MOUNT VERNON — Today, Sept. 17, is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. The federal observance recognizes the 1787 ratification of the United States Constitution and also honors those who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become U.S. citizens.
To highlight the importance of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights Institute and the National Constitution Center have developed free educational materials related to the founding fathers, the development of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In brief, Article I of the Constitution established the legislative branch of government; Article II established the executive branch of government; Article III established the judicial branch; Article IV describes the relationship between states; Article V describes the process by which the Constitution can be amended; Article VI explains that neither federal nor state laws may conflict with any part of the Constitution; and Article VII describes the process for ratification of the Constitution. Although signed on Sept. 17, 1787, the Constitution was not officially ratified by the necessary nine states until 1788.
Included with the material are quizzes so individuals can test their knowledge of the documents most important to our democracy.
Readers are challenged to try their luck with the following Constitution-related questions.
1. What is the supreme law of the land?
A. Declaration of Independence
B. The Constitution
C. Magna Carta
2. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
A. These United States
B. In the beginning
C. We the People
3. According to the Texas v. Johnson (1989) decision, why is the First Amendment so important?
A. It makes sure politicians stay honest during elections.
B. It protects people with different or unpopular ideas.
C. It allows the media to say whatever they want.
4. Who makes federal law?
A. Supreme Court
B. The President
5. Which of these is not a right of everyone living in the United States?
A. Vote in a federal election
B. Freedom of expression
C. Freedom of worship
6. The Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the Constitution states:
A. State constitutions are the basis of federal law.
B. Federal law cannot violate state law.
C. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
7. Which amendment prohibits double jeopardy?
8. Who has the power to declare war?
B. The President
C. The President and the Senate
9. Which is not a right or freedom from the First Amendment?
10. The Fourteenth Amendment does not include which of the following?
A. Equal protection under the law
B. Due process rights
C. Abolition of slavery
Answers: 1-B, 2-C, 3-B, 4-C, 5-A, 6-C, 7-B, 8-A, 9-B, 10-C.