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The "birthers" who insist that President Barack Obama does not meet the citizenship requirement to be president represent a fringe of public opinion.

Then there are some whose views represent only a fringe of the fringe.

That's where the bill proposed by Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial comes from.

The charge that Obama failed to meet the requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen" of our great country was dismissed as invalid long ago.

The director of the Hawaiian state agency that handles birth certificates issued the following statement: "I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai'i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai'i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai'i and is a natural-born American citizen."

Various attempts to challenge Obama's citizenship have failed in court. The U.S. Supreme Court on several occasions has let stand lower court rulings that Obama met the requirement in the U.S. Constitution that the president be a "natural born citizen."

Yet the "birthers" keep the myth alive.

What makes Christensen's bill an oddity even by "birther" standards is that not only would it require presidential and vice presidential candidates to provide a certified long-form copy of their birth certificates to Nebraska's secretary of state, it also would require candidates to provide copies of their parent's long-form birth certificates.

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Furthermore, in order for a person to qualify to be a presidential candidate in Nebraska, the bill, LB654, would require an affidavit in which the candidate swears, "On the day I was born both my birth father and my birth mother were citizens of the United States of America."

Christensen has told reporters that he "absolutely" believes Obama is a U.S. citizen, but it's worth noting that a faction of "birthers" believes that to be a "natural born citizen" a person must be the child of two U.S. citizens. Christensen already had a reputation for introducing peculiar bills. His unsuccessful effort two years ago to regulate sexually oriented businesses provoked more jokes than serious discussion. His proposal this year to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons drew a chorus of opposition from Nebraska educators.

But this time, Christensen has outdone himself. His "birther" bill is one of the most outlandish pieces of legislation that has been introduced this year.

The bill has been scheduled for a public hearing Thursday. It promises to be entertaining. It possibly might attract kooks from all across the country.

But entertainment is the only possible value anyone could find in this 14-page bill. It's a joke. The less time the Legislature wastes on it, the better.


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