September 7th, 2010
11:25 AM ET
12 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.'

Full story

Filed under: Tea Party movement
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "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.

    They clearly want to change the Constitution. They want to change the 14th Amendment. If the Constitution doesn't work in their, they want to trample all over it.

    September 7, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. jay

    The TEA party wants to change the constitution, but only when it benefits them.

    September 7, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Ramon

    Want to eliminate Social security, Medicare, Medicate, Unemployment insurance from lazy people, Healthcare, education, EPA, Tax cut for only the Rich and ship jobs overseas than vote for republican

    September 7, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. NC Ex-Pub

    These people are particularly frightening becasue they are a living contradiction and don't seem to get that; or! They just want a Constitution that correlates with their prejudices and/or fears.

    September 7, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    They want to shred and destroy the Constitution. That's obvious by their words and prayer meetings.

    September 7, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Defend the second amendment and wipe their a55 with the rest of it, after all, "it's just another piece of paper" – GWBush

    September 7, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Sarah McCarthy

    Yea until they get to the parts they dont like.How many wives does this clown have?Now I know why they call them magic BVDs.

    September 7, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Eric

    Support a "Statement of Enumerated Powers" amendment, which requires every new bill before the house or Senate be initiated with a statement detailing explicitly the enumerated power in the constitution which grants congress the authority to do this or that.

    Uh, uh, uh, it's the commerce clause... uh, er, or the Supremecy clause, both of which have become boilerplate liberal excuses for government run amok.

    Defend freedom... dismantle FDR's "legacy" of mandated servitude to government.

    September 7, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Crazy Harry

    The GOP should become the GOH (Grand Old Hypocrites)

    So sad, that there are people that listen to what these wingnuts have to say.

    September 7, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. Mark from Louisiana

    We do need to make a change, over 60,000 babies born to illegals in Texas last year, all paid for by me and you...that's if you pay taxes also.

    September 7, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Living in America

    Change the section that says black folks are property and not human begins. It is amazing how white folks don't see themselves as illegal immigrants when they stole the land from the Indians. Forget it Tea Party you guys are trying to change the shape of everything for the worse. We will be like Haiti in 2 years if you guys come into power.

    September 7, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    If the Tea party really wanted a return to the Constitution, the tea party will need to change their support for the global wars, they would need to support gay marriage, they would need to legalize smoking....
    The tea party doesn't want constitutional law, unless it supports their form of big government.

    September 7, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. robertJ

    Well,,can we imagine that? a repub selctively chnaging the constitution as he or she understands and wants it – next would of course be amendments realted to a woamans right to choose, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and who knows what else might be changed to meet "his" interpretation. Maybe we will be burning books like Hitler,, or segregating blue eyed blonde people as chosen ones. This guy and these Republicans are just plain scary and stupid which makes them dangerous!

    September 7, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. ABM

    They want to destroy the government, bill of rights, and the constitution because the people of this country elected President Obama! They want things the way they envision them – not the way of the people.

    They will cry, stomp, whine, and LIE to get their message out. Why people believe them is still a mystery to me (and many others).

    Their creation and continued financing is through right-wing nuts who are hell-bent on seeing this country & values destroyed just to see President Obama fail. It is quite evident that that have no moral or ethical compass.

    September 7, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. p

    The Constitution is sacred! The Constitution is sacred!
    – But we know better than the founders did.
    We need to make a few changes. No big deal!

    September 7, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. jeff, alabama

    I only have one really important question today
    concerning American politics.
    " Why are female conservative candidates smarter and
    prettier than female liberal candidates? "

    September 7, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Ferret out the BS

    It's always a good thing to invoke the constitution, kinda makes voters believe you're their man. Although I would suspect his interpretation of the constitution would be a very narrow view with a very conservative bent. But I thought that's why we have a judicial branch, to make those decisions about the constitutionality of a law and how it affects all Americans, not just a select few.

    September 7, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    The Tea Party-ers, do not understand the Constitution. They want to change it to suit them and their right-wing ideals.

    BTW do you KNOW who created...... and who........ funds the Tea Party?

    The Koch brothers. Please do yourselves a favor and do some research and then let's boycott all the products their companies make.

    September 7, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    I just visited his website after not having found much about his background. Who is this guy?

    September 7, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Jackie

    The addendum needs to spell it out...the 14th Amendment was not written to be used the way it is today.

    September 7, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Mikey

    The Tea Party seems to like the Constitution, except Article III Section 2, the 1st amendment for people they disagree with, especially people who do not practice the religion they prefer, the first 13 words of the 2nd amendment, the 4th amendment, the 14th amendment, and the 17th amendment.

    They wave the flag and shout loudly, but their anger and disrespect exceed their reason and compassion – and certainly their knowledge of and true respect for the Constitution and all it has stood for for 200 years.

    September 7, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Karl in Charleston,SC

    The unique genuis of the Constitution and the wisdom of our founding fathers is that the Constitution CAN be changed as our country evolves.

    September 7, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Emerson

    This is the tranparent hypocricy of the GOP. We want to live by the Bible and the Constitution – except when it does it is not politically and/or economically expedient. Americans with any semblance of intelligence are not buying into your message, or rather, your lack of one.

    September 7, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Jim

    I doubt the party wants to formally changes the Constitution; its far too much work and they simply don't have the voter base to do so. Even if the tea party eats all of the GOP and right wing, they would be hard pressed to get an amendment by the states.

    Mostly I think they want to go the easier route: redefine the words and meanings of the existing document and pretend its also been that way. Glenn Beck is making a huge profit with his "online-university"/ re-education camp.

    I would also point out the oath described in this article is largely idiotic: If a law is inconsistent with the constitution it can be overturned by the judiciary. I can only assume the reality of our legal system doesn't fit the tea party narrative.

    September 7, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Bill

    From reading the foregoing comments it is plain to see that those making the comments are all in tune with the present administration in his intention to turn this nation into a third world state honoring his heritage.

    September 7, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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