Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, is leading the pack with a “birther” bill. Birthers are people who don’t believe President Obama was born in the United States and therefore is ineligible to serve.Of course, Sen. Delph's legislation has nothing to do with the birth place of Obama. To my knowledge, Sen. Delph has never questioned Obama's birthplace. The U.S. Constitution requires a person be at least 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen and have resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years. Currently, no state has any mechanism for requiring candidates who seek to have their names placed on state ballots as presidential candidates to produce any evidence they meet the constitutional requirement. Kelly says a flurry of lawsuits have been filed and none have been successful, but she omits the fact that all of those lawsuits were brought by citizens and were dismissed for lack of standing. Apparently, Kelly thinks there is something conspiratorial about asking presidential candidates to produce the basic evidence that would establish their constitutional eligibility, while it is perfectly okay for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to demand Indiana residents produce their birth certificate in order to get a driver's license, or for the State Department to require citizens to produce their birth certificates in order to get a U.S. passport.
Although a Hawaii birth certificate and certification by Hawaiian officials show the president was born in the United States, birthers have filed a flurry of lawsuits over the matter. None has been successful.
Delph’s legislation – Senate Bill 114 – would require presidential candidates to file a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate along with additional documentation to be on the Indiana ballot.
“It’s healthy to not have this uncertainty and this debate,” he said.
As I've written before, the 2008 presidential election produced a first in American presidential campaign history. Both candidates of the major parties faced questions about their eligibility. Sen. John McCain was born in Panama and some questioned whether a person even born to U.S. citizen parents could be considered a natural born citizen if he was born on foreign soil. Sen. Barack Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a U.S. citizen mother. Most people who have questioned his eligibility suggest the framers of our constitution intended that only persons born to U.S. citizen parents qualify as natural born citizens. The U.S. Supreme Court has never decided this issue, and Sen. Delph's legislation does not attempt to define what a natural born citizen means; it merely requires a candidate to produce a certified copy of his birth certificate, along with any other evidence that may be necessary to establish he meets the constitutional eligibility requirement. Because Obama says Hawaii records confirm his birth there, he will have no problem producing a certified birth certificate when he files to have his name placed on the Indiana ballot.
Indiana law already requires presidential candidates to satisfy the constitutional eligibility requirement in order to gain access to the Indiana ballot; however, it makes no provision for how election authorities are to make that determination. Thus, if anyone contests a candidate's eligibility, there is nothing in the official candidate filing record upon which to make any determination of whether a candidate is eligible. Indiana law imposes a greater burden on citizens to cast votes in an election than it does to get your name on the ballot as a presidential candidate. Further, the certificate of nominations filed by the respective candidates for president in 2008 pointed to another issue. While the certificate of nomination filed by the Republican Party on behalf of John McCain and Sarah Palin certified that both were constitutionally eligible, the certificate of nomination filed by the Democratic Party for Barack Obama and Joe Biden contained no similar affirmation of eligibility. Sen. Delph's legislation will require candidates and parties to affirmatively state their eligibility.
Kelly's description of Delph's legislation is so beyond the pale. She made absolutely no effort to research this issue at all. Instead, she simply repeated the meme concocted by the Left to discredit anyone who has raised legitimate concerns about the process by which people are determined to be eligible to be president of the U.S. by resorting to name-calling. Delph's legislation is completely in keeping with the U.S. Constitution. Kelly's reporting is a deliberate effort to marginalize Delph and the rationale behind his legislation without bothering to report the actual facts behind it. The fact is current law allows a person to be elected to the most powerful elected position in the free world without producing the basic evidence of personal identification average American citizens are required to produce in performing any number of transactions in daily life. It is a slap in the face of ordinary people for her to deliberately set out to demean the purpose of his legislation. The failure of our current laws to provide safeguards to ensure a candidate's eligibility has done a great disservice to President Obama and the country as large segments of the population have openly doubted his eligibility according to public opinion polls. Hawaii's governor, Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, fueled the debate when he said recently he would do whatever he could legally to produce Hawaii records establishing Obama's birth there to put the issue to rest. Hawaii, like the law of most states, does not legally permit others to access an individual's birth records without their consent, even if you're the state's governor. Perhaps if Sen. Delph's legislation had been in effect in 2008 that public doubt would not be there and Gov. Abercrombie would not feel the need to satisfy public doubts.