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Update: Hawaii Gov. Lingle Signs "Birther Bill"

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on May 14, 2010 9:47 AM

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed a bill into law on May 12 that will allow Hawaii state agencies to ignore you. Well, not always. Only in the case of repeated, duplicative requests. This may be the state's last, best effort to control the waste of time and resources caused by constant "birther" requests to the Hawaii Department of Health for President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

According to CBS News, the Dept. of Health gets about 50 requests a month for the President's birth certificate. Hawaii Department of Health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino reportedly said earlier this year that the constant requests largely come from the same four to six people. The Department must consistently deny the requests, because state law limits access to birth certificates to those who have a "direct and tangible interest." Examples of this would include the person named in the record, the spouse, parent, descendant, or someone involved in related marital, parental, or death litigation.

The new law, reports the Honolulu Advertisercarves out a limited exemption from Freedom of Information requirements for state agencies when duplicate requests for information are made by the same person.

State Sen. Will Espero, who introduced the law, told the Advertiser the new law will take some pressure off the DOH staff, but said it will not end the birther controversy.

"It will certainly provide some relief and help that Department of Health staff (needs), although I don't think it will by any means put an end to the birther issue," Espero said. "There are people out there, and mostly from the Mainland, who are just rabid about this and I don't think anything we provide or give them will convince them otherwise."

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