Our Constitution is 225 years old. The University of Mobile celebrated the occasion with a speech by federal appellate judge Bill Pryor, and I wrote a column about it here. Here’s a sample:
The United States and its Constitution serve as one big laboratory of republican government. When the Constitution was written, most of the world’s people thought true republics were by their very nature unstable, destined to be short-lived and to lead to either anarchy or tyranny. The men of Philadelphia, and then the American people who put into practice the system the founders designed, proved otherwise. Indeed, we continue to prove that representative democracy works. It can assure freedom, ensure a high degree of justice, and promote societal stability, simultaneously.
It remains for us to make sure that we ourselves in the United States do not let down our guard. Just because our Constitution has worked for so long does not mean, in the words of the title of a famous book on the Constitution, that our government is “a machine that would go of itself.” The Constitution only provides a framework by which American citizens can protect our liberties; The Constitution does not do the work all by itself.
On another note, belatedly, I should mention that an excellent outfit called the Constitution Center has a worthwhile website called “Constitution Hall Pass.” Learn about it here.
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