Rep. Bill Zedler's Birther Bill is So...2009

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Putting his time to its best and highest use, for the benefit of his constituents in Arlington, state Representative Bill Zedler has written an essential piece of legislation; a bill of our times, for our times -- if our times were still, like, nearly four years ago.

Proving, we suppose, that nonsense non-issues, racist paranoia and naked posturing have no expiration date, Zedler's bringing "birther" back. With the emergence of the Tea Party and its various conspiracy theories, it became abundantly apparent that a man of the president's color, answering to a sufficiently foreign-sounding name that has a suspiciously skewed ratio of vowels to consonants, may not be an actual citizen. For a time, many otherwise establishment-style Republicans were forced to at least countenance the possibility, or at the very least to not disavow it, lest they be primary'ed by a candidate with even fewer scruples.

Birtherism never really went away, even after the president released his birth certificate. It smoldered, invisible, mercifully forgotten. Then along came our very own Zedler, like the dad who clumsily attempts to connect with his distant teen by confiding that he's really been getting into 30 Seconds to Mars lately. His latest puts the paddles to birtherism's clammy corpse, to remind us that the president handily elected to a second term still might not be an American, and let's go ahead and make sure that never happens again. The instrument: HR 650.

In this bill, the Texas Secretary of State will create an application in which presidential candidates seeking a spot on the ballot must confirm their "length of residence in the United States," affirm their "natural-born United States citizen status," authorize the secretary of state to "obtain a certified copy of the candidate's birth certificate."

Same goes for the vice president. This is the 30 Seconds to Mars of legislation, a vaguely desperate, passé "me too!"

There's already on online petition with more than 4,000 signatures demanding Zedler withdraw the bill.

The representative has a history of introducing frivolous legislation, often on dog-whistle issues like immigration crackdowns, abortion, religion and, most recently, a bill that would license strippers. Bill Zedler, ladies and gentlemen, tackling the thorniest issues of our time.


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18 comments
daniel_e_williams
daniel_e_williams

There's no way that legislation that starts "HR" could do what the article claims this legislation would do. "HR" stands for "House Resolution" and a simple resolution only had power with the body that passed it. So House rules would simply not allow anything called "HR" to amend the election code. Is there any chance you meant to write about HB 650, not HR 650?

david.is.farrar
david.is.farrar

A couple of housecleaning corrections about birthism: 

This issue has nothing to do with the color of Obama's skin. In fact, Obama wasn't the only, nor was he the first, 2008 presidential candidate sued in federal court over his Art. II, §1, cl. 4 natural born Citizen qualifications. Those dubious honors belong to John McCain.

The fact that Obama states, himself, his father was a British subject at the time he was born, and that he, too, was born a British subject, is more than enough to question his presidential qualification. True, that is not how our present day courts have looked at the issue, but it is a legitimate question of constitutional law. For example, how many know our courts see no difference between an English natural born subject, as defined by English common law, and a post-American revolution natural born U.S. Citizen?

Secondly,  less not forget, Art. II, §1, cl. 4 relates to the qualifications of the President and Vice-President of the United States, the highest ranking public offices in the Republic, in a sense then America's ruling class. This is not the place where vague or easily misinterpreted terms should be placed if civil strife is to be avoided, if history is any judge.

Thirdly, what exactly is the difference between a 'citizen of the United States at birth' and an Art. II, §1, cl. 4 'natural born Citizen' as it pertains to the qualification of the presidency and vice-presidency of the United States?  Is citizenship in a democracy simply a function of place of birth, as it is in a monarchical form of government, or does our democracy, being based on the 'Consent of the Governed' require a choice to be made to become a member, following the Lockean consent-based citizenship theory?

Lastly, while it is true, Congress has the authority to insure federal office seekers are qualified (after the election); the states have the primary authority to insure the person whose name appears on any state ballot for any elected office, be it state of federal, is qualified to hold the office being sought.

In the final analysis, Barack H. Obama has only himself to blame if a large percentage of people simply don't know, as a proven fact, whether the person they call President, is, in fact, the lawful President of the United States, and any effort to mitigate the chances of this ever happening again is certainty worth the trouble, particularly when that person shows no desire for the common good of the country to clear the matter up. 

ex animo

davidfarrar


Chilidog
Chilidog

Texas does not have the authority to dictate conditions of eligibility for federal elections.  

Ultimately the authority for verification of the eligibility of a particular candidate lies with congress.

We elect delegates to the electoral college.

There are absolutely no restrictions on who the electoral college can vote for. Some states have "faithless Delegate laws, but they are punitive, they only take effect after a delegate votes.  

If the majority of the electoral college votes for someone who is ineligible, the only way to fix that is through the objection process established under federal law when the electoral votes are counted.  That is where Congress comes in.  

States have no say in the matter. 

Furthermore, Zedler's bill attempts to ADD eligibility requirements.  States can not impose their own eligibility requirements.  No where in the Constitution is it stated that a presidential candidate must have a birth certificate.  

This bill is going to the round file cabinet.  

It will never make it out of committee or be signed into law.  If the Governor were insane enough to sign it into law, It would be struck down in the courts.

This is nothing more than Kabuki theater to pander to idiots.  

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

I really hope in his last day in office, President Obama makes a speech and says, "Ya, I'm a Kenyan Muslim. No go f--- yourselves!" and walks off the podium giving everyone the bird. Not because it's true, but because of this idiocy.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Not only should be be looking at the citizen requirements, but also at the residency requirements ..


From Article 2 Section 1:


"No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States."

For some information on the definition, or meaning, of "natural born citizen", please see:

 http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_citi.html

from the same website.

animas
animas

HR650 is designed to provide for uniform filing requirements for all parties.  As it stands now, Independents are held to a higher standard than Repubs or Democrats.

CitzenKim
CitzenKim

I've come to expect idiot racist clowns like Zedler to be representing the 5th grade dropout trailer park constituents of East Texas, but ARLINGTON?  Come'on people you can't do better than this?  I happen to know lots of folks in Arlington that completed at least 10th grade there, why can't they get out an vote for someone with a triple-digit IQ?

Chilidog
Chilidog

@david.is.farrar 


So, David.  How is Orly Taitz working out as your lawyer?


Are you still planning to take your ballot challenge to the Georgia Supreme Court? 

david.is.farrar
david.is.farrar

@Chilidog 

Please check your state ballot access laws. I am sure there is a statute that allows a citizen to question the credentials of state & federal officials. The procedure you are describing is designed to address  the results of the election AFTER the election. 


ex animo

davidfarrartt

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@Chilidog"If the Governor were insane enough to sign it into law...."

Ah, that "if."

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul WHAT NO C-SECTIONS ?

animas
animas

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @CitzenKim Not so fast. Arlington stadium bonds are performing far above expectation  The stadium will be paid off faster than expected and the local merchants are raking it in. Plus the stadium area has been revitalized...Thank you Laura Miller!

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@GuitarPlayer @animas  

Ummm, I don't care how well the bonds are doing or how the area is "revitalized".  My questions is why did Arlington let that area run down in the first place?  The fact is Arlington taxed itself and gave the money to JJ.


Besides, JJ was never going to build that stadium in Dallas anyway.  1) You couldn't build it in Fair Park without a change in state law. 2) You couldn't build it outside of Fair Park without having to take care of the politically connected South Dallas "leaders". 3) Arlington was able to raise a greater amount of tax dollars than could Dallas County.  I know it is hard, but don't confuse Dallas County with the City of Dallas.  4) Dallas County started asking questions about the financing, which JJ did not reveal.


PS: Don't forget that Arlington's bonds are paid off by the 1% sales tax that is levied.

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@animas   Guys like Paul don't look forward. It's hard to do that when you have your head up your ass.

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