on Charles Lane…

    I’ll take Jacob Weisberg.

  58. 58
    Paul W. says:

    @shirt:

    Exactly, how is this Constitutional? The founding document of our nation doesn’t require these things, so it doesn’t matter what a state would like to see… as long as it is still part of the Union it has to accept the Constitutionally elected President.

    Otherwise they should just secede, sheesh. And people make fun of Texas, but really Arizona has already proved it is way worse than us.

  59. 59
    nitpicker says:

    “A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE’S LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE THAT INCLUDES AT LEAST THE DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH, THE NAMES OF THE CANDIDATE’S MOTHER AND FATHER, INCLUDING INFORMATION SUFFICIENT TO DETERMINE THE CITIZENSHIP OF BOTH PARENTS” I guess Romney’s screwed.

    Mitt Romney’s father George was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1907, the son of Gaskell Romney and Anna Amelia Pratt. Three generations of Romneys lived in Mexico because Miles Park Romney, a polygamist, moved the family there in 1884 as it became increasingly clear that the U.S. government would not tolerate polygamy in the Utah Territory…Gaskell and Anna (who were monogamous) were married in 1895, and according to George’s biographer Tom Mahoney, lived in Chihuahua until the height of the Mexican Revolution in 1912. Relative Junius Romney negotiated with rebel leaders to get women and children out of the colony for their safety. Anna, with Mitt’s father George in tow, fled across the U.S. border by train (with no apparent delay or search at the border). A short time later Gaskell, like many Mexican immigrants before and since, covered hundreds of miles under a hot sun, crossing by land into New Mexico.

  60. 60
    piratedan says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: yup, these clowns had proposed nullification bills earlier in the session, kicked off people off the organ transplants lists to save money yet had enough in the budget to re-open interstate rest areas, they had the SB 1070 last year (which was still placed on hold recently as unconstitutional by the 9th circuit), they’re the same ones that refused open debate on limiting extended clips on semi-automatic weapons post the Giffords shooting and they are in Duck and Cover mode regarding the Fiesta Bowl scandal regarding claiming the receipt of gifts from the lobbying folks running that bowl game. So yes… they ARE that stupid.

  61. 61
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    if enough states pass birther laws and Obama’s unable to be on the ballot in those states, we’re going to have a hell of a problem here.

    Wouldn’t it be the problem of the states that passed the birther law? The Supremes would invalidate their votes.

  62. 62
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: I’d contribute to a bonus for the reporter who did that.

  63. 63
    Doc says:

    Because I live in Arizona, I’m acutely conscious that this law may disenfranchise me if it means I might not be able to vote for Obama, or for anyone else who does not meet its arcane criteria.

    There’s grounds right there for this “law” to be overturned by the Arizona Supremes, if not the ninth circuit.

  64. 64
    Face says:

    Oh, I can’t wait to see the semantic hoops through which Scalia, Roberts, and Alito jump.

    eemom is going to kick your ass for this comment.

  65. 65
    piratedan says:

    @PaulW: to the rest of America, please stop sending us your Republicans…. this is where they go to get elected.

  66. 66
    matryoshka says:

    My impression is that there is no such thing in general. All 50 states do whatever they want, and change what they do from time to time.

    This is exactly correct. Some states don’t even keep “long form” certificates on file after the information has been entered at Vital Statistics or Dept. of Health or wherever they keep their data. Anyone who’s done genealogical research can give you an exasperated low-down on the random weirdness of birth records.

  67. 67
    gwangung says:

    This particular law fascinates me. I’m not sure that any birth certificate anywhere has the parents’ citizenship information.

    Oh, I KNOW my birth certificate doesn’t have that info.

    And I was born in Arizona.

    Yeah. Morons.

  68. 68
    Dave says:

    @Doc: There’s a shitload of fail in this bill. Leave alone that it fails under the Supremacy clause, it creates uneven standards. Say I am born at home, or by accident in a car? There is no hospital or attending physician in that case. Does than mean my birth certificate is invalid when it comes to being a candidate? I’d say this also runs smack into the 14th Amendment and the equal protection clause.

  69. 69
    PurpleGirl says:

    Looking at my “for correction purposes” photocopy of the NYC birth record, it has the hospital name and the doctor’s signature. It does not have any field asking if either of my parents were citizens or even where they were born.

    ETA: Dave # 68: NYC’s hospital/doctor filled out record has a check box if the birth did not happen in a hospital and asks for the address where the birth occurred.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Face:

    Oh, I can’t wait to see the semantic hoops through which Scalia, Roberts, and Alito jump.

    Hell, Scalia and Alito have no standing to rule on this.

    There surnames end in vowels, after all.

  71. 71
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I just checked my copy of my birth certificate from Alabama. All of these requirements are fulfilled, so this liberal gay atheist can run for President in Arizona! Yay!

    Actually, I was wondering just how many of our past Presidents could fulfill these requirements. Wasn’t Jimmy Carter the first president born in a hospital? I’m sure I saw that somewhere…

  72. 72
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @gwangung: Which raises an interesting question: would a presidential candidate born in Arizona be able to present a birth cert that meets the standard set out in this law?

    ETA: I see Joseph Nobles has made my question moot.

  73. 73
    gene108 says:

    @Elisabeth:

    I think it’s more an attempt to legalize birther bullshit, which doesn’t contradict what you’ve written, since birther bullshit, at its core, is racist xenophobia.

    There’s some crazy birther nonsense about how the 14th Amendment doesn’t automatically confer birth-right citizenship, if one parent was not a U.S. citizen at the time of birth.

    It’s a twisted interpretation of the subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. laws part of the Amendment, which they claim doesn’t apply to non-U.S. citizens living in this country because they aren’t subject to U.S. laws or something along those lines, so QED there kids can’t be U.S. citizens, if they were born here.

    Has no basis in reality, but it’s part of the birther/xenophobe creed.

  74. 74
    Rosalita says:

    and so the party of supposed fiscal responsibility again tries to come up with some BS law that could cause all kinds of court crap that costs a lot of money – in addition the the law being BS in the first place.

  75. 75
    zzyzx says:

    It’s not AZ that scares me here mind you, it’s PA, OH, WI, IN, and FL. Take all of those away from Obama and there’s not much of a path to victory.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What is clear is that this “requirement” is specifically tailored to the known birth certificate of one candidate for president in 2012, designed precisely to exclude that candidate from the ballot.

    Because it’s clear that it wasn’t done without any other purpose, given that ARIZONA birth certificates, as Gwangung has pointed out, don’t have all the information this bill requires on a candidate’s birth certificate.

    It may well exclude other candidates, but it’s written specifically focused in on that one candidate, and fuck the rest.

  77. 77
    AAA Bonds says:

    Ha ha ha, holy shit.

    This is one thing that Democrats are going to face over and over: the Republicans can appeal to their base by provoking Constitutional challenges that they are sure to lose.

    Republican media have inculcated in the right a bizarre voodoo-based theory of Constitutional law, where secret loopholes and Da-Vinci-Code-style codes abound, promising the illegality of the income tax, the right to secede, and plenty of other bullshit.

    There is no reason for Republicans at the state level to refrain from exploiting this, especially in places like Arizona. I mean, can you think of a downside in that state to trying to ban the President from running for a second term?

  78. 78
    Poopyman says:

    Oh! I’m all aflutter in anticipation of the discovery that Palin’s BC is woefully lacking half that info. And/or Bachmann, of course.

  79. 79
    ppcli says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Ah, OK I stand corrected. Should have said “Nobody complained about McCain’s status, except for the ones who did…”. Refute that, VDE! I dares ya!

  80. 80
    Joey Maloney says:

    @twiffer:

    stupid, yes. but stupid with sinister intent.

    Isn’t that the GOP motto?

  81. 81
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Amir_Khalid: No, I was born in Alabama, not Arizona — the main difference being humidity levels. The state my parents were born in (both Alabama) is also included on this document. So that would suffice for determining their citizenship.

    Sigh. I guess I better hightail it over to FDL and offer my services as an primary opponent to Obama. I’ve already got the Democratic AZ vote sewed up! Protect our borders! Vote early and often!

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ppcli:

    LOL.

    Yeah, the birfer shit actually predates the Obama phenomenon, but it’s the same ideologically fueled ignorance that is the genesis of it.

    The general phenomenon can be seen in the entire Clinton scandal witches’ brew, in which “Judge” Starr couldn’t find anything Whitewater related to pin on the Clintons (after all, they lost money in the entire deal…not a very good basis for claiming that they used their positions to profit from it) and was shutting down shop, when Rethuglican kingpins insisted he stay in business and find something, anything, to pin on Clinton.

    Eventually they found the blue dress, the blowjob, and a cigar…and the basis for a perjury trap was finally within their grasp.

  83. 83
    Face says:

    they claim doesn’t apply to non-U.S. citizens living in this country because they aren’t subject to U.S. laws

    This makes me giggle. So illegal aliens cannot be arrested, because they cannot ever be in violation of any US law to which they’re not subjected to?

    Wait…doesn’t that mean they’re really not illegal, because they’re not subjected to residency laws? Did I just find a loophole?!?

  84. 84
    gene108 says:

    @nitpicker: I wonder what today’s Arizonians would think about the fact George Romney ran for President in 1968, even though he and both his parents, were born in Mexico? And Nixon made him a Cabinet Secretary, despite his foreign origins?

    Or maybe it doesn’t matter because he’s white and has a non-Latino last name.

  85. 85
    Dave says:

    @Poopyman: I found what is supposed to be an image of an Idaho birth certificate. It has no field for hospital, physician, or witnesses. Guess Sarah is out.

  86. 86
    ppcli says:

    @gene108:

    “It’s a twisted interpretation of the subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. laws part of the Amendment, which they claim doesn’t apply to non-U.S. citizens living in this country because they aren’t subject to U.S. laws or something along those lines, so QED there kids can’t be U.S. citizens, if they were born here.”

    Yes, I remember reading one of those loony arguments. One straightforward consequence seemed to be that back in the days before I was a U.S. citizen, I wasn’t “Subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. laws”, which kind of made me wistful about having become a citizen, given how much fun I could have had back in my green card or H1 visa days, had I only known. [Speed limits? That’s for citizens, baby! Eat my dust, losers.]

  87. 87
    Suffern ACE says:

    @nitpicker: Yeah, we act like this is all about Obama, but what what if someone wants to eliminate Mitt?

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: @Dave:

    The Mexicans are not stupid.

    They don’t want Arizona. They’ll take California off our hands, I’m sure…

  89. 89
    Poopyman says:

    @Dave: Then I’m gonna make the wild prediction that this bill will disappear down the memory hole.

  90. 90
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Birther shit goes way, way, way back in America – centuries, even. Further than that elsewhere.

    This incarnation grew out of Bircher conspiracies about such-and-such Democrat actually being a Moscow-born and Moscow-trained agent. A variant of this showed up during the Clinton years – while usually the “theory” was that Bill Clinton was trained to overthrow America during his visit to Russia, some of the dregs at the bottom actually believed he was replaced with a Soviet agent. (Don’t hurt yourself trying to make sense of this.)

    It’s pretty clear how this plays out with Obama. Birthers aren’t supposing a Kenyan or Indonesian plot at work, but are rather implying an international anti-colonialist Communist conspiracy that need not be named or explained.

  91. 91

    OT: I’ve had it getting confused with what Paul W. is typing with what I was typing as PaulW so I have made the decision to rename myself as TooManyPaulWs. Take that, Paul!

  92. 92
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    So am I correct in assuming that this Arizona law would prevent *anyone* born in Hawaii from being put on the ballot in Arizona? I wonder how many US Citizens from states other than Hawaii it would disqualify from being on a presidential ballot.

  93. 93
    Citizen_X says:

    @nitpicker: OMG MITT’S A ANKER BAYBEE! HIS DADS’ A WETBAK!

    And, seriously, hospitals are supposed to be requiring proof of citizenship from both parents? How the hell would that be even workable?

  94. 94
    JGabriel says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    At least this measure will prevent actual bastards from running.

    Yes, that was my thought too. If the mother doesn’t want to, or can’t, name the father, then that person can’t run for president.

    Pity it doesn’t do anything about the real bastards though.

    .

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ppcli:

    Well, the pretty clearly stated reason for that is to exclude the children of foreign diplomats from citizenship. There are two reasons for this: you don’t want foreign government related people to be automatically conferred citizenship for fairly obvious security reasons, and two, you don’t want to offend the foreign government in question by automatically conferring citizenship on the offspring of their diplomats. Because, you know, they might do it to you, and suddenly, the children of US diplomats are drafted into the Russian, Spanish, German, Romanian, or Upper Voltan armies…because they have dual citizenship reciprocal to that of their diplomat’s children in our country.

    But I don’t expect any birfers or fucktard Arizona Rethuglicans to understand any of this subtle shit.

  96. 96
    twiffer says:

    @gene108: heh. really?

    There’s some crazy birther nonsense about how the 14th Amendment doesn’t automatically confer birth-right citizenship, if one parent was not a U.S. citizen at the time of birth.

    that’s funny. apparently they are forgetting United States v. Wong Kim Ark. or convienently ignoring it.

  97. 97
    rickstersherpa says:

    @Poopyman: With certain notable exceptions, Arizonan conservatives are both completely stupid and willfully obtuse.

  98. 98
    JGabriel says:

    @gene108:

    I wonder what today’s Arizonians would think about the fact George Romney ran for President in 1968, even though he and both his parents, were born in Mexico?

    I wonder what the teabaggers will make of the fact that the Mittster’s daddy is a Mexican Mormon?

    .

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @twiffer:

    Not ignoring it. Utterly ignorant of it.

    Precedent. It’s so inconvenient for so many racist shitstains.

  100. 100
    danimal says:

    Constitutional question for the lawyers.

    If the state of Hawaii accepted, as a legal birth certificate, a crude drawing of Obama exiting the birth canal, with an arrow pointing to his head and the words Barack Hussein Obama written in crayon on the side of the page, can the state of Arizona impose additional requirements under the Full Faith and Credit Clause?

  101. 101
    rickstersherpa says:

    I did find this statement in a separate blog entry by Weigel very true discussing Santorum’s entry into the Republican race.

    “Of course, he’s a politician and not a policy wonk. He can have an effect on the race something like Michele Bachmann’s, as internal pressure in debates and news stories that nudges the frontrunners to the right. He can provide free content for liberal news sites and blogs, which really seems to be the function of most of the 2012 (Republican) campaigns announced so far.”

    Thank you Rick Santorum. Thank you Arizona.

  102. 102
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m not sure they’d want California either anymore.

  103. 103

    Birther nonsense, bah. There is doggie goodness over at my place. Give it a look. It will make your day better!

  104. 104
    ppcli says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yes, I understand the reason for the rule as crafted. I was just giving in to some fantasies prompted by the lunatic interpretation.

    It does seem to be a common theme of not only birther arguments, but many other wingnut “legal” arguments that they begin with some basically wacky conclusion they want to establish (“Obama shouldn’t be president, by law”, “States shouldn’t have to do things that the people like me in those states don’t feel like” “I don’t feel like registering my motorbike”, “The helmet-to-helmet ban in the NFL is for pansies”,….) and then they leap at whatever twisted justification they can find – “Aha! It’s because of subsection 23 of the Boundary Waters Fish and Game act of 1897, which clearly implies that Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a concealed carry zone, and so everywhere else must be too, because, I mean, hey, why should the Yoopers have all the fun. That would violate article iv of the tax treaty with Belgium.” They never stop to ask the obvious questions like: “Would America become a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the living would envy the dead if this principle were applied generally, instead of solely to the specific case I’m obsessively focussed on, and nothing else?”

    Now of course, Scalia has introduced the “This wildly general principle of equal protection applies to this case and this case only, so don’t get any ideas you smartass bastards” principle in Bush v. Gore, so perhaps that can be invoked to get the wingnuts out of their legal morass.

  105. 105
    Dave says:

    @twiffer: They probably think it’s a Golden Harvest kung-fu flick.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @danimal: Simple answer: no. Real world complications exist, blah, blah, blah, but basically if it is good enough for Hawaii it should be good enough for AZ.

  107. 107
    Kirk Spencer says:

    I keep mentioning that this law and its peers in other states suffers from a serious unanticipated consequence: more than a few Republican candidates will get bitten.

    The Schadenfreude will be awesome.

  108. 108
    Poopyman says:

    @JGabriel: And then there was Ethel Mormon. Man, she could belt out a tune!

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ppcli: That was simply brilliant. Kudos, to you, sir or madam. Kudos.

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ppcli

    Now of course, Scalia has introduced the “This wildly general principle of equal protection applies to this case and this case only, so don’t get any ideas you smartass bastards” principle in Bush v. Gore, so perhaps that can be invoked to get the wingnuts out of their legal morass.

    One of the many reasons why Scalia has no fucking business being on the US Supreme Court.

  111. 111
    Joel says:

    If Arizona secedes, will Obama need to consult Rand Paul before invading?

  112. 112
    Tom Q says:

    Just for the record: though Obama will hardly rely on carrying AZ to win in 2012, it’s not beyond question he can win the state. He only lost to hometown boy MCain by single digits, and AZ has the same growing Hispanic demo as CO/NV/NM, all of which went his way by solid margins. Don’t confuse the lopsided GOP results of 2010 with what can happen in a presidential year turnout.

    As I say, Obama doesn’t NEED AZ — if he carries it, it’ll be gravy, as he’ll have well over 350 EVs by then. But it’s certainly a possibility.

  113. 113
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @mws: This farce might be worth it to see those guys twist in the wind and go on record doing so.

  114. 114
    danimal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I can only imagine how angry the state of Hawaii officials must be about all this never-ending nonsense.

    It is a colossal insult to their professionalism and an implicit challenge to the authenticity of Hawaiian statehood.

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    They haven’t thought that part of it out. They tailored this specific law with laserlike focus on the birth certificate of Barack Hussein Obama, with the sole intent of excluding him from the ballot.

    They aren’t bothering to think the thing through that it might, indeed, exclude even themselves from the ballot some day.

    The monomania of these assholes disqualifies them from the business of crafting law.

  116. 116
    You Don't Say says:

    If they can impeach a president using a blow job, preventing the re-election of one via birth certificate should be a piece of cake.

  117. 117
    AAA Bonds says:

    @ppcli:

    So, what I said, basically.

  118. 118
    ericblair says:

    I don’t doubt either that a couple of goopers would get caught up in this stupid law, except that it will get tossed out by the first federal court that sees it. You know when you send your kid to a timeout and they say “No, I’M giving DADDY a timeout!”? That’s what this law reads like.

  119. 119
    Poopyman says:

    @Joel: Invade? Why stop ’em? The only downside is that we’d have to go back to a 49 star flag, made necessary by Palinistan.

  120. 120
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Actually, I was wondering just how many of our past Presidents could fulfill these requirements.

    Last time I checked, they were all white.

  121. 121
    David in NY says:

    I think Mitt’s in real trouble, although it’s hard to be sure. The current Michigan Certificate of Live Birth shows the parent’s place of birth and for his father that would be Chihuahua, Mexico. It shows the hospital, maybe, but not the attending physician.

    Now, who knows what a “long form” certificate is. The Michigan form I’m referring to is the one you get from the state today. But for a long time all I had, I believe, was a hospital issued certificate, complete with footprints, but I’ve lost that and god knows what it said. And who knows what the forms were like when Mitt was born? I’m a few months older than Mitt,

    Aha! Looks like Mitt may have lost his original certificate as well, in which case he’s in the same shape as Obama, under the Ariz law. And he’s being cagey about producing his. http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....te/237323/

  122. 122
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    It’s pretty clear how this plays out with Obama. Birthers aren’t supposing a Kenyan or Indonesian plot at work, but are rather implying an international anti-colonialist Communist conspiracy that need not be named or explained.

    When in doubt, stick to the classic basics.

  123. 123
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @danimal:

    It is a colossal insult to their professionalism and an implicit challenge to the authenticity of Hawaiian statehood.

    By Arizona, no less. The dumbest state in the Union.

    It’s like getting beat up daily in school, by the retarded kid.

  124. 124
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    Birthers aren’t supposing a Kenyan or Indonesian plot at work, but are rather implying an international anti-colonialist Communist conspiracy that need not be named or explained.

    Wouldn’t it have been easier to sneak into a Panamanian hospital and swap the newborn of a decorated Admiral with a commie baby from Russia?

  125. 125
    PurpleGirl says:

    @David in NY: That hospital thing with footprints? It’s a souvenir and probably has no legal standing. Parents do not ordinarily get a certified Birth Certificate when they take you home from the hospital. You’d have to request a certified copy of the record from your local government, just as I did yesterday from NYC. The paper that I do have is photocopy that was given to my parents to approve or to make corrections to the original birth record. It is not certified, i.e., it does not have the embossed seal of the City on it.

    ETA: Actually my name is different from the form that I have always used. It would be funny if I have to get that changed now.

  126. 126
    Poopyman says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I’m tellin’ ya … war.:

    I’m sure Hawaii’s navy could beat the snot out of Arizona’s.

  127. 127
    danimal says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: lol

    Though I’m not sure that AZ is any dumber than SC.

  128. 128
    Mike in NC says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    The dumbest state in the Union.

    Now we all know why that “liberal” John McCain, who barely graduated at the bottom of his USNA class, chose to reside there…

  129. 129
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @danimal:

    Though I’m not sure that AZ is any dumber than SC.

    No, they proved it statistically somehow. And no other state was even close to Arizona.

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Look, people, you’re not giving Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida any credit at all in the dumbest state sweepstakes.

    You have a narrow vision.

  131. 131
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    That hospital thing with footprints?

    I have one of these. Unfortunately, it doesn’t prove anything because the footprints are black.

  132. 132
    Face says:

    That would violate article iv of the tax treaty with Belgium

    That most certainly does NOT violate Article IV. Maybe Article VIII, subsection 4B, subtopic exemption clause #8. But not Article IV. Teatards are stoopid.

  133. 133
    MattR says:

    I wonder how many residents of the Gulf Coast lost their right to become president when Katrina destroyed those records.

    @cleek: I did not read all of Scharlott’s paper, but I am under the impression that his focus was on the unequal reactions by the press (and society) to the two birther rumors, without giving credence to either. Not surprising that Sullivan would twist it to fit his narrative.

  134. 134
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @MattR:

    I wonder how many residents of the Gulf Coast lost their right to become president when Katrina destroyed those records.

    Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30%-35%.

  135. 135
    Paul W. says:

    @TooManyPaulWs:

    Egads Toomany, your new name, I suppose this ends our solidarity movement here on BJ? I was thinking everyone could join in and we could re-enact the Howard Johnson town meeting of Blazing Saddles… but using my/our name. Now that dream is shattered, thanks :(

  136. 136
    Peter says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any candidate from any state can provide this, can they? In that case, wouldn’t this law be electoral poison to the republicans if allowed to stand, basically removing a reliably red state from the election altogether?

  137. 137
    MattR says:

    @PurpleGirl: I have no idea what the document I have from NY State is. It is titled a “Certificate of Birth Registration” and starts off saying “This certifies that a certificate of birth has been filed under the name of:”. It does have a seal and it is the document I used to use to get through customs and back into the United States before I had a passport (which I am pretty sure I got by using this birth certificate). But I have no idea if Arizona would consider that sufficient documentation.

  138. 138
    WereBear says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They aren’t bothering to think the thing through…

    If they had their own flag, this would be embroidered upon it.

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Peter:

    As I’ve said before, the morons promulgating this crap haven’t thought any of that through.

    The law of unintended consequences is utterly unknown to these racist morons.

  140. 140
    PurpleGirl says:

    @MattR: If it has a seal, it’s an official document. The copy that I have is also titled “certificate of Birth Registration” but it does not have a seal and there’s all this stuff at the bottom that it’s for correction purposes. But I know it’s not certified because it has no seal. (Which is why it’s costing me close to $30.00 to get one.)

    ETA: As the AZ law wants to know if your parents were citizens, nope because NYC/NYS form don’t have fields for parents citizenship info… only their names, ages and occupation (of the father!).

  141. 141
    Mike S says:

    @drkrick: The law at the time of President Obama’s birth doesn’t matter. Congress cannot ammend the Constitution by passing a law which would be the effect here. What matters is what “Natural Born Citizen” at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. That definition has never been definitively established by the Supreme Court. An article in the Michigan Law Review gives a good discussion of the issue.

    The point is that before the USA existed there wwas no such thing as a “Natural Born Citizen” only “Natural Born Subjects.”

    The conclusion is:

    The Possibility of Irreducible Ambiguity – The analysis so far has suggested that the original meaning of the phrase “natural born citizen” may be ambiguous, or that evidence of that meaning may be insufficient to resolve the ambiguity introduced by the passage of more than two centuries.

  142. 142
    Wolfdaughter says:

    Arizona ballots allow for write-in candidates.

    This latest birfer attempt is clearly unconstitutional and will be struck down. But if it were allowed to stand, I could see a scenario where Obama carries the state due to the number of write-ins. What would happen then? Doubtless the Republicans would try to disqualify all ballots where the person misspelled his first name, for instance, or if they omitted the middle name, or whatever. It would be a nightmare, not to mention expensive.

    It’s really frustrating being an Arizonan, these days.

  143. 143
    catclub says:

    @cleek: “you really have to get down into the birther mythology to understand this,”

    Not gonna go there (spoken in Dana Carvey George Bush voice)

  144. 144
    MattR says:

    @PurpleGirl: My form doesn’t have any info about my parents other than name (including mom’s madien name). No age, occupation or citizenship info (which is a good thing since mom was a Canadian)

    @Mike S: It really is kinda amazing that the term “natural born citizen” has never been codified or clarified.

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Wolfdaughter:

    It would be a nightmare, not to mention expensive.

    Spending bazillions of taxpayer dollars is not a concern when it comes to preventing a ni*CLANG* from continuing to sit in the White House.

    Unlike, say, providing some poor person a needed organ transplant.

  146. 146
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Touche.

  147. 147
    chopper says:

    i don’t know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but the first quote is fail. trump was waving around his own birth certificate on the teevee recently, but it was a certificate from the hospital, not NYS. not even a ‘certificate of live birth’, much less a ‘long-form birth certificate’. so as of now, trump himself wouldn’t be allowed on the ballot in AZ (ignoring the complete unconstitutionality of the bill).

  148. 148
    lllphd says:

    the way that bill is written, to exclude those with birth certificates that don’t meet those requirements, will not pass the scotus smell test. i don’t think even scalia would agree to it. the states do not have the power to dictate who can run for president in their states; that’s a federal determination. they can dictate who runs for office in their own states, but not for president.

    moreover, the whole force of the argument falls apart because the criteria they’re applying here don’t just affect obama’s ability to run, but anyone else whose birth certificate doesn’t meet those criteria, and there are plenty of those folks out there, presumably anyone born in HI around the time obama was, at the very least.

    the purpose of this stupid birther movement is to disqualify obama as an american by claiming him as an african. but this AZ demand is absurd on its face because it proves nothing of the sort; instead, it denies a whole host of americans the right and latitude to run for president in that state because their piece of paper is different.

    totally dumb.

  149. 149
    Poopyman says:

    @MattR:

    It really is kinda amazing that the term “natural born citizen” has never been codified or clarified.

    Please see comment #23.

  150. 150
    TenguPhule says:

    So does this mean Arizona will not be participating in the 2012 election then?

    I fail to see a downside here.

  151. 151
    chopper says:

    @lllphd:

    fuck scalia, not even thomas would choke on that choad. 9-0, bitches.

  152. 152
    Hungry Joe says:

    If someday it comes to pass that the Sacred Long Form is unearthed from the Tomb of Holy Hawaiian Records and brought to the surface for all to gaze upon, and Lo! — it contains therein all that is required by the Sect of Birthers … hell, they’ll just say it’s a forgery.

  153. 153
    Origuy says:

    The Fogbow forum has been collecting images of birth certificates from various states. So far, the person collecting them hasn’t made them public, but there are links to a few that others have posted.

  154. 154
    mds says:

    @Mike S:

    The law at the time of President Obama’s birth doesn’t matter. Congress cannot ammend the Constitution by passing a law which would be the effect here. What matters is what “Natural Born Citizen” at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.

    Actually, what matters is what “Natural Born Citizen” means in light of the 14th Amendment, which did legitimately amend the Constitution, by definition. If the text of the Constitution (as amended) states that people who are born in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are automatically citizens, how much ambiguity is actually left in “natural born citizen” for people born here? It’s being born in the Panama Canal Zone that leads to Constitutional ambiguity if anything does, since (1) it’s not clear that US-controlled foreign territories are “in the United States,” and (2) any parental claim under jus sanguinis has no explicit constitutional basis, but is the province of ordinary legislation which didn’t originally make clear whether such a grant counted as naturalization. Which is partly why Congress passed that show bill clarifying that of course John McCain meets the Constitutional requirements.

  155. 155
    Paul in KY says:

    I think federal law trumps Arizona state law on the question of fitness for the Presidency.

    In fact, I think we fought a war about that…

  156. 156
    Pongo says:

    New York birth certificates now include the social security number of the parents. Will future candidates be forced to jeopardize their parents’ privacy in order to satisfy the bigoted yahoo’s in Arizona?

    Utah will be next (or maybe Texas), followed by South Carolina or Georgia, the ‘Axis of Idiocy’ as it were.

  157. 157
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: That one made me laugh!

  158. 158
    Laertes says:

    In other words, if this becomes law in Arizona, President Obama cannot be on the ballot in 2012 in that state. That would more or less become a Constitutional nightmare even if Obama won the general election and the electoral college, because he would not be eligible for the office of President according to Arizona law.

    Arizona law has nothing to say about who is or isn’t eligible for the office of the President. If Obama wins despite not being on the Arizona ballot, then he’s President, even in Arizona.

    The list of qualifications for the Presidency is pretty short, and nowhere on it is a requirement that the winner be on the ballot in every state.

    Abraham Lincoln took office despite being on the ballot in only 23 of the then 33 states. Slavers complained that his election was a bitter provocation and reflected an uncharitable and uncompromising spirit among Northerners, but there was, so far as I’m aware, no serious constitutional challenge to the legitimacy of his election.

  159. 159
    andrew says:

    What kills me is according to that law I couldn’t run for president…..and I was born in Arizona….idiots

  160. 160
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I’m pretty sure the first crop of Presidents had parents who were not citizens of the United States, since the nation didn’t exist back then. (I know that the Constitution accounts for that, but we’re talking about the Ni’ers Can’t Be President law that Arizona just passed.)

    I wonder who the first President who was a “natural born citizen” of the United States was?

  161. 161
    David in NY says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    That hospital thing with footprints? It’s a souvenir and probably has no legal standing.

    I don’t think so. That “souvenir” was what I used to get a passport in 1966 (and renew it later when I lost the first passport). It’s all I ever had until recently, when I decide to run for President, and go my “Certificate of Live Birth,” and now I learn that won’t do, because it doesn’t have my mother’s doctors name on it.

  162. 162
    Observer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    even though, by long established law, he’s as natural born a US Citizen as just about anyone else…born of a Naval officer and his wife in a Naval Hospital in the then US sovereign Panama Canal Zone.

    That’s factually incorrect.

    Here’s a link

    (a) Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.

    The legal argument is that there’s a distinction between a citizen and a natural born citizen. And when you need a retro-active law written that declares you a citizen that implies that you were not a citizen on the day of your actual birth because the United States did not recognize you as one and hence you cannot claim to be a “natural-born” one. The further argument is that the 1937 law could have chosen to declare them “natural-born” but did not. McCain was born in 1936 before the law was created. So it took a legislative act to make him a citizen.

    So no, there is not a consensus, and it was never taken to court.

    But it should have been.

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    So how much funding did the Arizona legislature put towards changing their state’s birth certificates so they reflect the requirements that Arizona is going to put on other states?

    Just askin’.

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    Comrade Luke says:

    Can we expect this to go to the SCOTUS, with a 5-4 decision upholding it?

    I wonder if they’d do that (meaning those hacks Scalia, Thomas and Alito).

  165. 165
    Caz says:

    So how do we determine if someone is qualified to run for president or be on the ballot in a particular state?

    HI did provide such birth certificates at the time Obama says he was born there. He simply refuses to release it, leaving many people to believe it doesn’t exist. But they made them, he just won’t show it or doesn’t have one.

    Regardless, people should have to prove they were born here to be able to run for president. Obama hasn’t proven it, which is why AZ is proposing this law – to make people prove they are eligible. Perfectly Constitutional. It doesn’t trump any federal laws, or invalidate any federal laws, and it is consistent with the Constitutional requirements for president.

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    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Caz:

    HI did provide such birth certificates at the time Obama says he was born there. He simply refuses to release it, leaving many people to believe it doesn’t exist. But they made them, he just won’t show it or doesn’t have one.

    It’s only been on the fucking internet now for three years, so yeah, you’re right a clown.

  167. 167
    Peggy says:

    The major consequence of Arizona secession would be that tourists would need a passport to see the Grand Canyon. Otherwise, Adios.

  168. 168
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Hungry Joe: “they’ll just say it’s a forgery.”

    Of course they will! This is the 9/11 Truth of the right wingers (although, after nine years of debunking 9/11 Truth, it’s just as much a phenomenon of the rightwing John Birchers as it is the radical Bush haters on the left).

    Regardless, due to a lot of people on the left and the right, 9/11 Truth remains on the margins of public debate the way it should, since it’s a gutload of santorum. Sure, idiots break loose from time to time in the public consciousness (like Mr. Winning Charlie Sheen and Rosie O’Donnell), but by and large, it’s pretty much a mark of forfeiting honest consideration of your own mark. (Well, Judge Napolitano seems to be doing aight on Fox News these days…)

    Here we have a conspiracy theory tailor-made for the right wing, and what happens? Birtherism is unstoppable. Would it have been politically helpful to undermine the Bush Adminstration with 9/11 Truth? Sure it would, and several attempted to do so, but the goshdarn tendency of liberals and the left to prefer reality to fantasy no matter how detrimental choked 9/11 Truth down. Personally, I don’t count most rightwing resistance to 9/11 Truth because it seemed to be a lot more rooting in punching hippies rather than wrestling down insanity (with some notable exceptions, the gang at ScrewLooseChange Blog for one).

    But birthers thrive. It’s one more reason showing the basic antagonism of the right wing media toward reality in general. Reality must be their bitch, and that bullshit will eventually bite us all in the ass.

  169. 169
    Jebediah says:

    @Southern Beale:
    Riley’s a hoot! Does he do that often? Great clip, made me laugh and want to kidnap your dogs…

  170. 170
    Calliope Jane says:

    @Poopyman: ETA: And as this stupidity deepens, just how long before Hawaii declares war on Arizona?

    I, for one, would welcome my new Hawai’ian overlords.

    Sigh.

    But some good (anecdotal) news: my mom had lunch today (in AZ) with an acquaintance who lives part of the year in Alaska and loves Sarah Palin (as my mom decidedly does NOT share that opinion, she tries to avoid talking about politics). And yet said acquaintance absolutely railed against Brewer and Pearce and said that the legislators were complete idiots. Not specifically for this crap bill, but for all the other insanity they’re working on.

    If you’ve lost fans of Sarah Palin, just how far have you strayed?

  171. 171
    crumanjm says:

    Hawaii ought to require this type of certificate from all travelers to Hawaii from Arizona. If they don’t have it, they should be detained as an illegal and shipped back to Arizona.

  172. 172
    David says:

    I can’t believe that Donald Trump’s popularity has increased so much in the last few weeks just because of Obama’s birth certificate. Such a trivial issue has won over a number of much more important ones such as our national security or economy?

  173. 173
    Nancy Irving says:

    @jibeaux:

    Yes, this law would prevent bastards from running for president.

    Which would mean no GOPers. Cool!

  174. 174
    Bobbie Collins says:

    Mr. T, if you really feel that this is the most important issue facing our country right now you are a total idiot who has lost contact with the real world. The birth certificate issue is a dead issue. It never did have any validity or basis in truth. I will say this, however – the ‘birthers’ may be idiots but they do know how to put up a smoke screen. Donald Trump will never be considered a legitimate candidate for president in this country because he apparently knows nothing at all about the country. He should ask someone who has been out of work for 3-4 years.

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