Members Read Constitution on House Floor for First Time

Posted January 6, 2011 at 10:21am

Updated: 11:54 a.m.

In one of their first acts in the majority, House Republicans led the effort to read the Constitution on the floor — a nod to the tea party movement that helped put them in control of the chamber.

Thursday’s reading marks the first time that the Constitution has been read aloud on the floor. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is leading the effort, which drew bipartisan participation. Republican and Democratic Members are taking turns reading portions of the document, after the leaders of both parties kicked off the event. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was the first reader, followed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“It’s absolutely critical that both parties participate equally,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said in an interview Tuesday.

But the reading was not without some drama.

As Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) read Article 2, Section 1 dealing with natural-born citizens, an Asian woman in the visitor’s gallery yelled out, “Accept Obama! Accept Obama! Help us Jesus!”