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Pocket Constitution becomes bestseller after Khizr Khan’s convention speech

Khizr Khan, with his wife Ghazala Khan, with his personal copy of the U.S. Constitution
Khizr Khan, with his wife, Ghazala Khan, holds his personal copy of the U.S. Constitution during an appearance at the Democratic National Convention.
(Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

It’s one of the most important documents in the history of democracy. And now, thanks to an emotional speech delivered at the Democratic National Convention last week, a pocket-sized version of the U.S. Constitution is one of the most popular books in the country.

As of Monday morning, a 52-page, pamphlet-sized version of the document was the No. 2 bestselling book on Amazon, second only to the newly released “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

The pocket Constitution, which sells for one dollar, skyrocketed on Amazon after Thursday’s DNC speech by Khizr Khan, a Virginia lawyer whose son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, was killed in 2004 in Iraq.

Khan directed some of his remarks to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who in 2015 suggested that he would ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. if he were elected.

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“Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future,” an emotional Khan said. “Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution?”

He then pulled out a pocket version of the document from his suit jacket, and said, “I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’”

The version that’s trending on Amazon, which doesn’t appear to be the same one Khan has, is published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, an Idaho-based organization founded by the late conservative writer W. Cleon Skousen.

Pocket Constitutions have been around at least since 1965, Betsy Woodruff explains in Slate magazine, when a Democratic U.S. House member named Wayne Hays asked Congress to print a version of the founding document that could be easily carried around.

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As Woodruff notes, pocket Constitutions have been popular with Americans all over the political spectrum, from liberals and progressives to Tea Party activists.

The libertarian Cato Institute sells pocket-sized versions of the document for $4.95 each on its website, and the liberal American Civil Liberties Union offers its version for $5, although it is giving away one free Constitution per customer until Election Day. 

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