We the People


September 17 is Constitution Day, commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.

Then, as now, the Constitution was subject to controversy and disagreement. Some delegates refused to sign it due to lack of, at that time, an attached Bill of Rights. Today its purpose and meaning continue to both unite and divide Americans.

We at Michigan State University observe Constitution Day each year in part by participating in conversations that allow us to grapple in a civil manner with some of the constitutional issues of the modern day, and this year is no exception.

MSU’s James Madison College, partnering with the College of Engineering and the nonprofit Jack Miller Center, is hosting a Constitution Day panel discussion and forum on mandatory minimum sentencing, starting at 7 p.m. September 17 at the Broad Art Museum.

The event is open to the public and features an expert guest panel, including several alumni working in the justice system. The discussion is part of this year’s East Lansing/MSU One Book, One Community program, whose theme is “A community conversation on Justice, Human Rights, and Compassion.”

Also to celebrate the day, carillonneur Patricia Johannes will feature patriotic music in her Beaumont Tower carillon recital at noon Thursday.

I hope you take the opportunity to attend the discussion and enjoy the special music. But regardless of your schedule, be sure to take a few minutes to think about the document that has shaped the American character so thoroughly over the last 228 years.




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