Via RCP. At Reason, Jacob Sullum is on the money:
McGovern probably meant to say, “I think the Supreme Court is wrong” (just as he probably meant to deny that a corporation, as opposed to money, “is the same thing as human beings”). It is a revealing slip in any case. McGovern clearly is frustrated by having to “deal within the realm of constitutionality.” Too bad. That’s what the Constitution is for: to frustrate politicians who are so focused on the virtue of their goal that they cannot see the rights they are violating by pursuing it.
Nothing wrong with disagreeing with the Constitution — I’ve always thought that a natural-born citizenship requirement for the presidency instead of a long residency requirement was foolish — but I’d love to hear how McGovern would go about remedying its “mistakes.” There’s the right way to do it, i.e. build a huge national consensus and pass an amendment; the problematic way to do it, i.e. have the Supreme Court revisit old precedents to undo decisions that the current Court majority disapproves of ideologically; and the Democratic way to do it, i.e. claim that Congress can pass pretty much any law it wants under the Commerce Clause. I’m guessing McGovern favors option two in this case, but never underestimate option three.
Update: McGovern’s post-debate spin on this is that it was a slip of the tongue and that he meant to say the Court was wrong, not the Constitution.