Press Releases


Entries in Constitution (140)


Shea-Porter to Attend White House Signing Ceremony Tuesday 

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, March 23rd, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter will attend a Bill Signing Ceremony at the White House for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  On Sunday the House of Representatives passed this historic health care legislation that will lower costs, expand coverage, and reduce our nation’s deficit.  According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill will reduce the deficit by $143 billion in the first ten years and by $1.2 trillion in the second ten years. 

On Sunday afternoon, Shea-Porter spoke on the floor of the House in support of the bill. Click here to watch her remarks.

The Bill Signing Ceremony will take place in the East Room with President Obama at 11:15 a.m.  


ALG President Signs Mt. Vernon Statement "Reaffirming Constitutional, Limited Government" 

"This statement is for the American people, who have shown throughout our history they will defend their constitutional rights.  Today, we stand with them in affirming those rights."—ALG President Bill Wilson

February 17th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today, along with more than 80 free market and limited government leaders, signed the Mt. Vernon Statement that Wilson described as a "reaffirmation of constitutional, limited government as the only means of preserving liberty, promoting prosperity, and opposing tyranny in America, and throughout the world."

The Mt. Vernon statement—intended in its timing to influence the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference—comes almost fifty years after the 1960 Sharon Statement by William F. Buckley, Jr. that many consider to be one of the founding documents of the modern conservative movement. 

Wilson said that today's statement is relevant to the current political climate: "The rise of the tea party movement and increasing citizen opposition to government-run health care, runaway spending and debt creation, are all evidence that Americans still believe in constitutional principles of limited government and the rule of law."

Wilson said, "This statement is for the American people, who have shown throughout our history they will defend their constitutional rights.  Today, we stand with them in affirming those rights."

According to the Mount Vernon Statement, "The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant."

The statement continues, "The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles.  At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution."

Wilson praised former Attorney General Edwin Meese for putting together the coalition of national, grassroots leaders to pen the document.  "We owe Attorney General Meese a debt of gratitude for bringing us together and crafting a broad, united message that joins the ongoing discussion of the proper, limited role of government."

Wilson said the "need for that discussion is urgent," pointing to what he termed "the perversion of the Constitution through the unbridled, unlimited, and dangerous expansion of the powers of the federal government throughout the 20th Century."  

Wilson concluded by saying, "The Mount Vernon Statement seeks to chart a new course for the 21st century by .  History has shown that out of control growth in the federal government has established entitlements that threaten to bankrupt the nation, increasingly taken on new powers to tax and regulate practically every human activity imaginable, and weakened the nation's economic standing in the world by debasing our currency, bailing out politically-favored institutions, revoking property rights, and placing primacy into the hands of government over the people."

Wilson urged citizens to sign the statement themselves at

The Mount Vernon Statement

Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding.  Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America's principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The selfevident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn't this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature's God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man's self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government's powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.

A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America's safety and leadership role in the world.

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

  • It applies the principle of limited government based on the
    rule of law to every proposal.
  • It honors the central place of individual liberty in American
    politics and life.
  • It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and
    economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
  • It supports America's national interest in advancing freedom
    and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that
  • It informs conservatism's firm defense of family, neighborhood,
    community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.

We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America's founding principles.

February 17, 2010

Edwin Meese, former U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America

Edwin Feulner, Jr., president of the Heritage Foundation

Lee Edwards, Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at the Heritage Foundation, was present at the Sharon Statement signing.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council

Becky Norton Dunlop, president of the Council for National Policy

Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center

Alfred Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator

David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union

David McIntosh, co-founder of the Federalist Society

T. Kenneth Cribb, former domestic policy adviser to President Reagan

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform

William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government

Elaine Donnelly, Center for Military Readiness

Richard Viguerie, Chairman,

Kenneth Blackwell, Coalition for a Conservative Majority

Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring

Kathryn J. Lopez, National Review



New on Commentary's blog


The Massachusetts election should be a lesson to politicians who wish to tamper with established law for short-term political advantage, writes John Steele Gordon. Read “The Virtues of Leaving Well Enough Alone,” exclusive to the Commentary blog.


Jillian Melchior
Assistant Online Editor, Commentary



NetRight Daily: Today's Top News on NRN 

Congress Should Say No to the Health Care Penalty Tax:  Emerging from his closed door, backroom meetings with top union bosses, Barack Obama has come up with his most unique proposal yet for providing what he terms "quality health care": impose sky-high tax penalties on those who need and use health care most. And then force non-union workers to foot the bill for his new Health Care Tax Penalty.

Obama's Interpol Deception:  "There is nothing newsworthy here." Believe it or not, this was the only comment offered by Barack Obama's White House after it shredded the U.S. Constitution (again) by removing Reagan era restrictions on the domestic powers of the International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol. "Nothing newsworthy here?"

Heading to Boston:  I'll be heading up to Boston in the coming hours to report on the activities of ACORN and Labor Unions in the upcoming Tuesday election in Massachusetts. Be sure to check out NRN and Washington News Alert for constant updates over the next several days. As always, I'll be sending updates out through Twitter.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter!



CEI Weekly: Change We Can Really Believe In 

>>CEI's Fred Smith Reminds us of Constitutional Restraints

Fred Smith, President of CEI, in his recent op-ed in the Washington Times, looked back at 2009 and from that year, gave recommendations on what needed to be done in 2010. Read the article here.

>>Shaping the Debate

Let Them In: A Pro-Growth Case for High Skilled Immigration

Alex Nowrasteh's article in the Washington Examiner's Opinion Zone

Reforms Bode Ill for Tax-Free Health Accounts

John Berlau's quote in the Washington Times

Time to Re-Examine that 'Settled' Science

CEI's mention in the Orange County Register 

>>Best of the Blogs 

Waxman-Markey’s Impact on Housing Prices — More than Your Average Postage Stamp

by Marlo Lewis

Proponents of the Waxman-Markey (W-M) cap-and-trade bill assure us it will cost the average household less than a postage stamp a day. . . Some postage stamps, of course, cost more than most people’s homes. Now, nobody is saying that Waxman-Markey will cost the average household what it costs to buy a mansion, but the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that W-M could increase the purchase price of a new home by $1,371 to $6,387

An Authoritarian Climate

by Iain Murray

Certain influential forces in the environmental movement - most notably James Hansen of NASA - have expressed disquiet with the inability of democracies to deal with their imagined “climate crisis,” leading to sentiments like this one from Australian authors David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith:
We need an authoritarian form of government in order to implement the scientific consensus on greenhouse gas emissions.

Regulation of the Day 94: Plastic Shopping Bags

by Ryan Young

Retailers have traditionally provided free shopping bags to their customers as a courtesy. Washington, DC’s city government – known for being less than courteous – is now requiring stores to charge customers five cents for each plastic bag they use at checkout. The tax is environmentally motivated. Since the city is acting so urgently on shopping bags, that implies that they must be the most urgent environmental threat facing DC.

>>LibertyWeek Podcast

Episode 75: Credit Cards, Government-Style 

We take on Ben Bernanke’s recession theories, Canada’s struggle to provide affordable energy, the high cost of government-regulated credit cards, bringing booze to Salt Lake City and the FDA’s critics on the left.

 >>Support CEI

Like what you read?

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s 25-year record of success is made possible by our over 3,000 supporters. Make sure to stop by and make a donation to continue your support or become a supporter. Curious about all the possible ways to donate to CEI? Contact Al Canata at or 202-331-2280 to find out more.