In a surprise move for many critics, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill that would have required President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they were born in the United States before their names could have been placed on the state ballot. We previously discussed the bill and the serious constitutional questions that it raised. A former Secretary of State, Brewer objected to one state imposing such conditions on candidates.
Brewer stated that “[a]s a former Secretary of State, I do not support designating one person as a gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically-motivated decisions. She went on to suggest that some of the conditions were simply demeaning: “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 or circumcision certificates’ among other records to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far.”
The move saved Arizona the expense of a costly challenge that would have likely resulted in a defeat for Arizona in the courts.
However, thirteen other states are currently considering the same type of legislation. While the veto in Arizona may deter some, this may still become a court battle leading up to the elections.