Charles Schumer Needs a Refresher Course on the Constitution

Don’t Know Much About History, written by Kenneth C. Davis, was a national best seller. The title was taken from the opening line of Sam Cooke’s song “What a Wonderful World.” Davis went on to write more books in the series on geography, Bible, science, the presidents, mythology.

Davis needs to send a copy of Don’t Know Much About History to Charles Schumer, the senior Senator of New York, who needs a refresher course on American History and the Constitution. In fact, Davis might want to start working on Don’t Know Much About the Constitution. Schumer needs a refresher course.

Schumer stated that it was Thomas Jefferson who composed the Bill of Rights, in particular, the First Amendment.

Keep in mind that Schumer took an oath to uphold the Constitution. How can he uphold what he does not know?

Schumer may have been confused since it’s Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” language that’s used as a substitute for the actual wording of the First Amendment. The words are not found in the First Amendment but in a letter that Jefferson wrote to a group of Baptists in Danbury, CT, in 1802.

Maybe this is what confused Schumer.

The last thing Thomas Jefferson would have wanted is for a government to decide what limits should be placed on the First Amendment, especially by someone like Chuck Schumer.

Sen. Schumer would do better to pay attention to Jefferson on these points:

  • “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”
  • “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
  • My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”
  • To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”


Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, stumbled Tuesday over basic American history, crediting Thomas Jefferson for authorship of the Bill of Rights during a debate over the First Amendment and campaign finance.

“I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute,” Mr. Schumer said.

While Jefferson is deemed the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, he was not intimately involved in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to that founding document.

Indeed, Jefferson was out of the country, serving as minister to France at the time of both the Constitution convention and the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights. His fellow Virginians, James Madison and George Mason, are usually credited with being more influential in the process — Mason for being among the most forceful in demanding the protections of such a Bill of Rights, and Madison for being the political muscle that got them approved.

“Madison’s support of the bill of rights was of critical significance,” the National Archives writes on its web page. “One of the new representatives from Virginia to the First Federal Congress, as established by the new Constitution, he worked tirelessly to persuade the House to enact amendments.”

The Archives goes on to recount Madison’s efforts to shepherd a package of 17 amendments through the House in 1789 — a number that was later trimmed to 12 in the Senate, before being submitted to the states.

For further reading go the Washington Times.


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