The Natural Born Citizen Farce
The Arizona State Senate passed a birther bill yesterday mandating the following:
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.
The name of the game here, as Dave Weigel explains, is that it “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.” This reminds that though I am most certainly a natural born citizen of the United States of America, it turns out that I can’t produce a birth certificate to prove it. I wanted to use mine a few years ago to document something to get a passport, and my dad didn’t know where mine is. The best I can figure out my mother put it . . . somewhere . . . and now it’s lost. But fortunately people don’t run around making bad faith arguments about my non-American origins.
But a larger issue here is the injustice of the natural born citizen clause of the constitution. Why shouldn’t an immigrant be president? My understanding of the provision is that the Framers were worried that a foreign power might send a prince to the United States to marry the President’s daughter and then take over. Something like that. But this hardly seems like a pressing danger!