In celebration of Constitution Day, or Citizenship Day, on September 17th, Judge Bernthal’s column reminded the public of the importance of this holiday.
“Freedom of religion, speech and the press are not just traditions,” Judge Bernthal wrote. “The Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures may have had its roots in the interaction between colonists and British troops but remains a vital controlling principle governing the relationship between citizens and law enforcement. All of these and others not specifically mentioned here are worth taking time to ponder.”
Courts traditionally hold naturalization ceremonies for new citizens to commemorate Constitution Day and Judge Bernthal urged the general public to also celebrate the Constitution. And the best place to start is by reading the preamble.
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
“While [the preamble] does not refer to the details of government or establish rights that can be enforced in court, it does serve to introduce the Constitution and provide a statement of its purpose,” he said. “Many of us had to memorize these significant words, but have we thoughtfully considered them?”
Judge Bernthal stated the Constitution reminds us of our founding principles of the past that have led to the democracy of today.
“The Constitution adopted 231 years ago and amended over time still serves us,” he said. “It impacts us all every day, whether we realize it or not. It is surely worth reflecting upon from time to time and not just on Constitution Day.”
To read the full article published October 14th, click here.
Judge Bernthal served 21 years as a federal magistrate judge in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Those who practiced before him have praised his skills as a jurist, describing him as both a learned scholar and efficient administrator. Judge Bernthal’s proven legal knowledge and keen understanding of negotiation are critical assets in both mediation and arbitration. In addition to Judge Bernthal’s work as a mediator and arbitrator, he also publishes a monthly column in the News-Gazette.
For Judge Bernthal’s full bio, click here.
For Judge Bernthal’s availability, click here.
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