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Today is the 218th Anniversary of the Constituion

On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created (see National Archives or their press release announcing related events).

In a column this week, Thomas Sowell asks: "Why do we pay attention to the Constitution in the first place." More importantly, he answers by saying "the moral and legal authority of the Constitution do not rest with those who wrote it . . . (but) from those who ratified it -- "we the people" -- not those who wrote it. The writers of the Constitution themselves knew this. That is why some of these writers also wrote "The Federalist Papers" to explain to people across the country why they should ratify the Constitution."

Two other op-eds this week raise serious issues related to the Constituion. In a paper posted at the von Mises Institute, Gary Galles discusses the irony of the requirement, added by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) in a spending bill, that "every educational institutional receiving federal aid must teach about the U.S. Constitution on the September 17 anniversary." Galles writes, "There is nothing in the (Constitution) that permits the federal government to tell those schools what they can and cannot teach." In another paper posted at Townhall.com, Mark Alexander asks whether the Constitution has become "a fully pliable document," a so-called 'living Constitution," or, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please."

For Virginians, September 17 is also Citizenship Day, and September 17-23 is Constitution Week, according to the Code of Virginia. For additional information, visit the Federalist Patriot or this University of Virginia document to read what Jefferson wrote about constitutions.