While mocking the decision to read the Constitution in Congress the Wa Po’s Dana Milbank inadvertently lends support for those who believe it was a useful exercise:
In fact, there is only one version of the Constitution – and it wasn’t what the lawmakers read aloud. What the Republican majority decided to read was a sanitized Constitution – an excerpted version of the founding document conjuring a fanciful land that never counted a black person as three-fifths of a white person, never denied women the right to vote, never allowed slavery and never banned liquor.
The Constitution, of course, never “denied women the right to vote.” Legislatures did that. It is true that the federal Constitution didn’t guarantee women the equal right to vote on the basis of sex until the 19th Amendment was passed. (And, of course, the 19th Amendment of its own terms doesn’t affirmatively guarantee anyone the right to vote, it just says that the right to vote cannot be denied or abridged on account of sex). Many states had already provided women with the right to vote by the time of the 19th Amendment.
Perhaps next time Congress reads the Constitution Dana Milbank will actually listen.