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President Bellows Highlights Participatory Experience of America on Constitution and Citizenship Day

President Bellows Highlights Participatory Experience of America on Constitution and Citizenship Day

By Daniel Buchanan


Our Constitution is a triumph of Enlightenment philosophy that codified a stable constitutional republic and 225 years ago, gave the world a model system of just government. Meeting in the same room where delegates to an earlier assembly declared that “all men are created equal,” 40 statesmen we call the “Framers” endorsed this pragmatic document.

Separation of powers, checks and balances, bicameralism and, critically, the independence of the judiciary forged what can only be described as a more perfect Union. The supreme law of our land is even greater for the addition of the Bill of Rights that guarantees the freedoms we enjoy.

On this Constitution and Citizenship Day, we celebrate our founding and recognize that being an American is a participatory experience. Our Constitution is a beginning, not an end. Americans must be constantly vigilant to assure the continuation of the freedoms we take for granted. Americans must also continue to work for the day when everyone in our country is equal under our law. Voting is the most basic and most cherished expression of citizenship. Sadly, too few of our neighbors exercise their franchise.

As lawyers, we know how important it is to volunteer in our communities. In the spirit of Constitution and Citizenship Day, the American Bar Association urges lawyers to volunteer to serve as an official nonpartisan poll worker through our Lawyer as Citizen initiative. Those interested should visit www.ambar.org/vote to find resources to help lawyers get involved, including information on how to register to vote and become a poll worker, as well as sample civics lesson plans for local schools.

The ABA also encourages law firms and other legal employers to count time spent as a poll watcher to qualify as community service or voluntary public service hours.

This election, lawyers will make a difference.

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