'Birther' disrupts reading of the Constitution
January 6th, 2011
02:09 PM ET
7 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. Charles

    The circus has come to town. Step right up folks and don't be shy. You just won't believe your eyes. This Congress is going to be fun.

    January 6, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. wilco

    standard american moron (s.a.m.)

    January 6, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Lee Bartholomew

    Glen Beck has his consequences. Do'h.. Hows Fox Pac doing?? X_X I would have been surprised if there wan no hiccups.

    January 6, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Facts – and I dare any birther to prove me wrong:

    1. The Republicans wanted to defeat then-candidate Barack Obama in the presidential election in 2008.

    2. The Republicans have millions, if not billions, of dollars at their disposal.

    3. The Republicans have hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers on their payroll/serving as elected officials.

    4. If there was any chance in Hades that President Obama wasn't born in the United States, the Republicans would have proven it long ago, beyond a shadow of a doubt, in a court of law.

    1. President Obama was born in Hawaii after it became a state, and he therefore is a natural-born citizen of the United States and our legitimate President.

    2. Birthers' insistence on clinging to their false beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence proves they are delusion and quite possibly legally insane.

    January 6, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Julia- Idaho Native American

    American is doomed, with racist hatred, and republicans that think only of the rich and to hell with everbody else, it's not very likely this country will survive. Remember when Marie Antoinette, (she had the mentality of a republican) said, let them eat cake, Revolution. Americanswill not just die quickly without healtcare. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Same thing with Germany the facist right wingers brought that country down. Birthers, the right hand of Satan

    January 6, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Alexis

    And besides the reading of the constitution on the house is complete waste of time and the tax payer money.why waste time and money on something that I should have studied in junior high social studies class? So much great thing so far by the fiscal responsible Party already, let's go thru list so far, during the lame duck session the republicans force the tax break for the rich with a price tag of 800 billion added to the deficit. The repeal of the health care bill, according to the bipartisan commission The CBO, will add $230 billion to the deficit. Add them up that's another $1.3 Trillion to the deficit already, where are we gonna be in two years from now with the Republican in power in Congress?....... It's gonna a very sad time for the USA when the reality hits us.

    January 6, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. AnotherJohn

    First day on the job and an entire day of salary has been wasted. Thanks GOP and tea baggers, you know how to turn a job into a propaganda stunt that was used to waste taxpayer dollars. Who do these idiots work for, who pays your salaries. You come to work for me and you do what you did today, you would be gone, fired by break time.

    January 6, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Pat in IL

    The "birthers" are a ridiculous, uninformed group, whose numbers are getting smaller and smaller. The documentation of Obama's birth is complete and open. Some of these idiots still say they "need proof". Good grief, it's all out there, so how much more "proof" could they possibly need. I think what they really need is attention, and there are so many better ways to get that.

    January 6, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. feckless

    What a waste of my tax money by reading the constitution.

    Do your remedial reading on your own time.

    Here's a question for the republican/teaparty/birthers: Where is the article of the constitution that empowers a national police force aka the FBI? Gonna defund it or pass an amendment to save the FBI?


    Keep reading the constitution and keep ignoring it. Because only democrats can offend the bible or the constitution, republicans have opinions and faith that can never be questioned, no matter how many times their twisted ideology is proven to fail.

    January 6, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. SMJ

    Sad day, indeed. Probably the first time many of our elected officials have ever read the document themselves! I haven't read it all...but I have studied parts of it in college. As a Rep or Senator, I would think it would be required reading. President Obama is a Constitutional scholar himself...I think he's fully aware that Hawaii is a state, he is a natural born citizen and, therefore, eligible to be POTUS. There are so many idiots in America today, it's quite scary! They blindly follow Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and Palin like the pied-pipers of hatred and bigotry that they are!

    January 6, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Howard

    Hey, Washington wasn't a natural born citizen of the U.S.A. Neither was Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Q. Adams, Jackson, etc., etc. etc.

    January 6, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. arduck

    Sad day when the House can't be a place of national civility. Especially when the Republican Gov. says his citizenship is fact. Then, the new Speaker accepts that fact but has no will or backbone (I guess that makes a good politician) to rebuke Republican members who want to keep citizenship non-issue alive. Beware, Mr. Speaker, 2012 is coming.

    January 6, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one) in Arizona

    Boy, it's downright scary to think that dunderheads like this are free to serve on juries, breathe our air and procreate.

    January 6, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. Democrats Class Warfare - Destroying the economy and country

    Sorry, but the real sad day was when this incompetent conned a majority of the American people into voting for him. We've paid dearly for that mistake over the last 2 years. Nov. 2nd, 2010 helped mitigate the pain though.

    January 6, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. The Dude

    Birthers are stupid, stupid people.

    January 6, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. KAS

    I work with someone who is from Hawaii and he couldn't find his original birth certificate and had to apply for a replacement. The state sent him a Certificate of Live Birth, the exact same thing the President has.

    According to birthers, this guy isn't a U.S. citizen either.

    January 6, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Ian

    The burden lies in the hands of the Republicans/conservatives to shut these birthers up, given that they are the Republican brethren.

    January 6, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. arduck

    Sad day. Thanx Joe Wilson. Great example.

    January 6, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. lil

    Next they the new congress will take away the right to vote from African American. These people hate everyone who don't look, believe, and act like they do. We who look different are very aware of whats going on.

    January 6, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Squiggs

    The Republicans want to act as if its a sad day by someone screaming that Obama isn't an American. The seeds of this type of rhetoric was born and perpetrated in the Republican party. Just the reading of the constitution is another indication of how they think Obama dosen't follow the rule of law. Why didn't they want to read it when Bush was trashing the constitution at every turnwhen he was President. These republicans plant seeds of racism and then when the wackos come out they want to appear appalled. The fact is they know everytime someone screams that Obama isn't American ithelps there cause with the haters in theis country. The disrespect Obams faces from the republicans and the wackos they bring out from under rocks is unprecendented in American politics for a President. They know they won't beat Obama in a fair exchange of ideas and acomplishments. They know their only chance is with good old American racism. Paint this guy as not "one of us" and we can win. They know that white America will fear Obama's skin more than their dwindling piece of the pie that the Republican are going to do everythig they can to distribute to the already rich.

    January 6, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Bill Graham in Jacksonville, FL

    Sad indeed!

    January 6, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. True American

    It's a sad day when a reading of the constitution which protects every citizen's basic right is interrupted by a TEA partier who refused to acknowledge that an african-american is president of the united states of america.

    January 6, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Richard

    It's not a new concept. If you have no legitimate beef, create one out of fantasy, and there will surely be some fools who will jump on-board.

    January 6, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. me

    Simple people, bill that dummy for the wasted time.

    January 6, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. Duck Fallas

    Is Cheney dead yet? Can we indict his evil, rotting corpse?

    January 6, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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