Constitution Day is observed on September 17 each year to celebrate the date of the signing, in 1787, of the United States Constitution. By law, all educational institutions receiving federal funding must observe Constitution Day. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and discuss our Constitution and system of government, but I invite you to learn more about our government and our Constitution throughout the year, not just on September 17. We hope that you will explore the Maryland Judiciary's website, as well as the links listed here.
In the United States, we have a federal government and constitution. In addition, each state has a separate state constitution and state government. The Constitution of the United States and each state constitution outline the framework of the government, including the executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch. Each branch plays an important role: The legislative branch enacts the laws; the executive branch enforces the laws; the judicial branch interprets the laws. These branches are interrelated, yet independent. Together, they make up the system of "checks and balances."
Here are some interesting links to visit:
- See an image of the Constitution of the United States.
- Go up close and in depth: Explore this interactive Constitution through the National Constitution Center’s website.
- Learn more about Constitution Day through the National Archives.
- Peruse Maryland's Constitution.
- Did you know that Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the Constitution? Discover more facts about the Constitution in a Q&A format.
- Learn about Maryland's court system online, including a video that gives you an overview of the state’s courts in less than 10 minutes.
- Discover the courts from a younger point of view and help children learn with these guides and coloring books.
- Watch Maryland's highest court in action – archived webcasts of Maryland Court of Appeals arguments.
- The National Constitution Center is a museum in Philadelphia that is devoted entirely to the Constitution. The musuem's website has links to 10 essential online resources for Constitution Day.
- Which Founding Father are you? The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787 by 55 men who shared one purpose, but who had very different personalities. Take this interactive quiz from the National Constitution Center to learn more and figure out which Founder’s personality best fits your own.
- Teachers: The Center for Civic Education offers lesson plans for K-12 about the Constitution and American citizenship.