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Citizenship, Political Division Take Center Stage During Constitution Day Celebrations

This year’s iteration of Constitution Day comes amid big question marks surrounding the direction of the nation’s politics, blowout legislative battles and a deep introspective from stakeholders regarding the document itself.

The celebration, which was officially Saturday, September 17—this year represents the 235th anniversary of the document’s conception—was designed to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution as well as recognize all those born or naturalized into citizenship in the country, according to informational materials. The American Bar Association (ABA) is among the many entities recognizing the importance of the day and its value as an avenue for bringing important legislative issues into the spotlight.

“Today ‘we the people’ of the United States face a country deeply divided,” said ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross, in a video statement. “Raging political debates are widening the gap. There’s diminishing faith in our institutions and growing distrust of one another. We’ve seen attacks on our justice system, on the norms of our democracy and on the rule of law. It is our responsibility—it’s our duty—to defend our republic and preserve our democracy”

Enix-Ross called for “civics, civility and collaboration” as a means to improve the overall health of the nation’s democracy and restore the public’s confidence in the judicial system and other institutions.

From Twitter

PLP 2022.09.16GACourts @GACourts Sep 12

"Constitution Day is rapidly approaching! Every September 17 we celebrate the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, this year we teamed up with the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement and Georgia Family Connection Partnership for a series called #judgesreadmeaningfultweets!"

Additionally, in commemoration of the day, the National Constitution Center hosted a naturalization ceremony on Friday, Sept. 16, which took place at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Pennsylvania. The event, which was also livestreamed, was aimed at honoring and celebrating the “privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens,” according to the event organizers.

During the event, 50 immigrants took the Oath of Allegiance in front of the Honorable John R. Padova, the senior judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Additionally, National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen was on hand with

Jem Spectar, the president of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, a naturalized citizen from Cameroon, to celebrate the new citizens.

From Twitter

Keith Gåddie @GaddieWindage

"As I prepare a Constitution Day talk, I keep coming back to a question I have for folks freaked over critical race theory: If race wasn’t a factor in society & the Constitution, why do we have three constitutional amendments to modify the role of race in society and politics?"

“Our Constitution endowed us with a government with three co-equal branches, separate in powers and none being above the others. This system requires collaboration and compromise to govern and survive,” Enix-Ross added. “The ABA calls on those in the legal profession, and all others, to support, protect and uphold the tenets of the Constitution. Our democracy is only sustainable when the ideals and values that created it are safeguarded.”

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