Comments about ‘Letter: Learn the Constitution’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Brent has written the most correct letter to appear in this paper in a long time. He is absolutey correct in both of his propositions. The general public is woefully uneducated about the Constitution, and the current left-wing administration is woefully disrespectful of it.

The current left-wing administration ignores the Constitution whenever it feels like it. Indeed, the left will stop at nothing in its quest to turn this Country into just another European-style post-Christian socialist state.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The current presidential administration treats our constitution like yesterday’s newspaper and they abuse it quite frequently."

Your teacher didn't do a very good job teaching you the Constitution. Either that or he was as far out in right field as you seem to be.

E Sam
Provo, UT

The current President does absolutely nothing of the sort. I know, because I have very carefully studied the Constitution. As has this President, a former professor of Constitutional Law.

Heber City, UT

I knew and loved John Carlile as a teacher and neighbor. He understood what many today do not, best said by Jefferson and engraved behind his head in his memorial. "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

Salt Lake City, UT


Hyperbole is available to all players, so in the spirit of "sauce for the goose" allow me to borrow and tweak your last paragraph and show you what you sound like to most readers:

"Right-wing administrations ignore the Constitution whenever they feel like it. Indeed, the right will stop at nothing in its quest to turn this Country into just another Third-World-style theocratic dictatorship."

Get the idea, John?


There was disagreement between the Founding Fathers over what some parts of the Constitution meant and how those things would play out as the country progressed.

It is not surprising that there are still disagreements about what exactly the Constitution means.

One thing is for sure though, just because you disagree with something that is being done does not automatically make it unconstitutional.

If you believe that something unconstitutional is being done, you can petition the courts to address that issue. Interestingly enough, in spite of all the accusations against Obama, no one is pursuing legal action against him. And the one lawsuit that has been threatened is on very sketchy ground, historically and Constitutionally.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Nice try Blue, in deflecting the issue by use of ad hominem attacks. However, Obama is the one who has been censured by the courts for violating the Constitution, with the illegal recess appointments being one example.

Fair Oaks, CA

@John Charity Spring,

Evidently recess appointments were fine with everyone until Obama came to the office. Bush made 46 recess appointments during his time in office.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Article 1, Section 1, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."

The President cannot write law. Judges cannot write law. Only Congress can write law. Our "Constitutional expert" President hasn't read Article 1, Section 1.

The President is required to take this oath: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Is it lack of ability or has the President stomped all over his oath of office?

Article 2, Section 3: ". . . he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, . . ."

Picking and choosing laws or parts of laws is not acceptable.

As John Charity Spring pointed out, Obama has been censured by the courts for his violations of the Constitution.

Read it and keep reading it until you understand that the People have limited the authority of government and clipped the wings of the President.

Phoenix, AZ

"Learn the Constitution"

Perhaps that suggestion should be directed to Barack Hussein Obama. Sure, he went to school to study the Constitution but he musta skipped most of his classes.

"It is not surprising that there are still disagreements about what exactly the Constitution means."

How could there be any disagreement about Article 2, section 3: ...'take care that the laws are faithfully executed'?

"One thing is for sure though, just because you disagree with something that is being done does not automatically make it unconstitutional."

Well, I guess even if the president is required constitutionally to implement Congressional laws, it doesn't automatically mean he can't do something on his own that Congress hasn't passed a law on.

"Interestingly enough, in spite of all the accusations against Obama, no one is pursuing legal action against him."

House Speaker Boehner is pursuing...

"And the one lawsuit that has been threatened is on very sketchy ground, historically and Constitutionally."

Sketchy ground?? Please elucidate.

As for impeachment, that would not get past Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

to MR & JCS

Would these be the same courts who are in favor of Citizens united and New London not Kelo??

If so, there is a serious credibility issue... don't you think?

The Educator
South Jordan , UT

Brent, let me answer your question with a question:

When was the last time you sat through a US history class at your local public high school, Wasatch?

Have you ever seen the lesson plans written by the Government and Citizenship teacher?

When was the last time you read the state state core on US History and Government and Citizenship? On uen's website they have everything that Utah teachers are supposed to teach in their curriculum.

If you haven't done all of these, then why are you writing a letter into the dnews asking whether or not the Constitution is being taught in Utah schools? Put forth a little effort and find out!

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

To all Obama critics: Name a recent president who has faithfully executed the constitution in your view.

Provo, UT

Is the Constitution still being taught in Utah schools?

Yes. It is required curriculum for both US History and Civics.

Is your own interpretation of the Constitution being taught in Utah schools?


Mark B
Eureka, CA

Mike R. always prefers to be seen as writing from principle rather than partisanship, despite the fact that his comments are normally VERY partisan. Now he's back to attacking Obama based on Constitutional matters. But where was Mike when GWB created more "signing statements" than all other presidents combined? All had the purpose of stating which Acts of Congress (or portions thereof) he would enforce, and which would be ignored, which is also mentioned in his 9:33 post. Constitutional? Unlikely.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The Constitution that I learned about in school, and later pledged my life to, is not the Constitution that is being used to demean our President. I could not pledge to support the Constitution as defined by the conservatives.

Rather than a honorable document intended to inspire and create the greatness of America it is being used to destroy our national government, remove freedom from people and set up petty kingdoms for the local rich-and-powerful.

In my youth, religious freedom was a freedom available to all. Today religious freedom is being used to enhance the power of organized religion.

Heber City, UT

Mr. Richards, comments like "Our 'Constitutional expert' President hasn't read Article 1, Section 1." cause even readers who may respect your commitment to not take you seriously. While they may ignore or end-run the Constitution, every President has read and understood or understands the document at least as well as you. And the conservative Supreme Court disagrees with your narrow interpretations.

Everyone I know - most of whom, like you, believe the Constitution to be an inspired document - understands the executive branch, has latitude to apply laws with the rulemaking process. And that those rules change from administration to administration. Just because you don't like the way a particular administration administers doesn't make the administering unconstitutional.

On the other hand, laws with specific language like "thou shalt not sell arms to Contras" or "thou shalt not torture" or "thou shalt not spy on Americans without just cause and a warrant" leave little room for administrative interpretation and application.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

So much comes down to "My guy understands and respects the constitution. While your guy does not."

Every president in my memory was excoriated for not understanding the constitution the way his opponents do.

The constitution provides its own arbiter of constitutionality. The legislative branch presents, the president approves (or not), and the supreme court reviews. Once all of the constitutional officers have had their say, the issue is done. Settled. Period. Agree, disagree, it is irrelevant.

There is no "super arbiter". No one that stands apart (in superhuman form) to render divine judgement on an issue. The people can individually have opinions, but the people have a say only via constitutionally recognized officials.

Every bit as much (if not more) than a statement of principles, the constitution is a process to work out power struggles.


@ wrz: Congress gave Boehner permission to sue the President - the lawsuit has not yet been filed, nor is the outcome predetermined.

The reason the lawsuit is on sketchy ground is because Obama has not refused to implement the law - he has agreed to let agencies involved with implementing the law have a little discretion to work out problems that have been arising around the implementation, very similar to what other Presidents have done with other laws including George W. Bush and Medicare Part D.

As for "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," the Court has previously previously ruled that it is acceptable for the President to authorize delays in the implementation of laws as long as the delays are reasonable and not based on policy disagreements (see, for example, Heckler v Chaney, 1985). Just to clarify, a delay is not a refusal. (Ha, look at that - disagreement about Article II, Section 3....)

the greater truth
Bountiful, UT

@E Sam

Obama was never a professor of constitutional law,

he was a guest lecturer at a university.

And his lectures were about getting around the constitution to implement radical views.


No, the question is is the original intent and actual history being taught, or the modern progressive interpretations and the new false history that commoncore is requiring to pass its tests.

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