Has Ben Carson Read the Constitution?

I know, the answer to that question seems rather obvious. He clearly has not read it and knows nothing about it, which hasn’t stopped him from pontificating about it. On Steve Deace’s radio show, he said that Congress should impeach judges who rule for marriage equality.

What the president and what the Supreme Court need to reiterate is that the states have a mechanism whereby they can determine the will of the people, it’s called ballot referendum. It has been done multiple times already, 32 states have indicated that marriage is between a man and a woman, and a few judges have come and overturned that. That, as far as I’m concerned, is unconstitutional, and Congress actually has oversight of all what they call the inferior courts, everything below the Supreme Court, and that’s where those overturns have come. And when judges do not carry out their duties in an appropriate way, our Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove them.

This is nonsense on so many levels. First, the idea that it’s unconstitutional for federal judges to overturn state laws passed by referendum is absolutely false. How a law is passed has nothing at all to do with whether it is constitutional. If a law is unconstitutional, it doesn’t matter whether it was passed by the legislature or by referendum. And would he extend his reasoning to the Supreme Court overturning state laws against interracial marriage? It does apply, of course, but I’m sure, like nearly every conservative I have ever encountered, he would engage in special pleading.

Second, the distinction he makes between lower courts and the Supreme Court is completely irrelevant to his argument. Congress has the power to impeach any federal judge at any level (it does not have any power to “reprimand,” whatever that means), but not just because they disagree with a ruling that judge handed down. Doing so would pretty much shred the separation of powers completely.

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  • Larry

    To be fair, that’s how they do it on Carson’s home planet.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I think what he’s saying is that Mississippi and some of the other Southern States have the power (by referendum) to annul the 13th through 17th and 24th Amendments.

  • rabbitscribe

    Congress has the power to impeach any federal judge… but not just because they disagree with a ruling that judge handed down.

    Distinction without a difference. If a judge is impeached for taking a bribe, or for an unpopular ruling, or for wearing white shoes after Labor Day, the end result is the same: she’s out on her ear, and there’s no recourse whatsoever.

  • colnago80

    Re rabbitscribe @ #3

    While it is true that Congress can impeach and convict a sitting federal judge for any damn thing they please, the history indicates that the judge must be a very bad boy/girl indeed. Back in the 1960s, there were threats to impeach associate SCOTUS justice William O. Douglas because of his penchant for marrying women very much younger then himself but they never went anywhere.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Doing so would pretty much shred the separation of powers completely.

    Mr. Brayton, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our Consitution mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty Articles killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

  • Mike Morris

    How do you out-pander a Huckabee, a Jindal, or a Santorum? Carson has some big lies & stupid to overrun. Give the man a break.

  • Chiroptera

    I’m sure he’s read the US Constitution in the same way he’s read his Bible: he’s read cherry-picked bits and pieces out of context, and then he’s run them through the Right Wing Interpretator to see what it all means.

  • John Pieret

    he said that Congress should impeach judges who rule for marriage equality

    That’s not quite what his argument is (though it is confused enough to be almost anything). He is actually on about something much more dangerous than trying to show that “disagreeing with my politics is an impeachable high crime or misdemeanor”; it the idea that Congress can do away with or severely limit the jurisdiction of lower Federal courts, since the Constitution only mandates the Supreme Court and leaves the inferior Federal courts to be formed by Congress.

    The theory, then, is that Congress could pass laws saying that lower Federal courts couldn’t hear, say, cases about violations of the Establishment Clause or violations of the 14th Amendment, and there’d be no way for the Supreme Court to hear such claims, since the its original jurisdiction is severely limited.

    If successfully done, it would gut almost all Federal court consideration of constitutional violations by local, state or even the Federal government.

  • busterggi

    Heck, CAN Ben Carson read at all?? Literacy is one of those elite liberal values ya know.