Today is Bill of Rights Day, established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in honor of the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution on December 15, 1791.
A cornerstone of our democracy, the Bill of Rights enshrines into law the essential rights and civil liberties of each American citizen. For over 200 years, these rights and liberties have helped shape our democracy and define what it means to be an American.
Nearly every day, we enjoy the freedoms bestowed by the Bill of Rights:
- Thanks to the freedom of the press, we can read a variety of news articles and opinions, as well as publish our own thoughts.
- Thanks to the freedom of assembly and petition, we can join fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly – practices that are critical to a healthy democracy.
- Thanks to the freedom of speech, we can speak our minds freely without the fear of government persecution or intimidation.
- Thanks to the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, we are free from unreasonable government intrusion.
- Thanks to the right to a speedy and public trial, we are protected against unfair legal treatment.
The U.S. Constitution was a remarkable achievement in creating our democratic nation. The Bill of Rights built onto that foundation by enumerating what have become our most cherished American freedoms, helping inspire democracies around the world. This December 15th, get re-acquainted with the Bill of Rights and think about how it plays a role in your life!