My name is Tad Armstrong. Born in West Texas and raised in Edwardsville, Illinois, I graduated from EHS (the best class Edwardsville ever had) in 1969 and completed my undergraduate degree in Accounting at the University of Illinois, passing the C.P.A. examination in the Spring of my senior year, 1973. Then, it was on to law school at the University of Texas in Austin where I was privileged to have Professor Charles Alan Wright and Professor Leon Green for Constitutional Law and Tort Law, respectively. I transferred back to Champaign and finished my law degree in 1976, again, privileged to have Professor John Cribbet as my Dean.

The Viet Nam War was beginning to wind down in the early 70s and I was among the first to be a part of the lottery system to decide who went to war. My number was never called and, although I would have willingly gone if it had been, I have had regrets about never serving my country.

I am sure that missing piece of an otherwise American life fuels my passion for educating our nation. This all began with a challenge by a local businessman that the “Bar” was not doing enough to educate the public about our Constitution. While I wasn’t sure lawyers were to blame, I was sure that most of us, including many lawyers, are woefully under educated concerning our founding document. I accepted the challenge.

But, in the fall of 2004, the challenge was only to meet informally in our town with everyday folks who wanted to join in the study. Not entirely sure of how I would proceed, a flyer at church was the only magic necessary to cause 100 folks to show up at the first meeting. How could I possibly have known back then that the study material would grow to over 3,000 pages or that local interest would spawn another five adult clubs, a club at Edwardsville High School and numerous additional clubs.

We cover over 300 United States Supreme Court cases on constitutional issues. Just think of that! Everyday Americans read and discuss more cases on constitutional issues than most law graduates cover in law school.

I believe the folks who have participated would tell you they have had an eye opening and empowering experience.

I want to especially thank my wife, Mel. She has given up nights, weekends, vacations and most everything else while I have been reading, writing and videotaping. Let’s hope it proves to have been for a worthy cause. /s/ Tad Armstrong, September 17, 2010.