Justice. Tranquility. Liberty. Posterity.
These four words provide a glimpse of what the framers of the U.S. Constitution hoped to ensure for citizens when they wrote the framework for our federal government. The words so succinctly outline what the colonists lacked under King George.
These four words are not the most important ones, however. The key words are “We the People of the United States” — and with them comes responsibility, our responsibility.
We are entering Constitution Week, which begins Sept. 17 or Constitution Day, commemorating the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. The week also recognizes all citizens, from those who are born in the U.S. to those who gain citizenship through naturalization, and reminds us of our rights.
As we reflect on the Constitution’s beginnings, let’s consider the basic tenets behind the three branches or government -- legislative, executive and judicial -- as well as states’ rights.
Article I, Section 1: All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Article II, Section 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.
Article III, Section 1: The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
Article IV, Section 1: Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.
And so this is our framework. No royalty. No all-powerful person or family. Instead, a shared system of government.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Fellow citizen, sign here.