Name: Jenna N.
School: Sheridan High School
October 15th, 2021
What does the US Constitution mean to me?
A.E. Samaan once said, “Liberty is not something a government gives you. It is a right
that no government can legally take away” (Goodreads). The US Constitution was created as a way to protect the rights of US citizens, not as a way for the government to say what they can do. It is America’s current and longest-lasting form of government in response to the tyrannical rule of England on the colonies. While The Constitution ensures many rights and created our government today, it is most important to me that it created three branches of government to ensure checks and balances and it protects the individual rights of citizens.
Around 250 years ago, the colonies in America were under the rule of the tyrannical king
of England and the British Parliament. The colonies had practically no say in the laws and
regulations placed on them. Soon, the British Parliament placed larger tax laws on the colonies, and this led to outrage and the Revolutionary War. The Framers of The Constitution kept this tyrannical rule in mind when they created The Constitution. This is why it was proposed to create three separate branches of government: the executive, judicial, and legislative. Each branch was given different duties in order to keep the government running smoothly, but each action by a branch allows another branch to participate or stop. For example, if the legislature passes a law, the executive branch can veto this law if they see fit. This system of checks and balances helps ensure that one branch of our government cannot become too powerful and become like the British parliament of colonial times. It allows representation of the states and people while protecting them from tyranny.
Additionally, The Constitution protects certain rights of US citizens. While the
constitution was being framed, a group of Americans called the anti-federalists worried about the rights of the people. The constitution, before the Bill of Rights, was added, created our government, but didn’t protect the people. The anti-federalists saw this problem and proposed adding the Bill of Rights. The Ten Amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights protect each individual citizen’s rights. They include the right of speech, assembly, bear arms, and to a jury. These amendments are rights for US citizens that the government can’t take away. They protect citizens from a government that would try and take away these rights because the constitution was made for the people of America.
One of the most important of the amendments, in my opinion, is the First Amendment.
This amendment protects citizens’ freedom of speech, assembly, press, and petition. 2020 was a whirlwind of events that included Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, and the presidential election. It was a trying time for Americans in many ways. New ideas came to light and soon everyone was sharing their opinions on important issues in the United States. Because of the constitution, Americans can do this. No matter what their political party is or the color of their skin, they are entitled to their opinion and allowed to share it. Protesters of Black Lives Matter are allowed to peacefully assemble and share their opinions. Both republicans and democrats are allowed to speak their ideas and opinions. The Constitution protects every US citizen’s right to do these things, without any conditions.
On September 9, 2021, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbot, signed House Bill 20. This
bill “prevents social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users banning users simply based on their political viewpoints” (texas.gov). Governor Abbot knew how much social media is used to voice opinions, and he wanted to protect the constitutional right of speech. House Bill 20 protects Texans from having their content blocked because of their political views. It also requires social media companies to tell users why the content was banned, and allow an appeals process. Some social media giants argue that this bill prevents protection on social media, but in reality, the bill is constitutional. It protects Americans’ rights to the First Amendment and prohibits social media giants from silencing American citizens.
The Constitution is an important document that ensures our country has a just
government while protecting the people’s rights. It is important that it protects each individual, both the majority and the minority. The Constitution does not discriminate and it protects all US citizens. While it can be interpreted in many different ways, it is undeniable that it has certain rights to protect citizens of the United States of America.