Constitution Day: 2013Constitution Day, which is observed every September 17, commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution. It was on September 17, 1787, that the United States Constitution was signed by thirty-nine of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States. These 39 signatories are often called the “Framers of the Constitution.” The U.S. Constitution is the oldest constitution in the world that is still operative. September 17 is also “Citizenship Day” and federal laws provide that these two days are to be combined into a single day.


September 17 is also Citizenship Day, which recognizes all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become United States citizens. It was William Randolph Hearst, a widely known newspaper publisher, who advocated for a day to celebrate United States Citizenship in 1939. Congress created “I Am an American Day” to be celebrated in the third Sunday in May in 1940, which later became “Citizenship Day” in 1952. Finally, in 2004, Congress designated September 17 as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”


The Constitution starts out with the Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

The first three Articles of the Constitution created and set forth the duties and powers of the Legislative (Congress), the Executive (President) and the Judicial Branches (the United States Supreme Court and lower courts) respectively. Article IV provides for full “faith and credit” and gives rights to individuals and the states. The last 3 Articles deal with Amendments, debts and ratification.


It was not until December 15, 1791, that the first ten Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified. The Seventh Amendment, which directly affects Lapin Law Offices’ clients, provides:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


As the British Constitution is the most subtle organism which has proceeded from the womb and long gestation of progressive history, so the American Constitution is, so far as I can see, the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man. ~ W. E. Gladstone

I consider the difference between a system founded on the legislatures only, and one founded on the people, to be the true difference between a league or treaty and a constitution. ~ James Madison

The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon. ~ George Washington

It is the genius of our Constitution that under its shelter of enduring institutions and rooted principles there is ample room for the rich fertility of American political invention. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. ~ Abraham Lincoln

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. ~ John Adams


Happy Constitution and Citizenship Day from Lapin Law Offices

Lapin Law Offices wishes everyone a Happy Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. We represent clients in “suits at common law” such as vehicle accidents, dog bites and wrongful death cases in Lincoln and throughout Nebraska.