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Has Ben Carson Read the Constitution?

Has Ben Carson Read the Constitution? January 23, 2015

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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