Constitutional ties

National Archives at Atlanta holds many documents related to Constitution

The Morrow-based National Archives at Atlanta holds the entire national collection of U.S. draft cards from World War I. As the 225th anniversary of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution approaches, archives officials said the draft cards demonstrate Congress’ constitutional authority to raise an army.

The Morrow-based National Archives at Atlanta holds the entire national collection of U.S. draft cards from World War I. As the 225th anniversary of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution approaches, archives officials said the draft cards demonstrate Congress’ constitutional authority to raise an army.

— How is baseball legend Ty Cobb’s World War I draft registration card related to the U.S. Constitution?

The answer is simple, according to officials at the National Archives at Atlanta. The Constitution grants Congress the authority to raise an army in times of war, and one way to do that is through a draft.

“Article I, Section 8 talks about the authority to declare war and to raise an army, and here we have the draft cards to show that taking place,” said Mary Evelyn Tomlin, public programs specialist at the National Archives at Atlanta.

Monday is the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. While the original copy of the Constitution is kept in Washington D.C., archives officials explained government document — showing the federal government’s founding charter in action — can be found at their facilities in Morrow and Ellenwood.

The archives holds approximately 180,000 cubic feet of archived federal government records generated across the southeast. Holdings which show the mandates of the Constitution being carried out include immigration and naturalization records copies of federal census records and federal court case files, such as key files from the Civil Rights era.

The national collection of 24 million World War I draft cards is also held at the archives and the Kentucky provost marshall draft records from the Civil War.

So, people can the use of Article I Section 8 of the constitution - which gave Congress the authority to raise an army - in the draft cards for people like Ty Cobb, Louis Armstrong and a man from Stockbridge named Michael King - who would later be known as Martin Luther King, Sr.

People can see the 14th and 15th Amendments enforced through civil rights court rulings. One such case is the 1949 Briggs V. Elliot case, which dealt with segregated schools in South Carolina. In that case, federal district court Judge J. Waites Waring, argued in his dissenting opinion that “segregation is, per se, inequality.”

The majority of a three judge panel in South Carolina upheld segregated schools, however, and Briggs V. Elliot case was later merged into the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, which struck down segregation in schools.

“He (Waites) wrote very interesting opinions,” said National Archives at Atlanta Education specialist Joel Walker. “A lot of people believe his opinion of the Briggs V. Elliot case was used by the Supreme Court intheir decision on Brown v. Board.”

Walker explained that Waites’ decisions, including one in a 1947 voting rights case where he wrote “it is time for South Carolina to rejoin the union,” made him unpopular in the state.

“The General Assembly in South Carolina named a mule barn at Clemson University in his honor,” said Walker.

Tomlin and Walker said the Constitution has been able to survive for 225 years because it has been able to be adapted through the years through amendments and federal court interpretations. Since its ratification, the Constitution has been amended 27 times and has been interpreted and re-interpreted numerous times by the federal courts.

“I think it’s held up remarkably well,” Tomlin said. “It can be changed. We’ve made changes in it. We gave women the right to vote, and the 14th Amendment gave African-Americans the right to become citizens.”

Walker added, “It’s a living, breathing thing that people still argue over today.”

The archives will commemorate Constitution Day on Sept. 18, from 9 a.m., until 11:30 a.m., with a program entitled “Constitution: 225th Anniversary” at the federal facility, located 5780 Jonesboro Road, in Morrow.

The program will include a scavenger hunt for children, a presentation National Archives at Atlanta Regional Administrator Jim McSweeney, distribution of copies of the constitution, the airing of a clip from the Andy Griffith Show, where Don Knotts tries to recite the Constitution’s preamble, and a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens.

People interested in learning more about the program should call Tomlin at 770-968-2555.

Clayton State University also has several event lined up for its annual Constitution Week celebration.

Those events include a discussion on voter ID laws on Friday, from 1 p.m., until 2 p.m., in James M. Baker University Center room 267; a debate on whether another constitutional convention is needed, on Sept. 19, from 9 a.m., until 10:30 a.m., in university center room 267, and a viewing of the documentary “Please Vote for Me,” on Sept. 19, from 5 p.m., until 6:30 p.m., in Arts and Sciences Building room 224.

Clayton State’s Constitution Week activities will conclude Sept. 20 with a discussion on “living constitutionalism” — featuring former Gov. Roy Barnes and state Attorney General Sam Olens — from 12:30 p.m., until 1:30 p.m., in university center room 272.


OscarKnight 2 years, 9 months ago

......Maybe We can have a discussion on The Second Amendment, and those that opposes our Individual Right under Second :

...How many of our Elected Officials are Members of The NAACP in Clayton County ?



I. A Radical Departure from The Court’s Second Amendment Jurisprudence Is Not Warranted…. 4

A. The Second Amendment Does Not Protect an Individual Right to “Keep and Bear Arms” for Purely Private Purposes…………………………… 6


.....We came within One Vote, from losing our Individual Rights to Bear Arms.


OscarKnight 2 years, 9 months ago

...Although Our Second Amendment guarantees us the Individual Right to bear arms, our State Constitution might dictate laws that restricts us or allow us certain right to be armed in public places. In my State ( Georgia ), CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA, reads like this:






Paragraph VIII. Arms, right to keep and bear. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.

"but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne."

End of Quote

.....This is where our State Carry Laws are deployed towards our Lawful Rights to be armed and the use of self protection when encountering deadly force, in our homes and in public places. The Right To Bear Arms, is a Constitutional Right and many States has their own Restrictions, Laws, or Allowances on this Right to Bear Arms.

....Many Elected Officials or State Legislators confuse the Right to Bear Arms with the Right to Self Defense, when many times a Self Protection Bill comes up that don't mention anything about Firearms. Confusing the Right to Bear Arms with the Right to Self Defense, is two different meanings; What if a person don't have a firearm on their person ?

....I have talked with my State Legislators about our Self Protection Legislation and many times, the first thing that comes from their mouths is "Gun Control", when actually, there might not be any mention of firearms in the Bill.

....Usually, those that endorses more Gun Control Laws, also opposes Self Defense Laws.


Robert 2 years, 9 months ago

The Federal government spends a lot of time and money trying to circumvent what is actually written in the Constitution. The majority of the nation’s debt crisis could be resolved if the Feds eliminated all programs and dictates that are not written in the constitution and release those burdens to the States.

Only those who want to suppress Freedom of Speech believe they are the only ones that should be heard.

A person like Rosey O’Donnell who feels that no one should be allowed to carry a firearm except, of course, her armed body guards. "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin.

A person like Madalyn Murray O'Hair who feels that religion should not be tolerated in a free society. "If Men are so wicked as we now see them with Religion what would they be if without it?" - Benjamin Franklin.


OscarKnight 2 years, 9 months ago

....."Right To Vote", seems to be the only Right that our Elected Officials, ( and Their Special Interest Groups ), seems to be concerned about..

.....The Freedom of Speech is worthless, if the words falls on deaf ears.

......Why should I listen to the words of an Elected Official, if my words are ignored.

.....I would like for our Elected Officials to chime in on this Clayton News organ, if they dare to do so....Ha, Ha.


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