On Thursday night Arizona’s birther bill passed through the House with a handy 40-16 margin. It was the final hurdle for the bill, which will require any presidential or vice presidential candidate to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship before they can be put on the state ballot.
Among the acceptable documents are a “long-form birth certificate,” an early baptismal or circumcision certificate, hospital birth record, early census record or a postpartum hospital record given to the mother, Politico reported.
Plenty of other states have debated birther bills, but if Gov. Jan Brewer signs the bill into law–or waits five days for the bill to automatically become law–Arizona will be the first state to have such a law on its books.
Not everyone in Arizona is so excited about the birther bill, which is a transparently coded attack on President Obama’s black roots.
“Spare us,” the Arizona Republic’s editorial board wrote Thursday. “Arizona shouldn’t be embarrassed by a goofy ‘birther’ bill. We shouldn’t be the punch line in the next round of national jokes.”
Questions about Obama’s legitimacy as president have swirled since his candidacy and refuse to die, despite the fact that he has produced his birth certificate and Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed that the president was born in the state.
“This bill is not about Obama. It’s not about that,” Arizona Rep. Carl Seel insisted to CNN. “It’s about future elections and maintaining the integrity of the Constitution.”
It’s not like Arizona doesn’t have other pressing issues to address. The state is currently mired in a whopping $2.1 billion budget deficit, a budget deficit which Gov. Brewer dealt with by cutting off Medicaid recipients in need of organ transplants. That money’s supposedly been restored, but in the interim, several people slated for an organ transplant passed away.
And yet the Arizona Senate found time during this legislative season to pass a bill designating the Colt Revolver as its state firearm. Yesterday the state legislature also gave its final approval to a bill that mandates that schools, swimming pools, libraries and community centers allow people to carry guns, or give people lockers to store their guns.
Brewer has five days to veto or sign these bills. Or she can do nothing and they will automatically become law.