Constitution Week begins Wednesday and runs through Tuesday, Sept. 23, celebrating the 227th anniversary of the signing of this great document.
Bells will chime the announcement of this important occasion from church steeples and carillons around Bulloch County.
The Archibald Bulloch Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, asks that you listen for them at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and pause a moment to reflect on the Constitution’s meaning. Here are a few pieces of information about our Constitution that may interest you:
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 by courts to include limits to the freedom of speech, press and assembly for defamation, perjury, contempt of court, hate speech, size of public demonstrations, trade secrets, noise pollution, classified information and treason.
Did you know that 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 Fifth Amendment nor anywhere else in the Constitution. These phrases are derived from English law and are part of our system and considered common law today.
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.
American colonists fought, sacrificed and died to establish and preserve the freedoms now guaranteed to us by the various, and sometimes controversial, Supreme Court rulings. The right to privacy has come to the public’s attention through such rulings. But did you know that privacy is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution? However, 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 Ninth Amendment.
Read the Bill of Rights and Amendments. Study the Constitution. Know your rights, and know what it says and does not say.
This announcement was provided by the Archibald Bulloch Chapter Society, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.