Tea Party Rep. Ted Yoho 'Isn't Sure' Civil Rights Act Is Constitutional

Tea Party Congressman Ted Yoho joined a growing number of Conservatives who are questioning if the Civil Right's Act is even constitutional.

Tea Party Congressman Ted Yoho joined a growing number of xonservatives who are questioning if the Civil Rights Act is constitutional. You may remember when Rachel Maddow made Sen. Rand Paul look like a fool and destroyed him over his anti-civil right's stance. (see video) The Tea party is comprised of so many nutty people with wacked out notions about our country it's no wonder people like Paul and Yoho are questioning if the Civil Rights Act violates freedom.

Think Progress:

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), a freshman congressman aligned with the Tea Party, held a town hall Monday evening in Gainesville where he fielded a wide range of questions from constituents. One such voter was Melvin Flournoy, a 57-year-old African American from Gainesville, who asked Yoho whether he believes the Civil Rights Act is constitutional.

The easy answer in this case — “yes” — has the benefit of also being correct. But Yoho found the question surprisingly difficult.

“Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act?” Yoho repeated before giving his reply: “I wish I could answer that 100 percent.” The Florida Republican then went on to strongly imply it may be unconstitutional: “I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land.”

FLOURNOY: Do you think that any part of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 [sic], do you think any part of that is constitutional? And then if you’d discuss why. [...]

YOHO: This country grew through a lot of growing pain. We’re going through it again. As we grow as a country and prosper, we’re going to go through it again in the future. That’s why I’m so thankful for the Constitution because it allows us to do that. Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act? I wish I could answer that 100 percent. I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land.

Sahil Kapur writes:

The argument is rooted in a deeply conservative legal theory that the federal government has very limited power to regulate private acts.


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"I don't know how common it is these days," Rick Hasen, a professor at UC Irvine School of Law, said in an email. "The main legal argument, made by conservatives (haven't heard a liberal make it), is that Congress does not have the power to ban private acts of discrimination and that some regulation limiting what states can do [regarding] civil rights violates state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment."

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