Saturday, May 21, 2011

America's 10 Biggest Constitutional Myths

Over at The Atlantic, Garrett Epps, a former reporter for The Washington Post and a constitutional scholar, is proposing "A parlor game for a summer of crisis."
So if we accomplish nothing else, let's at least have some fun, discussing the Constitution to divert ourselves from disaster, like Boccaccio's characters, who told stories of love and adventure while the plague raged outside the villa's walls.

Here are my top ten:
  1. Conservatives believe only in "original intent" and others believe in a "living Constitution," meaning whatever they want.
  2. The Founders wrote the Constitution to restrain Congress and limit its powers.
  3. The "Unitary Executive" means all unclaimed federal power flows away from Congress and to the President.
  4. The Constitution does not provide for separation of church and state.
  5. Corporations have precisely the same First Amendment rights as natural persons.
  6. The Second Amendment was "intended" to make government "fear the people."
  7. The Tenth Amendment and state "sovereignty" allow states to "nullify" federal law.
  8. The Fourteenth Amendment was written solely to address the situation of freed slaves, and has no relevance today.
  9. Election of Senators is unfair and harmful to the states.
  10. International law is a threat to the Constitution and must be kept out of American courts.
I'm in!

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