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Who reads the Constitution?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by JJY, Oct 11, 2006.

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  1. JJY

    JJY Member

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    I was wondering how many people have actually read the constitution – what % of Americans. I did not find a quick answer to this question on the internet but read lots of related items and even about some Harvard professor who warned students against reading the Constitution as it would confuse their understanding of constitutional interpretation … who knows if that is true, but it made me think and realize that I do not recall ever being assigned to read the Constitution when I was in law school (college either), even in my Constitutional Law course.

    It is certainly shorter than the Constitution, but last Independence Day, I made my wife, kids, and other family members who were over my house listen to me read them the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps I should add the Constitution to future reading lists.

    Before anyone asks, no, I am not that much fun at parties.
     
  2. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I try to read both the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence a couple of times each year, but then again I also read the Holy Bible through each year so I must be some sort of fanatic. :eek:

    I have also subjected family and friends to public readings of the Declaration, and other writings by our Founding Fathers. It never hurts to be reminded of these important concepts and ideals.
     
  3. Doug.38PR

    Doug.38PR member

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    Yes I have read it and refer to it when reading history a lot. We went over the articles and amendments in middle school in American history.

    But of course you're really not supposed to as it will confuse your constitutional interpretation. Afterall, only the black robed dieties on high called the Supreme Court are able to understand what the Constitution really means. It is a mystical document that can only be understood via the Federal Government :D That's why we don't really have a right to keep and bear arms
     
  4. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    I read it once. Most of it contains the "nuts and bolts" of how our government is structured, along with rules and responsibilities. To be perfectly honest, I thought most of it was pretty boring.
     
  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I noticed that the Constitution lays out the Powers and
    Authorities of government entities like the President,
    Congress, Courts, States and United States, but protects
    only one Right (inventors and authors to patents and copyrigts)
    and two Privileges (immunity of congressmen from arrest while
    Congress is in session, and habeus corpus in peacetime).

    Which is why the antifederalists insisted on a bill of rights
    to protect rights of the people against infringement by the
    government.

    Of course, some try to say that "the right of the people to keep
    and bear arms" really means the Power or Authority of the
    State to arm the National Guard.:rolleyes:
     
  6. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    When I was in highschool about 1964-65 the VFW gave me a
    bound book with the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    I even took a huge sheet of brown wrapping paper and
    made a full size replica of the Declaration of Independence.
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Got the whole deal in a little booklet right here by the computer table.

    :), Art
     
  8. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Got me a little booklet with me, right cheer. Good, quick little read from time to time. :)
     
  9. Axman

    Axman Member

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    Got the whole thing right HERE!
     
  10. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Keep a copy

    On my desk by my computer, and a second on my reloading bench.

    Amazing that the whole thing can fit, with commentary, in a shirt pocket sized booklet.

    Reading it through, I am struck by the fact that the Founders thought of everything---including the fact that they couldn't think of everything.
     
  11. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    I regularly read the Dec. of Independence and the Bill of Rights (and the other amendments), but I've never read the entire Constitution start to finish. I'm sure I've probably read all of it in bits and pieces while researching various topics of interests.
     
  12. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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  13. Rev. DeadCorpse

    Rev. DeadCorpse Member

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    I've got a couple of different bookmarks for online resources. Constitution.org is a tresure trove. I've not only read the DoI and the Constitution, but the Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers, Elliot's Debates of the First Congress, and other related sources.

    All of this to argue with idiots on the Internet. Mostly over Second Amendment and property Rights issues. Places where the law is in place, yet blatantly unConstitutional.
     
  14. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Yep, read it
    tis only about 7500 words +- a few.
     
  15. LkWinnipesaukee

    LkWinnipesaukee Member

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    Read it a few times this year. Finally taking United States History
     
  16. BobTheTomato

    BobTheTomato Member

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    Yes I have read it. I even used my knowlege to help out a friend in high school during a mock election. The history teacher running really didnt know what was supposed to happen if there was a 3 way tie.
     
  17. Knotthead

    Knotthead Member

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    I think I did in High School. We still took the time to study history in history classes back then. I did recently scan the Bill of Rights and the other successive amendments looking for the one that redefined the Second Amendment to refer to the National Guard. I must have overlooked it.
     
  18. WolfMansDad

    WolfMansDad Member

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    We were assigned the constitution in civics class when I was in high school, back in the eighties. (Public school, near Nashville TN) I read the whole thing through and gave no end of grief to my teachers after that! One exchange went something like this.

    Me (called to the principal's office for some infraction or other): "Why did you search my locker without my consent, while I was in class? Did you have reason to believe that I was hiding something?"

    Pricipal: "We aren't singling you out. Teachers routinely search student's lockers while the students are in class. Sometimes we have evidence to suggest a student is hiding something. Sometimes it's just a random check."

    Me: "But according to the fourth amendment to the constitution, that's unreasonable search and siezure. Why are you violating my rights?"

    Principal: "You are under eighteen. Those rights don't apply to minors."

    Me: "So you are conditioning us to accept a totalitarian state when we grow up?"

    The interview kind of went downhill from there.

    I suspect that's why reading the constitution is not often assigned in schools.
     
  19. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    For those of you who read the Declaration of Independence…

    Do you read just the “official” version or Thomas Jefferson’s original, unedited version as well? The Founding fathers edited Jefferson’s original work because they feared that his “extreme” tone and wording would push away and alienate those who were either moderates or fence sitters. While the edited version is not vastly different (a lot of what was cut out had to due with grievances against King George), I feel that it is important to know how Jefferson, the author, intended it to read.
     
  20. Keith Wheeler

    Keith Wheeler Member

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    Last 4th this was read from the bimah at our temple.
     
  21. Rem700SD

    Rem700SD Member

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    Just found my copy on my bookshelf. And yes, I have read it!
     
  22. Rev. DeadCorpse

    Rev. DeadCorpse Member

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    Points: Your locker is their property. You have no expectation of "privacy" there. As minor, your Rights are held in trust by your parent or legal gaurdian. Any papers or warrents served to seize your assets should have been submitted by your school to them.

    Finally, yes. Public schools have been "indoctrination centers" since the late 1970's. They are much, MUCH worse these days. :fire:
     
  23. bigun15

    bigun15 Member

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    I read most of the Constitution (sorry, but I thought it was boring also) and the Bill of Rights. I read a few of the other Amendments but don't know them really well.
     
  24. JJY

    JJY Member

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    I am not surprised that many here have read it and have handy copies of it. I took a poll of some people today – none had ever read it. Even worse, none had any interest in it at all. I volunteered my copy (a small book with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence that I have in my office) and no one would accept.

    I bet a very, very low percentage of Americans have read it, any of it, let alone the entire document. This, of course, does not stop them from opining as to its meaning though.
     
  25. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Member

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