House GOP Won't Read Entire Constitution

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 6 2011 9:11 AM

House GOP Won't Read Entire Constitution

In case anyone was wondering whether the 3/5 Clause would get a read.

Instead of reading the Constitution in its entirety, House members will read an "amended version" that only includes the sections and amendments that were not changed at a later date. The decision in part will allow members to avoid reading less pleasant sections, like the clause in Article 1, Section 2, which counted black slaves as three-fifths of a person.

"We’re reading the amended version with all amendments that are currently part of the Constitution," said Kathryn Rexrode, a spokesman for Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who spearheaded the reading . "It will not include any amendments that were in the original but later amended."

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Members who signed up for the reading don't know which part of the Constitution they'll get. They'll be spared defense of slavery or Prohibition, but pity the congressman who has to read the 16th Amendment and talk about the right of the federal government to collect income taxes. (If they're cheeky, they'll give it to Ron Paul.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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