YOSEMITE – Law Day is an annual day of national celebration of the rule of law and its contributions to the rights and freedoms all Americans enjoy. It will be specially commemorated at the foot of majestic Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park at 10:30 a.m., on May 1. The public is invited.
Law Day was originally conceived by American Bar Association President Charles Rhynes as a annual event recognizing this country’s commitment to the rule of law and celebrating our legal system.In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower designated May 1 as Law Day, and in 1961 Congress jointly resolved that May 1 annually would forevermore be “Law Day” in America.
This year the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California and the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will celebrate the First Annual Yosemite Law Day at the Yosemite Valley Elementary School with the largest and most spectacular waterfall in America as its backdrop.
Eighth Grade students from Yosemite Valley, El Portal, Lake Don Pedro, Mariposa and Woodland Elementary schools will attend. The Eastern District of California’s Chief Judge, the Honorable Morrison C. England Jr.,its United States Attorney, Benjamin Wagner, and it new Federal Defender, Heather Williams, will each share their respective views on the importance of the rule of law in ensuring equality and freedom for all in this country.
“Having these, the three highest ranking court officers in the Eastern District, take this time away from their extremely busy case loads to come here is shows the importance they attach to ensuring our youth appreciate the role of law in our society.” notes sponsor, Yosemite’s U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng. “I hope the bar and the public will join them in Yosemite an May 1 and help underscore that message.”
This is what the website americanbar.org website has to say about Law Day 2013 –
The promise of equality under the law is what has made America a beacon to other nations. It is a pledge clearly set forth in the Declaration of Independence and in the opening words of the Preamble of the Constitution, “We the People.” It is, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, the proposition to which our nation is dedicated.
The year 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1963, during the Proclamation’s centennial, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial and called upon our nation to live up to the great promise, enshrined in its founding documents, of equality for all. Five decades later, the inspirational words of Rev. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech continue to resonate and challenge us to live up to our national ideal of equality under the law. The legacy of the Civil Rights Movement can be seen in the strides that have been made against discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation.
Law Day, May 1, 2013, will provide an opportunity to explore the movement for civil and human rights in America and the impact it has had in promoting the ideal of equality under the law. It will provide a forum for reflecting on the work that remains to be done in rectifying injustice, eliminating all forms of discrimination, and putting an end to human trafficking and other violations of our basic human rights. As Rev. Dr. King pointed out in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”