Sept. 16, 2016
Constitution Day recognizes the anniversary of the signing of the document that unites us as a people.
It is the Constitution's birthday, but today 1,000 lucky people on Monument Circle in Indianapolis received a present: a pocket Constitution they can keep on-hand for quick access to our rights and shared values.
Every year the ACLU celebrates Constitution Day. Every day it is our job to hold government accountable to the promises of the Constitution. We have defended Constitutional rights countless times, for almost 100 years, including on behalf of the following organizations that joined us today and the individuals they serve: Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc., Freedom Indiana, Greater Indianapolis NAACP, Immigrant Welcome Center, Muslim Alliance of Indiana, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council.
This past year, we've seen a dramatic increase in fiery rhetoric, fear-mongering claims and policy proposals that address and potentially threaten our Constitutional rights and the rights of our neighbors. We are free, but we are also charged with defending our neighbors' freedom.
The Constitution contains all the rights and values that make us Americans. Among these are freedom of religion; freedom of speech, assembly, and the press; freedom from cruel and unusual punishment; equal protection under the law and due process. The Constitution encompasses our right to privacy and to have control over our own bodies. And because of the Constitution, the government cannot:
It is essential that all Americans read the Constitution and let this document, not fear, be their guide. It is also crucial that our elected officials read it. Those we elect are called upon, to the best of (their) ability, to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." We must demand that our leaders know the Constitution and are true to its principles.
If you were unable to join us today, we encourage you to order a pocket Constitution online or download a copy. We also urge all Hoosiers to check out our Constitution Day educational online portal, which provides materials for schools and groups who want to dive deeper into to our rights and responsibilities as Americans on Constitution Day or on any other day of the year.
Happy Constitution Day,
Jane Henegar, Executive Director