We’ve got plenty of patriotic days on our calendar, most anchored to a person or a document. July 4 marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence. There’s also Constitution Day on Sept. 17, and even Bill of Rights Day on Dec. 15.
We celebrate the birthdays of President George Washington and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. We observe Veterans Day to honor those who served our military and Memorial Day for those who gave their lives doing so.
Our national story has undoubtedly been shaped by these people and parchments. But Law Day is its own patriotic reminder that we’re far more united by our belief that we’re governed by laws than we are by any one person or symbol.
It’s now been six decades since President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared May 1 as Law Day to celebrate the rule of law as a foundational part of American life and “for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.”
This year’s theme is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.” While those words aren’t found anywhere in the Constitution, few concepts speak so loudly to ensure liberty.
Checks and balances between co-equal branches avoid any one body from having too much power.
Law Day celebrates the ongoing responsibility we each have to remain engaged civically. For lawyers, it’s a yearly chance to educate the public about the principles you took an oath to uphold.
For the Daily Law Bulletin staff and our colleagues at Law Bulletin Media, Law Day has always been an opportunity to tell informative and meaningful stories about the profession. We invited dozens of bar group leaders to include a message in this magazine — and we’ve included the responses we received. If you’re a bar leader who wants to add an additional message to our website, please get in touch.
In this issue, you’ll learn from Andrew Maloney about how the Illinois Supreme Court is seeing its caseload shrink. Reporter David Thomas examined the role of state attorneys general and how they’ve increased challenges to the federal government — often on party lines. And Sarah Mansur explored the state’s medicinal marijuana program and the friction between patients, lawyers who represent them, public health officials and the courts.
This isn’t a take-the-day-off kind of holiday. It’s about showing up and serving those who need representation under the law. And it’s our honor to cover this community at its best.