House Reads the Constitution, Should Defend Its Values

Members of the House of Representatives plan to read the amended U.S. Constitution aloud on the House floor today. Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, responded:
 
“Reading the U.S. Constitution aloud on the House floor is a great idea. Every member of Congress should listen to and take to heart every part of this extraordinary document including its protections for civil liberties, its empowerment of Congress to regulate commerce for the common good, and its hard-won amendments guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities for all Americans.

“But the House should read the entire Constitution. The passages that have been removed by amendments illustrate the complexity of our history and the power of the document as a reflection of our core values in changing times. The Constitution ultimately belongs to the people who it governs. There is no better way to show that than by reading it in its entirety.

“We will all benefit from a Congress that understands that the Constitution is not a political battering ram to be selectively understood and largely ignored, but a document that has been crafted over hundreds of years to guarantee the fundamental rights of Americans. As the 112th Congress starts its work, its members would do well to reflect especially on the Constitution’s first three words: ‘We the people.’ In this political climate where corporations and the wealthy have been given unprecedented power, we should all remember who our government by and of the people is meant to serve”  

Yesterday, People For the American Way released a report examining the Tea Party movement’s relationship with the Constitution. The report, Corporate Infusion: What the Tea Party’s Really Serving America, can be found online at: http://www.pfaw.org/media-center/publications/corporate-infusion-what-the-tea-party-s-really-serving-america
 

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