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Sunday, September 14, 2008

A free copy of the U.S. Constitution can be yours for the asking


In anticipation of Constitution Day, which is September 17, I asked a number of people this: what is Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution about? I asked a guy who had to study to become a naturalized citizen in the past four years. I asked a librarian. I asked a teacher. I asked a guy who has tried out for JEOPARDY! No one knew.

The answer, BTW, is that Article 1 establishes the legislature, i.e., Congress.
Article 2 establishes the executive branch and Article 3, the judiciary. I was asking this to make a point, which was the primacy of the Congress was intended by the Founders, but it's difficult to make an argument when no one understands the point of reference. The separation of powers has gotten pretty much out of whack over the past half century, going back to Harry Truman and the Korean war, and mitigated only briefly by Watergate.

I'm so distressed by this outcome that I will send up to the first 100 people to e-mail me with their addresses a copy of the Constitution, plus additional background. The offer ends on the first Monday in October 2008 at 6 pm Eastern time or when supplies run out, whichever comes first.



ROG

6 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

Take the Constitution quiz. I got 10/10 in the first round, 46/50 in the second: http://www.constitutionfacts.com/quiz.htm

Demeur said...

I've been studying the constitution of late but only to note all the amendments that this misadministration has violated.

Here's a reminder for you and your fellow librarians:
Banned book week
http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bannedbooksweek.cfm

This came to light as Sarah Palin tried to get books banned in Alaska.

Can you think of any books that were banned?
All I could come up with was Fanny Hill.

Roger Owen Green said...

Demeur - A number of challenged books appear here: http://tinyurl.com/6x5etr or http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned/frequentlychallengedbooks.cfm#infobanned

Willy me boyo said...

Roger,
I'm not sure the Federalist Papers concur with your "primacy" theory. Is the "Father,Son, and Holy Spirit a ranking?

If you are correct, how do you square that with an "activist" Supreme Court philosophy?

As for Demeur, if your studying the Constitution, you might want to note that the first ten "amendments" are listed as the Bill of Rights, not the Constitution.

Roger Owen Green said...

wmb: Certainly - there were founders who had differing views, even the 3 writers of the Federalist. My point is that the document decided that the "people's representatives" should come before the executive.
I think the "activist court" mantra is a myth. Or it's been an activist court since 1803. Its job to interpret law suggests that laws have to be written (by Congress) and generally signed (by the President) before they interpret it.
Are not the amendments part of the Constitution? Article 5 would suggest so.

wf said...

I emailed you my request, thanks Roger! Off to take the Constitution quiz...