From the Tennessean...
2 Tennessee GOP lawmakers want presidential candidates to prove citizenship
MURFREESBORO — Two Rutherford County legislators are sponsoring a bill that would require U.S. presidential candidates to prove to the state of Tennessee that they were born U.S. citizens to run for the nation's highest office.
State Sen. Bill Ketron said he proposed the bill because he thinks President Barack Obama might be hiding the fact that he was born in another country.
"Why can't he (Obama) come forward and show he is a citizen?" Ketron said Friday, adding that he has read articles stating Obama has spent $2 million from his campaign fund fighting lawsuits to keep from showing his birth certificate.
Ketron and state Rep. Rick Womick, both Murfreesboro Republicans, filed the bill that would attempt to force those running for president to file a sworn affidavit with Tennessee's secretary of state proving they meet "constitutional residency requirements."
Ten other states are considering similar legislation. Ketron said when the bill was brought to him for sponsorship, he decided it would give the state of Tennessee a chance to vet the matter and determine if it needed legislation.
But he added that if Obama has spent $2 million protecting his birth certificate from lawsuits, "I would lean on the side of he's trying to hide something and he's not a citizen."
Ketron's doubts mirror those of "birther" activists who believe Obama has refused to show the long form of his birth certificate because he was born in Kenya, the homeland of his father, and isn't eligible to be presidency.
Critics of the movement say birthers are fanatics whose claims have been repeatedly disproved and who won't accept any evidence that Obama is a U.S. citizen.
Womick said he decided to sponsor the bill in response to some 250 requests. He likened the requirement for seeking the presidency to requiring children to show their birth certificates to participate in youth sports such as football or Little League.
The bill is designed to make sure candidates for the nation's highest office are following constitutional mandates of Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, Womick said.
"We don't have the federal government enforcing it or the Supreme Court upholding it," Womick said.
Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution says: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."
Womick said the bill is not targeting any particular candidate.
"I believe President Obama has a birth certificate," Womick said. "He says he does."
An investigation by snopes.com determined claims were false that the Obama campaign provided a forged certification of live birth three years ago.
It notes that the certificate from the state of Hawaii made available on the Internet in 2008 shows his full name as "Barack Hussein Obama II" and lists his father's race as "African" and his mother's race as "Caucasian" while reporting his birthplace as Honolulu.
Womick noted that U.S. Sen. John McCain, Obama's Republican opponent in the 2008 election, was born in Panama.
"Whether it's John McCain or Barack Obama, you have to prove you meet Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution," Womick said.