Constitution Week


In: All News   Posted 09/17/2003
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U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the Constitution subcommittee, made the following statement Wednesday regarding Constitution Week:"In the summer of 1787, delegates from across the country journeyed to the city of Philadelphia, where they created a new founding legal charter for our fledgling nation: the Constitution of the United States. The delegates were the leading statesmen of their generation, as well as thoughtful students and scholars articulate in the science of government. They crafted a document based on the fundamental principle that freedom must be protected against the excessive use of government power, and that liberty can only be preserved through the separation of powers, both between the three branches of the federal government, and between the federal government and the states. Our Constitution ensures that America will always be a nation ruled by laws, not by men."The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, which I am honored to chair, has exercised jurisdiction over constitutional issues and constitutional amendments ever since its inception on January 20, 1947. And every time since 1947 that Americans have seen fit to amend the Constitution to redress a perceived flaw, this subcommittee has played a central role. Since that year, Congress has proposed seven constitutional amendments – and in every instance, this subcommittee took lead responsibility for reviewing those amendments."In recent weeks, I chaired a series of hearings to examine possible needs to amend the Constitution in order to ensure the continuity of our government. In the aftermath of the brutal terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we in Congress must take care to do everything in our power to protect and preserve the Constitution as the foundation for our government and the inspiration of our free society. "For more than 200 years, Americans have revered the wisdom and foresight embodied in the Constitution, and it is appropriate to set this day aside to honor it. As President Calvin Coolidge once said of the Constitution: ‘The more I study it, the more I have come to admire it, realizing that no other document devised by the hand of man ever brought so much progress and happiness to humanity.’” A joint resolution of Congress on August 2, 1956 requested that the President proclaim the week of September 17 through September 23 of each year as Constitution Week. As in years past, President Bush on Wednesday issued the annual proclamation and called on civic, social, educational and governmental leaders to “celebrate our Constitution and reaffirm our commitment as citizens to this great nation.” Sen. Cornyn chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Property Rights, and is the only former judge on the Judiciary Committee. He also serves on the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, and Budget Committees. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.