'Birther' disrupts reading of the Constitution
January 6th, 2011
02:09 PM ET
4 years ago

'Birther' disrupts reading of the Constitution

Washington (CNN) - The reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives was going smoothly Thursday morning, that is until someone in the visitors gallery shouted aloud when the subject of presidential eligibility was read.

According to a tweet from Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn), who was sitting in the chamber, an individual yelled out about President Barack Obama, apparently rejecting the notion that the president is a natural born citizen.

"First interruption of the reading from the Gallery. By a birther, screaming about Obama. Unintended consequences....," wrote Himes on his twitter account @jahimes.

All was cordial and decorous in the House chamber as Republicans and Democrats rotated reading passages from the 223-year-old document that laid the foundation for the American government.

But at approximately 11:32 am, New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone walked up to the lectern and began reading Article II Section 1.

"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 the president," Pallone read.

Then came the outburst.

A replay of the incident clearly indicates an individual shouting "Barack Obama" before the banging of the gavel drowns her out.

A spokeswoman for the United States Capitol Police says that one individual was arrested for disturbing the order of the House.

After the incident, Pallone tweeted his own assessment.

"Sad day when spectator interrupts my reading of the Constitution on House floor b/c of absurd idea that Obama isn't a natural born citizen," he wrote from his @FrankPallone account.


Filed under: House • President Obama
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. Connie in Texas

    Hey CNN, why don't you mention they never read the entire constitution.... especially that whole African Americans are only worth 3/5ths a white person part. Or that Bohner and Cantor left to give a press conference in the middle of the reading. And you forgot to get Sarah Palin on the political ticker today too. Come on, where's that FoxLite touch we've come to know and dislike?

    January 6, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Nightmare

    That was probably Michele Obama that shouted that outburst!

    January 6, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. ja

    most IQ need checking not birth record

    January 6, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Jay

    Nope, no racism here, folks. Move along...

    January 6, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. fisk

    Seriously, these people need to get lives. He's a US citizen, now deal with it.....

    January 6, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Rsprings

    There are nut cases everywhere. He probably believes that Elvis is alive and working at a Buger King in Michigan.

    January 6, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Jacob

    you can thank the GOP for feeding these losers these crazy ideas! anti-American? not American?

    ok, GOP, you've been in control for the last couple of days, how come the economy isn't fixed already!?!?

    January 6, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Dave

    Can that person be arrested for a violation of gross stupidity?

    January 6, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Nimby

    Obviously the woman was a Republican plant to create controversy.

    January 6, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. JR

    You need to keep you eye on the visitors gallery or Michele Bachmann will get in there and will cause a ruckus.

    January 6, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. grant

    A country of frakking idiots. As if they they would give the launch codes to a foreigner.
    Birthers are moronic.

    January 6, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Nick

    There are all kind of idiots. His 15 minutes of fame.

    January 6, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. marty

    If a Republican congressman can ignorantly shout out when the President of the United States is speaking, why not a spectator in the gallery? And, if a Republican can ignorantly shout out during a voting session, why not a spectator? These 'decorous' professional litigators have taught the public, through example, very well.
    The State pf the Union speech by the President will soon be given. What kind of action will we witness from members of this astute,ethical body? I can hardly wait.

    January 6, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Rich

    Something tells me the 'bagger/Republican clashes are going to be more heated during this next congress than the Democrat/Republican ones.

    January 6, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. buckwheat19

    So, I wonder how he knows Mr. Obama legally holds the position. I wonder if he has been privy to the documents that none of the people that hired the President (the US citizenry) are allowed to see. The President also has a SS # that was issued in the state of Connecticut, a state in which he never resided according to what we know about him. Where there is smoke there is fire.......

    January 6, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. FLOP

    What a wack job!!

    January 6, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Indiana Voter

    That is a sad day when someone does that. This is not the way to defeat Obama in 2012, by presenting yourself as nut-jobs believing in conspiracy theories. The best way to defeat Obama is the same way Republicans did it in 2010: Run against his and his party's policies.

    January 6, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Margie

    Hope she was led away in handcuffs. By the way. If people are so so concerned about being an American citizen and being presidet how come they only question Obama.

    Now there is truly proof that Romney's father was not an American citizen and yet the republicans openly approved his run for the presidency (Romney's father) Fact: when the US did away with men in the Mormon church having multiple wives, Romney's grandfather AND grandmother gave up their citizenship in protest and moved to Mexico. Romney's father was born in Mexico of "Mexican parents".. He moved back to America became a member of congress and ran for the presidency. Questions were asked but the House voted to accept him and let him run for congress. NOW if Romney's father was not a citizen, does it mean if you are republican it is ok to not be natural born American and allow to run, but IF YOU ARE AND AMERICAN CITIZEN AND THE NUTSOS get it in their head you aren't they as protestors can take away your citizenship just because they are nuts. guess it is different in the case between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans are exempt from any law. Just because they say so.

    January 6, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Emma

    I'm going to make sure I teach my children to be respectful no matter what the circumstances may be. This is utterly ridiculous!!!!

    January 6, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. DanteX

    Birthers = LOSERS. PERIOD.

    January 6, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. slipthalo

    Another nut fell from the tree.

    January 6, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Patriots Salute the Flag! Traitors don't!!!

    Well offer proof that he is natural born and you won't get these outbursts. WHAT IS THE BIG SECRET?

    January 6, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Ilia Orkin

    And then the tea party wonders why they're always mocked.

    January 6, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. Skokie Il

    Maybe if he had taken his mother's color there would be no confusion over where he was born.

    January 6, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. AdmiralJ

    Why can't we all just call "birthers" what they truly are....racist.

    January 6, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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