January 6, 2011

Are you watching the reading of the Constitution on the House floor?

I just turned on C-SPAN and hit the 2d Amendment right on the nose. Do I have some kind of right-wing instinct?

Here, you can watch on the internet. Hurry! They're up to the 6th Amendment.

UPDATE: The 10th Amendment won a spatter of applause.

UPDATE 2: John Lewis read the 13th Amendment – abolishing slavery — and that got a big round of applause. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment — read by Democrat Mel Watt — also got some healthy applause.

UPDATE 3: Silence at the 17th Amendment.

UPDATE 4: The word "sex" is in the Constitution.

UPDATE 5: You have one sentence to read: How can you mispronounce one of the words? Compulsatory, etc. etc.

UPDATE 6: Applause... either for the document as a whole, now completely read, or for the idea that they shouldn't give themselves a raise, which was the last thing read.

UPDATE 7: I missed the birther outburst. Did it really happen?
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) tweeted from the House floor that a "birther" had interrupted the Constitution reading that's been taking place.
Yes, it happened...



... from the gallery. It wasn't another Joe Wilson "You lie"-type situation.

UPDATE 8: The heckler — who has been arrested — yelled "Except Obama, except Obama. Help us Jesus." Jesus? Why drag in Jesus?

66 comments:

Scott M said...

When does theater and the absolutely necessary dovetail?

sunsong said...

Yeah, I've been watching. I'm a sap, I admit - but I've found it quite touching. Even the dems are behaving well and reading well :-)

TWM said...

I like the idea . . . many people and quite a few of our representatives sorely need to be reminded that the damn thing still exists, is relevent, and is remarkably easy to understand unless you're a lawyer.

It's also a much more productive use of their time than most of the crap the last congress was doing.

dont tread 2012 said...

@TWM

Yes. Yes. And yes.

And one more thing.

Yes.

MadisonMan said...

Political Theater. Not sure what this shows, other than House Members can read -- which I admit was suspect in some cases.

Oops, Rep. Gosar said "shall be denied" -- omitting the 'not' -- when talking about rights! He did correct himself (phew).

victoria said...

Yes. They are on the 13th, article 4. I think it is also good for the righties to hear this too. Sometimes they have some screwed up ideas about what is in the Constitution and this will set both lefties and righties straight. For a while, that is. That "anchor babies" crap that they are whining about is right there, oops. We can bear arms but children born in this country can't be citizens, huh?

I am a liberal and I think it is great. Maybe they should do it every year in January.

Vicki from Pasadena

Scott M said...

What do you suppose the discussion about the amendment abolishing slavery was about? If they had a white guy or gal do it, outrage. If they have a black guy or gal do it, outrage.

Part and parcel, it seems. We need an alien invasion soon so everyone with two arms, two legs, and one head will get along finally.

edutcher said...

Theater it may be, but the Demos take it for granted that what they want to do in the interests of building their empire is not covered in the Constitution.

It's a pretty good idea to remind them there are people watching who care about that and will hold them accountable.

HDHouse said...

I particularly liked the part where they left out the 3/5ths Compromise and that little snipet about the government regulating the slave trade and that really cool part about "people held to service or labor (slavery) in one state escape them must not be freed by the laws of another state".

I guess those who want to adhere to all the constitution as written don't want to adhere to all the constitution as written.

Coldstream said...

Darn, they skipped the 18th Amendment. Thought reading it might serve as a useful reminder of overreach and unintended consequences, and the occasional stupidity, of government.

Especially considering they read the 21st, would have been nice to have the context of the 18th.

Calypso Facto said...

A good idea as a reminder I think.

Also appears to be forcing some to brush up on their reading skills. They'd STILL be reading the Obamacare bill if that motion had passed.

lemondog said...

Empty chamber.

sunsong said...

I am a liberal and I think it is great. Maybe they should do it every year in January.

I agree. It can't hurt and it might help.

knox said...

I am a liberal and I think it is great.

LMAO

lemondog said...

My Bicentennial Keepsake Edition of The Constitution of the United States of America, does not have Amendment XXXVII

Marshal said...

HD says in part..."I guess those who want to adhere to all the constitution as written don't want to adhere to all the constitution as written."

It seems obvious this criticism is intentionally ignorant. Those who want to follow the constitution agree the amendment process is legitimate. Following the constitution does not require that one eliminate the 13th and 14th amendments to reinstate the 3/5ths clause or the Fugitive Slave Act.

But liberals should continue to bask in their hypocrisy by feigning outrage over the death panel charge as "demonizing" while implying supporting the constitution includes accepting slavery.

lemondog said...

Been looking for a nicely framed Constitution and The Declaration of Independence, for my 4 and 7 year old nieces.

Never too soon.

edutcher said...

HDHouse said...

I particularly liked the part where they left out the 3/5ths Compromise and that little snipet about the government regulating the slave trade and that really cool part about "people held to service or labor (slavery) in one state escape them must not be freed by the laws of another state".

If they had read it, HD would be the first to call them raaaaacists.

YA BETCHA!!

Clyde said...

@ Vicki from Pasadena

Let's suppose that you and your husband decide to study at a foreign university for a couple of years, say in Germany. While there, you become pregnant and give birth to a child. Would your child be a German citizen? Or say that your husband is in the military and assigned to a base in Japan. You go there with him, again become pregnant and give birth to a child there. Would your child be a Japanese citizen?

The same logic should apply to foreigners here on a temporary or illegal basis. Nothing could be more ludicrous than to have some Arab parents give birth a kid while they are studying here, return to their home country and then have their kid grow up to be a terrorist who attacks America while getting all the rights of an American citizen.

I think that any child born in the United States to at least one American-citizen parent should automatically be an American citizen. Beyond that, no.

Scott M said...

@Clyde

My youngest brother was born in Germany while we were stationed there when my dad was active duty. He technically, if memory serves, has dual-citizenship.

c3 said...

victoria;
That "anchor babies" crap that they are whining about is right there, oops. We can bear arms but children born in this country can't be citizens, huh?

You lost me on that one. Help me with the connection.

HD;
I particularly liked the part where they left out the 3/5ths Compromise and that little snipet about the government regulating the slave trade and that really cool part about "people held to service or labor (slavery) in one state escape them must not be freed by the laws of another state".

See there are these things called amendments. They can change previous stuff in the constitution. Pretty cool actually. You should read up on them.

MadisonMan said...

@Clyde, I believe Mick can answer that. He is the resident expert on all matters citizenship-related.

Jay said...

We can bear arms but children born in this country can't be citizens, huh?


Huh?

Um, Huh?

Yes, I'm quite certain the framers intended illegals rushing across the border from Mexico having children born on US soil to be "citizens."

Quite sure.

Trooper York said...

Well hd the Constitution can be changed. Much like Depends. You might want to look into it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

victoria said...

I think it is also good for the righties to hear this too. Sometimes they have some screwed up ideas about what is in the Constitution and this will set both lefties and righties straight. For a while, that is. That "anchor babies" crap that they are whining about is right there, oops. We can bear arms but children born in this country can't be citizens, huh?

I'm not sure what your point is. The large majority of the people who want to do something about "anchor babies" understand quite well that it would require a constitutional amendment.

Comrade X said...

it's sad that ivy grad ezra klein doesn't understand a word of this. I guess that's the hazard when your entire enrollment consists of legacy or diversity admits.

Carol said...

"I particularly liked the part where they left out the 3/5ths Compromise"

So they were reading only the valid parts -? I guess that make sense.

It's interesting to read WEB Dubois's doctoral thesis on the efforts to get rid of slavery about that time. I was surprised how many southern states did hotly debate it. On SC and GA stood up for the peculiar institution, because they had gone all-in on it financially.

Sixty Grit said...

The word "sex" is in the Consitution.

Sure, but is it in the Constitution?

Hoosier Daddy said...

That "anchor babies" crap that they are whining about is right there, oops. We can bear arms but children born in this country can't be citizens, huh?

I don't have a problem with children born in this country becoming citizens. It says so right in the first sentence of the 14th Amendment.

What I have a problem with is when I hear the whining from liberals that we're breaking up families. No. If Mom and Dad came in illegally and should be forced to adhere to the immigration laws that my Polish great grandparents had to follow when they came here. If that means they have to take thier American citizen offspring back to the Motherland until they follow the legal procedure than so be it.

PatCA said...

I will watch later, but I think it's a good thing. Yes, these folks are all learned and elite and accomplished but they're also only human. It is good to take a breath and recall how we started and why they are in Congress.

Before they start wrecking the country again.

Just a breath.

Roux said...

From time to time we all need to be reminded of the history that got us where we are today.

John said...

Hey Vicki,

I am a liberal too. In the sense that I believe that the *only* job of govt is to ensure liberty. I'll answer to minarchist or libertarian and to borderline anarchist as well.

You are wrong about anchor babies being in the Constitution. Birthright citizenship most definitely is in the Constitution but I see nothing about that letting them bring their non-citizen relatives in.

The concept of anchor babies is a matter of policy and law. Not of the Constitution.

FWIW: I think our policy on anchor babies is stupid and should be changed. The baby can stay, the mother (and father, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles etc and so on) need to go home

Maybe you could benefit by reading the document.

John Henry

Trooper York said...

For some reason when I hear the tear "anchor babies" I think of a baby tied to an anchor and tossed over the side of the boat.

But that's just me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But that's just me.

And that is why you are loved and cherished around here Trooper.

Sorry about the lifeboat comment yesterday. I hope I didn't dredge up some bad memories like when your Princess cruise liner hit a sandbar and you spilled your Guinness.

John said...

HD House,

You do realize that it was the southern who wanted slaves to count as whole persons and the supposedly anti-slave northerners who put the 3/5th language in the Constitution, don't you?

Probably not.

Oh, well.

John Henry

Hoosier Daddy said...

You do realize that it was the southern who wanted slaves to count as whole persons and the supposedly anti-slave northerners who put the 3/5th language in the Constitution, don't you?

I don't think he realized that slavery was ended by Constitutional amendment thus, not much point in reading a section of the Constitution that has no effect. Kind of like prohibition.

lemondog said...

Any applause for Amendment X?

Scott M said...

Any applause for Amendment X?

Isn't that the Amendment that was for the universal segregation of single digit and two-digit amendments?

victoria said...

You do realize that, if a child is born in this country and the parents are not citizens that the parents cannot stay in this country, even to take care of the child. They "should" go back to their country until the child is 18. I really believe that the instances of the "anchor babies" is far less prevalent than most of you think it is. I think, like the "death panels" this is posturing on the right to show that they are concerned for the American citizens when they really don't give a crap.


Vicki from Pasadena

victoria said...

Well Clyde, you would need a constitutional amendment for that, having one parent an American citizen Thank God I don't think that will happen.

Lyle said...

Why Jesus? Jesus of Nazareth controls many American lives through moon beams from upon high. Their entire existence depends upon Him apparently.

Cedarford said...

Hoosier - "I don't have a problem with children born in this country becoming citizens. It says so right in the first sentence of the 14th Amendment."

Except everyone knew that the Reconstruction numbnuts were just trying to legitimize ex-slaves as citizens, not open the door to insta-citizenship to armed or peaceful invader's offspring.

Back in 1868 we didn't have modern transportation ready to move 60 invaders in in the back of a semi or fly any pregnant 3rd or 4th worlder in from anywhere in the world within a day.

But even then, the numbnuts didn't want foreign officials gaining insta-citizenship and demanding to stay vs. have to return to Bolivia or Montegegro or similar place of nationality shithole - so they said no citizenship for diplomats, military laisons, people not subject to jurisdiction of our laws.

The last part is key, given our Amending process is paralyzed and broken by special interest groups since the early 60s. The best argument of the Open Borders, Diversity is Our Greatest Strength, and 1 billion Americans by 2130!! crowd makes is that illegals only reject some legal jusrisdiction over them but comply with other laws.
Just like German occupiers on the Isle of Man rejected some English law, but honored others, like driving on the wronghand side of the road..

The rest of the world thinks it is stupid. If they had it, that would have meant that they were stuck forever with foreign colonists. Or something like the Soviet army of occupation saying they would have had to stay because from 1945 to 1990, they created some 3.5 million birthright children of Occupiers in E Europe.

And of course, birthright citizenship would have neverallowed Europe to get rid of Muslim occupiers and their families, starting with the Reconquista.

PatCA said...

Okay, I'm lost on the 3/5 argument. HD, you do know that the compromise was an effort to deny the slave states to dominate the union?
Frederick Douglass on the Constitution

Jay said...

You do realize that, if a child is born in this country and the parents are not citizens that the parents cannot stay in this country, even to take care of the child. They "should" go back to their country until the child is 18

You do realize this does not happen, right?

You do realize, you have no point, right?

Drew said...

The "birther" was a Democrat plant.

c3 said...

Damn Mick, you missed your cue

RichardS said...

"The idea that they shouldn't give themselves a raise." They shouldn't or they can't? It's the law, after all.
If, however, federalism is merely a "value" and not the law (ie: the legal structure of our federal republic), perhaps "shouldn't" is appropriate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You do realize that, if a child is born in this country and the parents are not citizens that the parents cannot stay in this country, even to take care of the child.

Yes Vicki I do realize this. The problem is the left shreiks about 'tearing apart families' when Mom and Dad get sent back as if somehow we're forcing their offspring to stay here.

They "should" go back to their country until the child is 18.

They 'should' go back and enter legally even if the child is 35.

I really believe that the instances of the "anchor babies" is far less prevalent than most of you think it is.

I know people who still believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. It takes a rather large leap of faith to think that there aren't many 'anchor babies' coming out of an estimated 10-15 million illegal immigrant population.

Ellen said...

Under current law, illegal immigrants who have an American born child can still be deported; the American child can't help his or her parents with immigration until he or she turns 21.
And there were no immigration laws when our constitution was enacted.
The first immigration law was not enacted until 1875! So the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had no knowledge of immigration laws because there were none.

Ellen said...

Under current law, illegal immigrants who have an American born child can still be deported; the American child can't help his or her parents with immigration until he or she turns 21.
And there were no immigration laws when our constitution was enacted.
The first immigration law was not enacted until 1875! So the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had no knowledge of immigration laws because there were none.

Donald Douglas said...

Why drag in Jesus? I thought that was a nice touch. Satisfies a lot of the progressive claims on how extremist are the tea party types and birthers).

Scott M said...

So...was it a plant or wasn't it? Did she yell, "and we're gonna bomb two places in Maryland" while they were hauling her out?

Hagar said...

The "3/5ths of a person not free ...." is not "ugly" or "imperfect," it was just the price the populous and relatively wealthy northern states paid for getting the slaveholding southern states to go along with forming a strong United States at all.

I believe the language also was inherited from the Articles of Confederation, and so was not a new idea. Also I think the careful circumlocutions and the prohibition on importing more slaves after 1808 show which way the wind was blowing, but the Framers drafted the Constitution to resolve their immediate problems and were not looking for more incendiary issues to ignite further fighting among themselves. As it was, it was a near thing that they got their Constitution adopted.

I think the Republicans screwed up badly by not having the Constitution and Amendments read in sequence, as originally adopted.

And as for the citizenship thing, I do not think the 14th Amendment provides citizenship for "anchor babies," but I sort of think the original Constitution does, and I would hate to see the United States lose this characteristic gesture.

I think the problem is not with the "babies" getting citizenship, but the language in the immigration laws that makes them "anchor babies." Remove that, and they and their parents, siblings, and nephews can all be sent back home for now, and the "babies" can return when they become adults and can speak for themselves.

Blair said...

The whole birth certificate thing is bizarre. There is no stipulation in the US Constitution saying a President must be born in the USA. They need only be over 35, have lived in the US for 14 years, and be a “natural born” citizen.

US Federal Law 8 USC 1401(g) states that the following is a citizen at birth ie. a natural born citizen:

a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years

Stanley Ann Durham, Obama’s mother, fits these criteria. So Obama could have been born in Timbucktoo and still qualified as a natural born citizen of the United States.

reader_iam said...

Been looking for a nicely framed Constitution

Might need to make it more like a mural (or at least a 6-paneled display)if you want it to be easily readable on a wall.

HDHouse said...

Hey folks, all I wanted to point out that they said they were going to read the constitution line by line except for the lines they didn't want read line by line.

It was more important to do what?

reader_iam said...

Scott M: Theresa Cao.

I don't think she was a plant. But I wouldn't take her as representative of that many people, either.

AlphaLiberal said...

Hilarious! Republicans violated the Constitution on the same day they read it out loud!

Veteran Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and freshman Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) failed to make the official swearing in ceremony yesterday, a violation of the Constitution that has sent Republicans scrambling and briefly brought an end to the new majority's push to repeal the health care reform law.

While the rest of the House was being made official in the chamber, Sessions and Fitzpatrick were outside the room at an event for Fitzpatrick supporters.


They were at a fundraiser for Fitzpatrick. In the Capitol, no less!

The circus is back in town!

MikeR said...

I see Dafydd is reading the constitution too.
http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2011/01/lets_read_the_c.html
Good for us laymen; I haven't read it since elementary school civics class. Ann can laugh at our elementary efforts.

MikeR said...

That should be
http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2011/01/lets_read_the_c.html

MikeR said...

Arghh! The whole link never shows up. So just go to biglizards.net/blog and go to Let's Read the Constitution Day

Mick said...

Scott M said...
@Clyde

My youngest brother was born in Germany while we were stationed there when my dad was active duty. He technically, if memory serves, has dual-citizenship.


Scott. The Law is not about ancedotes, and although the allegiance of your brother may be strongly to the US, and w/o question, the fact is that natural born Citizen's are Federal Common Law (Natural Law)citizens, i.e no statute is required to make them a US Citizen. If your brother was born a dual citizen, then Federal Statute says that his US Citizenship becomes singular by election of Residence at the age of majority. A2S1C5 is a security measure designed to guarentee, to the highest possibility, that the CIC of the armed forces have the requisite Allegiance and attachment to the US, or as Federalist #68 says, a "creature of our own". It is an ancient natural law that a population should be led by one of their own, or as Vattel puts it, an "indigenous" (from within) citizen, or as Laurence tribe recently put it, "one born WITHIN the Territory and ALLEGIANCE of a nation".

wv: cloutwax--- heavy duty wax

Mick said...

Blair said...
The whole birth certificate thing is bizarre. There is no stipulation in the US Constitution saying a President must be born in the USA. They need only be over 35, have lived in the US for 14 years, and be a “natural born” citizen.

US Federal Law 8 USC 1401(g) states that the following is a citizen at birth ie. a natural born citizen:



Wrong. Natural Born Citizens have never been held to be a "Citizen at birth". That is an Obama apologist fantasy. NBC is a term of art of natural law, and has been defined in the dicta of SCOTUS Citizenship cases, the Federalist papers, the writers of the 14th Amendment and most recently by Laurence Tribe, exactly as Vattel did in "Law of Nations" (1757), i.e one born in the US of US Citizen parents. No statute is needed to make one born in the US of Citizen parents a US Citizen. USC Title 8 Section 1401 is the provenance of Congressional ability to determine who is a US Citizen at birth, not who is a US Citizen by Federal Common Law (natural born Citizen). Notice the words "natural born" never appear in USC 8 S1401, since if that were so, congress could ammend the constitution at will (A2S1C5) w/o a Constitutional Congress.

Mick said...

"c3 said...
Damn Mick, you missed your cue"

Just saw it. Tried to call Schnitt yesterday while he was bashing "birthers" (he is the controlled opposition) to embarrass him w/ his ignorance, but couldn't get thru in time.

Mick said...

John Henry said,

"You are wrong about anchor babies being in the Constitution. Birthright citizenship most definitely is in the Constitution but I see nothing about that letting them bring their non-citizen relatives in."


Birthright citizenship is certainly in the Constitution, but only at the time the Born becomes SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION of the US, i.e relinquishes all foreign citizenships, and is wholly part of the political family of the US (see Elk v. Wilkins 1874). Why do you think the citizenship oath makes one relinquish all foreign allegiance? A child born of non citizens in the US is a citizen of the parents country, not the US. He/She may become a US Citizen if the parents become citizens before the child's age of majority, or by naturalization at the age of majority. If the parents are legal domiciled residents, then the child may become a citizen by election of residence at the age of majority (the holding of Wong Kim Ark).

Mick said...

Donald Douglas said...
Why drag in Jesus? I thought that was a nice touch. Satisfies a lot of the progressive claims on how extremist are the tea party types and birthers).



Another "law prof", supposedly knowledgable of the Constitution, that knows nothing.