You’ve seen U.S. Senators brandishing the little booklet, like some octogenarian Red Guards. After several years of trying, the late Sen. Richard Byrd (D-Va.) got a law passed creating a new Federal holiday and mandating a special curriculum for all public schools in the United States to mark the birthday of the document.
The law establishes Sept. 17 as U.S. Constitution Day and requires all schools receiving Federal funds and all Federal agencies to provide materials about the Constitution. Or rather, to study what the ruling political class promotes as their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
Fortunately, the law has no enforcement power, nor does it allocate any money for the project. Libertarians nevertheless point out the law itself is unconstitutional, since no where in the Constitution is Congress given the authority to mandate school curriculum.
“There’s irony in using an unconstitutional measure to promote Constitution Day,” said Roger Pilon, vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.