Thursday, May 13, 2010
President Obama's birth certificate is of great interest to some who contend he was not born in the United States, thus making him ineligible to be the President. (Article II section I of the US Constitution provides,"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President." )
For Hawai'i, the interest in Obama's birth certificate has apparently been an administrative burden. Governor Linda Lingle signed Act 100 into law today, proposed by the legislature as SB2937. The so-called "birther bill" law amends Hawai'i's Freedom of Information act to include an exception:
an agency shall not be required to make government records available or respond to a person's subsequent duplicative request, if:
(1) After conducting a good faith review and comparison of
the earlier request and the pending request, the agency finds that the pending request is duplicative or substantially similar in nature;
(2) The pending request has already been responded to within the past year; and
(3) The agency's response to the pending request would remain unchanged.
It's the type of law that would pass unnoticed if not for the context. But as the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper reports, the Department of Health Director testified in the legislative hearing that the "department receives about 50 e-mail inquiries a month for Obama's birth certificate, primarily from the same four to six people."