Today is Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day in the United States. It is a day on which citizens, civil society groups, schools and government entities across the country organize events to celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and to promote understanding of its significance and meaning.

Today, our constitutional form of government is threatened by an overreaching executive and a meek and compliant legislative branch. It is therefore critical that the candidates who seek to serve as the next president of the United States clearly state what they would do in office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

For more than 200 years, the Constitution has provided the framework for our government and our laws. It was designed, through an intricate and inspiring system of checks and balances, to ensure that no single branch of government — especially the executive branch – would be able to acquire too much power.

Unfortunately, over the past few years, this system has been severely damaged. President George W. Bush has thrown it out of balance through the use of signing statements, the defiance of congressional subpoenas by his administration’s officials, and the willful violation of laws adopted by Congress – such as FISA, which governs how executive agencies can conduct surveillance on American citizens.

Before the American people vote on November 4, they must know whether each candidate will continue these practices or commit to restoring our system of checks and balances. Will he treat Congress like a co-equal branch of government or will he continue to value executive power over the Constitution? If we do not know the answers to these questions ahead of time, we will literally be taking a chance on the future of our country.

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Comments on Today is Constitution Day

October 30, 2008

In virtually every generation and during virtually every presidency (Jefferson, Jackson and Cleveland are exceptions that come to mind) the popular branches of government have expanded their power. The air you breathe, the water you drink, the size of your toilet tank, the water pressure in your shower, the words you can speak under oath and in private, how your physician treats your illness, what your children study in grade school, how fast you can drive your car, and what you can drink before you drive it are all regulated by federal law. Congress has enacted over 4,000 federal crimes and written or authorized over one million pages of laws and regulations.