Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I just had a little exchange with someone on Facebook (whom I don’t know but is a friend of a friend) about the release of the Obama birth certificate.
There was a bit of gloating in her tone that this release settled the issue, which is fine, except it won’t in some quarters. Late this afternoon I just heard someone (a guest) on a radio show say he was going to release proof on Thursday that this document is a forgery.
So it’s not over even when it’s seemingly over.
My comment to the poster, though, had nothing to do with the validity of the birth certificate or the birthers questioning of it. That would violate my own guideline about keeping this blog non-political.
No, my question was simply this:
How are presidential candidates actually validated?
The Constitution requires that the president be an American citizen by birth, a resident within the U.S. for at least 14 years (I didn’t know about that one), and 35 years old.
But it says nothing about who verifies all those standards are met.
The Constitution goes into quite a bit of detail about how electors shall go about casting their votes in the Electoral College (Amendment XII) and even how the president may be removed from office because of an inability to perform his (or her) duties (Amendment XXV).
But nary a word about how the candidate is verified to meet all the requirements.
Does anybody who might be reading this missive know how that is determined? Did I sleep through a civics class when that came up?
My guess is this is done on a state-by-state basis because Arizona recently passed legislation (since vetoed) that would have required each candidate to present proof of his (her) eligibility to appear on the ballot. But that’s just a guess.
The Facebook poster didn’t know either, but she did think the whole matter of questioning his birthplace showed disrespect to the president.
All I can say here is that the whole matter may not have come up at all if the process of verifying a candidate’s credentials was done properly in the first place.
Again, if someone can fill in what I’m missing her, please do so.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know that anyone formally verifies it. If so, this whole birth certificate dust up wouldn't have been an issue at all. As to this Facebook person's assertion that asking the president to produce proof of his U.S. birth is somehow disrespectful, I don't see how demanding proof of U.S. birth for a job where a key job requirement is being born in the U.S. or one of its territories is disrespectful. It's no more disrespectful than an employer not taking my word for my citizenship and requesting proof.