Republican presidential candidates have a complex relationship with the US Constitution, admiring it one day and bashing it the next, Politico reports. Several, for example, promise to appoint hard-line constructionist judges who will remain faithful to the Founders' vision. "The court should be particularly protective of our founding structure," wrote Rick Perry in his book, "Fed Up!" But he also wants to limit justices to 18-year terms, a plan that flies in the face of Article III of the Constitution.
He's not alone. The same candidates who avow constructionist philosophies also want Constitutional amendments to balance the budget, eliminate birthright citizenship, or outlaw gay marriage. “It seems a bit inconsistent to be sure,” says former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. “But there’s no sanction against holding opposing ideas.” Perhaps the proposed reforms are just symbolic—unless Herman Cain meant it earlier this month when he told a crowd that "the last time they got it right [in Washington] was when the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence.” Note that the Constitution was written 11 years later, and was signed in Philadelphia.