What a year! If ever there was a time to reflect on life and America’s legal institution, this is it. Now is the time to grapple with the concept of the rule of law, judicial independence and corrective measures to ensure equality in the application of the law.

If not now, when? Will a better opportunity ever present itself to address equity, and accountability within our legal processes?

Law Day is a day of recognition of the separation of powers, and the principle of democratic governance in the furtherance of equality and justice. The majority aspires for a better America. Democracy dictates that this begins with an independent judiciary that does not punish or disadvantage anyone because of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or social economic status.

The judiciary is the gatekeeper against neglect and decay of our democracy and ignorance of the law. Judges must always demonstrate transparency, administering and enforcing the law fairly and efficiently. Justice delayed is justice denied. We must practice proportionality and avoid inflicting unnecessary suffering.

Just as the fictional goddess Minerva put on an armor of righteousness and wisdom, I call upon my esteemed colleagues on this Law Day to put on the armor of justice, equality, and independence. Neglect and ignorance of the law must be cast out.

The people of America must have confidence in our legal system. Our legal system does not belong to any one group. Each individual must be treated as equal, with dignity and the guarantee of having their voice heard. America’s legal system is a place for divergent views, protection of freedoms, enhancement in the quality of lives, and eradication of arbitrary and oppressive societal conduct. As legal professionals, it’s up to us to seize this moment, recognize our role in addressing any injustices and — most important — setting them right.

Happy Law Day.