On this day 225 years ago, September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was formally adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. After a intense (and brutally hot) summer of debate, luminous American figures including George Washington (who chaired the Convention), James Madison (author of the framework of the Constitution), and Benjamin Franklin approved a final draft of the Constitution that, once ratified by the States, would become the foundation for the great republic of the United States of America.
Now, 225 years later, looking back on the significance of what occurred that day, I’m struck by the challenge that those Convention delegates faced – the reality that, despite the huge amount of work that lay behind them, the real effort was still ahead. Despite the tremendous effort it took to obtain approval within the Convention for the Constitution, the task of ratification (which required approval by nine of the 13 states) was monumental. It is fair to say that while a Constitution had been adopted, the fight to defend it was only just beginning.
That fight continues to this day. The Constitution has afforded us a form of government rooted in individual liberty and limited government. However, just as our Founders, we face a never-ended struggle to defend and preserve the principles of the Constitution. In recent years, we’ve seen a litany of threats to the fundamental components of the Constitution from every branch of government –from overreaching legislation to excessive regulation to judicial activism.
We at the ACLJ are committed to this fight for the Constitution. That’s why we’re engaged in efforts to properly restrain each of the branches of government. Whether it is the government-run healthcare law, the stifling of religious freedom under the HHS Mandate, or the unconstitutional circumvention of the Senate’s advice and consent authority, we are committed to the constant work necessary to defend our Constitution.
So as we celebrate the birth of the Constitution 225 years ago, let us all remember that the responsibility to defend and preserve the principles that it set forth rests with each of us.