Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tennessee Legislators Want Obama To Prove Citizenship

Two Knox County legislators have joined House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada in signing up as supporters of a lawsuit trying to force President Obama to turn over a copy of his birth certificate. Reps. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville and Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains say they agreed to be listed as plaintiffs in hopes of resolving contentions that Obama may actually have been born outside of the United States, which would mean he cannot serve as president under a provision of the U.S. Constitution. Casada and Rep. Eric Swafford, R-Pikeville, also acknowledged they will back Defend Our Freedoms Foundation in the lawsuit, one of several expected to be filed. The U.S. Supreme Court already has refused to hear one such lawsuit and Democratic legislators suggest the whole thing is an unfounded conspiracy theory."I want to end the controversy," Campfield said. "Obama claims he wants to be a very open person and this is the perfect way to show that - by turning over the birth certificate to get over all the questions and concerns." Obama's campaign last year provided copies of a certificate indicating the president was born in Hawaii to various media outlets, but Campfield said there were questions about whether the document was "a certification, not a certificate - and there's a difference." Democratic legislators made jokes about the lawsuit and one of the supporting Republicans at a news conference on Thursday when Swafford's involvement was noted by a reporter. Rep. Larry Miller, D-Memphis, asked, "Who is Eric Swafford? Where's he from?" Replied House Democratic Leader Gary Odom of Nashville: "From Mars."