San Antonio, Texas 78251
In response to requests for a proposal of what we would do with
substantial funds, we offer the following partial list of
projects, not in order of priority, that we would do if sufficient
funds were available. There are no specific amounts attached to
these. We could use as much funding as might be provided, although
some of them would not be worth commencing without a certain
minimum level of funding, which is indicated. More detail is
provided in the notes at the end.
Multimedia production and distribution. This would range
from 60-second TV commercials to full-length movies or training
courses. At lower levels of funding we might make use of local
access TV facilities. At higher levels we might create our own
studio with equipment for producing and editing multimedia
Online documentation. We are already doing this with
such collections as the Liberty Library of Constitutional
Classics, but much work remains to be done, and much more needs to
Print documentation. There is still a need for printed
books and papers, and while we might put most of it online, some
of it might be printed and distributed, especially to schools and
Research and writing. There is a great deal of original
research that remains to be done in support of original
understanding of the Constitution. Some of it might be done
internally, and some might be done by grants to others. It could
take the form of everything from introductions and commentaries
published online, to law review and other journal articles, to
Constitution centers and local groups. Organize local
groups with regular meetings, and eventually build advanced
activities and permanent facilities.
Scholarships and Fellowships. Support a new generation
of constitutionalist lawyers and other professionals.
Law education reform. Reform law schools, beginning with
reforming bar exams to put more of an emphasis on constitutional
history and analysis, staffing law schools with originalist
constitutional scholars, and offering fellowships and scholarships
to faculty and students for originalist research, writing, and
Litigation. Initiate or support litigation intended to
make certain critical reforms in judicial precedents and
practices, such as requiring all arguments of law to be made in
the presence of juries, opening courts and grand juries to private
prosecutions, especially in public corruption cases, and
instituting more effective ways to prevent or correct instances of
official misconduct or incompetence.
Legislation. Develop and do research in support of
legislation intended to bring legal practices into compliance with
constitutions, and build support among the public and opinion
leaders for its adoption. Topics could range from judicial
procedures to redistricting to constitutional amendments.
Notes providing examples and more
Production and distribution. Commercials, infomercials,
documentaries, discussions, and other programming for radio, TV,
and webcast. Sponsor regular syndicated programs, and perhaps
operate non-profit radio and TV stations in major markets.
Documentaries and docudramas on juries. A start on this
has been made by the 2004 summer series, The Jury, on the
Fox network, which was canceled after only a few episodes, and
more recently in the ABC News series, In the Jury Room,
which presented edited taping of actual jury trials and the jury
deliberations. We would expand the topic to include grand juries,
and federal and state courts. Eventually, we might cover the
courts of other countries. The emphasis would be on examination of
problems in the legal system that might be addressed by juries and
grand juries. We might depict dramatizations of actual historical
jury trials, such as the trials of Penn and Mead, Bushell's Case,
and other milestone cases.
Scan, OCR, correct, reformat, and insert links to connect
documents to one another, and add annotations and commentary.
Scan works that are not available as scannable printed books
from microfilm or microfiche, which requires a special scanner.
Greatly expand collections of law review articles, legal briefs,
and legal treatises. Cross-link their cites to one another.
Provide online distance education programs on constitutional
Either self-publish or work with organizations like the Liberty
Fund to produce print editions of our online works.
Develop curriculum materials and textbooks for children and
adult continuing education, and for lawyer continuing legal
Produce ads for print publications, brochures, and handouts.
Research and writing.
Conduct or sponsor studies of the original meanings of words
used in constitutions, such as commerce, regulate,
promote, due process, etc., which have undergone
some changes in meanings since the Founding Era.
Develop simulation games that can educate people and provide
insight into constitutional design.
Develop a simulation game that would simulate a constitutional
convention and examine how some constitutional designs work better
than others, and are not just the products of a particular
Develop simulation games that would teach people how to solve
problems of public choice to counteract the influence of special
Develop a simulation game that would train chairpersons to
conduct deliberative assemblies according to Robert's Rules of
Constitution centers and local groups.
Organize groups with regular meetings in every county and urban
neighborhood, within other organizations, near the campuses of
major universities, as special study or activity groups.
As groups become stronger, establish regular rented meeting
facilities, and finally establish permanent buildings, including
such facilities as libraries, conference rooms, classrooms, and
Join centers with departments of constitutional studies in the
universities, offering postgraduate degrees in the subject.
Establish enhanced constitutional education programs in schools
Establish a reputation of the constitution centers as the place
to which people subjected to abuses of their rights can turn for
aid, and find legal help, support, and publicity, and as a source
for grand juries to consult to get evidence they need on public
Build a dominant coalition of voters that will make
constitutional compliance the leading issue in every election.
Make celebration of Constitution Day and Bill of Rights Day as
large an event as celebration of independence day.
Scholarships and Fellowships.
Fund scholarships for undergraduates and graduate students,
especially law students, for which the applicant would take a test
each year to qualify, with the scholarships going to the students
with the highest scores. The tests would be on the history,
theory, and original meaning of the Constitution, and would be
designed to confer prestige as well as sufficient funding to
enable the student to attend a school of his choice for a year at
a time, without having to get burdensome student loans. The tests
would be designed by Constitution Society staff and administered
by one of the national testing agencies that now administer such
qualifying tests. The intent would be to generate demand for
education on the subject, leading to more courses being taught on
it, more faculty hired, and more papers written.
There would also be grants awarded for the best original papers
by undergraduate and graduate students and professionals.
Law education reform.
Develop and promote an accreditation system for law schools
independent of the American Bar Association.
Promote bar examinations at least a third of which are on
Recruit, educate, and place law faculty with originalist
expertise on constitutional history.
Scholarships for law students who score well on constitutional
examinations we would develop.
Conduct seminars and conferences on constitutional issues.
Make law and legal history education part of the curriculum for
every citizen, up to and beyond at least the first-year level of
present law schools, but with more of an emphasis on
constitutional text and history.
Seek precedents requiring all issues of law to be argued in the
presence of the jury, including providing them with copies of all
pleadings, and access to adequate law libraries.
Revive private criminal prosecutions, especially in public
Reduce the indictment workload on grand juries, and enable and
encourage them to investigate public corruption and incompetence.
Seek precedents to better protect the rights of litigants, and
to strike down all unconstitutional legislation.
Systematically file amicus curiae briefs in cases with
constitutional issues, that inform the court of historical
evidence of original understanding, and recruit supporting briefs
from other organizations. Write and publish reusable briefs for
this purpose, with supporting law review articles and treatises.
Select judges by sortition, like juries, rather than by
appointment or election.
Introduce a random, or sortition, component into the election of
legislators, to reduce their susceptibility to undue influence by
campaign contributors or special interests.
Introduce a random, or sortition, component into the awarding of
government contracts, and the hiring, promotion, and assignments
of personnel, to dispel undue influence.
Establish non-partisan redistricting using impersonal computer
programs to draw districts.
Revive private prosecutions of public rights, enabling any
person to bring an action for declaratory or injunctive relief
without having to have been personally injured.
Revive quo warranto proceedings, and reverse the
presumption of authority for official acts, requiring strict proof
of authority when an act is challenged.
Repeal all unconstitutional statutes, such as criminal penalties
based on the Commerce Clause, or defining interstate “commerce" as
anything but transfers of ownership and possession of tangible
commodities, and repeal all statutes, such as those for asset
forfeiture, that are susceptible to abuse.
Require the video taping of all court proceedings, including
those in chambers, make those recordings part of the public
record, and require the taping and eventual public disclosure of
most contacts among officials and between officials and members of
End impediments to the publication of case records, and put all
of them online as searchable files.
Require juries in cases of family law, competence, and custody.
End legislative disablements of rights and allow only
disablements by explicit court order, such as imposing penalties
for having been the subject of a judicial or administrative
proceeding on some question without the specific activity having
been judicially disabled with the right of a jury verdict.
End occupational licensing, including of lawyers, to make
personal labor a right, rather than a privilege, subject to
judicial disablement by jury verdict but not prior approval, and
end the licensing of any activity that does not involve the use of
Reform legislative rules to open all legislation for public
debate and to remove undue influence by partisan majorities.
Introduce rules that require sunset provisions in all