Todd Quotes Emma Lazarus Poem As If It's The Law

The liberal lionization of Emma Lazarus' poem has reached laughable new heights.  On this evening's Hardball, guest host Chuck Todd cited the Lazarus lines from the base of the Statue of Liberty . . . as if they had some authority in law!

Todd was debating former GOP congressman Ernest Istook on the proposal some Republicans have floated to recast or clarify the 14th Amendment so as not to grant automatic citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.
ERNEST ISTOOK:  The Supreme Court precedent on this, which was in 1898, was the case of Wong Kim Ark.  And in that case, he was the child of parents who were here legally, and lawfully.  The Supreme Court has not ruled on the case of children of parents who are here illegally.

CHUCK TODD: But here's the issue you have.  Let me read you--and it's a very familiar phrase to a lot of folks--that greets people when they came to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.  It says: "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  The wretched refuse of your teeming shores. Send these the homeless tempest [tossed] to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."  There was no mention of whether these folks had to be legal citizens.

Istook took it easy on Todd.  Instead of chuckling at Chuck, he mild-manneredly observed "my grandparents came through Ellis Island.  My father's parents were immigrants from Hungary.  So I know the Emma Lazarus poem that you were quoting. But that's not the same as quoting the provisions of the Constitution."

Can our ingenious readers provide examples of other poems that the legal lights of the MSM might like to cite?

Note: last month, when Pres. Obama also quoted the Lazarus poem in a speech on immigration, Rush brilliantly demolished [subscription required] liberal myths about it. 

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.