Keep out of kids’ reach. It’s a founding document!

by Walter Olson on May 7, 2010

I blogged at Cato at Liberty yesterday about a copy of the U.S. Constitution sold with a parental advisory warning (hat tip: reader Clark S.). According to the warning, it might be a good idea not to let kids read the nation’s founding document until having a discussion with them about how views on race, sex, etc. have changed since it was written. It’s just boilerplate, of course, as found on other books from the same publisher. More: Eugene Volokh and Damon Root, Reason “Hit and Run”. And reader L.S. points out that in their prefatory matter the publishers also purport to prohibit readers from using or reproducing the text of the Constitution without permission.

P.S. First Things commenter Jared: “I presume, in the interests of not being chauvinistic about the present, that which they publish written today also carries a similar warning label: ‘This book is a product of the cultural mores and prejudices of the early twenty-first century…'”

{ 5 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 05.07.10 at 3:13 pm

Where did Wilder Publications get the idea that they are supposed to be the arbiter of our values? Their only job is to publish the documents and let the readers decide what they thing about it.

2 ras 05.07.10 at 3:37 pm

Just put a condom over the documents and they should be OK for kids.

3 Rider3 05.07.10 at 6:27 pm

Stunningly ignorant.

4 Todd Rogers 05.07.10 at 7:54 pm

I’ll tell you where Wilder gets the idea: Duty to warn – some wacko will figure out a way to convince a judge that his client wouldn’t have had sex with an infected piece of live-stock if John Locke would’ve properly put seventeen warning stickers on his treatise’s that predicated the Bill of Rights. Since he didn’t properly conference in with Thomas Hobbes like he should have, we’re now on the hook for all of the stupid possibilities that come from man’s foolish and inherent desire to be brutish and warring.

5 mojo 05.10.10 at 1:58 pm

They’re claiming copyright over the Constitution?

Ooooo-kay then…

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