September 7th, 2010
11:25 AM ET
4 years ago

Does Tea Party want to defend or change Constitution?

Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - Utah's Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Mike Lee, is a vocal defender of what's become the bible of the Tea Party revolution: the U.S. Constitution.

"I hereby pledge to you that I will not vote for a single bill that I can't justify by the text and original understanding of the Constitution," he promised voters at a Tea Party rally this year.

But Lee, an attorney and former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, has advocated some breathtaking changes to the Constitution.

During his Tea Party-backed Senate campaign, Lee said he would support legislation aimed at altering the 14th Amendment's guarantee of automatic citizenship for people born in the United States. Advocates for tougher measures against illegal immigration say such a change would discourage undocumented workers from having children in the United States.'

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Filed under: Tea Party movement
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    One thing we need to keep in perspective, is that the 14th amendment was an amendment, and NOT part of the original document.

    Second, the conditions have dramatically changed, and abuse of that amendment is occurring, and that abuse needs to be stopped.

    September 7, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Voice of Reason

    TEA party = idiots and hypocrits. They sound off about the constitution being 'inspired', but have no problem tromping on it when it suits their needs. They would defend the 2nd amentment till you pried gund 'from their cold dead fingers', but have no compunctions about opposing the 1st amendment when it comes to building a mosque in NYC. And the overturn 17th? What is this guy's problem? He seems to think that the votors need the government to protect them from themselves... It the tea party aware of THAT 'Nanny-state' provision in his platform?

    The hypocrisy of the tea party 'leadership' is ridiculous. To their shame they manipulate the ignorants on the right to do their bidding. These deluded masses go to their rallies, wave their flags and think they have a monopoly on patriotism and common sense – But they are simply being used to further a total wingnut agenda.

    September 7, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. DVA

    Of course they want to change the Constitution...it does not fit their criteria of government, ie, separation of church and state, no aide for anyone other than upper class. As a matter of fact they want to change what America is supposed to be. They claim they want their country back.....what ever happened to the UNITED STATES of America. What has happened to the literacy of this country. Dumbing down seems to have worked for the Republicans. They fear the educated and intelligent. They can control the ignorant who follow in lock-step and never really investigate what they are being told. If the Republicans get their way it really will be a Reign of Terror that only the corporations and wealthy will enjoy.

    September 7, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Mandy

    I'd sure want to change the constitution. Go read anti-federalist paper #17 and you'll soon understand why. The safeguards for limited government didn't quite work well enough.

    September 7, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. katiec

    With the radical, irresponsible, unqualified people the tea partiers support, we have to realize they have no creditibility, no concept of what it takes for the survial of our country.
    They are blindly letting theirselves be manipulated, used, brain washed by the radical right and seem to not have the intelligence to realize this.
    They would not be of much consequence if the media did not constantly headline them, but of course, they, like CNN, Fox and most of the media prefer a party full of lies, distortions, fear mongering, propaganda, hypocrasy, a representative of Wall St and the rich who will continue the further destruction of middle class America and our country.

    September 7, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Shucks

    So instead he will just interpret it the way he feels it should be just like the religious right does with the bible. This doublespeak is scarier than the actual truth.

    September 7, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. Bill

    This is just a scare tactic. It will never happen. He is not going to get buy off from a majority of Republicans on this issue even if elected.

    But we can defund the healthcare debacle, reinstate the Bush tax cuts, and cut spending. The economy is going to be sputter until businesses are confident in leadership and that will not be until Obama has some oversight by sane people.

    September 7, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Lee will vote for anything that changes the Constitution in favor of big business and the wealthy. Just explore his conection with the U.S. Supreme Court and their recent selling of American elections to big business (mostly foreign owned).

    September 7, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Jayne

    The tea party is composed of illiterate, ignorant morons who can't read the Constitution.

    September 7, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Marty, FL

    Too many teabagger groups want to change the Consitution, including the 14th Amendment. It is beyond comprehension how any rational person can support this nonsense and the extreme views of Angle, Rand Paul (overturning Civil Rights), et al. No thanks.

    America is better than that.

    September 7, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Shari from Madison WI

    All they want to do is change the constitution so it benefits the have's and punishes the have nots. They say they care for the common man, but what they don't say is that the common man they defend is white anglo-saxon and protestant. Any others need not apply.

    September 7, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    The teabaggers would first have to actually READ the Constitution before they can decide what to do with it.

    That said, their actions clearly show they want to change it – to their benefit.

    Talk about anti-American! Those teabaggers take the cake!

    September 7, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    I think all teabaggers should go live as a religious minority in a theocracy whose wealth is controlled by a few families (to which they don't belong).

    Then they need to read the U.S. Constitution and pass a test on its contents.

    Then they can get back to me ...

    September 7, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. richard in Montana

    I am afraid for my country, very afraid. These kooks know not what they are doing and will destroy this country from the inside out.

    September 7, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Dyan, Minnesota

    We're going back to the "original" document?? Okay, as long as everyone realizes that means that only white, male, land owners have the right to vote.

    Oh, and the precious 2nd Amendment? It wasn't part of the "original" constitution either. The Constitution was ratified in 1787, but the Bill of Rights came two years later in 1789 when James Madison introducted the articles.

    September 7, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Enrique

    Tea Baggers beat their chest and claim to be fiscal conservatives and strict Constitutionalists, yet no one on the Right is upset over the nearly $3 trillion that has been spent on the Iraq War and they are the ones proposing changes to the Constitution. If only more American voters saw them for the frauds that they are.

    September 7, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Eric

    For the neo-communists squawking, "All republicans can say is 'tax cuts,'" well hippies, we're going to introduce two new words for you... SPENDING CUTS.

    Make that three words:
    MASSIVE spending cuts.

    We're going to cut every, EVERY, E.V.E.R.Y. program across the board. We have no choice.

    And for the record, to economic illiterates and government-cultists everywhere, tax cuts never need to be "paid for." To imply otherwise is to thank the government for "letting" you keep some of your own money instead of them just stealing ALL of it... I'm sorry, but I don't work for the government, it works for me.

    American voters are about to hit the reset button very hard this year.

    September 7, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. What Are You Smoking, Wolf?

    OK ... so this YAHOO is against the United States Air Force.

    The original Constitution said NOTHING about establishing that branch of the military ... only an Army and a Navy.

    So he'd be against the Marines and the Coast Guard too .... Right?

    He'd also be against the wars in Iraq because they posed no threat to the continental United States.

    Lawyers have no special knowledge that positions them to be better Congressman or Senators than anyone else.

    Think Americans ... don't elect this guy. Let's see if the "media" is MAN ENOUGH to call him out on these disconnections.

    September 7, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I truly do not believe that they've READ the Constitution.

    September 7, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Liz the First

    The teabaggers want to fundamentally change our country, and not for the better. they are greedy, selfish people who have somehow gotten it into their heads that they can actually live in a civilized society without having to pay taxes. they are wrong on so many levels. and they don't want the government helping anyone. anyone but them, that is. they all need to go live in Somalia for a year and find out what it's like to live with no government. they'd all come back begging to pay their taxes. no teabagger candidate needs to hold office, ever!

    September 7, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Lori in St Pete

    Jeff, female rethugliban candidates AREN'T more than female Dems. And very few are attractive. If they looked like Golda Mier or Angela Merkle (both very intelligent women BTW), the rethugliban wouldn't give them the time of day.

    The real question is: why are the rethugliban so shallow?

    September 7, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Lori in St Pete

    Ooops, left out a word. Meant to say: "Jeff, female rethugliban candidates AREN'T more attractive than female Dems"

    September 7, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. GonzoinHouston

    OK, no problem; you want to change the Constitution? The procedure is well-defined. You need 2/3 of both houses of congress and approval by 2/3 of the states. If you can't meet those criteria then you live by the Constitution as currently amended and interpreted by the Supreme Court.

    Everything else is so much hot air.

    September 7, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Duck Fallas

    Please. There are no Tea Bagger "standards", aside from telling ignorant right wing racists exactly what they want to hear.

    September 7, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. beevee

    Are the Teapartiers brain dead? They seem to be stuck in time.

    September 7, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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