Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh mocked U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ruling (now corrected) that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution because her opinion incorrectly mentioned that the “all men” are created equal was in the Constitution rather than the Declaration of Independence. What Rush didn’t mention is that he himself has misquoted and mixed up the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Limbaugh repeatedly denounced the judge: “Now, this judge does not know the Constitution from the Declaration of Independence.…she mixes up the Declaration with the Constitution. She claims that the Constitution says that all men are created equal, and it doesn't! The Declaration says that.”
And: “So basically here's a woman who thinks it's the Constitution that says all men are created equal.”
Limbaugh said: “And she's citing the Constitution as the reason for her ruling! She's citing something that isn't there! She's a federal judge. We are so screwed.”
Allen’s ruling merely mentioned the phrase in the introductory paragraph as a core American legal principle (which it is), she didn’t cite it as the basis for her ruling.
But Limbaugh certainly can’t claim to be an expert on the Constitution. During his 2009 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) upon receiving the “Defender of the Constitution” award, Limbaugh proclaimed: "We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. Liberty, Freedom. And the pursuit of happiness." The correct phrase is “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And these words don’t appear anywhere in the Constitution. They're from the Declaration of Independence.
It takes some hubris for a man who misquoted a clause in the Declaration of Independence (and claimed it was in the Constitution) to laugh at anyone else for getting the two mixed up.
Not only did Limbaugh mix up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in 2009, but in 2013 he chose to re-play that part of his speech on his show because he thought it was so important, once again not realizing that he was wrong (and apparently not having read my 2011 book about Limbaugh where I mocked him for his mistake).
This isn’t Limbaugh’s only error about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. For example, he claimed that “when the Founders wrote the Constitution, they put the prescription in the Constitution for ending slavery, in the amendments, and in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence.” The Declaration of Independence says nothing about slavery, and the original Constitution actually defends the institution of slavery and requires the return of escaped slaves.
Crossposted at LimbaughBook.