April 20th, 2010
05:04 PM ET
4 years ago

Arizona lawmakers still pushing 'birther' measure

President Obama might have to prove he's a U.S. citizen to get on Arizona's ballot in 2012.
President Obama might have to prove he's a U.S. citizen to get on Arizona's ballot in 2012.

Washington (CNN) - If Arizona lawmakers have their way, President Obama might have to prove he's a U.S. citizen to get on the state's ballot in 2012.

On Monday, Arizona's House of Representatives voted 31-22 to advance legislation that would require presidential candidates to provide documents, including birth certificates, proving their citizenship.

The measure, an amendment to a state Senate bill, must now clear another vote in the House before going back to the Senate. If it clears both chambers, the bill could soon go to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who is a Republican. Brewer's office declined to comment on whether the governor supports the proposal.

Critics deride the measure as a "birther bill." That name derives from a fringe movement, dubbed "the birthers," that questions whether President Obama was born in the United States despite proof that he was born in Hawaii in 1961. CNN and other news organizations have thoroughly debunked the rumors about the president's birthplace.

According to the Arizona legislation, parties seeking to put candidates on a state ballot would have to provide "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."

If the Arizona secretary of state "has reasonable cause to believe that the candidate does not meet the citizenship, age and residency requirements prescribed by law, the Secretary of State shall not place that candidate's name on the ballot," the bill states.

The amendment's sponsor, Republican Rep. Judy M. Burges, said through a spokesman that the bill is "an attempt to bring back transparency and confidence in the electoral process."

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, assistant Democratic leader in the House, called Burges' amendment "crazy" but said it is likely to pass.

"This is just a political statement about our president, which is offensive," Sinema said. "They think that [President] Obama was born in Kenya, even though we have proof that he was born August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii," Sinema said.

But Sinema predicted the measure would not pass constitutional muster. States have rarely if ever waded into this area. Arizona has "become the laughingstock of the nation," Sinema said.


Filed under: Arizona • President Obama
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Julia - Native American from Idaho

    Mean spirited republican.

    April 20, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. WJS486

    How much Arizona taxpayer's money are you"fiscally conservative" republicans spending for this bill?

    April 20, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Alban

    It is really a sad state of affairs when one is asked to prove his citizenship and is unable to do so, said person cries rasism to shift the attention away from the crime said person committed. (Remember Rodney King?) No certified original certificate has ever been produced, ever. If Obama would just produce the original certified birth certificate from the State of Hawaii, this whole story would come to a rest. But I guess we will just have to wait another two and a half years after his term in the White House is up for the real truth to surface. A sad state of affairs.

    April 20, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  4. Jim

    It sounds somewhat reasonable, but I don't know if reasonable is enough for these people. What will they think when the birth certificate is presented to Arizona? They already don't trust Hawaii about this. Obama is the president, like it or not. I didn't like Bush being president and I didn't think he really won the first election, but I got over it. These guys need to get a life.

    April 20, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Pam Eugene,OR

    What re they putting in the water in AX.
    What a bunch of Republican wack jobs! They give the RNC a big fat black eye withthis birther nonsence and their stance on immigration.
    What a joke.

    April 20, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Perusing-through

    MORE REPUBLICAN-GOP STUPIDITY

    President Obama whose birth certificate is on record in Hawaii and has been confirmed by the state of Hawaii, will pass Arizona's birther bill with no problem.

    However, erratic Republican hypocrite John 'Molasses' McCain would fail the birther bill when he runs for President again because it is on record that he was born in Panama.

    So the hole stupid Arizona law makers are trying to pass to trap President Obama, will instead catch Republican hypocrites like McCain.

    April 20, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. Patrick

    I am sure this is producing a lot of jobs for people of Arizona.

    April 20, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. Ann-in Oh

    Good lord, what a bunch of fools. Hardly worth the effort to comment on!!!

    April 20, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Oh brother

    Its clear that every media outlet is biased towards the right or left. News is a form of entertainment to make money. Thats all its ever been. A subjective form of objectivity.

    April 20, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Helen

    I guess unemployment is not an issue in Arizona.

    April 20, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Unreal

    Please don't put all Arizonans into the crazy category. There are MANY of us who share your sentiments. Our legislature is insane and while the majority keep electing the idiots many of us are trying to get rid of them.

    April 20, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. Peter E

    He has produced his birth certificate. It has been viewed by partisan republicans themselves, thoroughly examined by non-partisan officials and experts. No other president in history has been more transparent about their birth than Obama has. No previous president ever produced the same level of proof as he has. And yet birthers try to propagate the myth (read, lie!) that Obama doesn't have a birth certificate, or it's fraudulent, or he has a different one from Kenya. I'm sure if we put them in a time machine and made them watch the birth and Obama's every move since he was born they'd still not be satisfied.

    April 20, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    And I'm sure all these birthers would rather have a President McCain, who was born in Panama.

    Hey you birthers, here's my challenge to you: prove to me, beyond all doubt, that YOU were born in the US! And don't just produce an Arizona birth certificate, because I'm SURE you forged that! And your parents conspired with the doctor and the local newspaper to lie about where YOU were born!

    April 20, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. dan smith

    Liberals need to lay off the Obama koolaid a for a little while its rotting your brain. If there's nothing to Obama's birth certificate then he has nothing to worry about does he? Nothing wrong with States demanding that elections are held up to Constitutional standards,but I guess liberals don't want that either.

    April 20, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. A disgusted former Republican

    What is it with these republicans? Are they completely brain dead or are they just a bunch of racists who cannot stand to see a black man in the White House?

    These idiots should be ashamed of themselves. It is no wonder that nobody claims to be a republican these days.

    April 20, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Danny Cali

    GOP are very stupid now and how many time he have to Prove his birth certificate to you Republican't.

    April 20, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Mike

    I don't see what the big deal is? If he has a birth certificate then why doesn't he show it, and move on? The only proof out there is that a hospital said he was born there in 1961, but the hospital won't show it. Normally, you own your own birth certificate, and keep it at your house. If he really has a birth certificate then why doesn't he just show it? I have my birth certificate, everyone does, you have to show one to the DMV to get your drivers licesne, so why doesn't Obama have his? How did he get a drivers license? Does he have one?

    April 20, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    When all your economic, military and foreign policies are proven failures .... and you want to regain power .... all you have to offer is lies, obstruction, fear, division and hate.

    That is all that the GOP has. Their candidates are a joke. And they think their constituents are all fearful losers who can be easily scared into voting against their own best interests.

    How pathetic!

    April 20, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. Will

    It doesn't matter where he was born, the simple fact is that his mother was from the United States, and that is all he needs to be a citizen. Heck, he could have been born on the moon, and he would still be a US citizen.

    This just seems like a way to get attention to slander the president.

    April 20, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. EWPitt

    President Obama made his Birth Certificate available back in the summer of 2008. Do a search on the Internet and you will find it. The certificate has even been verified by factcheck.org. Originals of the Honolulu Advertiser from 1961 have been produced that carry the birth announcement of a son to his parents.

    If you think a birth certificate hasn't been supplied, you are either completely unaware or deliberately ignorant. All the evidence supplied is more than any other American, including any previous President, would need to prove his citizenship. When you also add the birth announcements found in the 1961 paper, you are claiming the existence of a conspiracy that goes back almost 50 years.

    And if Arizona attempts to require original birth certificates, they are going to exclude a lot of Americans.

    April 20, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. Tracy-Oakley

    Arizona Republicans will do anything to win. What's wrong with them..

    April 20, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. rs

    Arizona's legislature is under the control of EXTREMELY looney Republicans- It is an embarrassment to say I live here- almost like the heady days of erstwhile Governor Evan Mecham.

    April 20, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. carlos

    mc c is from arizoon......that should tell you something.........

    April 20, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. cspurgeon

    They won't vote for him anyhow so skip em. Who cares if they are irrevelant. Let them put the bad loser McCain on the ballot...and then your vote counts for nothing. Anyhow go out and pick on some hispanic citizens...

    April 20, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Brenda from AZ

    This is stupid! I live in this state and they better have our President on that ballot or they will answer to all the democrats who live here. The dumbest thing this state has EVER done, with the exception of re-electing John McCain over and over again.....maybe I should move...

    April 20, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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