For Immediate Release

As ‘Conservative’ Constitution Classes Begin, ACS Offers Resources, Experts to Broaden Discussion

advance of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s first “Conservative Constitutional
Seminar” Monday to be led by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the
American Constitution Society has offered its cadre of constitutional
experts as a resource to Congress, suggesting in letters delivered to
Bachmann and House Speaker John Boehner Friday that ACS experts’
“insight and understanding about all aspects of the Constitution” would
help “broaden and enrich the discussion.”
In her letter to Bachmann, ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson
recognized the planned Constitution classes as an important opportunity
“to ensure that Members of Congress and all Americans are familiar with
the U.S. Constitution in its entirety.”
She noted, however, that the classes have been termed “Conservative
Constitutional Seminars,” “suggesting that you do not intend to provide
members of Congress with a comprehensive understanding of the
Constitution, but instead will offer an interpretive approach that
yields results consistent with the political views of Tea Party Caucus
members who are organizing the seminars.” To expand the scope of the
discussion, Fredrickson offered to make available any of ACS’s experts
to participate in these classes.
Fredrickson delivered a second letter Friday to Boehner, urging him to
take advantage of ACS experts and other resources as he moves forward
with his plan to cite the Constitution in all bills. Boehner had flagged
ACS as a resource in his memo to Members of Congress, “New
Constitutional Authority Requirement for Legislation.” 
“We understand that briefings on the Constitution are already being
provided to Congress, and we would be more than happy to offer you the
perspective of our constitutional experts during such briefings or for
other Congressional hearings,” Fredrickson wrote.
ACS, a network of lawyers, law students, policymakers and judges,
engages many of the nation’s leading legal experts in thoughtful
discussion on constitutional interpretation. ACS distributes brief white
papers and longer law review articles, and holds more than 1,000
briefings, panel discussions, debates and other events each year.
The letter to Bachmann is available here, and the letter to Boehner is here.
Please contact the ACS Communications Department for more information or to arrange an interview with Fredrickson.
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) one of
the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, a rapidly growing
network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and
other concerned individuals founded in 2001.  The views of speakers are
their own and should not be attributed to ACS.  For more information
about the organization or to locate one of the more than 200 lawyer or
law student chapters in 48 states, please visit

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