Editor’s note: To recognize Constitution Week, Sept. 17-23, the Daily Citizen is publishing educational pieces about the U.S. Constitution through Sept. 23 that were prepared by the Urbana Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Our Constitution, the cornerstone of our freedoms, was written to protect every American from the abuse of power by government. The Fifth Amendment states that “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” and it protects us from double jeopardy and incrimination. However, the phrases “innocent until proven guilty” and “presumption of innocence” are not found in the 5th amendment nor in any part of the Constitution. These phrases are derived from English law and are part of our system and considered common law today. Know your Constitution, know your rights, and know what it says and does not say.
Constitution Week, September 17-23, commemorates the signing of the Constitution of the United States. Did you know that the only place in the Constitution with “Lord” or any reference to God is where the date is written: Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven? Did you know that “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are not in the Constitution, but both are in the Declaration of Independence? And lastly, this quote, “Of the people, by the people, for the people” is neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration, but comes from the Gettysburg Address. Study our Constitution!