professor in dunce hat

Even our crack congeeks sometimes get stuff wrong.

Overthrowing the government
No, you can't. You can amend the Constitution, vote new guys into office, file suits, petition the government. But the Constitution doesn't let you overthrow the government.
We vote for the president
Wrong again. We actually vote for "electors" in the Electoral College who represent us as they elect prez and veep. They almost always follow our popular vote but legally they don't have to.
Conscientious objectors
You can refuse to fight in war if it violates your moral beliefs. It's not in the Constitution but this protection was recognized even before our nation was formed.
Plea bargaining
Prosecutors often offer lighter punishments if a defendant admits to being guilty or helps in other ways. It's not in the Constitution.
The U.S. is a democracy
It's a "republic," a kind of democracy where we elect representatives to make laws for us. We call America a democracy all the time -- that's cool -- but republic is more accurate.
God's name
God isn't mentioned in the Constitution except that 1787 is described as "the year of our Lord." It is the Declaration of Independence that says "all men are endowed by their 'Creator.' "
Innocent until proven guilty
Those words don't show up in the Constitution. Suspects can be jailed, strip searched, harshly interrogated, forced to pay bail. You won't really feel very innocent until you are proven innocent.
Supreme Court declaring laws unconstitutional
The power of the Court to kill a law it thinks violates the Constitution isn't in the Constitution. The Supreme Court grabbed that power for itself soon after the nation was created.
States overruling federal laws
Totally bogus. Article VI says the Constitution is the "Supreme Law of the Land."
Jury of your peers
It means a jury of fair-minded people. If you face trial, you can choose and reject jurors from a large pool of people. The exact phrase is not in the Consitution.
"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"
It's from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.
The Declaration of Independence
Totally zoned out during social science class, didn't you? The DOI isn't part of the Constitution. It was written 11 years earlier.
American Flag
There's no mention of The Stars and Strips or Old Glory.
Not a word about marriage. Straight, gay or otherwise.
"Taxation without representation"
It may have made an awesome bumper sticker leading up to the Revolution (actually it's on today's license plates in Washington D.C.) but this famous phrase wasn't written into the Constitution.
Political parties
Don't blame the Constitution.
The right to education
It's not in the Constitution but Americans believe ignorant people make lame citizens. Eventually school was made available to every child.
Privacy, a right to be left alone
The Ninth Amendment guarantees rights that aren't mentioned by name. The Right to Privacy is one of them.
Miranda Rights
The duty of cops to read your rights to you if you've arrested was created by the Supreme Court in 1966. "Miranda Rights" are in lots of movies but not in the Constitution.
States rights
The Constitution gives "powers" to the states. Rights belong to the people.
"Implied" powers
The federal government exercises lots of unnamed (implied) powers that are "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers that are named.
"Separation of church and state"
Thomas Jefferson used this well-known phrase to explain that Congress can't make laws that establish or limit the practice of religion. It's not in the Constitution.
Checks and Balances
You won't find C&Bs in the Constitution. The separation of powers is spelled out in Articles I, II and III. The Constitution's framers (writers) were paranoid about giving to much power to one group or the other.
The Senate created the "filibuster" rule which gives a minority group of senators the right to block voting on an issue. It takes 60 (of 100) senators to "break" a filibuster. Not mentioned in the Constitution.
"All men are created equal"
Right idea, wrong document. Check out the Declaration of Independence.
"Government of the people, by the people and for the people"
President Lincoln used these words in his Gettysburg Address during the Civil War.
Capitalism is a basis for our economic system but it's not mentioned by name in the Constitution.