State lawmakers in Nebraska have introduced a "birther" bill aimed at mollifying ongoing concerns that President Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States. While much of the proposed legislation's language resembles that of similar bills in Arizona, Texas, Connecticut and a number of other states, Nebraska's bill has a distinct twist: in addition to the long-form birth certificate of the potential candidate, it requires the long-form birth certificates for both of his or her parents.
According to the McCook Daily Gazette, the bill's sponsor, State Sen. Mark Christensen said Obama is "absolutely" a United States citizen, but his own apprehension lies in the citizenship of the president's parents, who he said may not have been citizens at the time of Obama's birth.
And while that particular consideration appears to carry absolutely no weight in terms of the constitutional requirements for the presidency, that hasn't stopped Christensen from including a provision that would also force candidates to provide a copy of their parents' certified long-form birth certificates. Under Christensen's proposal, if those aren't available, a candidate would be forced to submit an affidavit to the state claiming that there is no doubt about the citizenship of their parents.
According to the Gazette, it only took "two or three e-mails from constituents who are concerned about the persistent rumors that President Barack Obama is not a citizen" to convince Christensen that he needed to address the supposed controversy with a legislative fix.
"Whenever you have a large amount of citizens who have doubts, it hurts our government. It hurts the integrity of the government," Christensen told the Gazette. "For me, it's about following the Constitution and bringing trust into the process and getting people to trust the process so we actually maintain being a republic run by the people."
Christensen is also behind a controversial proposal to allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed firearms in schools.