Thursday, January 6, 2011

House to open with reading of Constitution

It will no doubt be a revelation to many on the Jacobin side of this house.

The 112th Congress will start with a reading of the Constitution for the first time in history.

ArticleComment WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. House Republican leaders, fulfilling a pledge to make the chamber Constitution-focused, open Thursday's session by reading the document.

Historians say the exercise will be the first time the Constitution has been read in chamber although it has been inserted as part of the congressional record.

The man responsible, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told Fox News the reading goes beyond a simple ninth-grade civics lesson.

"This is a very symbolic showing to the American people," Goodlatte said, "and it's a powerful message to members of Congress. We are a nation of laws, not of men."

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio will kick off the exercise by reading the Constitution's preamble, Fox said. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is schedule to read Article 1, Section 1, followed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reading Article 1, Section 2.*

Goodlatte estimated it will take about 90 minutes to read the Constitution and all of its amendments. He said representatives will use one copy of the document that will be passed among members during the reading.

Republicans have changed House rules to require proposed legislation to cite the section of the Constitution giving Congress the authority to enact the measure.

Read more: here...


* Poetic justice.

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 2 - The House

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

(Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.) (The previous sentence in parentheses was modified by the 14th Amendment, section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

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