"Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?"

Many people seem to believe that the best moment at the Democratic Convention was the speech by Khizr Khan, in which he challenged Donald Trump, “Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?” Much as I dislike lots of other stuff that happened on stage at the convention, I strongly agree with this speech, which offered a strong defense of constitutional rights. The President of the U.S. takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, yet this presidential season has been remarkably light on talk about what that means. Another good example was given by Ted Cruz at the Republican Convention: “Freedom means free speech, not politically correct safe spaces. Freedom means religious freedom, whether you’re Christian or Jew, Muslim or atheist. Whether you’re gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience. Freedom means the right to keep and bear arms and protect your family.” But we’re not hearing that type of thing very often.

The problem being that neither major party seems to care much about the Constitution, and nor do most other people in government. Given the Article 12 thing, his promise to use torture, his threatened discrimination against Muslims, his apparent beliefs that as President he could unilaterally cancel or rewrite treaties, it’s fairly clear that Trump’s answer to the question would be no. But Khizr Khan could have turned to any number of people at the Democratic Convention and asked them the same question.

Hillary, you sponsored a bill that would have outlawed the burning of the American flag. Have you read the U.S. Constitution?

Bill, your administration repeatedly attacked freedom of speech and the press. Have you read the U.S. Constitution?

Congressional Democrats, you staged a sit-in to take away rights from Americans without due process. Have you read the U.S. Constitution?

President Obama your administration has attacked religious freedom and implemented policies that undermine free speech and due process for college students. Have you read the U.S. Constitution?

And for any government employee out there who’s arresting someone for free expression, or firing someone because of his religious beliefs, or punishing someone for speech, or torturing people, have you read the U.S. Constitution?

Perhaps in additional to all the various seminars and training for awareness of diversity and security and so forth that government employees go through, there should also be mandatory Constitutional awareness training. They should all learn that freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, trial by jury, ban on torture, and all other rights in the Constitution apply to all people at all times without exception.

Is this a debate, a seminar, or something else altogether?

Everything your candidate wants to do is unconstitutional. Everything my candidate wants to do is fine. When you point out a discrepancy there it’s just because you’re misinterpreting the constitution, or not using strict construction, or not using original intent, or you don’t realize it’s a living, breathing document when it suits me. If you need to know how the constitution is correctly applied in any particular case you’ll just have to ask me.

Getting away from rhetoric, and sticking to practical matters, Hillary Clinton has been to law school. Pretty much anyone with a law degree has taken a class in constitutional law. She is not a specialist in constitutional law, but at some point when she was in law school (which may have been 45 years ago, I don’t really know for sure), she did read the constitution, unless she bullshitted her way through that class, and she strikes me as someone who came home from school and sat down right away to do her homework.

Trump went to Fordham for two years, then transferred to Wharton, and apparently finished with a degree in business. I can’t find that he has any kind of master’s degree.

I don’t think you need to read the constitution to get a business degree. I’m not sure what you do need to read, but Trump has made public statements that he is not big on reading, so I am willing to be that he has not read the constitution. He may have paid a lackey to read it and give him the Cliff’s Notes version.

I think the OP’s point is that as long as he can criticize someone else, Trump never has to read the Constitution.

And Obama taught constitutional law for a number of years. Safe to say he’s read it.

I agree that Hillary has probably read the Constitution. Moreover she’s probably pretty familiar with major Supreme Court cases. That means that when she pushes a law outlawing flag-burning or something of that nature, she knows that it’s unconstitutional. And she does it anyway.

You quote something from 2005, and imply that she is still actively pushing for this. Is she?

It also looks like something she was proposing to try and head off a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning.

On closer reading, it does look like a stop-gap measure to do exactly that.

You forgot a rolls-eyes smiley.

Here, you can borrow one of mine: :rolleyes:

The OP didn’t look up the bill. It was very carefully crafted to outlaw flag-burning only in certain circumstances, and might actually have passed constitutional muster.

First, it still would have allowed you to burn your own flag on your property or other private property as part of peaceful demonstrations, or just for the heck of it.

It outlawed burning flags that belonged to the government, so you couldn’t steal the flag from the state police station, or burn it as it flew, and you couldn’t burn a personal flag on federal property as a deliberate attempt to incite violence. Yes, burning a stolen flag is probably already covered under other laws, but this made it punishable by a very hefty fine, above and beyond a mere stolen property fine. Given that flags are particularly tempting, and probably stolen more often than other items, it’s not that much different than Walmart tagging the pregnancy tests because they get stolen so much.

For the record, I am not saying that I agree that this law is a good thing, just that Clinton knew what she was doing vis-a-vis the constitution. If you read it, you can see that the language was carefully chosen to pass constitutional muster.

Which was started in 1995.

Funny, at the Reston farmer’s market this morning, there was a Trump table which had pocket-sized pamphlets – “The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America” , published by the American Civil Rights Union.

I grabbed a copy, and also one of those little cinnamon rolls they had for the taking…

I read the Constitution in high school–but not after that.

Bob Dole once said something very much along these lines. You vote yes on procedural matter over bills you oppose. You vote yes on amendments, then no on the bill itself. You vote no on a bill because there’s a better bill waiting around the corner. They can take some of your votes and make it look like you’re for cancer. That’s why it’s so hard to go from Congress to the Presidency.

I’d read that thing very carefully, and compare it with other sources. Especially any additional materials included in the booklet. The ACRU is a notorious right-wing organization that warps the Constitution to suit their ends.

Yes, make sure it’s not a Skousen Constitution. That’s the version the Malheur bunch was carrying around. It has notations that, in a lot of cases, completely reverse the meaning of the actual text.

Similar psychology to arguments regarding interpretations over holy books.

Possibly, or it’s a matter of pointing out the motes in various Democrats’ eyes to deflect attention from the beam in Trump’s.