“One of our most cherished national ideals, expressed eloquently by Abraham Lincoln, is “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” It is a principle enshrined in our Nation’s founding documents, from the Declaration of Independence’s assurance that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed, to the opening three words of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, “We the People.”
The right to vote is the very foundation of government by the people. For this reason, striving to establish and protect every citizen’s right to vote has been a central theme of American legal and civic history. Much of the struggle on voting rights began decades ago, but the work is far from complete, and a citizen’s right to cast a ballot remains at risk today.
As we approach the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 2014 Law Day theme, American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters, calls on every American to reflect on the importance of a citizen’s right to vote and the challenges we still face in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy.”
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day as an annual celebration honoring the American heritage of justice, liberty, and equality under the law, and by joint resolution in 1961, Congress designated Law Day to be celebrated on May 1.
Annually, the American Bar Association, in conjunction with local, regional, and state bar associations, offers events and activities to celebrate Law Day. Law Day events target not just legal professionals, but also students and anyone in the community with a passion for law and justice. This year’s theme centers on the importance of voting, and explores the many ways in which the procedure of voting may change as technology progresses.
Most Law Day events are open to the public, and each bar association celebrates Law Day in a unique way. Contact your local bar associations to inquire about Law Day events occurring near you in Connecticut.