Does Florida Have Competition?

Florida has been the undisputed comedy king when it comes to stupid laws & legislators for a long time, but there's a new contender for the title – Arizona. When it was just ridiculous anti immigration laws and open carry in bars, they were just a solid red state (with the occasional weird McCain outburst, or scary Joe Arpaio types adding wackiness..) But now they are truly venturing into Florida territory with a new law that requires candidates for President to provide a birth certificate to be listed on the ballot.

So, are we to believe that the state is run by Birthers? Are they at all worried that (convenient Senate resolutions aside) their law might have kept favorite son John McCain from being on the ballot? Other than a small lunatic fringe, is there really anyone who thinks Obama does not meet the requirements to be President?

This law is political posturing at best, and will hopefully bring the state all the mockery it so richly deserves.

Last 5 posts by Ezra


  1. says

    Well, great. Now we're gonna get birthers stinking the place up.

    Also, I support open carry in bars. Mostly because bars are too crowded.

  2. DMG says

    The bars don't have to allow guns anyway. I have yet to go to one that doesn't prohibit them. I'm sure they're out there, but few and far between.

    I have seen more empty holsters lately though.

  3. Doug says

    I know a few birthers, just think its time to move on. There are so many other things in which to complain about politically.

  4. says

    Constitutional issues aside — and, of course, they won't be — I fail to see what the big deal is, on either side. As I understand it, Barack Obama does have a birth certificate, after all. Getting a certified copy from the appropriate Ken — err, Hawaiian authorities and getting that to Arizona doesn't seem to be an insuperable problem.

  5. says

    As I understand it, and I'm neither a lawyer nor a birther enthusiast, the primary problem with the law is that it allows the AZ sec of state to reject other state's birth certificates if they have a concern. That's both an obvious attempt to follow the "Obama's birth certificate is a forgery / that's not a REAL birth certificate – that's a certificate of birth" argument and a violation of Article 4, Section 1 of the constitution.

  6. A Californian says

    I would imagine that an even more primary problem with the law is that a state is attempting to create new state law qualifications for Presidential candidacy, which is governed directly by the federal constitution.

  7. nick42 says

    Bah, the legislators are a symptom of the craziness of FL, not the cause. As long as FL is the only state with a tag on Fark, there's no competition.

  8. says

    Don't states control their own ballot access rules though? I know some candidates are not on the ballot in all states. They don't seem to be adding a requirement – you already need to be a natural born citizen to be elected president. How is this adding a requirement vs/ adding a detail to the in-state filing that's (presumably) already a requirement? As I am not a lawyer, and have never tried to get anyone on a state's presidential ballot, this may be a very dumb question.

  9. David Schwartz says

    The law is reasonable and likely constitutional for the reasons Chris said. Each State has always had their own ballot access requirements and minor candidates often have a hard time getting on as many State ballots as they would like. Having to prove you meet the Constitutional requirements to be elected President to get on a State ballot is completely reasonable.

    However, the reason they are passing the law and what they hope to accomplish with the law, however, is bizarre and incomprehensible. It's hard to imagine there are that many crazy people in Arizona. Florida must be missing a few.

  10. says

    I'd love it if Obama declined to provide a birth certificate just so that he wouldn't have to campaign in Arizona. The re-explosion of the birther issue would be the best thing that could happen to his reelection campaign short of the end of the Iraq/Afghanistan deployments.