Douglas: Celebrate Constitution Week

Published 10:31 am Monday, September 18, 2023

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By State Sen. Donald Douglas

It is officially Constitution Week. In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Congress to set aside a week in September annually in dedication and observance of the United States Constitution. A joint resolution of Congress on August 2, 1956, preceded President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first Constitution Week proclamation (Proclamation 1351), officially designated September 17-23 each year as Constitution Week.

The aim of the Constitution Week celebrations has been to:

  • emphasize citizens’ responsibilities in protecting and defending the Constitution,
  • inform the public the Constitution is the foundation for America’s great heritage and way of life, and
  • encourage the study of the historical events leading to the framing of the Constitution.

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Constitution Week is an excellent time to study the Constitution of Kentucky, established in the constitutional convention of 1891. This was the fourth constitution for Kentucky; the original one was adopted at the state’s founding in 1792 at a constitutional convention in Danville.

Our U.S. and state constitutions have gone down in history as some of the most remarkable documents on self-governance the world has ever known. The system of government of a bicameral legislature (this means two chambers; a house and a senate), is significant to the American and Kentucky governmental structures. The concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ the right to trial by a jury of your peers, freedom of religion, privacy, and other inalienable rights, and civic responsibilities are ideas we should never take for granted. Elected officials such as myself should always remember our first duty is to our oath to defend the Constitution and not to a political party. We should always remember the United States is the world’s longest-surviving representative republic.

Also, the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission makes constitutions available to Kentucky residents. Feel free to contact my office by phone or email if you want one sent to you. You may request copies of the Kentucky Constitution and other publications by emailing directly or call them at 502-564-8100, Extension 59955.

Every American is responsible for becoming familiar with these documents, as they clearly outline our constitutional rights and, more importantly, our citizens’ responsibilities.

I remain grateful for you granting me the privilege of swearing an oath to these documents as I serve as your state senator. Enjoy a wonderful Constitution Week.

Senator Donald Douglas, M.D., R-Nicholasville, represents the 22nd Senate District, including Garrard and Jessamine counties and a southwestern portion of Fayette County