By Libby Skarin, policy director
Constitution Day is September 17!
Here at the ACLU of South Dakota, Constitution Day is the holiday to end all holidays; it’s a day dedicated to the thing that drives our passion and that we fight to defend on behalf of all South Dakotans every day – the Constitution.
The Constitution is the very foundation of our nation. It’s the document that secures the freedoms we enjoy every day, including our right to free speech, expression, and religion; it protects our privacy from unwarranted government intrusion; it demands that we all be treated equally under the law, no matter who we are. It sets the criteria for the balance of powers in our government and the underpinnings of our democracy, and that’s why we work so hard to protect the rights it guarantees us all.
Though we do spend a lot of time fawning over the Constitution, we know it’s not perfect. It is a document created by a group of people that all fit into a narrow category: white men. Though those men got a lot of the fundamentals right (we love free speech, and democracy, and due process!) they left lots of folks out – women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and more. On this Constitution Day we want to recognize the great start the founders gave us and we want to ask you all to help us continue fighting to preserve the Constitution’s guarantees for people from all walks of life, and work with us to make sure that the foundation of our government works for everyone – not just those it has historically protected.
As Alexander Hamilton (okay, Lin-Manuel Miranda acting in the role of Hamilton) famously said to Aaron Burr, “do you support this Constitution? Then defend it!” We at the ACLU of South Dakota do support this Constitution, and we defend it day in and day out. We’d love to have you join us!