Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bill of Rights Day

Written in 1787 and ratified in 1789, the U.S. Constitution is the backbone of the three separate but equal branches of government. It was not a perfect document when first written, and has been amended 27 times throughout its 228 years of its existence.

Today we celebrate the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution – we know them as the Bill of Rights.  Written in 1791 by James Madison, they guarantee all of our personal liberties, the freedoms that government cannot take away.  Can you name them all?

Here is a brief summary:

1. the freedom of religion, speech, press, and peaceable assembly

2. the right to bear arms

3. the right not to have soldiers quartered in your home

4. the right to be free of unreasonable search  and seizure

5. the right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, and protection against double jeopardy

6. the rights of a criminal defendant

7. the right to trial by jury

8. the right to bail and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment

9. the rights listed do not deny the people other rights they retain

10. the reservation of rights not granted to the federal government are left to the states or the people.

View the full text of the Bill of Rights. You can find more resources about Bill of Rights Day at the United States Court website.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Newest Series of Courthouse Videos Premieres

The great state of Ohio has provided a separate courthouse for each one of its 88 counties.  As you will see, some of them are the most important buildings in their counties.  Take the video tour as it unfolds and wait for your own common pleas courthouse to be featured.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rosa Parks’ Courage

Today is the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest after she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus. Ms. Parks’ action led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and eventually to a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court. The United States Supreme Court in Browder v. Gayle determined that segregated buses are unconstitutional. You may be interested in the United States Courtsvideo about how Parks’ arrest sparked this historic ruling.

I also had the privilege of honoring Rosa Parks in 2011 in the “Power of One” celebration when the Ohio Supreme Court’s women justices discussed how one person can make a difference.