USC to celebrate Constitution Day with roundtable discussion
Constitution Day: Sept. 17, 2012
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.
— Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
In 2004, Congress passed legislation establishing Constitution and Citizenship Day, a federal holiday commemorating the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. USC invites you to join the entire Trojan Family in observing the 225th anniversary of this historic event by learning more about the Constitution and celebrating its legacy.
Contemporary Constitutional Issues: A Roundtable Discussion
September 2012 marks the 225-year anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, which is the oldest written constitution in the world still in effect today.
In honor of Constitution Day, the USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics and the USC Blackstonians Pre-Law Honor Society will hold a roundtable discussion with some of the university’s brightest constitutional minds to conduct a prospective and retrospective examination of the biggest constitutional issues before the Supreme Court and other federal courts. The event will take place on Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. in Friends Lecture Hall in Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240.
Moderated by Lee Epstein, Provost Professor of Law and Political Science and holder of the Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law, the discussion will feature faculty and student panelists from the USC Gould School of Law as well as a student panelist from the USC Blackstonians.
The discussion will address a wide range of issues, including:
- electoral issues
- gay marriage
- health care
- affirmative action
For more information about the event, visit dornsife.usc.edu/levan-institute.
Background on the U.S. Constitution
On Sept. 17, 1787, 39 of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution, forging a new government for the United States of America.
The result of months of strenuous debate over the structure and powers of a new federal government, the U.S. Constitution is a testament to cooperative statesmanship and the art of politics. In fact, in his proclamation creating the first national Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789, George Washington noted that the holiday should be a time for the people of the United States to give thanks, among other things, for “the peaceable and rational manner” in which the Constitution had been established.
Since the Bill of Rights was adopted on Dec. 15, 1791, the U.S. Constitution has been amended only 16 times. Providing an intricate system of checks and balances among the various branches and levels of government, and assuring the basic individual liberties that are essential to a free and democratic society, this remarkable document has proved extraordinarily adaptable to the needs of a changing society. It has also served as an inspiration and a model for other countries around the world.
The National Archives and Records Administration has posted a variety of materials about the Constitution:
Images and Transcript
U.S. Constitution Q&A
The Signers of the Constitution
The Bill of Rights: Amendments 1-10
The Bill of Rights: Amendments 11-27