Herman Cain doesn't think much of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

At the time, I thought it was kind of random when Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, won the Teabaggers’ presidential straw poll in Feburary. I mean, I follow these wingnuts pretty closely, and that really took me by surprise.

But now it’s pretty easy to see why he won.

Herman Cain, another likely GOP presidential contender, said over the weekend that he would not appoint a Muslim to his administration or the federal courts because he believes all Muslims “force their Sharia law onto the rest of us.”

Of course, if you were to substitute “black” or “Jew” for “Muslim” in Cain’s remarks, he would be lucky to get a job delivering for Papa John’s.

But these disgusting comments won’t hurt him at all because a) he’s competing in the Republican primary, where unabashed bigotry is actually a plus; and b) Muslim-bashing is still greeted with yawns in this country.

Anyway, since Cain wants to be President of the United States, and he’d have to defend the Constitution and promise not break the law and stuff, he might want to consult Article VI, paragraph 3, which reads,

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Also, there’s Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibits:

  • treating applicants or employees differently based on their religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – in any aspect of employment, including recruitment, hiring, assignments, discipline, promotion, and benefits (disparate treatment);
  • subjecting employees to harassment because of their religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – or because of the religious practices or beliefs of people with whom they associate (e.g., relatives, friends, etc.);
  • denying a requested reasonable accommodation of an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – if an accommodation will not impose more than a de minimis cost or burden on business operations; 1 and,
  • retaliating against an applicant or employee who has engaged in protected activity, including participation (e.g., filing an EEO charge or testifying as a witness in someone else’s EEO matter), or opposition to religious discrimination (e.g., complaining to human resources department about alleged religious discrimination).

Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure Cain’s “no Muslims in my government” proposal is illegal.

Make no mistake: Cain isn’t going away. Gallup has noted his popularity among Republicans and he’s just been invited to speak at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference.

Which begs my question tonight: just how crazy, how bigoted and how willing do you have to be to break the law to get banished by the right?