The Washington Post

Jan Brewer shows limits of birthers’ power

First, then-Gov. Linda Lingle of Hawaii signed a bill into law in December giving the state health commissioner the power to ignore the persistent inquiries into President Obama’s birth certificate. Now comes Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who today vetoed the nation’s first-ever — not to mention, obnoxious and pointless — birther bill.

Had the legislation become law, the political party of a candidate for president would have to provide a long-form birth certificate to certify that he or she meets all the constitutional requirements to seek the office. A long-form birth certificate would be preferable. If none exists, then other pieces of proof, such as a baptismal or circumcision certificate, would suffice. The Arizona Secretary of State would have to certify their acceptability and determine whether the candidate’s name should appear on the ballot.

“This is a bridge too far,Brewer said in a letter rejecting the legislation. “I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on Earth to submit their ‘early baptismal or circumcision certificates,’ among other records, to the Arizona Secretary of State.”

Well, with Brewer’s veto, it’s a bridge that will never be crossed. The last time a veto was overridden in the Grand Canyon state was 50 years ago.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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