AZ Gov. Vetoes ‘Birther’ Bill

The Wall Street Journal: Gov. Brewer Vetoes Ariz. ‘Birther’ Bill

The “birther bill” would require presidential candidates to provide state officials with a long-form birth certificate or two other records, such as a hospital birth record and a baptismal or circumcision certificate. Such legislation is meant to target President Barack Obama, who some still say was not born in the U.S., a notion that has been repeatedly discredited.

“I just have to call them as I see them. And it doesn’t help Arizona,” Ms. Brewer told Fox News last night. “This bill is a distraction, and we just simply need to get on with the state’s business.”

Ms. Brewer has the support of another Arizona conservative: U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican running for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Jon Kyl, who plans to retire.

“She did the right thing,” Mr. Flake said in a written statement. “Arizona is facing serious problems. The president’s birth certificate isn’t one of them.”

Okay, so here’s the thing: Completely aside from any of the facts, circumstances or merits (or lack thereof) of the ‘Birther’ Movement, isn’t it a good idea for candidates for the nation’s highest office to provide identification to election officials? I had to provide such information for my daughter in the process of registering her for school next year.

I understand the concern that it could serve as a “distraction,” but I don’t buy the dismissal on the grounds that “we just simply need to get on with the state’s business.” Presumably, the legislative hours spent drawing up the legislation are already on the books, and all that is left in terms of a time sacrifice associated with this bill is the time it takes for Gov. Brewer to sign her name, and the time it takes for election officials to urge compliance. The bill doesn’t cost Arizona anything — why not let it stand?