Justice Scalia and certain other conservatives deny that America's Founding Fathers left any room for interpretation in the Constitution
Politifact Georgia reports that pizza magnate Herman Cain told the audience at an Atlanta rally to read the Constitution, explaining that "for the benefit for those that are not going to read it because they don't want us to go by the Constitution, there's a little section in there that talks about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ... When you get to the part about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, don't stop right there, keep reading. 'Cause that's when it says that when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it. We've got some altering and some abolishing to do."
This quote neatly illustrates two pathologies of 21st-century "constitutionalism."
First, many of these patriots love the Constitution too much to actually read it (in case you were wondering, the language Cain is quoting is from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution). Second, they love the Constitution so much they want to "alter or abolish" it to make sure it matches the myth in their heads. Those myths are a problem. They get in the way of honest debate. Last week I proposed a parlor game in which we look at some of the more corrosive myths circulating about the Constitution, and I offered by own list. Readers have responded with some suggestions of their own, and I will answer some of their nominations as the summer wears on. For now, though, I want to start working my way through my own list of the Top 10 Myths about the Constitution. I look forward to thoughtful responses, as the game begins.