Styx and I were busy shaking hands, sipping martinis (not me just she..) and supporting St. Jude's Medical at their Annual Fundraiser (photos to come-thank you Styx)! Which is why I’m sure by the time this little communiqué is entered on the page I’ll end up “a day late and a dollar short”… Just imagine what Ben Franklin would say to that? Probably something like, “A penny saved is a penny ______.” Oh never mind! Do indulge me this, dear friends, and allow a rather belated post to commemorate the birth of our American Constitution.
On this day the 17th of September, 1787 the United States Constitution was signed by 39 men—wherefore we now celebrate the birth of this living document which has served to be a controversial and pivotal piece of our collective American legacy. Today there shall be people up to a number of cool and sometimes nerdy little patriotic adventures. You could sign an 8 X 6 ft copy of the Constitution at the Constitution Center’s Main Lobby in Philadelphia, PA or listen to a number of speakers at local colleges, law schools in a number of different venues nationwide expounding on the Document Itself, and most significantly, today immigrants from across the globe will take the Oath of Citizenship to officially become citizens of the United States.
Suddenly, while authoring this post, Hecate wondered whether or not she could pass the test to become a United States citizen, and she went to this site to find out:
And know what? Hecate scored 100% folks! Of course, there were only 10 questions, but shoot-dang it sure feels good to know that I could pass that test, especially on this august occasion. Do check the site above, it has cool Constitutional swag such as a Pocket Constitution, available for purchase and you never really know when that will come in handy. For example, in what instance would it be OK for the Writ of Habeas Corpus to be suspended? You may want to know about that since it could mean the difference between you getting your butt thrown in jail or not if you are determined by the United States to be an “enemy combatant.” I should back up a minute… The right Writs of Habeas Corpus are located in Article 1, Section 9, clause 2 of the Constitution which states, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” This Constitutionally protected petition is filed within the court by a person who objects to her own or another’s detention/imprisonment.
Pretty heavy stuff, no? Well it has been suspended twice thus far in United States History, and caused major disruption in the courts. The first suspension was by Abraham Lincoln in 1861- he also declared martial law, shortly after the start of the Civil War. As such it applied only in Maryland and parts of the Midwestern states. In 1866, after the end of the Civil war the habeas corpus was restored by the Supreme Court. The second suspension was by President G W Bush in October of 2006. G-Dub signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006--this law grants the President of the United States practically unlimited authority to establish and conduct military commissions to try persons detained by the U.S., as well as others deemed “unlawful enemy combatants” in the Global War on Terrorism. I mean YIKES ya’ll! Whosoever makes the distinction as to whether or not someone is an “unlawful enemy combatant” is one mighty powerful sum-a-b****! So follow Angelina Jolie’s advice (writ as a tattoo no less) and “Know Your Rights!”
Happy Constitution Day to all! --Hecate signing off from the Underworld