The New Media Journal
The Arizona State Legislature gave final approval late Thursday night to legislation that would require any candidate for the Executive Branch of the federal government -- any candidate for President or Vice President of the United States -- to provide first-source, vaulted proof of eligibility under Article II, Section 1, of the US Constitution before their names can appear on the state's ballot. Arizona lead the way in creating an enforcement mechanism for the constitutional provision; an enforcement mechanism that until now didn't exist.
The legislation, authored by Arizona Republican Representative Carl Seel of Phoenix, passed the State House by a vote of 40-16. Arizona would become the first state to require such proof if Gov. Jan Brewer signs the measure into law.
Rep. Seel said the bill wasn't about opposition to President Obama. "This bill is about the integrity of our elections," Seel said.
Over the course of the 2008 presidential cycle researchers from BasicsProject.org contacted every mainstream and new media outlet with their startling conclusion that while the prerequisites for holding the office of President of the United States are set forth in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution there existed no mechanism for enforcing or verifying a candidate's satisfaction of those requirements.
Article II, Section 1 specifically states:
"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 President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."
BasicsProject.org Executive Director, Frank Salvato, said, "Nowhere in the US Constitution is there authorization for a mechanism to assure that Article II, Section 1 is satisfied; there is no constitutional mechanism in place -- either in the original document or in any of the amendments -- that requires a candidate for the office of President of the United States to file documents proving his eligibility to hold office."
"Our organization set in motion an initiative to put into place, through the power of either state legislation, a Constitutional Amendment, or both, a mechanism that would require candidates for the offices of the President of the United States and Vice President of the United States to present an original, first-source, vaulted birth certificate to the President Pro Tempore of the US Senate no later than forty-eight (48) hours after receiving his political party's nomination," Salvato said, adding, "We also wanted the legislation to require candidates to provide all military, scholastic, financial and criminal records in total, along with relevant medical records, but we celebrate the Arizona legislation as a gigantic step in protecting the US Constitution and expect Governor Brewer to sign the legislation into law. All that's left to be seen," Salvato said, "is whether the Holder Justice Department sues the state for trying to protect the Constitution, pathetic as that would be."
Thirteen other states have considered similar proposals this year. The proposals were defeated in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine and Montana.
The issue of eligibility was dramatically overshadowed by what the mainstream media and Progressive advocates termed the "birther movement," a contention that President Obama is ineligible to hold the nation's highest elected office because, they argue, he was either born in Kenya or was actually a British citizen without dual citizenship for his Father's nationality at the time of the President's birth.
Hawaii officials have repeatedly insisted that President Obama is a US citizen based on their release of a Certificate of Live Birth, which experts have testified is not an official long-form birth certificate.
Several lawsuits challenging President Obama's eligibility were dismissed on the basis of standing to bring the suit, a contentious issue in and of itself.
And while the issue of eligibility was separate from the so-called "birther issue," Mr. Salvato said that mainstream media shunned the issue of eligibility and the lack of an enforcement mechanism, lumping it together with the "birther movement."
"It was incredibly frustrating. In one email back-and-forth with radio talk show host Michael Medved, he admitted the loophole created by the lack of an enforcement mechanism but basically told us 'good luck with that' when we suggested we be afforded an opportunity to bring the loophole to light for the general public. It was the same with every single mainstream outlet. Thank God for the new media," Salvato said.
The Arizona legislation requires political parties and presidential candidates to submit affidavits stating a candidate's citizenship and age, and to provide the candidate's birth certificate and a sworn statement saying where the candidate has resided for the past 14 years.
If a candidate doesn't have a copy of their birth certificates, they would be able to meet the requirement by providing baptismal or circumcision certificates, hospital birth records and other documents.
In the event that a candidate eligibility can't be determined from documents submitted in place of a birth certificate, the secretary of state would be able to set up a committee to help determine whether the requirements have been met.
The names of candidates can be kept off the ballot if the secretary of state doesn't believe the candidates meet the citizenship requirement.
"In the end," Salvato said, "this is a great day for the United States Constitution. The Arizona Legislature should be applauded for their willingness to step up where others have failed one of our founding documents. Governor Brewer simply must sign this bill."
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