September 15, 2011

We The People

Well, almost.

It is really not until Saturday, but it will be observed tomorrow.  I have a Gameday Friday Fancies planned for tomorrow.  And, the Constitution deserves a post all of its own.


"In Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"

Many of you probably had to memorize the Preamble at some time during your elementary education.  I know I did.  I wish I had kept count of the number of times I have read the Constitution for various classes.  I have taken four Constitutional law classes - two in college and two in law school.

Shouldn't we give Constitution Day the same respect we give Independence Day?  Without the Constitution, we would not be afforded those inalienable rights.  Without the Constitution, we would not be afforded the ability to pursue Life, Liberty, and Happiness.  On September 17, 1787, the supreme law of the land was signed and has stood the test of time and interpretation.  In 224 years, the Constitution has only been amended twenty-seven times.

I want to share some of my favorite Amendments to the Constitution.

1st Amendment {1791}
Freedom of Religion, Speech, & Press
No brainer, right?

2nd Amendment {1791}
Right to Bear Arms
This one has raised some controversy in recent years.  I am firm supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights.             When you take guns from law-abiding citizens, only those members of citizen wanting to commit crimes will have guns.  How does the law-abiding citizen protect himself or herself?  I know my up-bringing has something to do with it.  I come from a family of hunters.  I shot a gun before I was ten.  My sister and I were taught gun safety at a young age.  Yes, I do own a gun, so don't break-in my house.

4th Amendment {1791}
Protection Against Unreasonable Search & Seizure
Officers must have a warrant supported by probable cause and signed by a neutral party before they can search your home.  It is a check on government's power and a protection of privacy.

5th Amendment {1791}
Protection Against Self-Incrimination
A defendant does not have to take the stand in his own criminal trial.  In 1966, the Supreme Court decided the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona.  Miranda warnings were formulated following that decision to protect the criminally accused.

8th Amendment {1791}
Bar Against Cruel & Unusual Punishment

13th Amendment {1865}
Abolishment of Slavery

14th Amendment {1868}
No Citizen Shall be Denied Equal Protection of the Laws

15th Amendment {1870}
Voting Rights
No citizen shall be denied the right to vote based on previous servitude, race, creed, or color.

16th Amendment {1913}
Income Taxes
This is not because I like taxes, but because of the IRS and Internal Revenue Code, I will have a career.

19th Amendment {1920}
Women's Suffrage
After 113 years, women are finally given the right to participate in the political process.  You best believe I would have stood right beside Susan B. Anthony to fight for this right.

21st Amendment {1933}
Repealing 18th Amendment
Let the spirits flow!  Prohibition is over! Though, how fun would it have been to sip on cocktails in a real speakeasy?

24th Amendment {1964}
No Poll Tax
Part of the Voting Rights Acts of 1964, this amendment prohibited a tax to vote.

26th Amendment {1971}
Voting Age is 18

What are some of your favorite Amendments?


1 comment:

  1. Can you tell I'm a History major nerd when I say that I have a pocket-size copy that I keep with me? Just in case anyone decides to challenge my rights ya know? Haha! LOVE THIS POST!


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