Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday vetoed a birther bill passed by the state legislature last week that would have required presidential candidates, among others seeking spots on the ballot, to present to state officials proof the candidates were born in the U.S.
In her veto letter, of which the Associated Press reported details, Brewer said she was troubled by a process that could be politicized since the bill would have given Arizona's secretary of state the power to decide whether or not to accept a given candidate's documentation and claims to being born on U.S. soil.
"I do not support designating one person as the gatekeeper to
the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or
politically motivated decisions,"' said Brewer, who was secretary
of state until she became governor in 2009.
"In addition, 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
circumcision certificates' among other records to the Arizona
secretary of state," she said. "This is a bridge too far."
As I posted on last week, the Arizona legislature was the first in the nation to pass a birther bill with requirements presidential candidates would have to meet if they wanted to be on the state's ballot.
Some critics of the legislation questioned its constitutionality as well since it appeared to violate the "full faith and credit" clause of the U.S. Constitution under which states recognize the officials acts of other states.
Also, the Arizona law appeared to add more requirements for the presidency than those in the Constitution, which would be a violation of the founding document's "supremacy clause."
Supporters of the legislation said it wasn't targeted at President Obama whose U.S. birth has been rejected by birthers. Yet the birther movement only emerged in force following his election to the presidency. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.