Bill of Rights Day
December 15th is the day we observe Bill of Rights Day in the United States. We take time this day to celebrate America’s Constitution and the framework of our society that provides our rights and freedoms. Bill of Rights Day commemorates the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution on December 15, 1791.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that designated December 15th as Bill of Rights Day. This was in honor of the Constitution’s 150th anniversary.
What is the Bill of Rights?
The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The Framers created the system and structure of government in the Constitution. However, they didn’t focus on individual rights.
In fact, the absence of a bill of rights was a roadblock to the Constitution’s ratification by the states. Four more years of intense debate would take place before the new government’s form would be resolved.
The Bill of Rights is based on the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Magna Carta (1215), along with the colonialists’ struggles against King George III for equality and independence. Some of the rights included in the Bill of Rights are freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and freedom of the press. In addition, the Bill of Rights contains a number of procedural protections for our citizens, such as freedom from a warrantless search, double jeopardy (not to be tried twice for the same crime), the right to not testify against yourself, the right to a trial by a jury of your peers, the right to counsel, due process, and protections against excessive fines and unusual punishments.
The Bill of Rights can be seen in The Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. It serves as a reminder to all Americans of their constitutional freedoms.
What Does the Bill of Rights Mean for Our Country?
The Bill of Rights is, without a doubt, one of the most influential documents in contemporary history. This document codifies the theory of natural rights, which states that men and women are guaranteed certain freedoms and liberties and that the state should not have the power to infringe upon those rights.
Moreover, the guarantees in the Bill of Rights have binding legal effect. As a result, and act of Congress that conflicts with them may be held invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court if the question of the law’s constitutionality is litigated.
Let’s celebrate these amendments that guarantee our essential rights and civil liberties!