In another controversial legislative move, the Arizona lawmakers are again in the national spotlight. This time for the Arizona House passing a provision that would require President Obama to provide proof of constitutional eligibility to run for the presidency in 2012 if he wishes to appear on the state’s ballot.
The provision which passed with a 31-22 vote on Monday still faces a formal vote and would require all U.S. Presidential candidates to submit documents to the state proving their eligibility. Both opposition and support of the measure are high. Some claim that setting a state level requirement for a federal position is unconstitutional while others refer to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ comments citing how the Supreme Court has dodged the issue of the President’s eligibility to hold the High Office while providing alternatives to the administration. These statements only fueled Republican supporters of Senator John McCain who was sued twice to provide proof of eligibility for presidency. John McCain was born to an American mother and father on military assignment in the Republic of Panama where he was born. His eligibility fell into question under “natural born” because he was born over seas.
Ricardo Cota was one such Republican supporter of the measure. “Here we have an American born of Americans that is challenged directly in two courts because his father was defending our freedoms abroad and he was born over seas. There is little constitutional question about this [McCain’s eligibility], however, it was twice heard and entertained by the courts. In contrast, we have current elected president who is immersed in constitutional eligibility controversy and the courts will not hear the case though the evidence is far more compelling than that of McCain’s given that his father had British citizenship. The British, like America grants citizenship to the children of their male citizens regardless of where they are born. This in and of itself is a direct violation of constitutional eligibility of the U.S. Presidency. Now we have admissions from the Supreme Court on how they have directly avoided the issue. If the federal Judiciary Branch is not going to do their job, the states must intervene – it’s called nullification and is worth the credibility of the U.S. Presidency. It is a shame the other states are not strong enough to pass such measures. This is a constitutional debate that must be heard at the highest levels with objective reasoning. This measure ensures the constitution is upheld, all citizens and elected officials should support it for that reason if no other.”
Rep. Cecil Ash of Mesa claims he does not question the presidents eligibility, but supports the measure because it aid in ending the doubt. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix claims this and other measures are making the state of Arizona the nation’s legislative “laughing stock.”
Previously the state of Arizona was in the national political spotlight for it’s latest measures on immigration enforcement that drew far more accolades than national criticism. Clearly, Arizona lawmakers are following the the desires of the constituents and casting the Obama administration’s agenda aside.
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