Rachel Maddow Forced To Explain How Government Works To Clueless Rick Santorum (Video)

msnbc-maddow-santorumEven though it’s been nearly a month since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional, there still remain some Republicans who insist on proving that they don’t understand how our Constitution works. It’s really rather astonishing to me because this isn’t a complicated issue. After these bans were challenged in our courts, they found their way to the Supreme Court which went on to rule that they violated the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing every American equal protection under our laws.


I think it goes without saying that GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum happens to be one of those Republicans who is either willfully being ignorant about a fairly simple understanding of our Constitution or he’s simply pandering for votes even though he knows his “argument” doesn’t even have a sliver of a legal leg on which to stand.

Well, Rachel Maddow absolutely owned the former Pennsylvania senator as she essentially had to break down how our Constitution works, the purpose of our Supreme Court and that our Congress doesn’t have the power to pass unconstitutional laws.

“You’re fundamentally wrong on civics,” Maddow said. “If there is a question as to the constitutionality of a law, it gets adjudicated. The second syllable in that word means it gets decided in the judiciary. The Supreme Court decides whether or not a law is constitutional. So you could not now pass a law that said, ‘We’re banning same-sex marriage.’”

Santorum then argued that Congress can pass whatever it wants and that becomes “law” – which, of course, isn’t really true. Congress cannot pass unconstitutional laws. The Affordable Care Act is a great example of a congressionally passed law (one I’m sure he wishes would have been overturned) that was challenged and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court – as Constitutional.

Twice! 

The only real way to overrule a Supreme Court ruling is by passing a Constitutional amendment which is much more difficult than simply passing a law.

“If the Congress comes back and says, ‘We disagree with you, and we’re able to pass a law and get it signed by the president, saying the courts are wrong,” Santorum stated.

“No, you could not pass a law that could contradict the constitutional ruling of the Supreme Court,” Maddow countered.

“Why?” Santorum asked again.

“Because they’re ruling on the constitutionality of that law,” she responded.

Amazing, isn’t it? Santorum was once a United States senator yet he doesn’t even seem to grasp high school-level government. The main purpose of our Supreme Court is to determine the constitutionality of our laws – period. They interpret the Constitution and whether or not the laws passed by our federal, state and local governments are constitutional.


It really is that simple.

Thankfully we don’t have to worry about Rick Santorum coming anywhere near the White House unless he takes the tour or is invited by the actual president. If you can’t even understand the basic definition of what our Supreme Court does, you sure as hell don’t have any business being President of the United States.

Watch the segment below via MSNBC:




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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