Arizona GOP Makes New Push for Birther Law

Lawmakers, Sheriff Joe are pushing for a new bill
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2012 10:03 AM CDT
Arizona Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix, is shown in his office Friday, April 15, 2011 at the Capitol in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Yvonne Leow)

(Newser) – They're baaaaack: Arizona's GOP lawmakers are reviving the birther debate as they attempt to pass a law that would require presidential candidates to swear, via affidavit, that they are qualified to be president—ie, that they were born in the US—before the state will put them on the ballot. "Our ballot, no matter what office someone is running for, should have the highest level of validity," says Rep. Carl Seel, who added the requirement to a bill. "That couldn't be more American, and it couldn't be more nonpartisan."

Seel was rallying yesterday, along with some of his fellow Republican lawmakers and, of course, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, demanding that the state Senate move the bill forward. It passed in committee two weeks ago, then stalled, the Arizona Republic reports. A similar bill passed last year, but was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer; Seel says this version addresses her previous concerns. Says Sheriff Joe, "It's very controversial, but something has to be done. It's very important to at least have some law that you have to show that you were born in the United States."

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