Thursday, July 23, 2009

Burton Supports Birth Certificate Requirement For Presidential Candidates

There are only two requirements to be eligible to serve as president of the United States under Article II, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution: you must be at least 35 years of age; and you must be a natural born citizen. There is no federal law, however, that requires a presidential candidate to prove he or she meets those two constitutional requirements. Presidential candidates who file statements of candidates with the FEC and respective state election authorities need only file an attestation requirement that he or she satisfies the constitutional requirements. In practice, state election authorities have bounced from state election ballots in the past third party candidates who failed to meet one of the requirements, but no major party candidate has been similarly denied access to the ballot despite issues raised about their eligibility. To remedy this gap in enforcement of the constitutional requirements, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (FL) earlier this year filed HR 1503, which would require presidential candidates to file with the FEC a copy of the candidate's birth certificate, together with any other evidence as may be necessary to establish the qualifications for eligibility under the Constitution. U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (D-IN) has signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation.

Radio talk show host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, who is doing the bidding of Burton primary opponent and Ice Miller lobbyist Luke Messer, instinctively seized on Burton's co-sponsorship of HR 1503 as something to be mocked. "In other words, Burton has joined the Obama 'not really a citizen and why won’t he show us his birth certificate even though if we saw it we would call it a fake' crowd," Shabazz opined. You and I already know what a hypocrite he has become. Contrast his latest comments with his view on Indiana's Voter ID law. Shabazz thinks citizens casting votes in elections should be subjected to greater evidentiary requirements than presidential candidates' evidentiary requirements. "There's always some incidental costs to voting — you can't come to the polls naked," an Indianapolis law professor, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, who served on the task force that wrote the rules, says. "The remarkable thing is that for all the talk of disenfranchisement, Indiana has had seven elections since, and those challenging the law have yet to turn up a plaintiff who credibly can say the law stymied him," Mr. Hakim-Shabazz says. No, he is not an Indianapolis law professor, but you get the point.

If you want to get a license to drive in Indiana, the requirements imposed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles are even greater. The BMV requires you to produce the following: one document proving your identity; one document proving your social security number; one document proving your lawful status in the U.S. (e.g., birth certificate, U.S. passport, consular report of birth abroad or green card); and two documents proving your Indiana residence. Yes, we impose tougher document requirements on driver's license applicants than we do presidential candidates.

The irony is that those same BMV workers who issue driver's licenses also register new voters. During a meeting of the Indiana chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association with BMV officials this week, local immigration attorneys, including me, discussed with BMV officials the problem with workers registering non-citizens to vote, which proves quite problematic when an immigration attorney later petitions to make the permanent resident a naturalized citizen. The problem is that BMV workers are not properly trained to ask only U.S. citizens to register to vote. The documentary evidence the license applicant furnishes to them establishes whether they are a U.S. citizen. Nonetheless, BMV workers frequently ask and register non-citizens to register to vote. The Secretary of State's office has no procedures in place to detect these problems, allowing non-citizens to vote in Indiana elections. The BMV thinks the applicant should know whether they are qualified to register, but you have to remember that there are sometimes language barriers and BMV workers do not show the applicants the list of requirements before registering them to vote (i.e. U.S. citizen, resident of Indiana and at least 18 years of age).

So when you really think about it, the legislation Dan Burton is co-sponsoring is quite sensible. It's amazing that such a requirement has not been imposed before. Shabazz can go ahead and make fun of Burton all he wants on this one, but I suspect he won't be scoring points for Burton's opponents. They would all be better off if Shabazz just kept his mouth shut and didn't meddle in this election like he did the recent Senate District 30 GOP caucus race.

23 comments:

artfuggins said...

The real problem with the BMV is that thousands of eligible voters who registered at the BMV did not turn in the forms so the people who registered were not listed on the voting poll sheet and thus were denied the right to vote. I dont know whether that is by design or whether the BMV is just incapable of turning the forms into the voter registration office but it is a serious problem.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Let's see: the guy who shot watermelons in his back yard thinks the guy who won the presidency should present his birth certificate?

How about Burton should prove he's still a competent adult?

Advance Indiana said...

The legislation is prospective, but I didn't expect you would actually read the proposal. Instead of making Burton the issue here, Hoosier in the Heartland, could you address what is wrong with this requirement?

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

As a strict constitutionalist, I can't see amending the nation's founding document to satisfy an idiot congressman such as Burton!

We've gotten along just fine for more than 200 years now with no birth certificate constitutionally required.

This is a non-issue. Move along folks. Nothing to see here. Obama was elected president. Get over it.

Advance Indiana said...

Are you incapable of reading? This is proposed as a statute and not a constitutional amendment. The extent to which you Obama nuts will go to lie and obfuscate to smear everyone you oppose never ceases to amaze me. It does not in any way seek to change the constitutional requirement that has existed from the very beginning of these United States of America.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Yes, indeed. There's no constitutional requirement for anyone running for federal office to produce a birth certificate.

So, why should one be required by statute this long after the country was founded? What problem is such a law intended to fix?

A problem that (obviously) doesn't exist.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Oh, yeah, Art, we have such an incredible problem getting people registered in Indy. (Sarcasm alert.) We only have more people registered in Indy than we have eligible to vote.

Advance Indiana said...

People who are worthy of holding the office of the presidency have no problems with their birth certificates. Enough said.

Uuhh, the law says I have to be 21 to enter a bar but they still sometimes ask to see my driver's license, even if it is obvious I'm much older than 21. Your point?

Dana said...

Why in the hell are you still pushing this fringer RedState argument, AI?

The State of Hawaii has the Certificate, we've seen it, end of line.

His great uncle was a member of the 89th Infantry Division that liberated the Ohrduf camp, part of Buchenwald. His mom is from Kansas. Barack was born on 4 August 1961 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein OBAMA, Sr. of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya, and Ann DUNHAM of Wichita, Kansas. His parents met while both were attending the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was enrolled as a foreign student.

Now, you can be a flat-earther, AI, but I'd suggest, politely, that you get off you high horse and stop enabling people like Burton. Burton's a complete fool.

Advance Indiana said...

Dana said, "Barack was born on 4 August 1961 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein OBAMA, Sr. of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya, and Ann DUNHAM of Wichita, Kansas."

Dana, you must have missed that briefing. Queen's Hospital was the hospital at which he claimed he was born while running for president. After he became president, he announced it was Kapi'olani Hospital. Please make a note of that.

Dana said...

Are we in kindergarden, AI?

Get over it.

I don't know for certain which hospital I was born in in Indy. And I'm adopted! Does that make me a candidate to show my birth certificate to the Party Police?

And the Pope is the Antichrist and ancient astronauts colonized Antarctica in 500AD when it was ice free and vegetarian dinosaurs still cavorted with the Sons of Adam on this 6000 year old planet. Whatever.

Advance Indiana said...

Dana said, "I don't know for certain which hospital I was born in in Indy. And I'm adopted! Does that make me a candidate to show my birth certificate to the Party Police."

Tell that to the BMV branch worker who asks to see your birth certificate when you go to get a driver's license.

artfuggins said...

Paul, if you have ever taken time to spend a long hard date working at a precinct, you would know what AI and I both know and that is the voter lists are swollen with dead people, people who moved away years ago and and people who have moved to other parts of Marion County and registered as a new voter rather than a transfer. In addition, women who marry, move within the county are not recognized by the computer as the same person. What this county needs is a good fair way of purging the voter lists so that they reflect the actual voters.....work a precinct sometime and get to know the people. I am sure AI could take his voter list and start marking people he personally knows who no longer live there. This is not part of a massive voter fraud movement but rather poor management by the Office of Voter Registration.

iPOPA said...

AI: Have you noticed that anybody who does something with which you disagree is almost always doing "somebody's else's bidding." Can't people have independent thoughts? If not, in what way does Ice Miller or Ryan Vaughn control Abdul?!? Inquiring minds would like to know who is puppeting Abdul.

Advance Indiana said...

When Peterson was mayor and the Democrats were in control of the council, Abdul was constantly being a thorn in their side. He always insisted that he had no agenda and wasn't doing anyone's bidding for them. A lot of us believed him, but he's now done a 180 and matters that he would have jumped all over when Peterson and the Ds were in charge, he's nowhere to be heard. At the same time, he goes after anyone who is currently at odds with Tom John and Ballard's administration. It's a fact that Abdul affiliated with a law firm where John once worked, although he is not licensed to practice law in Indiana. John now works for Ice Miller. He boasts about how he's always sharing cocktails and cigars with him over at the Columbia Club. In fact, you can actually trace his movements. He meets for drinks with John and then a short time later he starts posting up political gossip items John and his buddies feed him. Many of his former show fans have soured on him because of his hypocrisy. Most of the Dems long ago figured out his schtick. You must be the only one who hasn't.

Advance Indiana said...

Abdul's Twitter comments from last night say it all:

Two Marion County GOP Ward chairmen fired from their positions tonight; Liz Carlson and Eric Smith. about 23 hours ago from TwitterBerry
Is trying to confirm if Kerry Forestall got a US Marshall appointment. about 23 hours ago from TwitterBerry
Is at the Columbia Club enjoying cocktails, cigars and fellow elitists! 04:27:04 PM July 24, 2009 from TwitterBerry

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Birth certificates these days seldom name the hospital (or wherever) one was born.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Hoosier in the Heartland-- Obama wasn't born "these days."

Concerned Taxpayer said...

"...you would know what AI and I both know and that is the voter lists are swollen with dead people, people who moved away years ago and and people who have moved to other parts of Marion County and registered as a new voter rather than a transfer. In addition, women who marry, move within the county are not recognized by the computer as the same person. What this county needs is a good fair way of purging the voter lists so that they reflect the actual voters..."

O M G !!!!! I actually agree with fuggins!!!

Of course the rest of that story is, the Republicans have tried several times to purge the rolls, but the Democrats keep blocking it.

Advance Indiana said...

Correct, concerned taxpayer. Any effort to clean up the voter registration rolls in this state is met with cries from Democrats that the only reason for doing it is to disenfranchise voters.

iPOPA said...

It's fascinating how a lot of things in politics come down to burden of proof and standards for protection.

For example, when you start purging people from voting, you can make mistakes, and people who should have been able to vote, now can't. As Art said, we can't even get the legitimately registered cleared to vote!

The alternative is that you NOT purge people as readily and you live with the risk that somebody who did not vote unknowingly has a vote cast for him/her.

When I weigh these risks, I'm practical. I ask, "Can you prove a single incident of phantom voting in Marion County?" If not, I'm not going to endorse an expense in dollars and time to fix a non-existent problem.

I support the Republican Party spending its time and money creating and posting on the web a master list of everybody who voted. This way people could check and say, "That wasn't me!" If you got a lot of those, I'd rethink it.

But I don't think it's unreasonable in balancing the risks to think that purging has a greater chance of invalidating a vote than not purging does.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Obviously, Concerned Taxpayer, you haven't requested a copy of your birth certificate lately. "Extraneous" information has been stripped from all sorts of official documents.
But, then, you probably don't have a passport either. President Obama does -- and he would have had to present a birth certificate to get one.

Dana said...

"Of course the rest of that story is, the Republicans have tried several times to purge the rolls, but the Democrats keep blocking it."

Concerned taxpayer, when you make a blanket statement, kindly post some links or text to back up your statement.

I could say, "Republicans have fought to keep ninety-one years dead Brigitte Mayofarbin on the voter roles on the excuse that her body was never found, and that she has voted in every election, for Republicans, since 1867", but unless I posted some kind of proof you would assume that I just made that up.

Now, when I say, "Burton is a wackball nutjob who should have been strangled with his own birth-cord", that's different, and obviously my own opinion - which requires no proof at all.