It looks like Sem Shelby was misquoted. Whether it was deliberately misquoted or an error or a misstatement is not clear.
Still, it is not Shelby's official position, which is what he sent out to people who asked, and which reads:
“Thank you for taking the time to contact me about President-elect Barack Obama’s citizenship status. I always appreciate hearing from my constituents.
Under the United States Constitution, Section 1 of Article II contains a clause that states:
“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; neither shall any
Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to
the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident
within the United States.”
Many have contacted me regarding the numerous claims and lawsuits
circulating on the internet asserting that Obama is not a natural born citizen and therefore ineligible to become United States President.
However, President-elect Obama has presented his birth certificate,
showing that he was born in Hawaii, and it has been verified and
confirmed by Hawaiian officials. Additionally, the Supreme Court has
declined to act on any of the cases contesting Obama’s citizenship.
On January 8, 2009, Members of Congress were given the opportunity to
contest the issue in a joint session of Congress, but no such
objection was raised during the meeting. By-all accounts,
President-elect Barack Obama meets those requirements. Please be
assured that I will continue to monitor the situation should further
Thank you again for contacting me. If I may be of any further
assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
February 24, 2009 11:01 AM
Dear SMR Strauss:
Thank you for contacting me. This is a very sensible statement by Senator Shelby, and I appreciate your clarifying his position. His is a perfectly valid and responsible viewpoint.
I think the entire "controversy" about Obama's birth certificate is a ridiculous political red herring.
I apologize if I've said anything negative about Senator Shelby. It was only in the context of responding to an absurd issue which should never have been raised and still shows no signs of going away. I'm sorry that Senator Shelby was misquoted by the press.
Thank you again for your message.
February 24, 2009 11:15 AM