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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

HR 1503 Would Mandate Presidential Candidate Eligibility Requirements

You may recall my previous post on this subject which underscored the conspicuous omission in our legal system of a process for properly vetting the eligibility of presidential candidates--whether Republican, Democrat, Green Party or Communist Party USA.

Finally, some progress. On March 12th, freshman Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced a bill which would require all future presidential candidates to properly document their eligibility. If passed, which, given the liberal lock on Congress, is doubtful, the commonsense provisions of this bill would be effective 2012 and would not be retroactive.

In the face of some vicious personal attacks on his mental health and judgement, Rep. Posey observed that he "had been called some pretty nasty things," going on to say that "the more I get called names by leftwing activists, partisan hacks and political operatives, the more I think I did the right thing." And so you did, Mr. Posey.

Noting how very surprised he was to find that to "run for President it's not required for presidential candidates to file [eligibility documentation] when submitting their statement of candidacy with the FEC," he pointed out that his poll showed that 75% of Americans support such a requirement. He went on to explain that partisanship did not shape his rationale for submitting this bill, but that the glaring absence of proper vetting provisions for presidential candidates did. And for that he should be applauded by all Americans, not condemned. The rule of law should trump blind partisanship.

With scant chance of passage in the Democrat-controlled Congress, HR 1503 would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by requiring that "the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of president include...a copy of the candidate's birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution." A pretty straightforward, bi-partisan, rational requirement, I'd say. Certainly nothing to be feared by any candidate, right?

As we all know by now, Hawaiian officials have confirmed they have a birth certificate for Barack Obama on file, but cannot release it without his permission. To date, disclosure of his vaulted birth certificate has been strenuously blocked tooth-and-nail by his legal team. HR 1503 would mandate future candidates to divulge all pertinent evidence of their eligibility, inclusive of their birth certificate. With passage, courts would then have clear jurisdiction in such issues and would be able to order candidates to comply, something the courts are currently unable to do.

When I phoned Mr. Posey's DC office on March 24th to express my gratitude and support and to enquire as to the bill's progress, his spokesman noted that the bill was in committee, which "didn't mean much", but that he was "encouraged" by the large number of supportive phonecalls from around the country. Beyond that, the spokesman couldn't accurately predict the bill's fate.

Though many suits are going forward around the country demanding that Obama divulge evidence of his eligibility, without a law requiring him to do so, and absent his voluntary compliance, those suits stand precious little chance of success. But, they go forward in earnest nonetheless.

If HR 1503 should pass, a very remote possibility, and should Mr. Obama opt for re-election, he would finally need to show evidence of his eligibility to run for office in the 2012 prsidential election. The irony is bittersweet, to say the least. But, better late than never, I suppose. Until then, I just hope America can survive what now clearly appears to be a "presidential usurpation". And on that acutely unsettling score, I fear I no longer have any rational doubts. I sincerely wish I did.

("All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson)