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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


January 11, 2013 - 2:18 pm

House Republicans will continue a tradition started after the midterm Tea Party rout when members participate in reading the Constitution on the floor of the lower chamber next week.

The reading is sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who took over the reins of the Judiciary Committee this Congress from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

It should begin Tuesday. In 2011, both Republicans and Democrats participated.

That reading was memorable for various reasons. First, Goodlatte was criticized for using the version of the Constitution that removes passages that were at some point stripped by constitutional amendments. Back then, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) objected that the “three-fifths compromise” — counting slaves as three-fifths of a person — was ommitted from the reading. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) also objected, saying that while some parts of the Constitution have been amended they have not been deleted.

Other passages were accidentally skipped when reading duty passed from one lawmaker to another.

And when the passage about the qualifications to be president was read — namely, “natural-born citizen,” someone in the gallery shouted President Obama’s name.

The First Amendment was read in 2011 by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head at a constituent meet-and-greet just two days later.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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