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Are You Smarter than a Tea Partier? Protesters Can’t Explain Why Health Care Law is 'Unconstitutional'

Monday, April 30, 2012


by Nicole Flatow

Pop quiz: What is the central constitutional provision at issue in the Supreme Court’s review of the Affordable Care Act? If you said the Commerce Clause, you’re one step ahead of many of the tea partiers who protested outside the Supreme Court during oral arguments.

Responding to questions from staff at the Constitutional Accountability Center, tea partiers bearing signs that read “Obamacare is unconstitutional” couldn’t name any part of the Constitution that they believe the law violates.

“Well, I should know better. I should be able to answer that question and I can’t,” said one protester in a video produced by CAC, “Tea Party vs. The Constitution: ObamaCare Edition.”

“If you read the Constitution, there’s nothing in there about health care,” said another.

Others, when told that the Commerce Clause is what authorized Congress to pass the law, said the Commerce Clause was “added later” and was not part of the original Constitution.

And when the interviewer tried to correct them by pointing out that the Commerce Clause is in Article 1, Section 8 of the original Constitution, one protester responded, “There’s no use in arguing about that because I don’t think either of us know for sure.”

Watch the full video, including facts from experts who know what the Constitution actually says, below: