May 1st often marks the unofficial beginning of Spring and is also Law Day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the bequest of his legal counsel, also an American Bar Association president, designated May 1st as Law Day.
President Eisenhower proclaimed in 1958: “In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law.”
What may have started as a counter message to cold war communism has developed into a day of civic engagement for lawyers. And no day celebrating law would be complete without legal text, right? Law Day is codified in the U.S. Code.
36 U.S.C. 113 states:
(a) Designation. \ May 1 is Law Day, U.S.A
(b) Purpose. \ Law Day, U.S.A., is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States
(1) in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and
(2) for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.
(c) Proclamation. \ The President is requested to issue a proclamation \
(1) calling on all public officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Law Day, U.S.A.; and
(2) inviting the people of the United States to observe Law Day, U.S.A., with appropriate ceremonies and in other appropriate ways, through public entities and private organizations and in schools and other suitable places.
Since its official adoption in 1961, Law Day has been used to educate youth about the law, to engage in pro-bono activities, and to celebrate legal organizations’ focus on justice. The ABA provides resources and a yearly theme. 2012′s theme is “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.”
The rule of law is vital to our society and lawyers play a vital role in preserving “the ideals of equality and justice under law.”
Happy Law Day everyone!
Are you doing anything special to celebrate? Comment below and share your contributions to Law Day.
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