The Arizona state legislature has done it again. After a week at the
center of national controversy
for passing one of the nation's harshest
anti-immigration laws, Arizona's House of Representatives has voted to advance a
that future presidential
candidates present their birth certificates. The bill is widely seen as
part of the "birther" conspiracy movement, which alleges that President
Obama is not a legal American. Pundits are starting to wonder, is there
something in the water down there?
- Nation Laughs at Arizona
CBS News' Stephanie Condon reports,
"Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic representative in the Arizona state
legislature, said the 'birther bill' recently advanced in the Arizona
House would make the state 'the laughing stock of the nation.' Reaction
to the legislation indicates people agree."
- Could It Get Obama
Off the Arizona Ballot? The New Republic's Jon Chait worries, "This gives
the secretary of state a lot of authority. Mere 'reasonable
cause' to suspect that a candidate is not a citizen is enough to get
that candidate taken off the ballot. And remember, plenty of Republicans
say something along the lines of, I'm not saying Obama isn't a citizen,
I'm just saying I'd like to see the evidence so we can put this to
- It's Not Just Arizona The Washington Post's David Weigel reminds us,
"Arizona is one of six states with 'birther bills' moving through the
legislature -- others include Indiana, New Hampshire, and South
Carolina." He adds, "The legislation serves less to provide birthers
with a way to nail Obama, and serves more to embarrass legislators in
Arizona -- as the birther bills in other states have embarrassed their
- Could This Actually Become Law? Politico's Andy Barr evaluates, "If Arizona were to make the language
law, it would be the first state to
do so though legislators in other states – including Florida and
Oklahoma – have tried to pass similar laws. It is not clear how the
state senate will vote on the provision and GOP
Gov. Jan Brewer has not said whether she will sign the bill."
- This Is No Laughing Matter The Moderate Voice's Jason Arvak warns, "The
attitude it reflects is, at best, nutty. At worst, it is dangerous," he
writes. "This is the fertile ground which transformed debate over
health care reform into screams about 'socialism' and 'dictatorship'
and, only a few years ago, distorted debate about the difficulties of
combat against a non-state entity into screams about a new Hitler taking
over the United States. It's not just left or right — it is irrational
extremism on both sides contributing equally and in nearly the
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