What Document Are You Quoting, Mr. President?

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Jan 29, 2010 4 Comments ›› John Eidsmoe

What Document Are You Quoting, Mr. President?

In this week’s State of the Union Address (http://www NULL.whitehouse NULL.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-state-union-address), President Obama said:

“We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal….”

Wrong founding document, Mr. President.   The word “equal” did not enter the Constitution until the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868.    It is in our Declaration of Independence that we read:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And this is the same guy who used to teach constitutional law and who lectured the Supreme Court moments earlier in the same speech!

Anyone can make a mistake.   But the State of the Union Address is the President’s major speech of the year, the only speech expressly required by the Constitution (Article II § 3).  It is carefully crafted and carefully screened.  It says something about Obama’s advisers and speechwriters that none of them knew or cared enough about the Constitution to catch this error.

And how many in the media caught and reported the error?  Would it have been different if President Bush had made the mistake?  Or Dan Quayle?

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  1. Elliot K says:

    Something else which I found really interesting were his remarks about the Supreme Court’s latest campaign finance decision: “With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.”

    If the Supreme Court’s decision is based on the Constitution (as it should be), then how can Congress “pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems”? I thought the Supreme Court’s decision overruled an act of the Congress in the first place.

  2. Elliot K says:

    I thought we’ve gone through this already with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and City of Boerne v. Flores.

  3. Elliot K says:

    But maybe I’m missing something.

  4. James E. Reeves says:

    If anyone is serious about Law then they should study the whole history behind the “Declaration of Independence” and the mindset of original intent of those men along with the framers of the constitution.
    Many letters are posted in books such as “America”s God And Country” by William J. Federer.
    The mutual pledge and the honor has been legally engineered by educators, lawyers, and judges to mean nothing presently.
    The new mindset seems to be “Today is only for us and laws have been made to break or change.”
    Should we all be reminded that soldiers have died and are dying to honor the mutual pledge made to maintain this republic?

    Should judges pull their robes over their head?
    Should lawyers be sold at the old slave auctions?
    Should a new “Declaration of Independence” be sent to Obama?
    Who will stand?
    Ha Ha Ha= Tea Party?

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