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For immediate release: April 29, 2009
For more information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

May 1 is Law Day

The Judiciary will celebrate Law Day on Friday, May 1, with a number of events at the R.J. Hughes Justice Complex and at courthouses around the state. The national theme for this year's Law Day is "A Legacy of Liberty: Celebrating Lincoln's Bicentennial".

Videotaped remarks by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner marking the occasion can be viewed online beginning Friday, May 1 at njcourtsonline.com. In his remarks, Chief Justice Rabner discusses the ways in which Lincoln's legal career helped prepare him to lead the nation at a critical time.

"This year's Law Day events center around Abraham Lincoln," said Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. "Lincoln was not only one of our greatest presidents. He was also a skilled attorney committed to protecting and maintaining the rule of law. Two hundred years after his birth, we remain grateful to him for the legacy of freedom he gave our nation."

The list of statewide Law Day activities can be found at judiciary.state.nj.us.

In addition to vicinage events, a Law Day celebration will be held at the Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market St., Trenton. The event will be co-hosted by the Judiciary, the Department of Law and Public Safety, and the Office of the Public Defender.

Chief Justice Rabner will officiate at a naturalization ceremony for 50 new citizens at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the Justice Complex.

New Jersey Public Defender Yvonne Smith Segars will speak to invited youth from the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) at 11:15 a.m. about the differences between the juvenile and adult justice systems. The juveniles participating in this educational opportunity are from several residential community homes operated by the JJC.

"Law Day is the perfect opportunity to talk to our children about their rights and responsibilities under the rule of law," said Public Defender Segars. "It is also an ideal opportunity to help them appreciate and revere our system of laws, which provides us with freedoms and protections that many around the world do not enjoy."

At noon, Attorney General Anne Milgram will host a lunchtime lecture by Dr. Marc Mappen, executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. Dr. Mappen will give a presentation on the one-day visit made by Lincoln to New Jersey on his historic train journey from Springfield, Ill. to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration in 1861.

"Lincoln did not carry New Jersey in the 1860 election," said Attorney General Milgram. "However, his words of conciliation and cooperation when he came to New Jersey certainly resonated with the legislature and with the citizens of this state. Today, we celebrate his efforts to keep this nation whole rather than allow slavery and secession to tear it apart. We are indebted to Lincoln for his commitment to ensuring that the law serves all of us equally."

Reporters and photographers who wish to attend the naturalization ceremony or the lunchtime lecture should call the Judiciary press office at 609-292-9580 to make arrangements.

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Residents from the JJC will attend the naturalization ceremony and the lunchtime lecture. New Jersey State law protects the confidentiality of juveniles placed with the JJC (N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-60). Reporters and photographers may not photograph or interview JJC participants.

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