North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Martin Newby recently took part in a Constitution Day celebration by creating a Youtube video.
"It was a new idea that government didn't tell people what to do, but we the people told government what it needed to do," Newby said in the video. "That first Constitution that was ratified on Dec. 18, 1776 was never approved by the people. As Jefferson so well stated in our Declaration of Independence, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all are created equal and endowed by our creator — not the government, not the Constitution — the creator, endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights—life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Today, this week and this month, we celebrate another anniversary of a written document that preserves and protects the fundamental rights and freedoms."
The 1776 Constitution was not presented to voters, Newby said, but it was accompanied by a Declaration of Rights. In 1868, a second North Carolina state Constitution was created after it was readmitted to the Union following the Civil War. A third Constitution, albeit a minor one, was updated in 1971, according to the Encyclopedia of North America.
The North Carolina Legislative Library contains full text of each of the constitutions, as well as amendments and the North Carolina Ratification of U.S. Constitutional Amendments.
Newby, a Republican, has been on the North Carolina Supreme Court since 2004. He was elected during a special election in 2004 and won reelection in 2012 to an eight-year term.