As HotAir in the above link notes, the Governor signed AZ’s immigration bill last year, but she doesn’t want to sign a bill that would enforce eligibility this year.
Lead America “down a path of destruction?” Really? Enforcing Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 would do that? How so, exactly?
She disagrees with the types of evidence that the bill allows to demonstrate eligibility? Funny — the bill’s main sponsor said recently that they crafted the requirements after DoD top secret clearance requirements.
The Secretary of State is too partisan? What — political parties (who are currently allegedly tasked with determining their own candidates’ eligibility) aren’t?
A “distraction?” By whom, and from what?
If we were discussing federal — or even State — confiscation of firearms, would it be a distraction to talk about legislation protecting the Second Amendment?
Who, exactly, is the dear Arizonan Governor trying to impress?
Following up on Arizona’s recent passage of their own presidential eligibility bill (which has been transmitted to the Governor’s office for signature or veto), Tea Party activist Kelly Townsend and State Rep. Carl Seel speak on the bill’s context:
Attorney Mario Apuzzo produced a great posting (Scribd) describing the constitutional power given to States to regulate federal elections.
Donald Trump continues to make waves in the press regarding eligibility. First, from TalkingPointsMemo (edited by BirtherReport.com), he says that Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) shouldn’t give up the “birther” fight:
Then, in the second part of his interview with Sean Hannity, he rehashes much of the eligibility issue:
Arizona’s HB2177 — “presidential candidates; qualifications; affidavit” — otherwise known as the presidential eligibility bill — passed the State Senate today by a vote of 20 – 9 with 1 Member not voting.
Requires a presidential candidate that is for running for office to prove their eligibility to run and hold office by providing documentation that proves citizenship, age and if the candidate meets residency requirements.
Article II, Section I of the Constitution of the United States, states that 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.
Section 16-226 of Arizona Revised Statute defines nonpartisan elections as an election that is held by a special district and that is not held concurrently with the general election.
At a primary election, each political party entitled and intending to make nominations for the ensuing general or special election is required to, if it desires to have the names of its candidates printed on the official ballot at the general or special election, nominate its candidates for all elective, senatorial, congressional, state, judicial, county and precinct offices to be filled at the election (A.R.S. § 16-301). A nomination petition as defined in section 16-314 means the form or forms used for obtaining the required number of signatures of qualified electors, which is circulated by or on behalf of the person wishing to become a candidate for a political office.
There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.
1. Requires any person submitting a nomination paper for the purposes of being a candidate in a primary or nonpartisan election to include in the affidavit, reference to and attachment of all documents necessary to show that the person will be qualified at the time of the election to hold the office the person seeks.
2. Prohibits the filing officer to accept the nomination paper of a candidate if the person does not provide the affidavit and attachments required in this for proving eligibility to hold office.
3. Requires a national political party committee for a presidential candidate for a party that is entitled to continued representation on the ballot to provide to the Secretary of State, written notice of that political party’s nomination of its candidates for president and vice-president.
4. Requires a national political party committee to submit an affidavit of the presidential candidate in which the presidential candidate states the candidate’s citizenship and age and is required to attach this affidavit to the affidavit documents that prove the candidate’s age, citizenship and if the candidate has been a U.S. resident for fourteen years.
5. Requires the affidavit of the presidential candidate include references to and attachment of the following, which shall be sworn to under penalty of perjury:
a) a sworn statement or form that identifies the presidential candidate’s places of residence in the U.S. for the preceding fourteen years; and
b) a certified birth certificate that includes:
i. the date and place of birth,
ii. the names of the hospital and the attending physician, and
iii. signatures of any witnesses in attendance if applicable.
6. Clarifies that if a presidential candidate does not possess a long form birth certificate the candidate is required to provide two or more of the following:
a) an early baptismal or circumcision certificate,
b) hospital birth record,
c) postpartum medical record, and
d) early census record.
7. States that the presidential candidate may also submit a notarized affidavit from two or more persons who witnessed the candidates birth in addition to the documents required to be submitted when a candidate does not possess a long form birth certificate.
8. States that if the Secretary of State (SOS) cannot determine if the candidate meets eligibility requirements from the documents submitted in place of the long form birth certificate, the SOS may establish a committee to assist in determining the validity of any documents submitted by the presidential candidate in place of a long form birth certificate.
9. Prohibits the SOS from placing a presidential candidate’s name on the ballot in this state if the candidate or the national political party committee fails to submit and swear to the documents listed in this section.
10. Prohibits the SOS from placing a presidential candidate’s name on the ballot in this state if the SOS believes that the proof of the documents submitted and sworn to do not meet the citizenship, age and residency requirements.
11. Permits a member of the House of Representatives, a member of the Senate or any other citizen of this state to initiate an action to enforce this section.
12. Makes conforming changes.
13. Contains a severability clause.
14. Becomes effective on the general effective date.
Amendments Adopted by Committee
1. Removes parental requirements needed to run for or hold office or to be put on the ballot.
2. Adopted strike everything amendment.
Amendments Adopted by Committee of the Whole
1. Adds a list of documents that can be submitted if the presidential candidate does not have a birth certificate.
2. Permits the SOS to establish a committee for determining the validity of the documents submitted in place of a birth certificate.
3. Adds a severability clause.
GR 3/23/2011 DPA/SE 5-1-1-0
3rd Read 4/13/2011 20-9-1-0
Prepared by Senate Research
April 13, 2011
A number of key things to be gleaned from the above:
The State Legislature specifically gives the State’s Secretary of State wide-ranging authority in not only determining what background documentation should be used to substantiate a candidate’s background, but even determining the efficacy of said documentation;
The Constitution allows for States to enforce the law — such as presidential eligibility — so the expected lawsuits that will inevitably spring up over this bill won’t have too much to stand on (especially considering another point, below);
The legislation becomes effective on the “general effective date,” which, according to this AZ page, could be construed to mean when that particular session has completed business (in other words, legislation passed during that session becomes effective at that point);
If you are a citizen of the great State of Arizona, you will specifically have standing in terms of being able to enforce this legislation. This, of course, is a pretty big deal, and could, in theory, lead to a class-action status of a multitude of citizens standing up against a given candidate if they do not feel that candidate’s background is sufficiently substantial;
The legislation has a severability clause, in which it states that if one section of this law is found to be invalid, that does not mean that the entire law for the purposes of eligibility would be found to be invalid. This is an important point when defending against detractors who might wish for the entire bill to be defeated.
The bill now moves on to the State House for their consideration. This will be the bill’s second visit to the House after the Senate made a number of amendments to the bill. Assuming that the House approves, Governor Brewer would then be sent the bill to be signed or vetoed.
Gov. Jan Brewer Accepts Donations to Defend Arizona Illegal Immigration Law: Will You Donate? (AP Photo)
While a more full update is due on this topic*, the defense of the great State of Arizona against a lawsuit (of all things) from the federal government was worth its own posting (h/t AmericanGrandJury). The AP reports the following excerpt in their article:
Donors contacted by the AP said they contributed because the federal government should be helping Arizona, not taking the state to court.
Gov. Brewer had initially begun the Governor’s Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund (the State is being defended by private counsel and not its Democrat State Attorney General; the funds may even be tax-deductible, because they may be classified as donations to the State) on May 26, having received $10,000 in unsolicited donations at the time.
Since then, donors from across the United States, D.C. and Puerto Rico have donated sums the majority of which have been $100 or less, raising the total to $500,000. Apparently only two of the 9,057 online contributions came from businesses, and 7,008 of those came immediately after the feds announced their lawsuit against the State.
Feds to file suit against AZ today. Want to stand with us? Donate to the defense fund. http://bit.ly/bkQzZc 9:48 AM Jul 6th
We will be very aggressive in defending our law. Donate to help keep AZ safe. http://bit.ly/bkQzZc 10:19 AM Jul 6th
I will not stop fighting. I will defend AZ and continue to do the job Obama refuses to do. Join us. http://bit.ly/bkQzZc 2:40 PM Jul 6th
AZ’s immigration law is 13 pages long. Obama’s lawsuit against it is 25. (HT to @ExJon) Defend AZ! http://bit.ly/bkQzZc 4:41 PM Jul 6th
Wow! At 1:30pm yesterday, AZ’s defense fund was roughly $163k, at 9am this morning it was $363k. Keep it up! http://bit.ly/bkQzZc 6:23 PM Jul 7th
Update: we have raised almost $500k for AZ’s defense fund. Help us stand up to the Feds. http://bit.ly/bkQzZc Please RT!
Here’s the site:
* Due to intermittent Internet connection issues, I’ve had to take any extra time away from this blog to get things resolved. I’d like to post a more full posting describing the details of what’s been going on with the lawsuit. Suffice it to say that the actual filing does not address any sort of racial issues except as a separate memo filing, according to my understanding. Essentially, the feds whine that the State somehow does not have the right to defend itself, that it should be up to the feds, and that States shouldn’t be circumventing federal policy, even if said policy means that no enforcement outside of the feds should occur.
Well, at least someone at the federal level will have had to take the time to actually read Arizona’s law, because the Judge is going to ask the Plaintiffs, essentially, by what right does a State not have to defend itself.
Brewer said in her veto letter that she was troubled that the bill empowered Arizona’s secretary of state to judge the qualifications of all candidates when they file to run for office.
“I do not support designating one person as the gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions,” said Brewer, who was secretary of state until she became governor in 2009.
“In addition, I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on Earth to submit their ‘early baptismal circumcision certificates’ among other records to the Arizona secretary of state,” she said. “This is a bridge too far.”
Perhaps Gov. Brewer should then explain exactly upon whom does the onus rest to determine presidential eligibility. After all, my own “Candidate Qualifications” category will attest to the fact that, presently, the only thing that a major political party is required to do is to have the candidate sign a self-ascribing document wherein they claim to be eligible. No background documentation, just a signature.
Then this document is formally submitted to a State’s Secretary of State … for official certification.
While she’s at it, perhaps the good Governor can explain the “politically motivated decision” that a Secretary of State already exercises in making sure that ballot access is secured.
Wouldn’t that make a Secretary of State a “gatekeeper” for the ballot?
Gov. Brewer thinks eligibility is a “distraction” (not unlike the liberals in America who think the First and Second Amendments are also “distractions” to statism). She also thinks that the State legislature “has the numbers” to potential override her veto, in which case she’d be “disappointed” if they performed such an action.
For me, I think it’s “disappointing” that we still don’t enforce eligibility in this country.
Per the bill’s overview page, the Arizona State House gave its final approval to HB2177. The vote was 40 Ayes, 16 Nays, and 4 Not Voting (actual votes).
At this point — and according to the State Legislature’s page where a “Bill to Law” PDF can be found (specifically, pages 66 – 67) — Governor Jan Brewer can either sign the bill, let it become law, or veto it:
The Governor’s Desk
The governor has three options for each bill presented:
1) He can sign the bill within five days (10 days if the legislature is adjourned). If he does so, the law takes effect immediately if it was emergency or Proposition 108 legislation; otherwise the law takes effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.
The Arizona Constitution provides a 90 day period for opponents of a newly signed law to gatherenough signatures to put the question of the law on the ballot at the next general election. If they get enough signatures, the new law is put on hold pending the vote of the people. This referendum procedure gives the people ultimate veto powerover acts of the legislature.
2) He can refrain from signing the bill, in which case it becomes law without his signature after the five or ten day period.
3) He can veto the bill. If the veto takes place while the legislature is still in session, the bill is returned to the legislature where a 2/3 vote of each house (3/4 if emergency or Proposition 108 legislation) is required to override the veto. If the legislature has already adjourned, the bill is dead.
Arizona appears to be the first State in the Union to formally enforce the vetting process for POTUS/VPOTUS candidates.
The press coverage of eligibility via Trump is priceless.
And it continues:
On CNN (his rowdiest interview yet):
And get this:
The Donald is planning on meeting with Arizona Tea Party leaders and a State legislator tomorrow regarding their own State’s eligibility bill:
In his latest embrace of the birther strategy, Mr. Trump has invited Tea Party leaders and a legislator from Arizona to his office in Manhattan on Friday morning to discuss a bill moving through the Arizona legislature that would require candidates for president to prove that they are natural born citizens.
The Arizona group said the call from Mr. Trump on Wednesday came unexpectedly, and the group had spent much of the day Thursday scurrying to make travel arrangements to New York. …
Kelly Townsend, a founder of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party, said Mr. Trump told them that he was interested in learning more about the legislation in Arizona.
The bill, which has been approved by committees of the House and Senate, allows great latitude to the secretary of state in denying a presidential candidate a spot on the ballot, saying that the secretary can do so if he or she believes that the documents do not prove citizenship.
What with Trump’s own investigation going on in Hawaii, this party’s apparently just getting started.
Before getting to the legal issues, I would first insert a brief note of what seems to be common sense. To get the politics out of the debate, let us assume for a moment that questions had never arisen over the circumstances of the president’s birth. (And to keep folks on both sides of the aisle happy, let us also say that John McCain had been born in Arizona and not Panama.) There are very few actual minimum qualifications to be president – in fact, there are really only two. Why would we find it so unreasonable that the states would expect proof that both of those qualifications were met by any candidate prior to having their name entered on the ballot? Perhaps a better question might be, why weren’t all of the states doing that already?
But common sense and the law intersect only rarely, so we should give the constitutional soundness of the law a fair look. To get started, I strongly suggest you take a look at attorney Doug Mataconis’ piece at Outside the Beltway on the subject where he has done the research and legwork already. Doug breaks the analysis down into three areas, two of which I take some exception with and one which passes the technical smell test while looking a bit sketchy in the court of common sense.
First he examines the 12th and 20th amendments, clarifying who controls the ability to define the qualifications for office. This part is clear enough and stands on its own, assuming Arizona was trying to change the requirements to hold the office of president. But this law doesn’t seek to do that.
This dovetails nicely into Mataconis’ second point, that of previous court decisions over the rights of states to determine ballot access requirements. He cites the case of U.S. Term Limits v Thornton, where Arkansas attempted to introduce congressional term limits by amending the state constitution. The Supreme Court shot that one down, and for good reason. The real effect of the amendment resulted in the state essentially adding a new requirement for holding office which did not exist in the United States constitution. (That being that the candidate must not have served more than “x” terms in the office previously.) But again, the Arizona law does not add a new requirement for presidential candidates, so I’m not sure it applies here. (See Doug’s article for the applicable excerpts from the court decision and decide for yourself.) …
In summary, I don’t have a technical grudge against the FF&C [Full Faith & Credit clause] argument saying that Arizona should be forced to accept the state regulated certification of birth from Hawaii or other locations in the country. But as to the central question, should they be allowed to define what documents are required to prove eligibility to appear on the ballot, assuming they don’t add any new requirements for office not found in the constitution? There are already wide variations from state to state on requirements placed on office seekers in terms of forms to be filed, fees to be paid, signatures to be gathered, etc. Shouldn’t the states be able to determine what ID they will accept as proof of minimum age and status as a “natural born citizen?”
The current arguments over Obama’s circumstances of birth may have poisoned the well too much for us to have a reasoned, rationale debate on this for now.
There is a Constitutional provision that trumps (heh) the entire argument:
Art. I, Sec. 1, Paragraph 2:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Nothing in the XII or XX Amendments has modified this portion of the Constitution. The AZ legislature has carte blanche to appoint as Electors anyone other than the class of government officials already excluded. If they wanted to appoint me, despite the fact that I’ve never set foot in AZ (I may have flown over it once or twice), much less established residence there, I don’t see a damned word in the Constitution to prevent it.
If the AZ legislature directs that part of the Manner of appointing Electors is that those Electors certify their intent to cast their ballots for President and Vice President for people who have proven their eligibility to the office to some standard incorporated in that legislative “directive”, then that’s it. End of story. …
The bottom line is that I’m thankful that the issue of eligibility is rearing its head in the court of public opinion regardless of the current political passions of the electorate. It may still take a legal battle or three before things completely simmer down. All the rest is armchair quarterbacking, at this point.
The blogger at TheDailyPen has put together a very lengthy — and very intriguing — analysis of the Hawaiian Democrat Party certifications of nomination for POTUS/VPOTUS as well as what Mr. Obama could have been doing in Hawaii (along with lots of reported anecdotal evidence) when he went to allegedly care for his dying grandmother.
Here’s the header/teaser:
New analysis of Democrat Party’s official 2008 Certification of Nominations for Obama reveals that reasons for his sudden trip to Hawaii in October, 2008 were to visit more than just his sick grandmother. Hawaiian election laws, media accounts and post-dated documents reveal he may have attended a private hearing with the Hawaiian Chief Elections Officer regarding his disqualification from the Hawaiian ballot due to lack of certified Constitutional eligibility.
A trip down TRSoL memory lane will yield such posts as this one from December 7, 2008, this one from December 17, 2008, and this particular one from September 12, 2009, all showing alleged inconsistencies concerning the Democrat Party certification of Mr. Obama.
Secondly, TheDailyCaller provides a brief but definite update concerning Donald Trump’s background investigation of Mr. Obama in Hawaii:
An aide described as Donald Trump’s “Karl Rove” declined to discuss details of the real estate mogul’s ongoing investigation in Hawaii into President Obama, saying it would be “completely counterproductive” to tip Trump’s hand, allowing Obama to then shield himself from the investigation.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s aide, did not provide any other details about the investigation besides that “people,” plural, are in Hawaii.
Also, as a quick update to yesterday’s post concerning the status of Arizona’s eligibility law HB2177, the bill has since been transmitted to the State House (yesterday) and (today) both the Majority and Minority Caucuses have given the bill, as written, a “concurrence recommended,” essentially giving the green light to a full House up-or-down vote.
A year ago this month (and followed up shortly thereafter), Arizona State Representative Judy Burges introduced legislation that essentially would enforce eligibility requirements for presidential candidates to get on that State’s ballot.
Then, yesterday, she and approximately 25 other co-sponsors reintroduced the bill. According to WND’s interview with her, the following would indicate the bill’s chances for passage:
The proposal from state Rep. Judy Burges, who carried a similar plan that fell short last year only because of political maneuvering, was introduced yesterday with 16 members of the state Senate as co-sponsors.
It needs only 16 votes in the Senate to pass.
In the House, there are 25 co-sponsors, with the need for only 31 votes for passage, and Burges told WND that there were several chamber members who confirmed they support the plan and will vote for it, but simply didn’t wish to be listed as co-sponsors.
The same WND story also mentions that similar initiatives are currently in play in Montana, Pennsylvania, my home State of Georgia, and Texas. Texas’ bill has an effective date of 9/1/2011, in time for the 2012 elections.
Those who think that “birthers” are nuts should, rationally-speaking, be welcoming these endeavors. They’re not lengthy bills, ought to survive or be defeated with an up-or-down vote on their own merits, and would add nothing to the constitutional requirements for the President (see my own two linked stories at the top of the posting wherein I explain how the Supreme Court has differentiated between adding to versus enforcing the Constitution and how it’s completely within the purview of the States to determine exactly how they wish to pursue managing elections within their own respective jurisdictions).
Besides — if the already-posted picture of a document of Mr. Obama’s alleged certification of live birth is the real deal, then his campaign should have no problems attaching a copy of this as a part of a paper trail establishing his eligibility.
Furthermore, there may be those who pose “what-if’s” regarding these initiatives, predominantly centered around the efficacy of such documents. Well, isn’t that the whole point?It would be very interesting to see someone attempt to sue a State such as Arizona over such a proposed law. It would certainly draw attention the issue, now, wouldn’t it? Besides — some of us would love to see this kind of issue get past standing, subject matter jurisdiction, and similar sorts of challenges and actually take the issue to Court.
Ah, but there’s the rub! SCOTUS has already ruled on how States handle elections, and if the issue is truly political, then even such challenges should be thrown out of Court, left for the States, the Congress, and/or the People to decide!
See how much of this is really a two-way street? Many opponents over the years on this site have often condescendingly recommended that individuals such as myself should either convince Congress or the States to do the vetting.
Sounds good to me! It might finally be happening! And the best part is, no matter who it is that’s running for President, all it takes is one State to produce such a requirement!
I can be reached at phil [at] therightsideoflife [dot] com.