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.'

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Filed under: Tea Party movement
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. The only Amendments Lee believes in are the . . .

    the ones that help the corporate plutocracy.
    If you aren't scared to death about the coming power of the far right fundamentalist America taliban, you are breathing.

    I pledge allegiance to the bible and the christian faith, one nation under God as defined by us, with liberty and justice for those who believe and can afford it.

    September 7, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Lori in St Pete

    Ugh! I meant to say: "Jeff, female rethugliban candidates AREN'T more intelligent than female Dems."

    My stomach is interrupting my brain. Time for some lunch.

    September 7, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Their desire to repeal the 17th Amendment is illustrative. They want to take power away from individuals with that one, but what lurks beneath? Simple:

    Once it is repealed, they would redistrict their states to (a) marginalize minority populations, who predictably vote Dem for the most part (after all, if you hate them, it's easier to marginalize them than to change your rhetoric so it isn't so horrifyingly offensive) and (b) attempt to ensure a permanent conservative majority in their state legislatures, who can then APPOINT 2 conservative US Senators. don't think they want to revisit whether fedearl redistricting laws are Constitutional? I assure you they do...especially if the 17th is repealed and they think they can claim it is now only a state issue.

    It is an attempt to (a) blunt or even reverse the changes in the electorate that will naturally occur in the next couple decades as a result of demographic shifts (most notably, white people losing "majority") and (b) gain a permanent minimum of 41 GOPers in the US Senate so that whenever Dems take control, they can break the gov't through abuse of the filibuster, just like they've done since 2006.

    Catching on? Why do you think they want us to spend trillions creating the police state necessary to track down and deport all illegal immigrants rather than giving them a rational path to citizenship? What do you think makes the AZ GOP sweat at night?

    September 7, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Lori in St Pete

    Bill September 7th, 2010 12:35 pm ET, what an ignorant statement. This country has been on a collision course with third world status and fascism for the last three decades. It began with raygun's air traffic controller union busting (they were striking because they wanted the nation's outdated air traffic control system updated – 28 years later, they're still using the same equipment) and has been accelerating ever since.

    September 7, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Justin

    The Tea Party is a bunch of children who want the benefits of everything, and responsibility for nothing.

    Anti-socialist? Check.
    Pro-Medicare? Check.
    Anti federal deficit? Check.
    Anti tax increases to pay off the federal debt? Check.

    So many contradictions, no plausible solutions. Grow up, folks.

    September 7, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Clwyd

    The teabuggers will only be satisfied with the part of the Constitution that they agree with and will destroy America if allowed to take any office. they are the racist Nazi's of today in our country!

    September 7, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Peace

    I can smell chaos in both houses if these Tea baggers manage to win election. We are going to witness the war zone instead of a working place always respected for solving problems constructively!

    September 7, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Hey Republicans, and especially you Tea Party favorites, I have a couple of questions for you.
    1. Where in the Constitution is the filibuster (the favored tactic of the Republican Senators) defined?
    2. Where in the Constitution does it say that a single Senator can place a hold on any appointment (the second favored tactic of the Republican Senators) that needs Senate approval?
    3. Where in the Constitution does it say that a Procedural Vote (the third favored tactic of the Republican Senators) must be held before a floor debate can take place?
    4. Why is it that a judge who disagrees with your personal opinion and philosophy is an "Activist" judge, but not one who wholeheartedly agrees with you?
    5. Would the following individuals still be eligible for nomination in Your Republican Party of today based on their personal philosophies:
    Robert Dole – probably not
    Ronald Reagan – probably not
    Barry Goldwater – probably not
    Dwight D. Eisenhower – definitely not
    Herbert Hoover – more than likely
    Calvin Coolidge – probably
    Theodore Roosevelt – definitely not

    September 7, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. King

    These tea baggers are the clue clux clan with a different name they terrorized the blabcks for centuries. They layed low for decades waiting to rise when black or any other minorities step up obama stepped up and they were waitng. If there were any other white won the election you would never seen the clan i mean the tea baggers.

    September 7, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Lynn

    These people snort their tea out of both sides of their nostrils.

    They are for any and everything that benefits their narrow idea of what they believe is in the Constitution, but if they don't like it, then they want to change the Constitution!

    I don't think most of them can even read the Constitution!

    September 7, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. darko

    What a devil... Follow the Constitution! What kind of crazy, radical right wing idea is that! The Constitution is politics of the past!!!

    I wish I'd hear comments like this more often from other candidates. Stick with the original constitution and start amending the amendments that have been totally reworded by the statist such as the 14th.

    Adding an amendment to clarify an already totally clear 10th amendment for the brain dead dems would be great.

    September 7, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Ken in NC

    WOW....... He is a lawyer and his mouth is moving. Taking all of that into consideration I would conclude that the moving mouth mounted on a Lawyer quilifies him as a "lying politician".

    September 7, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    Just from my own personal observations, the tea party wants to cherry pick the parts of the Constitution they agree with and change those they don't. It's not a pick and choose game here. These people are starting to resemble the extremists we all call terrorists. Get the government out of their business, but put it in the parts of our business they don't like. Seriously? That's not how it works, folks.

    And just because, you have to check out the You Tube videos of the tea partiers in all their ignorant glory, video taped by the young college students from Wright College. It's sad that stupid has become a badge of honor.

    September 7, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    You know what – WHO CARES!!! That is going to be my blog from now on unless I decide to CRAP on a few people. Every Ticker is about the RepubliCAN'Ts and the FAR-RIGHT Tea Party!!!

    Now the RepubliCAN'Ts are trying to MERGE back with the Tea Party and blend in with them because they THINK they are winning!!!


    September 7, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Ted

    Tea Partiers, Tea Baggers, Tea Leaves. Whatever you want to call these people, one thing is true. They are delusional fanatics aiming their hate and bigotry at everyone who does not agree with their idiocy. I think we should check their birth certificates thoroughly and question their patriotism and obstruct as possible their candidacy. They have no solutions to any of the nations problems. NONE.

    September 7, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    jeff, alabama September 7th, 2010 12:28 pm ET

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

    OK – now we know which head the GOP men use when voting.

    September 7, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Mike W.

    Why don,t you change all the ammendments, then you can be part of a third world country. no middle class. Ignorance cotinues from the republican party. History repeats itself many times. remember roman empire british empire spainish and the french. Oh I forgot you are changing the history books so they read you want them too.

    September 7, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. KLK

    TEA BAGGERS = a bunch of crazy crackers

    September 7, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Phil in KC

    Oh, sure, he'll defend the constitution – as long as it says what he wants it to say. These people are just like some of those TV preachers; they twist the bible so that it conveys their message. The Tea Party twists the constitution so that it says what they want it to, then smear the opposition as "activist judges". Personally, I've reached the point that I'm all for "activist judges" – if the Tea Party is against them, they must be doing something right.

    September 7, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Sharon

    The Tea Party appear to be quite dangerous. Their views appear to be supported by groups that state they are not prejudiced. Facts do not support. Factually they display prejudice against race of any color esxcept for causcasians, prejudice against many religions, prejudice to bear arms and disregard legislation laws that keep guns readily available at normal functions which would prevent liklehood of many killings,injuries, or possible mob type hysteria reaction attacks, etc.

    Tea Party activist generaly are mostly white. Tea Party started on it's own, but Republican Party has successfully infiltrated this party with money for it's own political gain purposes.

    Racial prejudice signs were rampant at rallies, Muslim religion attacks, Hispanic attacks under guise of illegal immigration labeling illegal immigrants as criminals committting all the crimes(not true & studies exist not true – drug cartels/drug gangs commit most crimes- but immigrants are attacked/killed by drug cartel networks bringing illegal immigratns into US), claims President Obama is not citizen despite undeniable proof he is citizen, claims President Obama is terroist, Signs President Obama as Hitler., etc, etc, etc. Goes on and on.

    Because of a public backlash – signs of such of the above not allowed. Is this attitude still present. Sure. I have seen plenty of interviews where reporteers just let many form attendees talk without critiquing what said – prejudice appears undeniably present in most interviewed.

    I am shocked at how much hatred most of Tea Party express. Still have not seen one intelligent well thought out interview. The displayed hate of most in Tea Party should make most US citizens leary. Hate and prejudice is not a platform on which to run our great cuntry.

    September 7, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. rs

    The TP folks are as dumb about the Constitution as fundamentalist Christians are on the Bible. They can quote it, but don't know or want to knowwhat the words mean . They fail to grasp that there are interpretations of the Constitution, (and stautes) based upon how they were applied in court cases down through time. The Constitution, then (like the Bible), is always evolving to meet current need.

    That said- the TP has no more respect the Constitution than anybody else. It is a tool they see that they can use to push their ever more radical agenda. They otherwise ingore the pieces that don't fit their ever narrowing view.

    September 7, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. andy

    VOTE Republicans because you IDIOTS deserve each other!

    September 7, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Willa-PA

    Republicans/teapartiers will get what they deserve and we the people, middle class will have to pay the price if we don't get out the vote with the base...The middle class republicans/teapartiers don't care about their future, they will not have SS or privatized SS, no unemployment checks because the republican govt calls them, and us who have no job, lazy, no disability checks or severely cut, etc. etc. and THEY will be the first one to scream bloody murder. I find it sooooo amazing that they are so blind and easily bamboozled by the right wing nuts to vote against their well being. I heard on the news about one person who will vote in protest for the republicans even if this fiasco we are in now is their fault, go figure.

    September 7, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    How did this guy get through law school? There is a whole area of constitutional law. Its not just the Constitution, its what happened since Mabrey v Madison. That's basic American history. Playing down to the mob of historical illiterates doesn't say much of his professionalism in the law.

    September 7, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Sonnie

    Stick to your Guns lee
    The Tea Party has my backing

    September 7, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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