Recognizing the value of Constitution Day as a voter

North Wind Staff

As Constitution Day comes and goes each year, too many students and United States citizens are indifferent to what this holiday means. We often let the day pass without a second thought to how important this day actually is.

The Constitution is still as important and relevant as it was back in September 1787. The document is a guideline for our laws and governmental structure—something that touches our lives every single day, whether we realize it or not.

It’s a piece of parchment that defines how a democracy is supposed to work, and this demands our respect.
Since its founding, we’ve made a total of 27 ratified amendments to the Constitution, starting with the Bill of Rights.

These amendments provide a timeline of history to our progress as a country. We often don’t realize that the Constitution is an evolving document that continues to transform as we do as a nation.

The Constitution lays out the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.

The judicial branch interprets the meaning of laws, applies laws to individual cases and decides if laws violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court is made up of nine people and is the highest power in the judicial branch, and with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia there’s currently a vacant seat.

This is important because the president nominates members of the Supreme Court. The Constitution determines that appointed justices “shall hold their offices during good behavior,” which means that they can hold their position for the remainder of their lives.

As an election year, it is crucial that every voter has a basic understanding of our constitutional rights and how the government works. This makes certain that we know when our rights as citizens are honored or violated, or even if our current rights are in danger.

Before we vote for the next president of the United States, we must take into consideration the power they will have over aspects of the Constitution and how it’s interpreted within the judicial branch.

Historical cases like Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board provide proof that the document can be interpreted in vastly different ways and has a monumental impact on us as citizens.

So as Constitution Day passes this year, reflect on the power of the piece of parchment and what it means, as well as your true power as a voter.