The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
– Preamble to the Bill of Rights
Sometimes we don’t think that much about it, but celebrating the Bill of Rights Day is a way to honor the people and principles that gave birth to our Nation, and to remind ourselves of the importance of protecting our individual rights. The Constitution might never have been ratified if the framers hadn’t promised to add a Bill of Rights, and the birth and history of the Country could have been way different if not for it.
What is the Bill of Rights?
The Bill of Rights is the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. It spells out Americans’ rights in relation to their government, as sets rules that limit its power, and protects the lives and liberties of the people. It guarantees civil rights and liberties to the individual, like freedom of speech, press, religion, and establishes the right to vote, due process and to bear arms, among others. It also reserves all powers not delegated to the Federal Government to the people or the States.
Most importantly, it specifies that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” These protections ensure that the government cannot infringe upon the rights of the people without due process of law, and allow us to strive for Live, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Why is it important to celebrate the Bill of Rights Day?
The Bill of Rights Day is a holiday that celebrates the day the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. It is important to celebrate it because the Bill of Rights is the foundation of the American system of government and the cornerstone of American democracy. It is a reminder of the freedoms we enjoy and the responsibilities we have to protect those freedoms.
The Bill of Rights implies that government employees must adhere to the same rights and freedoms that citizens enjoy, like the right to free speech or the right to due process of law. It also implies that government employees must not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, religion, gender, or other such characteristics. In addition, the Bill of Rights implies that government employees must not use their positions of power to oppress citizens or to violate their rights. At the City of Asheville, we honor the spirit of this document with our philosophy of service, listening to the people. Through our engagement hub, and all the City Council, Boards and Commision meetings open to the public, we ensure that all the voices are heard, and their rights are respected.