How many constitutions do you own?
Well, if you run a puppet regime somewhere, “at least one” may be your answer. But what I’m talking about are those super-handy little pocket constitutions. The ones that reprint the entire U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and maybe even more historic information.
I’ll get to my own collection in a moment. For now, I must say that I was surprised that anyone has traced the history of that pocket-sized document. But we can thank Slate writer Betsy Woodruff for ferreting out the information. Here’s how she opens her article:
“Forget apple pie. Forget the Statue of Liberty, Chuck Norris, Daisy Dukes, cowboy boots, and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. The most American thing that has ever existed landed on my desk a few weeks ago in an unsolicited mailing from a libertarian-leaning think tank: a snappy new Cato Institute pocket Constitution, one of millions printed since the booklets first started streaming off printing presses decades ago.”
You really should read the whole thing here.
When you cover a legal beat, you come across—or are handed—a lot of these books—which may be why I never gave the thing much thought.
At the top of this post is a photo with a few of the constitutions that make up my collection. But when I located six more in one drawer alone, I decided to stop looking. At least, I think that’s what the Framers would have done.
How about you? Do you have one or more of these legalistic books? Do you have a favorite, maybe because it includes colonial trivia?
Take a picture and send it my way (firstname.lastname@example.org), plus a sentence of why you like it and/or if you generally carry it. I’ll share it with the rest of us out here in the Colonies.Follow @azatty