Celebrating Constitution Week
September 17th – 23rd

Each year, we celebrate Constitution Week in many ways.   As part of our celebration, we run Constitution Minutes in our local papers starting at least 3 weeks before Constitution Week.

This year we are pleased to also be running our minutes in our local online Newspaper, the Heard Citizen.

We are pleased to share our minutes with you.

Week 1  - A Constitution Minute

September will bring us the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America.  We hear the Constitution mentioned by many politicians and news reporters quite often when they are discussing court rulings and during election years.  We should all take time to re-read our Constitution and think about just what it means to us.

Our Constitution, the cornerstone of our freedoms, was written to protect every American from the abuse of power by government.  The Fifth Amendment states that “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” and it protects us from double jeopardy and incrimination.  However, the phrases “innocent until proven guilty” and “presumption of innocence” are not found in the 5th amendment nor in any part of the Constitution. These phrases are derived from English law and are part of our system and considered common law today.

Know your Constitution, know your rights, and know what it says and does not say. This Constitution Minute was provided by the James Stewart Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Week  2 – A Constitution Minute

American colonists fought, sacrificed, and died to establish and preserve the freedoms now guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States.  The right to privacy has come to the public’s attention through various controversial Supreme Court rulings.  Privacy is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, but over the years the Supreme Court has made decisions that have established that the right to privacy is a basic human right and as such is protected by virtue of the 9th Amendment.

The U.S. Constitution is the oldest constitution still in active use in the world today and is the basic document of our republic, which protects the individual liberties of all citizens through written law. Did you know that you cannot be denied the right to vote because of race or gender? But remember, the Constitution never clearly ensures us the “right to vote.” The 26th Amendment requires that 18 year-olds must be able to vote; however, states can allow persons younger than 18 to vote if they chose. The qualifications for voters are left to the states, as long as they do not conflict with anything in the Constitution. In some states, felons who are in prison or on probation are denied the right to vote while other states allow them to vote.

Study the Amendments and the Bill of Rights.  Know your Constitution!  This Constitution Minute was provided by the James Stewart Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, www.jamesstewartchapterdar.org.

Week 3 – A Constitution Minute

Next week, September 17 – 23, is Constitution Week, the  anniversary of the signing of this great document. Did you know that the only place in the Constitution that “Lord” or any reference to God is where the date is written: “Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven”? Did you know that We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” and Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are not in the Constitution, but both are in the Declaration of Independence? And lastly, this quote, “Of the people, by the people, for the people” is neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration, but comes from the Gettysburg Address.

Did you know that the Constitution does not give the right to have cases heard by a jury of “my” peers? The Constitution does not have the words “separation of church and state” anywhere in it. The only crime that is defined in the Constitution is treason. Specifically, treason is defined as adhering to or giving comfort to the enemies of the United States. The Constitution neither prohibits nor encourages that the President and the Vice President be from the same party.

Study the Amendments and the Bill of Rights.  Know your Constitution!  This Constitution Minute was provided by the James Stewart Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, www.jamesstewartchapterdar.org.

Week 3 Alternate Constitution Minute

Next week, September 17 – 23, is Constitution Week, the anniversary of the signing of this great document.  Did you know that nowhere in the Constitution does it say, “It’s a free country”? Amendment 1 of the Constitution does NOT include the words “freedom of expression” but over time it has been ruled to include limits to the freedom of speech/press/assembly for defamation, perjury, contempt of court, hate speech, size of public demonstrations, trade secrets, noise pollution, classified information and treason.

You might have even heard the phrase, “That’s unconstitutional” or “That’s my constitutional right!” Many times Americans believe that sayings and phrases are in our Constitution, but they really aren’t. Let us celebrate Constitution Week September 17-23 by resolving to be better-informed and responsible citizens.

Study the Constitution, know your rights, and know what it says and does not say.  This Constitution Minute was provided by the James Stewart Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, www.jamesstewartchapterdar.org

Week 4 (Constitution Week) –Constitution Minute

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” These words, written over 200 years ago, are the Preamble to our Constitution.

At the time of the ratification of the Constitution, the population of the United States was only 4 million. Today the population exceeds 300 million.  From the time of it’s signing, the Constitution has only changed 27 times which includes the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights. There are two ways to amend the Constitution, which are outlined in Article V. There has been more than 10,000 amendments proposed in Congress since 1789, but fewer than one percent have received enough support to go through the constitutional ratification process.

This is Constitution Week, September 17 – 23, celebrating the signing of this important document. Read beyond the Preamble to understand the structure of the three branches of our representative government.  Study the Amendments and the Bill of Rights. Know your Constitution! This Constitution Minute was provided by the James Stewart Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, www.jamesstewartchapterdar.org.