Congress to be schooled
December 15th, 2010
11:24 AM ET
9 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. jeff, alabama

    So liberals think there's
    something wrong with
    our representatives
    learning about the
    constitution ?
    Why am I not surprised ?
    You hypocrits.

    December 15, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. NVa Native

    What happened to the part of the US Contitution that details – no demands – the seperation of goverenment and their powers??? Judicial, Executive, and Legislative. In what perverse neo-conservative twist of reality does this not blatantly go against our Constitution
    Who does Scalia think he is declaring for memebers of Congress (no matter how intellectually challenged they are) what is or is not Constitutional?? The Supreme Court is made up of NINE judges who deliberate and conclude colectively as to what IS Constitutional.
    Scalia is an intolerant troglodite motivated by profound arrogance who belongs behind glass in some Smithsonian exhibit on the ignorance of religious and social intolerence .

    December 15, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. conoclast

    What's with a supreme court justice doing blatantly partisan politics anyway? It's nice that the tea-baggers are so concerned with learning about the constitution and all, but isn't that supposed to be taught in high school civics? Michelle Bachman & SCOTUS, grandstanding for the educationally challenged: THIS is a new low in cynicism!

    December 15, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. fmjk

    This is unbelievably unseemly. Scalia working together with the Tea Party Caucus? It would be one thing for a Supreme Court justice to speak to the entire Congress, but this is blatantly political and it gives rise - at the very least - to a hellacious appearance of bias.

    December 15, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Steve (the real one)

    Should be a real eye-opener when they discover that the separation of church & state really is in there.
    It sure will, just ONE thing...IT'S NOT IN THERE!

    December 15, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. steven harnack

    She couldn't wrap her mind around a BB!

    December 15, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Rsprings

    Send Obama o school.

    December 15, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Paul1st

    If this not an initiative of the entire Supreme Court, then it appears Scalia is crossing the boundary between an impartial judiciary and a politically motivated Congress. If legislation arises out of his seminars, should he recuse himself from ruling on that legislation? Should conservatives who decry judges who legislate from the bench be concerned about a precedent where judges participate in the legislative process?

    December 15, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. paul

    Bachman is the person that thought that President Obama was going to "round" up conservatives and put them in a camp!!!! That among many other "out there" comments of recent times. I do not think she is very stable but then again she would fit right in with the many Republicans recently elected. As some one said, "Short term gain and long term problems" when it comes to the tea party people being elected. By the way, where is the tea party when it comes to the very weathy getting tax breaks as a trade off for running up the debt???? They have been quiet.

    December 15, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Dave

    Michelle Bachmann is a lunatic. Her leading a class on the Constitution is like having Stephen Hawking for your track coach.

    December 15, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. sonny

    Sorry to say this country going down the tubes. Some would be interested to take the country to 18 century whereas china and India looking beyond 21st century. What happened in the past is okay….. move on and look forward what can be accomplish new to keep pace with the new technology. Stop this tuition classes. They are elected to serve and serve well for their constituents.Even Supreme Court justices are open advocates for a political organization and they declare their ideology quite openly. What a pathetic situation?.

    December 15, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Jakes

    Make sure you include the Democrats since they are most in need.

    December 15, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. CyndyP

    Anything that includes Michele Bachman in it you know is going to be radical right, she is such a joke!

    December 15, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    So now they can waste our time and money learning what they should already know?!?!?!?!? When is the general population going to get the clue and vote out all of these opportunisitic roman style Patricians and get real people in office that want to solve problems and do it right instead of take advantage of every one and live the political "celebrity life."
    It is really our faults (and the media). Who actually researches a candidate anymore? We get caught up on fancy words and impossible promises that cannot be kept! We have the media asking stupid questions like ..what magazines do you read? WHO CARES! They should be asking what is your plan to help this country? What what is your plan to work with the Congress and Senate to get things done! We would vote for the Pied Piper if he ran! !

    December 15, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. WDRussell

    Well isn't that great? The same fat Tony Scalia who wrote in Herrera v Collins that a prisoner was not entitled to a new trial based solely on the fact that they were innocent.

    December 15, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Meaty Portion

    At face value this seems like a good idea until you see who proposed it and who will most likely be leading the classes. I predict confusion.

    December 15, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Katie

    Congressional representatives should already know this stuff. I cannot believe we as a nation elect people with less than a high school education's worth of knowledge about our own government into public office.

    December 15, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Bill

    Bby creating these seminars, both Bachmann and Scalia recognize that the GOP has no clue about the constitution and hasn't for years. Maybe he could swing by Delaware after and teach Christine O'Donnell about what's actually in it.

    December 15, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. MAC

    Even though Congress is top heavy with "LAWYERS" they do need a refresher course on what is Constitutional and maybe he can teach them to write laws that the average American can understand what it is about and how it will effect everyone. But that might be impossible since Congress seems to want to keep all their lawyer buddies imployed and rich

    December 15, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    There is not a single thing this woman does that doesn't reek of partisanship and selling contemporary conservative ideology as though it has even a remote and tenuous relationship to anything the founders believed. It doesn't. And I really have to wonder about Scalia (or any justice on the SCOTUS) participating in something so blatantly intended and rife with political overtones. Inappropriate at best.

    December 15, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Firedog51

    Too bad he and his fellow conservatives didn't follow the constitution when they put the Commander in Ineptitude and his evil side kick Halibutron Boy into the White House.

    December 15, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. Pretzel Logic

    Since when does Bachmann know anything about the Constitution?

    December 15, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. kevin, Illinois

    I hope he explains to them that the Declaration of Independence is not a legal document, but a beautiful and well written letter.

    December 15, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. GrogInOhio

    So much for Scalia's judicial temperament and impartiality. This guy has no business being on the Supreme Court.

    December 15, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. Brian

    That's funny. The tea party promoting a class on the constitution is like Fred Phelps holding promoting gay tolerance.

    December 15, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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