Recently, in the comboxes of The Other Blog, there appeared this interesting exchange:
James: “Ron Paul is seen as a crank and extreme because he wants to put us back under the Constitution.”
JonF: “Ron Paul would put us under his own idiosyncratic concept of the Constitution.”
The statement by “James” echoes a sentiment I’ve seen elsewhere, i.e., that a vote for Ron Paul is somehow a vote to support “the Constitution.” JonF’s view echoes my own: Ron Paul’s view of the Constitution isn’t the only one out there. For example:
- Targeting Killing of U.S. Citizens: Paul answered “None” when the New York Times queried, “Under what circumstances, if any, would the Constitution permit the president to authorize the targeted killing of a United States citizen who has not been sentenced to death by a court?” However, as John Dehn as noted, under Supreme Court decisions like the Prize Cases and , “lethal targeting of U.S. citizens who are part of an enemy army or force in armed conflict with the United States is entirely constitutional if it is otherwise consistent with the laws of war,” even “without a prior adjudication of guilt . . . .” If the Civil War was constitutional, then it’s difficult for me to see why killing Au-Aulaqi wasn’t.
- Fiat Money: In “End the Fed,” Paul asserts, “Constitution is clear about no paper money. Only gold and silver were to be legal tender.” However, as Robert Natelson has noted, the original meaning of the Coinage Clause did indeed allow for paper money.
- Abortion & the Courts: Paul  On a similar note, Steven Calabresi & Gary Lawson contend that the original meaning of the pre-Fourteenth Amendment Constitution inherently limits jurisdiction-stripping. “effectively repealing Roe v. Wade . . . by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction . . . .” However, as Maggie McKinley argues, the Fourteenth Amendment may have implicitly limited Congress’s Article III power to limit Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction.
Note, I am not arguing that any of the aforementioned scholars are infallibly correct. I am only noting that Paul’s views regarding the Constitution aren’t the only ones out there; and that reasonable people may disagree about the various constitutional positions he advocates. One can support adherence to “the Constitution,” and still oppose Ron Paul’s take on it.
 Ron Paul, End the Fed 165 (2009).
 See generally Robert G. Natelson, Paper Money and the Original Understanding of the Coinage Clause, 31 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 1017 (2008), available at http://constitution.i2i.org/files/2010/09/Coinage-Clause.pdf.
 See generally Maggie McKinley, Note, Plenary No Longer: How the Fourteenth Amendment “Amended” Congressional Jurisdiction-Stripping Power, 63 Stanford L. Rev. 1213 (2011), available at .
 See generally Steven G. Calabresi & Gary Lawson, The Unitary Executive, Jurisdiction Stripping, and the Hamdan Opinions: A Textualist Response to Justice Scalia, 107 Colum L. Rev. 1002 (2007), available at .