The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the relevancy of the Constitution of the United States. Many people today claim that the Constitution is outdated and should be changed or eliminated entirely. Those people do not understand what the Constitution is and what it does for all Americans.
Chad Kent, who writes and speaks about the Constitution, explains why one single article is relevant to Americans today. “It’s trendy today to believe that our Constitution is outdated. That it’s irrelevant to us as individual citizens. But as Americans, we have to realize that our Constitution isn’t just some old document that gives power to our federal government. Our Constitution was primarily designed to act like a shield that protects citizens like you and me from the government.
“The idea behind the Constitution was to put limits on the government and keep it from doing bad things to you. That’s why the Constitution matters so much to people like me. That’s also why people like me tend to freak out a little bit when the government violates the Constitution – those violations tear down the protection that we have against the government doing bad things to us.
“As much as that might seem theoretical or academic initially, Article 1, Section 9 is a perfect example of why those protections in the Constitution matter so much to us on a personal level.
“Article 1, Section 9 is just a list of actions that the federal government is forbidden from taking – and three of the actions in that list are intended to prevent the government from unfairly putting you in prison. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like the idea that my government shouldn’t be able to randomly throw me in jail.”
Mr. Kent then proceeds to explain two actions that the Constitution protects Americans against:
(1) Writ of Habeas Corpus and (2) Bill of Attainder. I encourage you to read his article and learn more about these actions. I also encourage you to think about what would most likely happen if parts of the Constitution were taken away or ruled irrelevant. I agree with Mr. Kent’s statement that we must enforce the entire Constitution or risk many liberties. If our elected leaders and their appointees can decide which parts of the Constitution to enforce, they could simply choose to ignore Article 1, Section 9 and start throwing people in prison randomly.