“No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom” was the theme of this year’s Law Day, which brought together legal and civic leaders from around the country for events highlighting the need for adequate funding for the courts.
President Obama, who proclaimed May 1 as Law Day USA 2012, said the Law Day theme recalls the historic role the courts have played in protecting the fundamental rights and liberties of all Americans.
“Our courts are the guarantors of civil justice, social order and public safety, and we must do everything we can to enable their critical work,” he said. “The courthouse doors must be open and the necessary services must be in place to allow all litigants, judges and juries to operate efficiently.”
Numerous events were held in conjunction with Law Day, including the following gatherings in DC:
•a news conference at the Newseum featuring representatives from the ABA Task Force on Preservation for the Justice System, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Conference of Chief Justices, the American Association for Justice and the Chamber of Commerce;
•the annual ABA/Closeup Foundation Teachers Luncheon;
•the Annual Leon Jaworski Public Program, sponsored by the ABA Division for Public Education, featuring a panel of experts focusing on “The Courts and Constitutional Democracy in America”; and
•a general counsel summit on state courts.
Law Day was first proclaimed in 1958 by President Eisenhower after being envisioned by then ABA President Charles S. Rhyne. This year’s National Law Day Chair, Mark D. Agrast, emphasized that the 2012 theme should resonate with every citizen. “Open and accessible courts are essential to maintaining the American way of life,” he emphasized.