Lunch & Learn: Constitution Day Livestream


Join us on Friday, September 17 at Noon for a Lunch and Learn livestream celebrating Constitution Day! Live at

September 17, Constitution Day, is significant because the US Constitution is an extremely important document.   Think of it as a type of contract between the American people and its government.  It’s important for five reasons.  First, it sets down in writing the powers government has and does not have.  Without a constitution government could always argue they have the power to do whatever they want because there would be no written limitations on government’s powers.  Secondly, the constitution sets down in writing the rights of the people that cannot be denied by government.  Most of those are found in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments.  The Bill of Rights provides Americans with a better protection of their rights.  The constitution also establishes the structure of government (the executive, legislative and judicial branches) and determines the powers and responsibilities of each.  Fourth, the constitution serves as the supreme law of the land.  All laws passed by Congress, the fifty state legislatures, and local governments must be consistent with the US Constitution.  Without the constitution, federal, state and local governments could enact any laws they darn well pleased, regardless of how undemocratic or unfair they were.  Lastly, the constitution establishes the rules and operating procedures for government:  how a bill becomes a law, grounds for impeachment and how the process works, and the qualifications to be president, a US Senator, and a representative in the US House of Representatives.   

While all rights are important the First Amendment rights are arguably the most important.  They include freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and the right to petition government for a redress of grievances.  These First Amendment rights are the foundation of a democracy.  Without them a democracy could not function.  They give Americans the right to criticize government, the right to dissent, and the right to speak their minds regardless of how unpopular those views are.  Doing those things in many parts of the world today would lead to arrest, imprisonment and even death!  The Fourteenth Amendment is another vital amendment containing the protection Americans have against discrimination.  The Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause has been used by the courts to end segregation, to eliminate discriminatory voting requirements (poll tax, white primary, grandfather clause), to legalize same sex marriage, and to ensure equal treatment and opportunities for all Americans.  The United States today has greater equality and fewer discriminatory barriers due to the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.  We are so lucky to live in this great nation, ruled by a government that must adhere to the constitution.