The Constitution

Most of us left high school with a rudimentary knowledge of the US Constitution.  If we thought much about it at all, we pretty much considered constitutional issues were dealt with at the Congressional, if not the Supreme Court level.  You might be surprised to learn how often someone’s constitutional rights are considered in decisions made by the Gilbert Town Council.   

Your constitutional rights often end, where someone else’s begin.  The town council is always careful to consider your constitution rights.  It is often frustrating for citizens who ask to council to do, or not do something, to be told that the constitution protects the rights of others, and limits our options.   People throwing advertising on your drive way, intercepting you at the library insisting on a signature on a petition, even obscene bumper stickers are arguably protected under the first amendments freedom of speech provision.  Someone wants to build a 24 hour a day Big BoxMart in your neighborhood which may impact your property values, probably is protected by various personal property rights provisions in the Constitution. What the constitution says is pretty clear, what it means has been the subject of debate, often decided by the Supreme Court, for over 200 years.  From a council perspective, we tend to error on the side caution.   This sometimes leads to debates on exactly what the framers of the constitution really meant, but we feel it is the right way to lead our town.   

My Grandmother used to say “The only thing any one owes you is what they promise you”.  That is the great thing about the Constitution it tells us exactly what rights we have a right to expect.  The Constitution doesn’t protect our rights, it defines them.  It really isn’t possible to thank the framers of the Constitution for giving us this wonderful document.  We can and should thank the members of our armed forces, past, present and future for protecting our constitution.  Without these brave men and women, many not old enough to vote, but willing to risk their lives for our country, the constitution would just be a collection of grand ideas of what should have been.  God Bless our Constitution, God Bless our Armed Forces, and God Bless America 


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