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  • Morning Bell: Tea Party Congress Returns to Constitution

    Shortly after noon today, all 435 Members of the House of Representatives will raise their right hands and take the following oath:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    This constitutionally mandated oath plays two important roles. First, by requiring all Members of Congress—as well as state legislators and all executive and judicial officers—to support the Constitution, the “Oaths Clause” obliges them to observe the limits of their authority and act in accordance with the powers delegated to them by the Constitution. Second, contrary to what leftist legal reporters believe, the oath serves as a solemn reminder that the duty to uphold the Constitution is not the final responsibility of the courts but is shared by Congress and the President as co-equal branches of the United States government.

    To help Members better fulfill their oath, the House will not only read the Constitution aloud on Thursday but also adopt a rule requiring that every bill cite what specific provisions of the Constitution empower Congress to enact it. Hopefully these measures will force some Members to re-familiarize themselves with our nation’s governing document, because as the last two years demonstrated, the last Congress sorely needed the lesson:

    • In September 2009, then-Majority Whip James Clyburn (D–SC) told Fox News: “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do.”
    • In October 2009, a reporter asked then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA): “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” Speaker Pelosi shook her head dismissing the question: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
    • In April 2010, then-Representative Phil Hare (D–IL) responded to constituents asking about Obamacare: “I don’t worry about the Constitution on this to be honest.”
    • In August 2010, Representative Pete Stark (D–CA) told constituents asking if the Constitution limits Congress in any way: “The federal government can, yes, do most anything in this country.”

    There are many reasons the American people soundly rejected the 111th Congress at the polls last November, but the flippant attitude that many in the last Congress took toward fulfilling their oath to defend the Constitution is perhaps the most troubling.

    The 112th Congress has a lot of work to do. Shortly after the November elections, The Heritage Foundation released A Checklist for Congress calling on the 112th to honor the voters who elected them to Congress by (1) freezing and cutting spending, (2) repealing Obamacare, (3) stopping the Obama tax increases, (4) protecting America, and (5) getting control of government. That last item is perhaps the most significant, and it is exactly why the 112th’s return to the Constitution is so important. Our Constitution is a document of limited, enumerated powers, forming the architecture of our liberty. It is the way “We the people” control the government.

    But not everyone sees it this way. The New York Times editorializes this morning: “There is a similar air of vacuous fundamentalism in requiring that every bill cite the Constitutional power given to Congress to enact it.” We’ll let President Abraham Lincoln respond:

    Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap—let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;—let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

    Quick Hits:

    • House Republicans have slashed spending on committee and legislative offices by 5 percent and the Appropriations Committee in particular by 9 percent.
    • According to a USA Today analysis, almost one in three highway dollars earmarked since 1991—about $13 billion—remains unspent because of simple, sloppy mistakes.
    • The first clear pictures of what appears to be a Chinese stealth fighter prototype have been published online, highlighting China’s military buildup just days before U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates heads to Beijing.
    • One of Pakistan’s most openly secular politicians was gunned down Tuesday, apparently at the hands of one of his own guards.
    • Two federal district attorneys have opened criminal investigations into allegations that government union members conspired to paralyze New York during last week’s blizzard.
    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    53 Responses to Morning Bell: Tea Party Congress Returns to Constitution

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      #1 – Murdoch and his WSJ and Fox News are the

      Voice of the GOP

      Do yourself a favor

      Every day – Look at WSJ Opinion Journal
      The GOP agenda is there.

    2. Leith Wood Richmond says:

      Today marks a big step in taking our country back. God bless them all.

    3. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I was very fortunate in High School, FCHS '49, that our civics teacher had us rad and discuss every word in the Bill of rights and Constitution. This was not only written for 1776, it was written to be observed for all times and it is way past the time that the sitting Congress be required to read it. They should also be required to read every bill that they vote on, and sign an affadavit that they did so. No more letting aids and lobbiest read the bills and tell you if you should vote yea or nay, these people were not elected YOU were.

    4. Dennis Georgia says:

      The Conmstitution is the foundation of America, it is sad that so many have said it no longer matters. This applies to Congress, obama, reid and pelosi as well. When law enforcement violates one of the provisions of the constitution, illegal search and seizure for example, the courts will hand that officer his or her head on a plate. Memebrs of congress or the White house can do the same and the courts will look the otrher way. I am all for the requirement that a bill must be related to the powers granted under the Constitution, but will bet the current thugs in congress will howl like fools over this bill. We the people must remind all of congress and obama they work for us, we are not sheep that will willingly be lead to slaughter.

    5. Mary............WI says:

      I applaud the conservative Congress for putting the government back in the hands of the people. Unfortunately, the dems will be there fighting every effort along the way trying to convince the American people that what conservatives are doing is wrong for the country. My hope is that consrvatives can talk and respond above the liberal demonizing and restore this country back to her greatness.

    6. West Texan says:

      A simple reading of the constitution itself fails to adequately relay the document's structural design and intent. The new congress needs to review the writings of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and other non-elitist patriots. In addition to referencing Anti-federalist writings like those of Brutus, whose concern is ever more prevalent for today's modern high tech society. Such reading is necessary to fully appreciate and conform to constitutional meaning.

    7. Ruth Goodwin says:

      Thank the Good Lord above this new 2011 Congress is returning to the United States Constitution, which has managed to guide and literally protect this slowly declining nation for over 200 years, and now may this Congress move on to re-establishing a manufacturing and industrial BASE segment that will put our country back to work, changing us from the "sevice industry Consumers" we have become to the Producing Americans that brought the Greatest Generation to the pinnacle of prosperity over the last 150 years. THANK YOU, U.S .CONGRESIONAL MEMEBERS FOR TAKING THIS OATH

    8. Warren Aldrich, Gree says:

      5 percent is slashed? I'm laughing through my tears. We're talking trillions of dollars (imaginary or at least with wet ink on them) and 5 percent is *slashing*. I think not.

    9. Amy, Independence, K says:

      I think it is important to make our representatives read the Constitution, obvioulsy the last Congress had no what it meant or stood for! I pray the 112th Congress puts some respect back in Washington!

    10. MJF, CT says:

      It would be wonderful if all of this could actually happen! Imagine, we return to the actual Constitution and run the government the way it is supposed to be run. But i doubt that it will happen. The minute some "handout" is cut, the constituents will whine and scream until their representative gets the "handout" re-installed.

      Think I'm joking? What would happen if they pulled the extension on unemployment compensation? What would happen if they pulled all government funding for "pet" projects? What would happen if they de-funded 90% of all the programs that by the Constitution, the government should not be involved with? The same people that put the new Congress in power would start wailing "Why me? Why are you cutting my services?".

      We have grown into a Nation of dependent slobs. We are all tied to the government in some way and no one wants to be the first to cut the apron strings. the new Congress says they can cut $100B from the deficit. I say that they can cut $600 – $800B if the public would learn to stand up on their own and stop depending on the government for every little thing.

      Think about it!

    11. Robert, North Richla says:

      In your examples you show outrageous quotes from Democrats showing disdain and a complete lack of respect for our Constitution. These people were in the majority only because they had such weak opposition for over 35 years. Imagine a civil war battle where the two battle lines are approaching and one line represents liberals and the opposing line represents supporters of the Constitution. At 100 yards the lines stop and the liberals begin yelling at the Conservatives "you bigots, you homophobes, you religious right fools, you intolerant republicans." On hearing these remarks, over half of the people in my line lay down their arms and retreat saying "why, I'm not a bigot, I'm not a homophobe." At this point, the liberals now have the advantage, and I have three guns pointed at me, as opposed to one. It's called disarming the opposition, and they (including their media) have worked this tactic to a charm. They have already started it again, post-election, We need warriors that won't quit and run away.

    12. Patricia Najhawan Te says:

      After reading the oath of office for all 435 members of congress, I am wondering what is the problem with the Republican house members.

      Since all of the senate nearly, is democratic and at least 90 percent have not kept their oath to heart, is it not true, that they are in office illegally and with criminal intent against the people of America?

      Do they get arrested, ousted from America, or what? Is this a form of treason?

      Patricia najhawan

    13. Clearhead -- U.S.S.O says:

      Oh, how I pray to Almighty God for the return of America's people to AMERICA !!

    14. KC - New Mexico says:

      It is time for Congress to get back to the basics. Leadership is needed from all concerned parties to ensure that direction taken in the best interest of America and in full support of the Constitution. The leadership can no longer be based on personal gain but must be based on doing the right things for this country. We have two years of Congressional BS to overcome along with a gang of left agenda czars working for the President. The message in last November’s election was for Congress and the Obama administration to wake up. Now is the opportunity to strengthen this country.

    15. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The House Republicans want to go back to 2008 spending levels. That's a good start.

      Now if they could get some House and Senate Democrats to go along, we can get them back to spending levels not seen since the 1980s. We need to get the deficit

      back under a trillion dollars.

    16. VC Geezer, Virginia says:

      Pelosi's, Stark's, Clyburn's and Hare's responses regarding the support and defense of the Constitution should have been more than sufficient grounds to run them out of town on a rail.

    17. Tachiana Metzner says:


    18. David Peacock says:

      This oath looks similar to the one Obama took; He is not following the oath;; OFF WITH HIS CORRUPTION AND BELLIGERENCE.

    19. vicki in iowa says:

      I am surprised and disappointed that an organization of your standing would give over the language to the liberals by repeating their inaccurate mantra of "co-equal branches". Nowhere did our founders write or envision that elevated status for the judiciary, and they even warned against allowing them such power, as they more than any other branch would be the most dangerous and unaccountable should we do so. They are BY NECESSITY AND DESIGN the weakest branch, in an advisory position only, with both other branches given remedies able to limit them, as both others have direct accountability (all power is inherent in THE PEOPLE). They are also not to interpret, but to apply the constitution. When we start to get that right, our rights might once again be protected and our culture preserved.

    20. Lynda, Beacon, NY says:

      It is about time the Constitution is brought to the forefront of EVERY piece of legislation. Without this, it is like teaching a foreign language when you have never studied or used that language. Our representatives, local, state and US need to remember who they represent/work for, that they are not exempt from the things they impose on citizens. The tail has wagged the dog too long.

    21. David Peacock says:

      The lib/dems are all kicking and screaming about the re-emergence of the Constitution and rule of law is because they know their under handed tomfoolery is over.

    22. Scott Carver says:

      While I agree that having the House take control of the Government is a good goal, I fear it is one that will fail until we find some way to stop the SCOUS from legslating from the Judiciary. Between the SCOUS and all the "alphabet" agencies like the FCC, EPA, TSA, etc.; anything the House does that is opposed by the Liberal, Communest Left will just be nullified by "regulations" imposed by these agencies. We need to defund these agencies, if not do away with them altogether, and somehow reign in the SCOUS.

      Just my thoughts on the matter.

    23. Jim Delaney, Rochest says:

      The shamelessly self-incriminating quotes are awful proof how far afield our so-called representatives have so brazenly abandoned the Constitution and our Republic as well. In truth, we've been ruled by an insidious Thugocracy for the past 4 years, and I am utterly amazed so many Americans have managed to delude themselves into believing that honorable men loyal to their oaths, to their country, and to their constituencies have represented us in DC during the Progressive Blitzkrieg. I pray the country can survive these shameless, lawless vermin and that constitutional order is restored.

    24. cynthia jones says:

      We the people have a responsibility too. As I see it , it is to hold our government responsible for adhearing to our constitution. We are awake now,but vigilance is the watchword. We are frantically catching up, reviewing our part through review of our founding documents. In this government our responsibility is to make sure our powers and that of the states are safeguarded; so, tyranny cannot land on our shores.

      If we allow it to get out of hand then part of the problem rests squarely on our shoulders as well. I take that pledge our forefathers outlined so brilliantly at this country's founding.

      Cynthia Jones

    25. Mike from Long Islan says:

      And Abraham Lincoln was right,for "the law" he was referring to was "the law of the land" which is The Constitution of the Republic of the United States of America !

    26. Barry Dennis Woodsto says:

      We need to go even further. We must require that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in their entirety, be taught, referenced and discussed each and every year in K-12 schools. Immersion in the facts and opinions, the values and beliefs of the Founders will only strengthen the determination of individuals to live the dream of individual personal responsibility and the achievement that comes from it's application. That we do not now do so, or provide only lip service to it's importance, shows volumes of disregard for the importance the Founder's placed in our Freedoms, and Responsibilities.

      "The privileges ensconced in our Citizenship carry with their freedoms the responsibility for personal sacrifice to shared belief, and the investment of our national treasure to ensure it's safety and fulfillment."

    27. Edward MacIsaac, San says:

      Reading from the Constitution is good…

      But this nation was founded on all three, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights,

      When there is any doubt, the Federalist Papers should be consulted,

      The “High Court” should consider all three to get at the original intent.

    28. Wildcat from Dallast says:

      The oath our elected officials take is a serious one meant to temper their service in such a way to get the tasks set before them done in a manner that retains a significant part of their focus on being within the confines of their office relative to the Constitution of the United States. Had the previous Congresses, including the most recent (111th Congress), done so we would not have a whole host of problems they foisted upon the American people.

      Since the earmarks ban didn't fully take, perhaps they should require the Constitutional authority be identified (as well as who submitted the earmark) to be placed by every earmark that is included in each bill. Maybe they should go even a step beyond that by including a set of three numbers indentifying the number of earmarks that representative submitted for inclusion in that bill, the number that representative has submitted during that session of Congress and for that elected representive's tenure of service [in the aggregate]. My thought is that may be a method to readily identify an errant elected representative who is under the misimpression that his (or her) job is to get as much "pork" for their district or state as possible. That just may prevent another bridge to nowhere or another clone of Senator Byrd (D) from West Virginia from emerging.

      A method to screen for possible recent (last Congressional Period ie. the 111th) allegations of acting outside the scope of their authority relative to the oath they took would be to reconcile those acts, (such as their voting record) against the Constitution relative to the contents of the bill that became law. The ethics committee may have either another arrow in their quiver or an whole new committee may result to enhance the ability to provide adequate checks and balances provided the end result would be expulsion without the ability to run or hold elected or appointed office in the future.

      I remember the number of times I took such an oath or those times when I was promoted and thought heavily on what specifically my duties were concerning the oath of office. Regardless of rank all officers were expected to issue and follow ONLY lawful orders and refuse to follow UNLAWFUL orders. The consequences for violating that was severe and so should it be for those elected and appointed officials who take the same oath.

    29. Doouble Ace says:

      I am so pleased to se the oath of office posted here, but I have one question. What is the punishment for those who take the oath and then don't do as the swore they would? Truth be many of the members of the Senate and the House have failed to defend the Constitution. Many of them by their own admission. “I don’t worry about the Constitution on this to be honest.”, or “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do.” So I suppose these fellows violated the oath. Can they not be removed "Are you serious? Are you serious?" when asked where in the Constitution did it allow the Feds to force us to buy something. Or for that matter the POTUS? These people all took the oath and yet none of them abide by the oath or the Constitution. Should there not be legal ramifications to have them removed from office? Seems if you have the oath, people should be punished for not abiding by it.

    30. Doouble Ace says:

      It seems to me the POTUS who took the oath and refused to abide by it, was the same as the one who insisted that LTC Lakin be jailed for not abiding by the oath he took as a member of our military. Why the double standard? If the politicians don't have to take their oath seriously why should military members be sentenced for doing the same?

    31. Tom Wood, Hickory Hi says:

      Hopefully the 112th congress will get us all started to recovery. Slashing the budget by 100 billion probably isn't much, but at least it's a start, and not adding more to the deficit. I hope that there will be more jobs brought back to our country for people who want to work. I pray (sorry if I offended you) that things will get a lot better than it has been in the last few year of democrate control.

    32. Charlotte Knowlton, says:

      Please remember that our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and all moral laws governing our great nation stem from IN GOD WE TRUST!

      Whenever we leave our Creator out of our lives we can expect man's corruption. We are told by His WORD " to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of GOD and He will lift you up ". That is where we need to start, then boldly without shame, proclaim Him to the nations.

      Thank you to our new Congress for this bold step in bringing our Constitution to the for-front where it belongs. Stand firm!

    33. Charlotte Knowlton, says:

      Please remember that our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and all moral laws governing our great nation stem from IN GOD WE TRUST!

      Whenever we leave our Creator out of our lives we can expect man's corruption. We are told by His WORD " to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of GOD and He will lift you up ". That is where we need to start, then boldly without shame, proclaim Him to the nations.

      Thank you to our new Congress for this bold step in bringing our Constitution to the fore-front where it belongs. Stand firm!

    34. and2therepublic, ill says:

      "The citizens of the United States are responsible for the greatest trust ever confided to a political society. If justice, good faith, honor, gratitude and all the other qualities which ennoble the character of a nation and fulfill the ends of government be the fruits of our establishments, the cause of liberty will acquire a dignity and lustre, which it has never yet enjoyed, and an example will be set, which cannot but have the most favourable influence on the rights of Mankind. If on the other side, our governments should be unfortunately blotted with the reverse of these cardinal and essential virtues, the great cause which we have engaged to vindicate, will be dishonored and betrayed; the last and fairest experiment in favor of the rights of human nature will be turned against them; and their patrons and friends exposed to be insulted and silenced by the votaries of tyranny and usurpation."

      James Madison – Address to the States

    35. Jackson, Denton, TX says:

      Love it, however the new kids on the block need to remember that sometimes reading the Constitution is like reading any other historical event, it can be a bit mundane. As with all official literature, if it gets read at all, it may soon be forgotten. And they get it wrong on the "Test." One New Year Resolution for freshmen should be to read the words of our founders daily and reconfirm their dedication to heeding the words and intent of our Constitution.

      Get rid of the IRS, the UN, wealth redistribution, tolerance for those that violate our sovereignty and plot to annihilate us and our way of life – WE LIKE IT AS IT IS. They also need to watch where they step, there is a lot of crap still lying around the floor of the legislature – DON"T step in it.



    36. Judith in Michigan says:

      I'm curious as to why the constituents of Clyburn, Pelosi, Hare and Stark voted for, let alone elected, someone to a federal office who holds such disdain for The United States Constitution.

      If anything positive can be said about the current administration, it is that it caused American citizens to become reacquainted with our Founding Documents and their importance. For that, we should be grateful. Now, we must demand our elected officials adhere to them.

    37. toledofan says:

      It's obvious, the return to some semblance of right and wrong, will be a big drag on the Democrats; they may actually have to do what's right for America, for a change. Right, I don't think alot of Democrats put any credibility in the Constitution and think it's an outdated piece of paper, developed by some really old guys and that it really doesn't fit into today society. The problem, I see, is that what the Democrats have to offer as an alternative, European style socialism, is far worse and doesn't even work in Europe. So, we're back to square one, a party out of touch with mainstream America, a party with no new ideas, and now we're going to expect them to follow the Constitution, no way, they'd rather lie, cheat, and steal rather than do it the right way.

    38. Terry Brown, Plymout says:

      If all elected officials must take this oath, what is the penalty for violating it once in office? Are there any "teeth" in the oath or is it simply taken as a ceremonial requirement as part of the ceremony?

    39. Erik, Utah says:

      It is frustrating to read the quotes of our leader as they continue to dismiss The Constitution of The United States of America. Who are these people? Where did they get their carnal veiws that in themselves are a complete contradiction to the very breaths they take before uttering such falacies and treasonary, tyrant words? We The People have the power and the right to " over-throw such governments…" and we will excercise each and every bit of all power to do such as we do need "New Watchman.." to uphold and protect our future. I wish i could write with impact, to speak with fluent truth, to the degree that these enemies of God, truth, freedom and liberty would see their devistating principals and drop to their knees in solemn humbleness, in true forgiveness, asking their creator for his will to be done. Why is anger so overwhelming within me? I ask people in my everyday walk's of life what they are doing to rid these tyrants of office? " What can we do?" Damn all of these ignorant puppets in Washington, all of them! I pray for the end of control in Washington and ask for Truth! Remove every last ignorant, self-centered radical from MY Countries Government. And to our new congress, the 112th congress. Do the people's will. Revolt is at hand and as it's spiritual form spearheads the opposition, It's carnal form may follow if Our New Watchman refuse The people's Will. Erik John Bettis, active constitutionalist in the Great United States of America.

    40. MN J says:

      It's a start – wait until the MSM derides the House for getting back to basics. The KISS theory also needs to be applied. Forget compromise – We know what to do – just stand strong and do it.

      For the record, I taught 5th grade at Bailey's Elem. Sch. in Fairfax Cty (definitely at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid). My classes parsed every word and phrase in the Preamble to the Constitution. Then each student had to memorize and recite it in front of the class. We proceeded to go through all of the Constitution. Trust me, they got it – it was valuable and I'd bet today, most can still recite that first part.

      Words do have meaning. It's time we took our Founders' words to heart. The US heads south, so does the rest of the planet. I don't like being the world's policeman but no other nation would do it as justly as the USA.

      Thank you, Republicans. Now stay on track.

    41. Mary Gregory, Ohio says:

      So good to know that there are people who understand the importance of the Const., Bil of Rights, Dec of Indep, etc., Many more need to get up to speed, but reading this commentary and they the comments of other readers, sure made me feel better. Let's keep speaking up and reminding lawmakers, judges, and the often-ill-informed general media that we demand adherence to our country's foundation.

    42. E King,Tampa,Fl says:

      I have two questions regarding the the oath of office required of all elected officials:

      Why is failure to keep the oath not grounds for prosecution and dismissal? and

      Why cannot each and every elector qualify as an aggrieved party and file civil suit against any oath violators?

    43. RUTH WEDGEFIELD SC says:

      DOESN'T REMARKS LIKE THOSE MADE BY THESE PEOPLE MAKE THEM TRAITORS? Why are we not acting like they are the traitors and demanding they come up to snuff or get out of office, in fact if they do not want to love this country they should leave it.For the life of me I cannot understand why these people have made a mockery of our constitution, and are stomping on everything we have held as law for all these years. I pray enough people are tired of this nonsense and go to the polls and vote the idiots out of office, then try to put our country back together. God bless those who are working towards that goal now.

    44. Warren St.John - Phi says:

      All I can say is " Amen ". Lets get started and continue in the right direction.

      The Constitution says it all. read and obey , or else. God watch over the 112th

      congress and guide them on the correct path

    45. Mike, Chicago says:

      Go Republicans!!!

    46. beckNcall Illinois, says:

      This isn't about Republicans and it's not about Democrats. It's about WE THE PEOPLE.

      Our leaders are corrupt because we've allowed it. They don't follow the constitution because we haven't demanded it.

      Well, Washington the party is over. WE THE PEOPLE are speaking up. If you love this country, stand up for it, speak up, hold your Senators and Representatives accountable. We must be aware of the issues, educate ourselves on our history and VOTE.

      One voice, one vote will make a difference!

      Now that these new tea party Freshmen are in office we have to make sure we hold them accountable. Call, write, get involved.

    47. Jerry Porter, Freder says:

      How dare any one in the media, i.e., NY Time, or holding public office, i.e. former Speaker Nancy Poloisi question or diminish the significance and importance of our basic law, the United States Constitution. Some hesitate in calling the kettle black, but, in fact, these are despicable cynics who are indeed UNPATRIOTIC! And, furthermore, they are in gross malfeasance of their OATH OF OFFICE to uphold, abide by, and enforce the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. These George Soros advocates deserve some sort of Medieval horrendous punishment! Enough is enough!

    48. Joe, US says:

      I suppose so-called "Constitutional Conservatives" never heard of the Necessary and Proper clause. It's in the Constitution. Contrawise, it is a usurpation of the role of the Supreme Court's constitutional authority for the legislature to determine the constituionality of its actions.

    49. Joe, US says:

      Implementing political policies contrary to another's desires does not constitute treason, nor indication a lack of patriotism, nor is necessarily unconstitutional action.

    50. Jack says:

      Speaking of the Constitution, my friend Ryan Grim points out:

      Two House Republicans have cast votes as members of the 112th Congress, but were not sworn in on Wednesday, a violation of the Constitution on the same day that the GOP had the document read from the podium.

      The Republicans, incumbent Pete Sessions of Texas and freshman Mike Fitzpatrick, missed the swearing in because they were at a fundraiser in the Capitol Visitors Center. The pair watched the swearing-in on television from the Capitol Visitors Center with their hands raised.

      "That wasn't planned. It just worked out that way," said Fitzpatrick at the time, according to local press on hand, which noted that he "happened to be introducing Texas Congressman Pete Sessions while glad-handing his supporters in the Capitol Visitor Center that he secured for them when the House swearing in began."

      House ethics rules forbid fundraising in the Capitol.

      The Bucks County Courier Times said that roughly 500 Fitzpatrick supporters were on hand at the gathering. Fitzpatrick's campaign had solicited contributions for a bus trip to the Capitol and "Mike Fitzpatrick's Swearing In Celebration."

      Sessions is head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, responsible for fundraising for GOP candidates.

    51. Sandy, UT says:

      Question? When it was decided to read to constitution did anyone hear

      Nancy Pelosi say, "Are you serious? Are you serious?"

    52. Barry Dennis Woodsto says:

      Let's require the Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority Leader to read the Oath of office at each convening, each day, in the House and Senate, which then must be affirmedby voice vote (each day). Might that help members achieve more focus on their job and responsibilities?

    53. George (Oldguy), Wes says:

      They should read the U.S.Code every time they are called into session and unlike the reading of the Constitution, all should have to attend.

      5 U.S.C. Sec. 3331 01/06/97



      Subpart B – Employment and Retention



      Sec. 3331. Oath of office


      An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: ''I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.'' This section does not affect other oaths required by law.

      'Any person who shall falsely take the said oath shall be guilty of perjury; and, on conviction, in addition to the penalties now prescribed for that offense, shall be deprived of his office, and rendered incapable forever after of holding any office or place under the United States.'

      18 U.S.C. Sec. 1621 01/26/98




      Sec. 1621. Perjury generally

      Whoever -

      (1) having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or (2) in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true; is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States.

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