Republican lawmakers, governors poised to demand documentation
The GOP members of Congress who booted Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi from the speaker's seat when they took the majority in the U.S. House this month may be the least of President Barack Obama's concerns as the 2012 presidential campaign assembles.
That's because in Pennsylvania, and in at least a couple of other states, there are Republican-controlled Houses, Senates and governors' offices where being developed right now are plans to use state law to demand proof of constitutional eligibility from presidential candidates before they would be allowed on the state ballot.
From Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas there already is confirmation of such plans. Arizona is likely to have the same plan, and other states are expected to be in the works as legislatures approach the dates when they will convene.
A Texas state lawmaker has filed a bill that would require candidates for president or vice president to show their birth certificates to the secretary of state before being allowed on the ballot, and the measure could become effective as early as next year if adopted and signed into law. The move by Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, renews the threat to a second Oval Office term for Barack Obama that was posed last year when the state House in Arizona actually adopted the requirement, but the session ended before the Senate acted. Berman's legislation, House Bill 295, is brief and simple: It would add to the state election code the provision: "The secretary of state may not certify the name of a candidate for president or vice-president unless the candidate has presented the candidate's original birth certificate indicating that the person is a natural-born United States citizen."
Texas law bill text
It includes an effective date of Sept. 1, 2011, in time for the expected presidential campaigning for 2012.