Terry Jeffrey
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The Exhibition Hall at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, which opened at the end of 2008, has enshrined in marble a false interpretation of the Constitution that opens the door to an ever-expanding federal government.

Two of six massive marble-faced exhibit cases at the front of the hall are inscribed with tellingly edited passages from the first clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Another two are inscribed with tellingly edited passages from the eighth clause of that section. (The final two exhibit cases are inscribed with the First Amendment and an edited passage from the preamble.)

The full text of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 says: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

One marble exhibit case, however, is inscribed with these selected words: "The Congress shall have Power To ... provide for the common Defence."

Another bears these selected words: "The Congress shall have Power To ... provide for the ... general Welfare."

The full text of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 gives Congress the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

But one of the hall's six marble exhibit cases is inscribed with these selected words: "The Congress shall have Power To ... promote the Progress of Science."

And yet another is inscribed with these selected words: "The Congress shall have the Power To ... promote ... useful Arts."

The distortion of the eighth clause of Article 1, Section 8 at the Capitol Visitor Center is obvious. The Constitution did not give Congress the power to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" by any means whatsoever, but only "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

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Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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