Perhaps the rise of Donald Trump’s poll numbers among Republicans following his escalating “birther” rhetoric has given a boost to the discredited birthers, as the Arizona State Senate just passed a “birther” bill. The legislation requires candidates to prove that they are born on U.S. soil if they want to receive a spot on the ballot, and its chief sponsor in the House even met with Trump to discuss the bill’s prospects:
The measure, House Bill 2177, is aimed at President Barack Obama and those on the political right who want him to produce a birth certificate proving he was born in Hawaii and not Kenya, where his father is from.
The Arizona Legislature passed the bill 20-8 on a party-line vote in the State Senate with Republicans backing and Democrats opposing.
The measure includes some changes that allow for other documents beside birth certificates to be produced by presidential contenders. It now goes back to the Arizona House of Representatives for another vote. The House previously approved the birther bill without new Senate changes.
In addition, Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe today introduced a similar bill in his state, saying, “It is beyond perplexing and greatly troubling that a political candidate can ascend to the highest levels of government without providing sufficient documentation verifying his or her place of birth or American citizenship.”
Trump, who will be speaking this weekend to the South Florida Tea Party, has won plaudits from leading ‘birthers’ and Republicans like Sarah Palin for promoting the discredited conspiracy theory. At least ten states are considering such “birther bills” this year.