Wednesday, June 17, 2020


By Phil Ladner

The US Constitution is the basis of all the laws in the United States. Yet how many of us understand even a small part of it?  How much of our “understanding” is correct? 

Now it seems that a facet of the US Constitution is discovered to have been a norm which never was part of the constitution in the first place.  There have been cultural understandings under which presidents have lived in a kind of gentlemen’s agreement about how things should be.  About how there was congressional oversight.  About how the Supreme Court is unbiased.  About how presidents did not accept gifts from foreign powers or personally profit from the office.

It is more important than ever for citizens to be knowledgeable of the constitution. The We The People US Constitution Discussion Group was started because we had a belief that there are many fellow citizens who were interested in the constitution. A number of fellow citizens quietly carry copies of the US Constitution in their purses or wallets.

From the beginning it has been important that the discussion group be a citizens’ DIY discussion group.  The facilitators are all volunteers who want to share their interest in the constitution. They can come from any walk of life.  So far, they have been teachers, a city council member, and a lawyer. Participant feedback has always been sought and participants are asked to suggest what future topics to address.

The Topics have been as follows:

  1. Overview of the US Constitution
  2. Impeachment
  3. Separation of Church and State
  4. Electoral College
  5. Commerce Clause

Future topics may be:

  1. Federalism/states’ rights
  2. The Federalist Papers
  3. The Senate
  4. Important Supreme Court cases.
  5. The ERA
  6. The Second Amendment

Quite often it seems that topics get very hot and then cool off by the time the discussion group catches up.  It is exciting to get to a topic like the Commerce Clause before Trump has trampled on it.  Forewarned is forearmed. 

The extent to which the US is ruled by persons, not of law, has been eye opening. The US Constitution is interpreted and enacted by Senators, Congress, Supreme Court Justices and Presidents.  Our vote and who we elect is the only defense our democracy has.  Stay Involved. Vote like your life and the lives of those you love depends on it. The constitution is the playing field.  Citizens determine the laws.