In celebration of Constitution Day, The Heritage Foundation welcomed its new neighbor and ally across the street: Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Hillsdale College in Michigan has been an institution committed to “educating for liberty” since 1844, but with the addition of the Kirby Center, this education will expand from students to policy makers, public servants, and all citizens. In addition to housing students in the Washington-Hillsdale Intern Program (which has experienced success in D.C. for over 35 years), the Kirby Center will sponsor the George Washington Fellowship Program for undergraduate fellows, the First Principles on First Fridays lecture series, Constitutional Town Halls, and work hand-in-hand with The Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation to co-sponsor the James Madison Fellows Program for senior level Hill staffers.
Hillsdale could not have looked to DC at a better time. The recent popularity of the tea parties indicates a deeper, nation-wide interest in our founding principles, and the desire to hold our government accountable to the original meaning of the Declaration and Constitution. The prevailing progressive idea that rights originate not in Nature, but in the government (and the subsequent notion that government has the wisdom and authority to determine what is best for the people), is being challenged by concerned citizens across the country. Hillsdale’s Kirby Center offers another guiding voice in this debate.
They join us in the effort to restore a proper understanding of the role of government – an understanding that takes as its guides the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. In the series of speeches and events that the Kirby Center hosted on September 16th and 17th, citizens in many public roles affirmed the immutable significance of the founding documents, and the growing number of people committed to defending them.
At a time when the Constitution is considered by leading elites to be obsolete, and the necessity for a progressive, “living” Constitution is taken for granted, we welcome the Kirby Center to the fight to restore America’s First Principles.