The bill would have required any presidential or vice presidential candidate to present to the Secretary of State a “long-form birth certificate or two or more other permitted documents, including an early baptismal certificate, circumcision certificate, hospital birth record, postpartum medical record signed by the person who delivered the child or an early census record” in order to be put on the state’s ballot. Though the bill’s backers continued to deny the political motivations behind the bill, its critics call birther bills a transparently coded attack on President Obama and his black roots. Hysterical debate about his birthplace surfaced first during his candidacy and has yet to die, despite the fact that Hawaiian officials have said over and over that Obama was indeed born in the state.
Critics of HB 2177 also said it may not have been constitutional—Brewer was more concerned that it would simply do more harm to her state. “This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona,” Brewer wrote in her letter.
“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 or circumcision certificates,’ among other records, to the Arizona Secretary of State,” Brewer said. “This is a bridge too far.”
On Thursday night Brewer also vetoed recent legislation that would have allowed people to carry guns in public places, including schools, swimming pools, libraries and community centers.