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THE PEACH STATE FOLLOWS ARIZONA’S LEAD IN REQUIRING ELIGIBILITY PROOF FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
by Kathleen Gotto
(Apr. 24, 2010) — Georgia Representative Mark Hatfield has introduced into the state legislature House Bill 1516, which would require proof of eligibility in order for presidential candidates’ names to be placed on the state ballot for future elections.
WorldNetDaily reports that Hatfield represents a coalition within the Georgia legislature which is prepared to take action on the issue, because “without the leadership in Washington necessary to do that, it is up to states to tackle the issue.” Georgia follows Arizona, which has proposed its own eligibility bill. That proposal has now passed the Arizona House 31-29 and is now in the Senate awaiting action.
Similar plans have been submitted in Maine, Oklahoma, Missouri and Montana but have not been adopted. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Oklahoma is attempting to bring the issue directly to its citizens by way of a referendum.
The U.S. Constitution states in Article II, Section 1, paragraph 5:
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.
Some legal scholars and attorneys have defined the term “natural born Citizen” as being born in the country to parents who are its citizens based on a treatise called “The Law of Nations” by Emmerich de Vattel.
Attorney Mario Apuzzo writes:
“the “natural born Citizens” of a country, i.e., a person born in the country to two citizen parents of that country. This was the law of nature and Vattel codified it in his book Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law. This book was the source of the wisdom which prompted John Jay to write to George Washington, presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787, and request that the requirement of “natural born Citizenship” be put into the new Constitution as an eligibility standard for the office of the President and commander of the military, for future holders of that office after the original generation past, to minimize any chances of foreign influences on that singular most powerful office in our new nation.
A poll taken by CBS/New York Times shows that only 58% of those asked think Obama was born in the United States. Hatfield has stated that Americans have a right to know if the leader of their country is eligible to serve in that position.
According to Political Insider, there are several cosponsors of Hatfield’s proposal, which reads:
Within 10 days after submitting its list of names of candidates, the state executive committee shall submit to the Secretary of State for each candidate an affidavit by the candidate stating the candidate’s citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate’s age, and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in Article II, Section ! of the United States Constitution.
However, Political Insider incorrectly states in its article that “The state of Hawaii, of course, has already declared the matter of Obama’s birth proven — and closed.” Moreover, there is no mention of Barack Obama in either of the proposals drawn up by state legislators.
According to the NCSL database, several other states have similar actions. New Hampshire, New York, and South Carolina are all proposing requirements to ensure presidential eligibility requirements are validated prior to being placed on the ballot. They are following in the wake of U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who submitted H.R. 1503, which proposes:
“To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include with the committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution.”
Other cosponsors of Posey’s proposal are Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), and Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX).