Arizona Senate Passes Birther Bill

But it's not the first state to try to turn the hysteria around President Obama's black roots into legislation.

By Julianne Hing Apr 14, 2011

On Wednesday, the Arizona Senate passed a bill that will require presidential candidates to prove their U.S. citizenship before they can be put on the state ballot, Politico reported.

The bill will ask presidential and vice presidential hopefuls "to prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate’s age and prove that the candidate meets the eligibility and residency requirement for President of the United States as prescribed in Article II, Section 1, Constitution of the United States."

Those who can’t produce the required paperwork will not be allowed to be added to the state ballot. Among the acceptable documents are a "long-form birth certificate," an early baptismal or circumcision certificate, hospital birth record or early census record, according to Politico.

This isn’t first time the state has attempted to pass a birther bill. This is the second go-around for State Rep. Judy Burges, who introduced the same bill last year, where it passed the House but failed in the Senate, Talking Points Memo reported.

"It’s essential that as candidates running for the office, we bring back the integrity to the office and that we show that we qualify to serve in the position that we are running for, whether it’s city council, whether it’s for the legislature, whether it’s for a statewide office or if it’s for the President of the United States," Burges said, TPM reported.

Arizona’s not the first to try to turn the hysteria around President Obama’s black roots into legislation. New Hampshire was considering a birther bill, though it died in committee last month. Back in March Georgia was debating its own birther bill, but after a burst of early enthusiasm, nearly two dozen members of the Georgia House who initially supported quickly slunk away from the bill as they saw it advancing.

Arizona has advanced its birther bill amidst renewed chatter about Obama’s legitimacy as president. Far from being dismissed as a ludicrous point of debate for the far-right fringe, the racialized innuendo and straight-up falsehoods have instead taken up residence in mainstream political conversation. It’s a popular topic among other presidential hopefuls.