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Constitution Party
Chairman Jim Clymer
Presidential nominee Don Blankenship (WV)
Vice Presidential nominee William Mohr (MI)
Founded 1990; 31 years ago (1990) (as U.S. Taxpayers' Party)
1999 (1999) (as Constitution Party)
Split from Republican Party
Headquarters 408 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603
Membership (2021) Increase 137,367
Ideology Christian right
Christian reconstructionism
Conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Paleoconservatism
Social conservatism
Political position Right wing to
far-right
Colors                Red, white and blue (national colors)
     Purple (de facto)
Seats in the Senate
0 / 100
Seats in the House
0 / 435
Governorships
0 / 50
State Upper House Seats
0 / 1,972
State Lower House Seats
0 / 5,411
Other elected offices 26

The Constitution Party, formerly the U.S. Taxpayers' Party until 1999, is a political party in the United States that promotes a religious conservative view of the principles and intents of the United States Constitution. The party platform is based on originalist interpretations of the Constitution and shaped by principles which it believes were set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Bible.

The party was founded by Howard Phillips, a conservative activist, after President George H. W. Bush violated his pledge of "read my lips: no new taxes". During the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections the party sought to give its presidential nomination to prominent politicians including Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot, but was unsuccessful and instead selected Phillips as its presidential nominee thrice. Michael Peroutka was given the presidential nomination in 2004, Chuck Baldwin was given the presidential nomination in 2008 although he faced opposition from multiple state affiliates, Virgil Goode was given the presidential nomination in 2012, Darrell Castle was given the presidential nomination in 2016, and Don Blankenship was given the presidential nomination in 2020.

In 2000, Rick Jore became the first member of the party to hold a seat in a state legislature, even though he was defeated in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections, and was later the first member to win election to a state legislature in 2006. In 2002, Greg Moeller became the first member of the party to win a partisan election. The Constitution parties of Minnesota and Colorado have both achieved major party status once.

As of July 2020, the Constitution Party has 26 members who have been elected to city council seats and other municipal offices across the United States. In terms of registered members, the party ranks fifth among national parties in the United States.

Platform

Domestic

Electoral College

The Constitution Party, in the 2016 platform, supported retaining the Electoral College and was opposed to establishing a popular vote system to elect the president and vice president of the United States.

Environmental policy

The party believes that "it is our responsibility to be prudent, productive, and efficient stewards of God's natural resources".

The party rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, saying that "globalists are using the global warming threat to gain more control via worldwide sustainable development". According to the party, eminent domain is unlawful because "under no circumstances may the federal government take private property, by means of rules and regulations which preclude or substantially reduce the productive use of the property, even with just compensation".

In regards to energy, the party calls attention to "the continuing need of the United States for a sufficient supply of energy for national security and for the immediate adoption of a policy of free market solutions to achieve energy independence for the United States," and calls for the abolition of the Department of Energy.

Federalism

The party supports the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which allows Congress to tax income derived from interest, dividends, and capital gains, and the Seventeenth Amendment, which requires the direct (popular) election of Senators. The party holds that each state's membership in the Union is voluntary, a stance known as the compact theory.

Fiscal policy

The Constitution Party's 2012 platform called for phasing out social security, and the 2016 platform states that "Social Security is a form of individual welfare not authorized in the Constitution".

The 2012 platform supports reducing the role of the United States federal government through cutting bureaucratic regulation, reducing spending, and replacing the income tax with a tariff-based revenue system supplemented by excise taxes. The party also takes the position that the "imposition of Federal income, payroll, and estate taxes is an unconstitutional Federal assumption of direct taxing authority". The party also supports the prohibition of Fractional-reserve banking and the return to the Gold standard saying quote "The Constitution forbade the States from accepting or using anything other than a Gold and Silver based currency" as stated in the 2016-2020 platform.

Social policy

The party opposes euthanasia, suicide, and abortion. The party supports the right of states to administer the death penalty.

The party opposes any government legislation to authorize or define marriage contrary to the Bible, and states that "The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman".

The party opposes all government sponsorship, involvement in, or promotion of gambling. Citing Article 1 Section 8 and Amendment 10, the party opposes federal anti-drug laws, while conceding that the federal government may have a role in limiting the import of drugs.

The Constitution Party believes that charitable giving is most effective when conducted by private parties.

The party opposes federal restrictions on, or subsidization of, medical treatments.

The party supports English as the official language for all governmental business, opposes bilingual ballots, and insists that those who wish to take part in the electoral process and governance of the U.S. be required to read and comprehend basic English as a precondition for citizenship.

In 2009, the Southern Poverty Law Center described the party as a "Patriot Group" a category of parties that "advocate or adhere to extreme anti-government doctrines".

Religion

R. J. Rushdoony, a main figure in Christian reconstructionism, helped write the party's 1992 platform.

Foreign

Trade

The Constitution Party's 2012 platform supports a non-interventionist foreign policy. It advocates reduction and eventual elimination of the role the United States plays in multinational and international organizations such as the United Nations and favors withdrawal of the United States from most treaties, such as NATO, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization. The party takes mercantilist positions in supporting protectionist policies on international trade.

The party also believes in exercising a tariff system to counteract the United States' increasingly negative balance of trade.

Immigration policy

The party in 2012 opposed illegal immigration and sought stricter controls on legal immigration. It demanded that the federal government implement an immigration policy disqualifying potential immigrants on grounds of ill health, criminality, low morals, or financial dependence, claiming that they would impose an improper burden on the United States. The party favored a moratorium on future immigration, with exceptions only for extreme cases of necessity, until federal welfare programs have been phased out and a better vetting program is in place.

The party opposes welfare subsidies and other benefits to undocumented immigrants. It rejects the practice of bestowing U.S. citizenship on children born to illegal immigrant parents while in this country (jus soli), and flatly rejects any extension of amnesty to undocumented immigrants. The Constitution Party calls for the use of the United States military to enforce the strict immigration policy.

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