Constitutionally illiterate


Christopher Dreisbach
The Baltimore Sun
February 7, 2010

[efoods]Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House minority leader, took the podium at a Republican rally, waved a document defiantly and declared:”This is my copy of the Constitution, and I’m going to stand here with the Founding Fathers who wrote in the Preamble, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness …” Mr. Boehner was encouraging participants to protest the pending House vote for health care reform by demanding their constitutional right to make medical decisions.

Pop quiz: What’s wrong with this picture?

If you said that there is no explicit constitutional right to make medical decisions, you score some points. If you said that the passage Mr. Boehner quotes is from the Declaration of Independence you get an A. If you also noted that the quotation is not even from the Declaration’s preamble, you earn extra credit.

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