If the Founders could see the federal government in operation, they would think we had written a new Constitution!

Restoring limited, constitutional government is essential now more than ever. Heritage expert David Azerrad said Tuesday:

  1. American citizens and lawmakers alike are appallingly ill-educated about the Constitution and America’s first principles
  2. Progressive elites either despise the Constitution or treat it as an empty vessel to carry out their agenda
  3. Our federal government today operates largely outside of the structure of checks and balances the Founders originally designed.

That’s why, thanks to your support, Heritage’s is launching a new research institute: the Institute for Constitutional Government.

This Institute is the conservative movement’s new command center for restoring the U.S. government as the Founders envisioned it. It exists to educate the public in innovative new ways, combat apathy and misunderstanding, and empower every American – including and especially our elected officials – with the analysis they need to fight for the constitutional separation of powers.

Empowering the next generation of leaders and citizens with the principles of constitutional government is critical to restoring our country. And you make this work possible.

Watch the video of the Institute’s Tuesday launch, including remarks from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

What are other ways we can work to restore constitutional government in our country?

Comments (38)

Mary Szullo - December 2, 2016

We need to make sure the new insurance plan is orchestrated ASAP or we will loose the new voters and old ones too. So many people have been adversely impacted dollar-wise with all the Obama mistakes it is pathetic! Perhaps Heritage can run ads on TV or on the web promoting the constitutionality of our government. We don’t fight enough on our side…good Trump is president elect!

Mary Szullo - December 2, 2016

Heritage, Trump & Ms. DeVoss need to unify to teach children in school (all levels) about the workings & benefits of a constitutional government. CommonCore must be changed with truth and logic!

Var - December 2, 2016

Rewrite the history books used in our schools and then mandate that schools actually teach the constitution and how it came to be, and the founders as they were in light of the declaration of independence. Actually teach why we broke free of the rest of the world. Teach what the civil war was actually about. Teach the truth about why the USA was able to grow and do so much in such a short period of time, when the rest of the world not only couldn’t, but didn’t for 1000’s of years. That would, in my openion, be a very good start.

Virginia O. - December 2, 2016

It is time to get back to teaching the “basics” in our schools, including history of our country, the Constitution, Declaration of Independence. Today’s High school & college students don’t seem to have a clue about the American Revolution, our early forefathers or the beginnings of this great nation.

Jerome Pikulinski - December 2, 2016

We need to build acceptance of the “Republic” form of government. This is difficult but necessary to deal with its conflict with the “popular” government approach. This entails finding a continuing source of quality leadership selected from all levels of the populace. I know you are using the “constitutional” approach which sidesteps the difficult issues.

Bill Coates - December 2, 2016

At state and local levels, unelected commissions are creating laws and ordinances having monetary penalties and administered by ‘administrative judges’ or commissioners without a jury trial. Worst examples are the ‘Sweet Cakes by Melissa’ case in Oregon and Barronelle Stutzman in Washington, and the Colorado Civil Rights Comission vs. Masterpiece Cakeshop. These are clear violations of First Amendment rights, and done by entities that are not supposed to possess legislative powers. I believe these pseudo-legislative entities are in violation of the U.S. Constitution, Article 4, Sec. 4 because they do not represent a republican form of government – which the federal government is supposed to guarantee to the states and their citizens – laws made only by elected representatives of the citizens. This must be clarified in law or tested in a federal court.

AndyX - December 2, 2016

We must also ensure that our children are taught truth about the Founders (they were NOT a bunch of rich, racist white misogynists), the Constitution (defines & constrains Federal power), and the proper function of government in a civil society.
This is why the Federal government must be completely removed from the educational system… And the communists removed from our universities!

Charles Warner - December 2, 2016

My God we have had a brain dead GOP for 12 long years. They have refused to do as they promised and did everything they could to sabotage Trump. Bush opened the door for Obama’s illegal alien scam and has hid since. What did he or Heritage do to stop Obama in the last 8 years? Say you were a business what would be the reason to hire any of you? Based on what results? Time to end the scam which Rinos did you ‘Educate’ to stop Obama? You and the GOP have to prove you are relevant in any meaningful fashion. Based on your recent record you have a zero batting average. Amazing you are still around will you support Trump or the Bush GOP who helped Hillary and put the Clintons back on the stage? People are sick of this crap from you people.

john austin - December 2, 2016

I wrote a book about restoring the government to original functioning this year. There is a chapter wherein the Constitution is revised, involves term limits, balanced budget, military as to state organization, presidential veto revision, among other things – it would be useful for what Heritage is attempting. Why don’t you request a copy of the manuscript?

Lorraine O Gloede - December 2, 2016

Would it help for every Congress person elected for the first time or re-elected to have to attend a class at your Institute?
They are the ones at a national level who need to know about the”workings and benefits of a constitutional government”. (see Ms. Szullo’s and Var’s comments).

Michael McGuire - December 2, 2016

Legislation should be one bill (subject) one vote; no pork barrel riders. Line item veto should be the norm as well. Allowing unrelated rider bills confuses the true issue and allows bills to pass that are possibly not in the best interests of the entire country.

Robert Appleby - December 2, 2016

Where are the enumerated powers in the constitution that allows for mandated insurance, and a department of Education?

curtis hicks - December 3, 2016

Finally we the Americans people by the people for the people elected a conservative president donald Trump. Now we can turn around the government terminated all the dishonest lieing demacrats where are ideas are for the people and the health care. We the people get justice and jobs red tape cut take the berden off. We need to work together.

Thomas A. Ray - December 3, 2016

Var post,of December 2nd took the words right out of my mouth. But could it be done without replacing half the teachers who have been erroneously taught themselves?

Robert Burkholder - December 3, 2016

When I enlisted in the US Army we trained under the fragmented program ProBlue/Citizen soldier program put together by the Patriot Major Archibald E.Roberts ,AUS retired , author of Victory Denied …Why your son faces death in “No -Win Wars” –Committee to Restore the Constitution,Howes at Oak,Ft.Collins,COlorado 80521–If he has not been consulted on this project from the Heritage Inst. I suggest it-and propose partnership in this worthy goal.

Sonie Thompson - December 3, 2016

Please support a change in health care soon!! People must see an improved system.
Our children desperately need studies in constitutional gov’t and our founders. They currently are being taught from a progressive mind set, and we must change this…..control the children and you control a country!
Also, please support term limits for Congress!
Lastly, we are discouraged over our mainstream media. Isn’t there some check and balance on media negative attacks of our president that could be made? I’m all for free speech, but media has a history of telling lies to sway people in all things. Let them report truth not sensationalize news!

B Edwards - December 3, 2016

One of the main ways the Constitution is circumvented is through the courts. Are judges fluent in the U.S. constitution are they just trying to rewrite it from the bench?

Mrs. Phyllis Eix - December 3, 2016

The ICG, sounds wonderful and will fill an enormous need to educate all citizens of how we should be being governed. I’m especially concerned for the Judicial branch to accept the Constitutional limits and powers that are their responsibility to uphold as they decide cases before them. Thank you for all you’re doing to keep us from drifting any further from our heritage, and providing ways that we can restore that heritage to its original provisions.

Harold Griggs - December 3, 2016

AMEN,AMEN,AMEN——Thanks be to God, our Lord and Savior, who orchestrated this new thing in Washington

Shar Schimmels St. Hilaire - December 3, 2016

PLEASE! PLEASE! Consider the “Constitutional Reform Act of 2010” as a possible starting point. This document has eight items in it . Each item could be considered independently for passage in Congress. Only this document of 2010 should be considered. Each year following, presentation of this document has only seven items. They have removed the first item, term limits. I believe we absolutely must have term limits. IF passage of the complete document is not reasonable in Congress then we could pass these in each of the states. This could go a long way in bringing the Congress back to the people.

John Minichelli - December 3, 2016

Teachers might be woefully under educated or misinformed in regards to how the Constitution works. Therefore the lack of reverence they, and many in the American public, have for WE THE PEOPLE allows the government and the media to easily manipulate the people. Let’s put the Constitution back where it belongs by publicizing, educating and displaying full support for our document and our heritage.
I will gladly volunteer my time to go into the schools to bring the Constitution to our children.

Nancy Nelson - December 3, 2016

All incoming members of Congress, the Administration, and heads of Federal Departments should be required to take a course on the US Constitution. In addition, all re-elected members of Congress should be required to take a refresher course.

All this should be done prior to being sworn into office. Otherwise, what are they swearing to uphold?

Mary Pyle - December 3, 2016

Sooo Glad, Thank you!!

Robert A. Kunsman Sr - December 3, 2016

To me the most important is the individual freedom. This what I fought for. Second is the Military to protect our nation and the principles that we stand for! The Heritage Foundation is the best place to start.

Eugenia Obrecht - December 3, 2016

Term limits should be established for all Congressmen and women as well as judges. Justices of the Supreme should not be appointed for their lifetime but for a reasonable retirement age, similar to the average working person.

sue winn - December 3, 2016

A must,
Colleges & High School must start
teaching civics, History of USA, and constitution.

If a school receives tax dollars, they should be required to teach the above.

Thank you,

Sharon Pelletier - December 3, 2016

First comment … very good talk from Mike Lee…he recognizes that Congress (both House and Senate) has defaulted its duties and responsibilities to Bureaucrats who have no allegiance to anyone. It’s time to have those individuals who represent US do their job and not allocate it to other agencies. Do the job themselves! Form the policies, create the laws, and implement the laws. Lastly, we are ‘cradle’ Americans … our parents, grandparents, and a generation before that were the immigrants who left their country for a better life here … and found it! Some way some how we’re going to have to come up with a ‘patriot’ test (similar to a driver’s test) at the age of 16 to test our requirements of knowing the Constitution and the laws of our country. Once studies and passed the test, have the ability to renew the knowledge at certain intervals in our lifetime. Of course that would require an intense review of all currently used history books to ensure what is being taught is accurate. Maybe the New Institute will come up with something. But I’m willing to be put through a series of test to see if I understand the rights and laws of my country, and I would think others would want the truth too.

Jim Waite - December 4, 2016

I’m already a member of Heritage; but I’m also affiliated with Article V Convention of States.

Some time ago, Heritage had an outstanding article, complimentary to the Article V movement, and it appears that with the 2017 legislatures going into session, the chances are excellent there will be more members of Article V in 2017-perhaps to start making the headway toward the objectives of the Article V Convention of States. I would hope Heritage and Article V will complement each other, rather than go on diverse ways.

Hans Collins - December 4, 2016

Heritage should incorporate the Hillsdale College model on providing educational programs on the U. S. Constitution. Hillsdale College has been a strong proponent of constitutional government for years.

Cynthia Roy - December 4, 2016

Since our government federalized curriculum instruction throughout K-12 public education, how has it promoted and increased instructional awareness in American Civics?

Wayne Guo - December 4, 2016

Excellent video, many thanks to the speakers, congratulations on the establishment of ICG.

One take home message for me is that if our legislative body cannot make law, the judicial and executive branches will take over, thus rendering constitutional government obsolete.

A law that is badly needed is the one to ban flag burning. It was attempted before and needs to be tried again. Without such a law, it is all up to the opinions of the unelected justices. Twice in history in 1989 and 1990, it was 5:4 against it, and the majority of justices got it wrong.

From an ordinary citizen’s eye, the First amendment of the Constitution protects expression and peaceful assembly, and it defines expression as “speech” and “press”. Burning flag is an act, not a speech. A bunch of guys gathering in public places and burning flags can hardly be called “peaceful assembly”. Wonder if ICG can offer an effective legal narrative to help the new legislative branch on this matter.

If the founding fathers could have anticipated the bizarre rulings by the court over two hundred years later, they would have added another amendment to the constitution with the title “National Flag”, just to save the future strives among the citizens.

Finally, to set the narrative straight in the media – the flag not only represents veterans but ALL citizens, so does our National Anthem. Do not let our beloved veterans fight the battles alone.

Audrey Marshall - December 4, 2016

It is appalling that American History including the writing of the Constitution is not taught to young people in our schools! No wonder that the Electoral Collage and its function is not known!

Robert Sims - December 7, 2016

We must first start the process of becoming united in Congress to preserve America’s culture and republic.
To present the idea of this program Constitutional Government awareness, the House of Representatives must be given access to Constitution Booklets that they can then make available to their states school systems for classes on American History.

Walter Wanberg - December 8, 2016

Senator Lee is making a courageous effort to return us to the constitution and abide by its dictates. Given the general ignorance of what is in the constitution it is imperative, I feel, to return the study of civics and the constitution, as our founding fathers wrote it, everywhere from elementary school to the floors of congress.

Maggie McMullan - December 8, 2016

when a bill is introduced, it should include a citation from the Constitution that authorizes the bill. also, a cost estimate should be included as part of the bill.

J. D. Gallet - December 8, 2016

Hillsdale College has an ongoing effort to inform people about the constitution. They are mailing copies of the constitution to whomever wants one and they publish monthly articles about the constitution. You may find it beneficial to contact them and work together. I don’t remember their address but you surely can find their website online.

John Sheridan - December 8, 2016

I do believe that it is most important for the 17th amendment to be repealed. The original intent of the Senate was to represent the States and act as a balance to the House which is to represent the people. By passing the 17th amendment, the Senate became a de facto representative of the people. The interests of the States can vary from the interests of the people. For example; the people may want a minimum wage set at $15 but the job killing effect of such and entry level wage is not in the interest of the State. The Senators should be selected by the state government either by with the appointment by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature or by an act of the Legislature. We need to get the Senate back to representing the States not the people.

Jacqueline Little - January 7, 2017

After watching a segment on the O’Reilly Factor that informed me that think tanks such as yours were created namely because colleges, universities, and the like have shut out conservative view points, I believe that Heritage should run advertisements that share conservative viewpoints.

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