Birther Bills Pop Up in More Than a Dozen States

Debate could take center stage during election
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 22, 2011 7:02 AM CDT
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a birther bill.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

(Newser) – Forget the evidence; ignore the Supreme Court and Michele Bachmann. With some 45% of Republicans believing Barack Obama is foreign-born, more than 12 state legislatures have seen bills requiring candidates to prove citizenship, reports the New York Times. And Oklahoma is poised to make its measure law, calling for even local candidates running for town council to show they fit the rules to run. The state is set to vote on the bill by next week.

“It’s not a birther bill, it’s a common-sense bill,” says its Republican sponsor. Backers say they’re not birthers but rather that the birther debate has brought such "credential" issues into focus. A number of those measures have failed already—and may reemerge deep into the election season. If a bill passes in just one state, and Obama “ignores the requirement, that would send a very strong signal that someone who is not eligible is occupying the White House,” says a Georgia Republican. Meanwhile, an Oklahoma Democrat calls the measure embarrassing. “But this is Oklahoma—we embarrass ourselves all the time.”

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