House Reads the Constitution, Should Defend Its Values

For Immediate Release


Drew Courtney or Miranda Blue
202-467-4999 /

House Reads the Constitution, Should Defend Its Values

WASHINGTON - 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

"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:


People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

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