The US Constitution: Reimagining 'We the People' as an Inclusive Construct

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The Bridge: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Legal and Social Policy

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Former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan of Texas, a graduate of Texas Southern University, on July 25, 1974, in a speech to the House Judiciary Committee said, “Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, “We, the people.” It is a very eloquent beginning. But when the document was completed on the seventeenth of September 1787, I was not included in that “We, the people.” I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision I have finally been included in “We, the people.”” Additionally, she said “My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. “I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.” This presentation explored whether “We the People” as conceived in the constitution actually includes Black people and other persons of color, immigrants, non-English speakers, LGBTQ communities and criminalized and/or incarcerated citizens.


Police, Policing, Qualified Immunity, Law Enforcement, Correctional Officers, Prisons


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Criminal Law


Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy

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