Message from the ABA President

American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard discusses the 2014 Constitution Day theme: The Bill of Rights.


The 2014 Theme: The Bill of Rights at 225

In 1789, two years after the Constitution was signed, Congress gave its approval to the Bill of Rights. The enumeration of those rights, now enshrined as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, was added to the Constitution in response to calls from some states for specific protections against government intrusions on certain liberties. Today, the Bill of Rights stands as one of our nation's most treasured foundational documents.

To mark the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, Constitution Day 2014 is dedicated to the Bill of Rights and the impact it has had in protecting our rights domestically and in advancing the rule of law worldwide.

This commemoration comes on the eve of another great milestone in world legal history -- the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215. Magna Carta today is recognized as a foundational document in the establishment of the rule of law and as an early expression of key fundamental liberties later incorporated into the Bill of Rights. For more information about Magna Carta and its inspirational connection to constitutional ideals and rights, please visit www.lawday.org/a>.   




Free Speech Lesson Plans

The ABA Division for Public Education has a number of helpful resources to discuss free speech topics in a clasroom setting. These include:



The ABA Division for Public Education also publishes a Pocket Guide to the United States Constitution, which makes an excellent giveaway to make your Free Speech Week celebration memorable.  

Other Free Speech Resources

The following is a selection of websites with materials and resources to assist you in planning your celebration of Free Speech Week:

However you plan to celebrate, have a happy Free Speech Week!


For Judges: A Model Constitution Day Statement

The ABA Division for Public Education encourages judges to open court on September 17, Constitution Day, with a public statement from the bench on the significance of this crucial document. The model statement we are linking to here was developed by Maryland Judiciary Public Awareness Committee for use by the Maryland judiciary. It is readably adaptable to the needs of any state or federal judiciary. 



Looking for a way to hold history in your hands? Or do you want a way to help students or other community members connect with the Constitution? The ABA offers a Pocket Guide to the U.S. Constitution



Students Share Thoughts on the Constitution

In 2012, we took our cameras to Kenwood Academy in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and asked students to discuss their views on the U.S. Constitution. See what they had to say!