Congress to be schooled
December 15th, 2010
11:24 AM ET
11 years ago

Congress to be schooled

(CNN) - Constitutional 101 is coming to Congress by way of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia when he leads the first constitutional conservative seminar for members of Congress in late January.

Justice Scalia will lead the first session of the series created by Republican Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, according to Bachmann spokesman Doug Sachtleben.

He said the series is a response to conservative messages delivered during the midterm elections that called for the return to constitutional principles.

The bi-monthly seminars are part of the Tea Party caucus - a group Bachmann helped launch - and will "bring up principles that are already familiar to the members," including the bill of rights and role of government, Sachtleben said.

Bachmann was an avid campaigner during the 2010 elections, enjoying the support of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and raising her national profile.

In an interview on Lou Dobbs' radio show, Bachmann compared the classes to sports practices.

"We're going to practice every week, if you will, our craft, which is studying and learning the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights," Bachmann said. "We'll have a speaker, we'll have questions and answers, we'll wrap our minds around this magnificent document."

Kathy Arberg, the Supreme Court's public information officer confirmed Scalia accepted the invitation and said he will speak about "Separation of Powers."

Filed under: Antonin Scalia • Congress • Michele Bachmann
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. vic nashville tn

    Michele Bachmann and her group Past 30 years they were enjoying what they were doing past 2 years they are not happy only they know why they are unhappy

    I didn’t see any difference I seen same old DC past 2 years

    December 15, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    The GOPers live in such an amazing bubble of fox controlled dementia.
    They have no idea who our President is; claim the world revolves around their wants and needs; believe that their religion is the only religion; think extreme and erratic weather, especially if it involves "cold", disproves climate change; think science and history only be denied to be "disproved".
    GOPers are the only people who refer to Obama as the "Messiah" or talk about taking people's guns away.
    GOPers are happy to vote against their own interests for the benefit to corporations if their idols on fox tell them to do so.
    The only good thing in all of this is that evolution will catch up to the GOPers – one way or another.

    December 15, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Expat American

    Take a closer look at that picture...remind you of anyone? Tea Nazis.

    December 15, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Michael Honohan

    One needs to do more than just read the Constitution. Even more than reading the Federalist Papers.They need to become aquainted with the lives and philosophies of the founders.

    Here is my problem with conservatives. Too many of the arguments they make are the same as the writers who under the umbrella of Brutus argued against ratification of the Constutition. If one reads the 30th Federalist by Alexander Hamilton, you can clearly see that the Democrats are not in viloation of Constitutional Principals. On the other hand, the kind of nation advocated by Sarah Palin and her ilk go against many founding principals such as Separation of Church and States. If they do not believe in those things, they are welcome to call for a constitutional convention and change the Constitution, but they need to stop pretending that the love our Constitution when really they do not.

    December 15, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Name king

    It's amazing with these teabagging crew, they interpret the constitution to their linings, and try to break every one of them they don't like or change them, yet they always yelling constitutional talking points that they don't respect and want to change. News flash baggers, not because certain parts of the constitution don't do your biddins, don't means that you can change it because you don't like what it says, you bunch of hypocrites, the word constitution should never stray from you lips, beside obviously you don't care nor respect it in it's entirety, since you guys want to change the parts you don't like so much.

    December 15, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. chris

    They all need to take a course consitutional law before getting elected!!!

    December 15, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. David

    It would seem to me that Scalia is tipping the scales toward an appearance of inappropriate behavior. I wonder if it's ethical for him to lecture to members of a certain element of Congress? I'll have ask one of my old law school professors, but it apepars, somehow, to be a conflict of interest.

    December 15, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Joe

    Why not have one of the moderate justices provide this "overview". Besides, since the Congressional oath of office requires these members to protect and defend the Constitution, don't you think there should be an expectation that the know their hind ends from the elbows when it comes to the Constitution (but with the bunch of yokels who were elected in November, that probably expecting too much). It is not the Constitution these people want to defend. They want to force THEIR INTERPRETATION of the Constitution down everybody's throat. Well, go for it Michelle. Hopefully when this volatile electorate swings the pendulum back the other direction in 2012, it will result in your losing your seat.

    December 15, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Dave

    Bachmann will have to elevate her IQ into the double digits to even comprehend this discussion... So much for that...

    December 15, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. kds562

    The Constitution was written 200 years ago and many of its principles do not apply to a progressive and civilized society now.

    December 15, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |

    No mention that this new little GOP "game" DEFIES THE CONSTITUTION and its separation of the powers of the three branches of the government (Congress, Supreme Court, President)? Not even a MENTION of that? HELLOOOO!!! JOURNALISM CNN, JOURNALISM!!! Pa-thetic all the way around.

    December 15, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Send Obama o school.
    No need to do that. The President was a PROFESSOR of Constitutional Law. It is hard for you to accept the fact that we now FINALLY have an intelligent and well-educated President who put himself through school based on BRAINS not on GAINS, but we do.
    Now you, on the other hand, based on your comment, could stand a little more education.

    December 15, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. malcolm in St Louis

    it reminds me of the old saw about teaching a pig to sing, it is a waste of of your time and more importantly it annoys the pig!

    December 15, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. ramtruck2500

    yup so much for an impartial judiciary. So much for 3 branches of government, So much for informed leadership. We can now all be joining the worlds next theocracy founded by friggin right wing nut cases. Seriously who gives a flying f@@@ about anything in this damn country?

    December 15, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. rs

    Showing Ms. B., and asking about schooling is a bit obvious. Seriously though, all elected officials should get some basics on the Constitution. The most deficient group however are the Fundamentalist, Literalist Republicans who feel it will always be 1783 Constitutionally speaking. While we're at it, can we add an econimcs class, a math class, and a class on morality for them?

    December 15, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Marty, FL

    That's completely unethical for Supreme Court Justice Scalia to engage directly in politics. Where happened to the code of conduct for our SCOTUS? First, Justice Thomas' spouse and now an actual justice of the Supreme Court.

    What was that about "activist judges" again? Unbelievably hypocritical and sad for our country.

    December 15, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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