GOP Rep. Ted Yoho implies the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional

The former large animal veterinarian isn't sure ending Jim Crow would've been to the framers' liking

Published April 15, 2014 2:50PM (EDT)

Ted Yoho         (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)
Ted Yoho (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Tea Party congressman Ted Yoho, a freshman from Florida who had previously worked as a large animal veterinarian, is in the news again, but not for his exceptionally poor timing or faulty understanding of how credit works. No, this time Yoho is getting attention for remarks he made about the Civil Rights Act at a town hall meeting on Monday. Yoho, you see, isn't so sure that whole ending-Jim-Crow thing was constitutional.

Asked by an African-American constituent whether he considers the CRA, which turned 50 earlier this month, to be constitutional, Yoho, after repeating the question, responded, "Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act? I wish I could answer that 100 percent. I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land."

Yoho's implication that the CRA wasn't going anywhere, even if it wasn't constitutional, was preceded by a few brief sentences on the Constitution's role in America's many social and legal transformations. "This country grew through a lot of growing pain," Yoho explained. "We’re going through it again. As we grow as a country and prosper, we’re going to go through it again in the future. That’s why I’m so thankful for the Constitution because it allows us to do that."

You can watch Yoho claim the Constitution allows societal change literally right before he implies it doesn't below, via ThinkProgress:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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