Diana West

A second bill pending in Arizona concerns another legal aspect of American identity, namely the constitutional requirement that our presidents be "natural-born" and not "naturalized" Americans. Both laws may be seen as state-level attempts to safeguard the nation according to principles set forth in the Constitution because authorities have failed to act responsibly at the federal level.

The "natural born" bill would require presidential candidates running in Arizona to submit proof of their constitutional eligibility to the Arizona secretary of state. In the case of President Obama, one such proof would be his long-form, circa 1961, birth certificate. This original form includes, for example, the name of the hospital where a person was born, as well as that of the attending physician -- information not included in the computer-generated short form that has appeared online and is of recent vintage.

Just as the state's new check on immigration status seems appropriate, so, too, does this potential requirement that presidential candidates prove their "natural born" bona fides, a requirement that, according to WorldNetDaily.com, is also under consideration in state legislatures in Georgia, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and in the U.S. Congress.

I've never understood the derisive wrath targeting Americans troubled by Obama's refusal, for reasons unknown, to release his long-form birth certificate and end the divisive natural-born controversy -- partly, of course, because I am one such American. Another so troubled is Army Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, who, taking seriously his oath to preserve and protect the Constitution, has laid it all on the line: Lakin has stopped obeying military orders, including deployment orders to Afghanistan for his second tour, pending release of the president's original birth document proving his constitutional eligibility to be commander in chief. Unconscionably, the president prefers to see Lakin court-martialed rather than show his old paperwork. Why?

Unanswered, the question consigns us to that limbo of uncertainty -- of blurred identities, undefended borders and internationalized elites. But identity matters. The law matters. And the Constitution matters above all.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).