Constitution Day

What is Constitution Day?

The birthday of our Constitution, September 17, the date in 1787 on which delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completed and signed the U.S. Constitution.

The ideas on which America was founded--commitments to the rule of law, limited government, and the ideals of liberty, equality and justice--are embodied in the Constitution, the oldest written constitution of any nation. Constitution Day is intended to celebrate not only the birthday of our government, but the ideas that make us Americans.  

The United States Government has designated September 17 as Constitution Day to commemorate the September 17, 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution.

Preamble to The Constitution of the United States of America

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 the 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.


2018 - Denise Reilly ('75), Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge;  “Executive Orders in Times of National Insecurity.” 

2017 - Professor Daniel P. Tokaji, Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Professor of Constitutional Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; The Underappreciated Right to Vote.”

2016 - Solomon Oliver Jr. (’69): Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; “Shoring up the Constitution: The Legacy of the African-American Lawyer and the Quest for Equality.”

2015 - Bryan Fair: "Equal Justice Under Law: A Constitutional Look Back and Ahead"

2014 - Benjamin C. Mizer ('99): "Practicing Constitutional Law in the Executive Branch."

2013 - John Szekeres ('85); "The Implications of Technology, Social Media & Knowledge Management on the Practice of Law: Findings of the New York State Bar Association Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession."

2012 - Leila Atassi ('02); Journalist, The Cleveland Plain Dealer; “The Death Penalty on Deadline: A reporter’s perspective on capital punishment in Ohio.” 

2011 - Harold J. Winston, J.D.; Assistant Public Defender, Cook County, Illinois; “Overturning a Wrong Conviction After 26 Years: Lessons from Alton Logan.”

2010 - Shawn Judge ('93), J.D.; Career Law Clerk for the Honorable Gregory L. Frost in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio; “Pizza, Corpses, and Messages from Beyond: The Constitution in the Trenches of the American Judiciary.” 

2009 - Peter Irons; University of California, San Diego; “God on Trial: Religion and Law in American Society.”

2008 - Mark Allenbaugh, J.D.; Allenbaugh Samini LLP, Newport Beach, California; “Recent Supreme Court Jurisprudence on Rationality, Proportionality and Equality in Federal Criminal Justice: Are We Safe?”

2007 - Jeffrey Brand-Ballard, J.D., Ph.D.; George Washington University; “Must Judges Respect the Constitution?”

2006 - Jason Desiderio, Prosecutor’s Office; Douglas Drushal, private practice attorney; Mark Wiest, Common Pleas Court Judge; and Beverly Wire, Public Defender; “Why  is the Constitution Important?”