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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

HB 2823

Relating to
Bill of Rights Day

House Committee on Judiciary (JUD) - chair: Luke, vice chair: Oshiro

Thursday, February 2, 2006, Conference Room 325

Testifier: Jean Aoki

Click here to view HB2823

The League of Women Voters heartily supports HB 2823 which would establish the Bill of Rights Day. This very important document, only added to the constitution before its ratification at the insistence of some of the states who would not sign unless the constitution reserved certain rights to the people, limits the power of government over the people.

It is that which stands between us and tyranny. Back in the 13th century when basic freedoms were first won in the Magna Carta, it is said that common people observed the practice of reading them four times a year to remind themselves of their rights. Today, we take our rights for granted and are not even aware that these rights can be eroded unless we are vigilant in preserving them.

What is more fitting than declaring December 15 of every year Bill of Rights Day with varied programs designed to develop awareness and appreciation for these rights that spell liberty for all of us. And why not commemorate the establishment and observation of Bill of Rights Day on December 15 of 2006 with special programs designed to celebrate the significance of the Bill of Rights.

To encourage the sponsorship of varied programs on December 15 after the initial year, if either the State or some private entity could make available small grants to groups and individuals, it would certainly boost participation.

Why such an inconvenient date as December 15? The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791.

Thank you for this opportunity to testify on HB 2823.


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