For immediate release: April 30, 2008
For further information contact: Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig
Thursday is Law Day
On Thursday, May 1, judges, attorneys, students and citizens around the state and across the nation will participate in Law Day events celebrating the American legal system. The national theme of this year's Law Day is "The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity."
Videotaped remarks by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner marking the occasion can be viewed online beginning Thurs., May 1 on njcourtsonline.com. They will be available on the site for the entire month.
In his remarks, Chief Justice Rabner explains that the rule of law means that the law applies equally to all people. Echoing the words of Theodore Roosevelt, Chief Justice Rabner said no one is above the law, and no one is below it.
"We take for granted the rule of law and the key elements it needs to flourish, because in our country, power is spread among a number of offices and not concentrated in a single leader or body; because we have transparency in our laws, so that everyone can see that they're followed; and because we have an independent judiciary to help make sure the laws are applied fairly," Chief Justice Rabner said.
"The rule of law doesn't cave in to the demands of a few, no matter how powerful or vocal they are," he said. "Tyrants and dictators may try to undo the will of the people and substitute their own desires. But the rule of law outlives any political leader."
Established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, Law Day is celebrated nationwide as an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the role that our legal system plays in upholding our democratic values. Although May 1 is the official date of Law Day, many vicinages in New Jersey have scheduled events throughout the month of May, including essay, poster and mock trial contests for children, awards and citizenship ceremonies, tours and community education opportunities. A complete calendar of Law Day events in New Jersey can be found at njcourtsonline.com.