Constitution Day 2010

Anchorage, Alaska. September 17, 2010 — Two hundred and twenty-three years ago delegates from throughout the United States assembled in Philadelphia to sign a world-changing document. The Declaration of Independence was our nation’s founding charter, stating the purpose of the new nation and government—to secure our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and the Constitution was the means the Founders adopted to that end. We commemorate that important date each year on Constitution Day, September 17.

The Constitution established a federal system of government granting specific powers from “the People” to the federal government and retaining the rest for themselves and the states. The founding document recognized that power has a tendency to corrupt and whenever too much power is placed within any branch of government or level of government, lost liberty inevitably follows. As James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” wrote so eloquently in the Federalist Papers, “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

In recent years, citizens all over the United States have recognized that our federal government needs to be brought back under control, and they’ve been making their voices heard in the public square and at the ballot box. The federal government has grown too big to the detriment of that power that should be reserved to the people and the states.

If given the honor of being your next United States Senator, I will pledge to support and defend the Constitution, as I did two decades ago as a newly commissioned officer when I took the oath at West Point. As a former judge at the state and federal level, I also understand the importance of maintaining the rule of law, under the Constitution, in order to preserve our free society. I will work with other members of Congress to bring the federal government back within its bounds, so we can preserve the American dream for ourselves and future generations. May we all look back on September 17, 1787, with gratitude for the incredible gift of the Constitution and the principles of freedom it established and a form of government that is the envy of the world.