The U.S. Constitution is an amazing document that has grown with our country and shaped our progress for the past 234 years.

“When our democracy is tested, we draw strength from the Constitution to see us through,” reads a proclamation from President Joe Biden in celebration of Constitution Week. “When we look ahead in our uniquely American way — restless, bold, and optimistic — our Constitution is the bedrock we build upon to make our Nation more equal, more just, and more prosperous for all our people.”

The Constitution provides a framework for our system of government, including a separation of powers between the executive, judicial and legislative branches.

It lays out the basics of how our legislative system will have a House and a Senate and how members will be elected. It establishes a Supreme Court, how we can impeach a president and how we can add states to the union.

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are the Bill of Rights, including the right to free speech, to possess guns and to have a speedy and impartial trial.

The Constitution isn’t perfect, but it’s a living document we can change as our country develops and our values change.

Politicians have long bickered about interpretations of the Constitution (seeking the interpretation that fits their needs) and accused the other side of not respecting the document. We don’t foresee that changing any time soon.

But it was created by dozens of brilliant men who wanted it to serve the test of time, keeping our country united and strong. It worked.

If you’ve never read the Constitution, we urge you to do so. You’ll gain a newfound respect for our Founding Fathers’ efforts and hopefully for our country. .

This was first published by the Jefferson City News Tribune and is reprinted with permission.

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