Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society

In the United States and around the world, freedom of speech and the press are among the most important foundations for a free society. Free speech and free press are prominent topics in public discourse and litigation. It is impossible to imagine a free society without these individual liberties, yet historical and current debates surrounding them continually challenge us to consider their boundaries and resilience. Changes in technology have reshaped how free speech and free press work in the everyday world.

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Law Day Outstanding Activity Awards

About the Law Day Awards

This program lets outstanding state and local programs get the national recognition they deserve. Awards are given to programs that have found creative ways of reaching out to schools and the community, and have forged strong partnerships with other groups to deliver the message about the benefits of the rule of law.

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2018 Law Day Award Recipients

A great deal of effort, hard work, and creativity goes into planning and implementing Law Day activities. Take a look at our 2018 Law Day Outstanding Activity Award winners to learn about how they planned activities around the theme.

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What is Law Day?

Law Day, held annually on May 1, is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day provides an opportunity to understand how law and the legal process protect our liberty, strive to achieve justice, and contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share.

Presidential Proclamation

On Law Day, we renew our commitment to the rule of law and our Constitution. The rule of law requires that no one be above the obligations of the law or beneath its protections, and it stands as a bulwark against the arbitrary use of government power.

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Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society: The Marketplace of Ideas in an Era of Fake News

This year marks the centennial of Abrams v. United States, in which the concept of the marketplace of ideas first entered American jurisprudence in Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous dissent. He argued that the “ultimate good desired is best reached by free trade in ideas” and “that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”

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Law Day 2019 Planning Guide

The planning guide offers tools to help develop, publicize, and implement a successful event. Resources include: suggested videos, programming ideas, twenty-five important free speech and free press moments in U.S. history, talking points, lesson plans, themed products, and an event checklist.

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Downloadable Resources

Artwork

Click here to download the 2019 Law Day Artwork in a variety of formats.

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Lesson Plans

Click here to view the lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school students.

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