Happy Constitution Day!
September 17 is Constitution Day — the day our Founders signed the Constitution in 1787. At PLF we think it’s a reason to celebrate. We haven’t missed a Constitution Day on the Liberty Blog, and on this Constitution Day, I’d invite you to take a look at any of those great posts we’ve written over the years.
The Constitution was designed to “secure the Blessings of Liberty” and in that, it has largely succeeded. By separating government power, creating a system of checks and balances, and guaranteeing certain individual rights, the Constitution, that glorious liberty document, has helped ensure Americans retain their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Nevertheless, “[t]he natural progress of things is for liberty to yeild, and government to gain ground.” That’s why, as my colleague Anastasia Boden said last year, “every day at PLF is Constitution Day.” We are in the Courts every day, fighting to ensure that the Constitution is followed, and that all Americans enjoy the blessings of liberty it promises.
We’ve had great constitutional victories in the past. Before the Supreme Court, we’ve won cases like Nollan and Koontz, which secured individual rights under the Fifth Amendment, Keller, which secured individual rights under the First Amendment, and, more recently, Sackett, which interpreted the APA in a way that ensured individuals’ due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment were not violated.
And we’re continuing to fight to enforce the Constitution. We represent Utah property owners because the EPA has asserted jurisdiction over their land in violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. We represent Michael Cefali because the City of San Juan Capistrano says he can’t display a “for sale” sign in violation of the First Amendment. We represent Edmund Lee, because a St. Louis agency said his skin color prevents him from attending the school of his choice in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. We represent Arty Vogt because West Virginia says he needs permission from his competitors before he can operate a moving business in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. We represent Karl Trautwein because the City of Highland says it does not need a warrant to inspect his rental property in violation of the Fourth Amendment. We represent Gregory and Diane Nies, because the City of Emerald Isle says that the land in front of their house belongs to the government in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
These are just a small sample of the cases PLF litigates to secure the blessings of liberty promised by the Constitution. So, please, join us in praising and celebrating the Constitution. One shudders to think where we’d be without it.
What to read next
One of the most fundamental rights of American citizens is the right to seek redress from illegal government action in a court of law. But the federal government has an arsenal of weapons it wields to deny or curtail this right. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the government’s attempts to stifle landowner suits challenging federal agency action under the Clean Water Act.