Journey to the Center of the Constitution: #FreeCommunityCollege

Welcome to Journey to the Center of the Constitution.  In our inaugural episode, we are going to delve into one of President Obama’s newest policy proposals, “free” community college, as long as you maintain at least a C+ average, and attend at least part-time.

It has since come out that #FreeCommunityCollege isn’t your typical definition of free.  According to a quick Google search, the typical definition of free is “without cost or payment.”  President Obama’s definition of free is $80 billion.

This major issue aside, this column deals with the constitutionality of the program, as the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater once said, “I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.”  It is in this vein that this article is written.

The first step in my research was to consult my handy-dandy pocket version of our Constitution.  Now, when I did not stumble upon the education section, I thought they might not have been able to fit all of our imaginary rights into the pocket version.  Maybe my 2010 printing was out of date.  So I did what any millennial would do, I took to the internet.

The National Archives has the entire up to date Constitution.  Using the splendors of technology (ctrl + F), I went into my next step.  I have documented this journey.

I first searched for the education section:

No education matches...

No education matches…

Uh-oh.  Not off to a great start.  Maybe the Founding Fathers were more specific when dealing out our constitutional right to heavily subsidized community college.  Let’s just try “college.”

No college mentions either.

No college mentions either.

Oh jeez.  I’m starting to think this might not be Constitutional.  Okay, last shot, let’s try “university.”  Maybe they called everything a university back then.  Worth a shot, right?



I’m not finding any constitutional justification for a program of this magnitude.  Perhaps I’m overlooking something?  If you find an error in my research please reach out to me on Twitter, @mullrainee.

About Michael Mulraney

view all posts

Michael is a 2012 graduate of the University of Scranton. Originally from Berlin, New Jersey, he now resides in Albany, New York. His work has been featured on the Save Jersey Blog, a conservative New Jersey state political blog, and Mic News, a Millennial news site.

Michael has worked as a social media director and adviser to United States Congressional, and Senatorial races respectively. He was also the host of “The Spectrum” the first news talk show in 99.5 WUSR FM history.