- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 6, 2011) — A reader of The Post & Email from upstate New York contacted his state senator regarding the introduction of an eligibility bill for presidential candidates:
I am asking you to do something very courageous, namely to put forth a bill in the legislature that compels or mandates the NYS Secretary of State or the NYS Board of Elections to obtain from all candidates before they are placed on the 2012 NYS ballot for President of the U.S. an original copy of their long form birth certificate proving that they were born in the U.S. and identifying their parents and their citizenship and that such evidence be easily and publicly available for review by any citizen. The U.S. Constitution mandates as a qualification for the office of President that that person be a “natural born” citizen. As you can tell from my letter, I do not believe the current occupant of the Presidency meets that standard.
Since I believe you to be an honorable man who’s intent is to represent to the best of his ability the people of his district,state and nation,I ask you to do something for me as a constituent, fellow New Yorker and American. What I ask is for you to do your duty and let the chips fall where they may.
Bruce W. Steele
And the state senator’s reply was:
Dear Mr. Steele,
Thank you for contacting my office regarding candidate requirements to run for the office of President of the United States. To ensure that requirements are uniform throughout all states the compliance of federal election laws is overseen by the Federal Election Commission, which was established by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. Therefore I encourage you to contact your federal representatives in Washington DC with this matter.
Again, thank you for writing and I hope the above information is useful. Please do not hesitate to contact my office again on this or any other matter.
David J. Valesky
Perhaps Sen. Valesky is not familiar with those states, some of which are in close proximity to his, which are in the process of reviewing proposed legislation which, if passed, would require documentation from presidential and vice presidential candidates that they meet the constitutional requirements to be placed on the ballot.
In particular, the state of Arizona, which came close to passing an eligibility bill last session, appears likely to pass the legislation this year.
Senator Valesky’s neighboring state of Connecticut has an eligibility proposal which has been introduced by State Senator Michael MacLachlan. Another Northeast state, Maine, has an eligibility bill which would require all candidates for public office to show a certified copy of their original birth certificate as well as other proof to the secretary of state before having their names placed on the ballot. The state of Pennsylvania might also see such a proposal from Republican State Senator Daryl Metcalf, who had previously introduced a bill prior to the 2008 presidential election.
Since Obama’s occupation of the White House, the Tenth Amendment, described by Thomas Jefferson as “the foundation of the Constitution,” has been recognized by more than half the state legislatures as evidenced by their introduction or passage of a state sovereignty bill or resolution.
According to one author, “political decentralization is gaining steam in all parts of the country.” Another writer stated that the concept of state sovereignty has been attacked by the media since state governors and judges have begun to question and decide, respectively, the constitutionality of the health care bill passed last year.
Several months ago, a guest author for The Post & Email presented a scholarly analysis of the topic stated that beginning in colonial times, “A State was a sovereign political entity, not simply a territory of a government.”
Does the answer to whether or not Barack Hussein Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve lie in our state-level public servants? How many citizens have contacted their state representatives as well as those in the United States Congress?
Tags: Arizona, Barack Hussein Obama, Congress, Connecticut, Federal Election Campaign Act, Federal Election Commission, New York, New York State Sen. David J. Valesky, PA State Sen. Daryl Metcalfe, Pennsylvania, State sovereignty, Tenth Amendment, The Post & Email, Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Constitution