Tea Party Confuses Constitution with American Revolution, Prof. Barry Friedman Says

February 8, 2011
Guest Post
Video Interview

ACSblog recently spoke with New York University law professor Barry Friedman about how the Tea Party vision of the Constitution relates to other theories of constitutional interpretation.

 Friedman explained that rigid theories of interpretation such as originalism that assume there's one "true meaning to the Constitution," discoverable through the right interpretive method, are embraced by very few judges and haven't "proven to be very enduring."

Tea Party adherents make similar assumptions, but invoke a sort of "pre-originalist interpretation," seemingly "confusing the Constitution with the American Revolution," Friedman explained.

"They're 13 years before the Constitution itself, and then with a little bit of Bill of Rights thrown in," Friedman said. "So they have ideas about state power versus national power that ignore what the people who wrote the Constitution were concerned about. They were deeply concerned about a national government with the power to do what needed to be done to keep the union together."

Watch the interview with Friedman below.