Constitution Day Is Sept. 17 – Join the Celebration!

By Hon. Jonah Triebwasser

Constitution Day Is Sept. 17 – Join the Celebration!

7.5.2022

By Hon. Jonah Triebwasser

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Citizens of the United States have celebrated Independence Day and Presidents Day since the 1870s, and in 2005, the nation began to celebrate Constitution Day. Also known as Citizenship Day, Constitution Day is an American holiday honoring the day 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution. This historic date was Sept. 17, 1787.

Civic education has long been a core commitment of NYSBA’s Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee. As part of that mission, we would like to enlighten the bar and the public about Constitution Day. Toward that goal, we offer the following two articles. The first is a historical overview by the Hon. Albert Rosenblatt, retired Court of Appeals judge and president emeritus of the Historical Society of the New York Courts. The second article is a conversation between attorney Jennifer Letitia Smith and Laetitia Nyavingi Kasay Basondwa about her immigrant experience. A native of the Congo, Basondwa is now an immigration attorney.

Join the Celebration!

To mark the occasion, the Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee will be hosting a naturalization ceremony on Sept. 16, 2022, in Poughkeepsie, home of the New York convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution.

We encourage members of the association to speak at their local schools on or about Constitution Day (virtually or in person) about the protections offered in the Constitution, as well as to become more involved with school programming generally, be it by coaching mock trial teams, offering Law Day programs or lawyer in the classroom sessions with the distribution of our pocket Constitutions. We will be using NYSBA’s social media accounts to promote the holiday and to educate the public.

Please join us in spreading the word about Constitution Day. For more information, or to obtain copies of the pocket Constitutions, please email Kim Francis at [email protected].

Hon. Jonah Triebwasser is Constitution Day Subcommittee Chair, NYSBA Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee. Judge Triebwasser brings over 50 years of experience to the bench as a police officer, investigator, attorney, prosecutor and judge. He has served as town and village justice in Red Hook, Dutchess County, since 2007.

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