Constitution Day 2016 (September 17 2016)

Purchase our Popular Pocket Constitution!

The Pocket Guide to the Constitution of the United States is an easy-to-use reference tool containing the full text of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, summaries of landmark Supreme Court rulings on constitutional issues, and answers to frequently asked questions about the Constitution.

Bulk discounts available; click here for more details!




Message from the ABA President

American Bar Association President, Linda Klein, discusses the 2016 Constitution Day theme: the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, otherwise known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

2016 Theme: The Reconstruction Amendments

The Reconstruction Amendments to the United States Constitution, ratified a century and a half ago in the aftermath of Civil War, have played a critical role in helping to extend the protections and guarantees of the Constitution to all Americans.

The Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery. The Fourteenth amendment, ratified in 1868, guaranteed that no American would be denied due process and equal protection of the law on the basis of race. The Fifteen Amendment, ratified in 1870, prohibited the denial of voting rights by race.

This Constitution Day, September 17, 2016, let us reflect on the pivotal role these three amendments played in helping our nation to effectuate the ideals of liberty and justice for all.

Preambles from Around the World

This handout contains a selection of constitution preambles from different countries. Exploring constitutions from around the world is a great way to teach about constitutions and their role in governance and societies.

Lesson Plan:
What's in a Constitutional Preamble?

For additional handouts and instructions, visit this Insights on Law & Society Learning Gateway to access a comprehensive lesson plan on constitutional preambles, as well as other lesson plans related to constitution-making.

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. This model statement 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. 


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!