Arizona Governor Vetoes ‘Birther’ Bill

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would’ve required all Presidential candidates to produce a long-form birth certificate, or similar document, in order to appear on the ballot in Arizona:

Calling it “a bridge too far,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday vetoed the state legislature’s controversial “birther bill” and also rejected a bill that would have permitted guns on college campuses.

The Republican governor said the birther bill would have created “significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona” and that she had no choice but to nix the legislation, which would have required presidential candidates to provide their birth certificates or other documentation proving that they were born in the United States.

In a letter explaining her veto to the House speaker, Brewer said she could not support legislation that “could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions” about candidates’ eligibility for the presidential race, since Arizona’s secretary of state would be the single person to ultimately decide whether a hopeful’s documentation met the state’s standards.

“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,” she said in the letter. “This is a bridge too far.”

Brewer elaborated in a Monday night interview on Fox News, saying the bill was “something that I felt very, very uncomfortable with and I feel that it serves no purpose.”

The bill, she said, “is a distraction, and we just simply need to get on with the state’s business.”

It appears unlikely that the legislature will be override Brewer’s veto. This was the right decision on Brewer’s part. There were serious Constitutional issues with the bill, and, like she said, the bill really didn’t do anything to help Arizona. Good choice, Governor.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. hey norm says:

    Nice to see there are limits to the racism some are willing to endorse. She also vetoed the guns-on-college-campuses bill.

  2. John Peabody says:

    Huzzah! This will also demonstrate that not all Republicans are completely nuts.

  3. Of course, no good deed goes unpunished; she probably just ruined her chance of reelection and will face an primary challenge by someone appropriately nutty for the Tea Party.

  4. Pug says:

    Arizona stopped issuing “long form” birth certificates in 1997. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Hawai’i doesn’t issue them either.

  5. tom p says:

    This will also demonstrate that not all Republicans are completely nuts.

    Agreed, some of them are only 3/4’s nuts.

  6. PJ says:

    Circumcision certificates?

    Would that include female candidates too?

  7. Franklin says:

    Circumcision certificates?

    Ahhh, so genital mutilation should be required to hold office. Interesting …

    Kudos to Jan Brewer, one of the only sane Republicans in the state of Arizona.

  8. LaurenceB says:

    This is precisely why I disagree with those who feel a Trump candidacy will expose modern Republicans for the buffoons they are.

    By moving the “crazy bar” even further, Trump allows only moderately crazy Republicans like Jan Brewer and Ann Coulter to appear moderate. It’s a little scary really.

    Ten years ago who would have predicted that the craziness would have so overwhelmed the Republican Party that the “moderates” are the ones who don’t believe in torture! That’s pretty amazing. Now the “moderates” are the ones who don’t believe the President was born in Kenya.

  9. Franklin says:

    Where’s Southern Hoosier to explain to us how Jan Brewer is a RINO and stuff?

  10. Dustin says:

    The running theory I’m seeing in birther blog comments is that Obama and/or Democrats must have threatened her with something.