Monday Morning Message 2.25.19: 1,000 Blessings of Liberty in Your Pocket.

Posted 2019-02-25 8:37am

"We the People of the United States, in Order to… establish Justice… and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution..."  -The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

“What makes the Constitution worthy of our commitment? First and foremost, the answer is our freedom. It is, quite simply, the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed. It’s also the world’s shortest and oldest national constitution, neither so rigid as to be stifling, nor so malleable as to be devoid of meaning….What was revolutionary when it was written, and what continues to inspire the world today, is that the Constitution put governance in the hands of the people.”   -Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Yesterday (February 24), in 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, after whom our law school is named, established the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in the new American government. In the landmark case, Marbury v. Madison, Marshall confirmed the ability of the Supreme Court to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional.

No word will be discussed and debated in the news more often this year than the word “constitutional.” From birthright citizenship and executive orders on immigration, to presidential declarations of national emergency, our nation’s constitution and the pursuit of justice are front and center like never before in recent history.

Yet the annual Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey of Americans shows that too few of us keep our U.S. Constitution close at hand. One in three Americans cannot name the three branches of government or a single right protected by the First Amendment.

At Cleveland-Marshall, we preserve Chief Justice Marshall’s legacy in our mission, “Learn Law. Live Justice.” That’s why today we are providing all of our students with their own pocket copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Using the words,“1000 Songs in Your Pocket,” Steve Jobs first introduced the revolutionary Apple iPod almost 20 years ago. Think of this pocket Constitution as “1,000 Blessings of Liberty in Your Pocket.”  It will serve as a daily reminder of the revolutionary power of the Constitution and why our law school’s mission never has been more important.

Please pick up your copy in the Dean’s office anytime.

My best,

Lee

Have a great week.

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