What is Law Day? Each year, on May 1st, we celebrate the rule of law and the role of the law and legal processes, including the court system, in promoting democracy and freedom through our celebration of Law Day. First envisioned by the American Bar Association (ABA)’s then-president, Charles S. Rhyne, in 1957, National Law Day was established as a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law by former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, and May 1st was designated as the official date of celebration by a joint resolution of Congress in 1961.
2015 Theme. This year’s theme is “Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law”. The Magna Carta (the “Great Charter”), issued 800 years ago by King John of England at Runnymede, a meadow located along the River Thames near modern day Windsor, England, has withstood the test of time and continues to symbolize liberty and the rule of law, especially the ideal that no one, not even a king, is above the rule of law. While the Magna Carta addresses the specific issues faced by King John and the English barons from the thirteenth century, its underlying principles of liberty and the rule of law for all people remains as an inspiration for freedom and liberty.
If you’re interested in learning more about Law Day and this year’s theme, check out the ABA’s 2015 Law Day page!
For those you interested in seeing the Magna Carta in person, check out this information about the traveling exhibit of Lincoln Cathedral’s 1215 manuscript of the Magna Carta at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_services/law_library_congress/magna_carta.html.
Stay tuned for the next post in our Law Day Series, which will provide an overview of the Maryland Court System.