Congress' New Trend: A Pocket-Sized Constitution
Many lawmakers carry it around in these Tea Party times
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2011 2:00 PM CST
Jeff Duncan holds up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America that he carries in his pocket in Clinton, S.C.   (AP Photo/The Greenville News, Cindy Hosea)
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(Newser) – In the 2011 Congress, there's one item more and more lawmakers know they can't leave home without: a small copy of the US Constitution. A 6.25-inch-tall edition of the country's founding document has become a must-have for lawmakers who know that in these Tea Party times, they may be challenged to produce one at any moment, the Wall Street Journal reports. Newly elected House members like Billy Long flash the book like the flag pins of 2008—proof of their deep ties to the founding principles.

The book-flashing is only part of a constitutional full-court press that included today's full reading of the document in the House. Also under way is a push to require all congressional staffers to undergo an annual class on constitutional principles. Democrats aren't immune, of course—an aide to Harry Reid says he keeps one near at all times. But Sen. Mary Landrieu, for one, called today's reading "stage theater" and says she keeps her Constitution at home.