Law Day 2016


WHEREAS, Charles S. Rhyne, President of the American Bar Association and legal counsel to President Dwight D Eisenhower, proposed in 1958 that May 1st be designated Law Day to cast “spotlight upon the rule of law in America, expressing to the people of the world our admiration and respect for the rule of law as the key to individual freedom and justice”; and

WHEREAS, in that same year, President Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958 as the first Law Day because, “it is fitting that the people of this Nation should remember with pride and vigilantly guard the great heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under law which our forefathers bequeathed to us;” and

WHEREAS, on April 7, 1961, the Unites States Congress by joint resolution proclaimed May 1 as Law Day, a day of celebration by the people of the United States “in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries;” and

WHEREAS, President John F. Kennedy  proclaimed that “law is the strongest link between man and freedom, and by strengthening the rule of law we strengthen freedom and justice in our own country and contribute by example to the goal of justice under law for all mankind;” and

WHEREAS, this year’s theme Miranda: More than Words, is a recognition of the 50th anniversary of one of the best known U.S. Supreme Court cases, Miranda v. Arizona, in which the court ruled that suspects, prior to police questioning, must be informed of their constitutional right to an attorney and against self-incrimination; and

WHEREAS, Law Day is intended to spur Americans to acknowledge and further the principles of equality and justice under the law; and

WHEREAS, since 1958, each President of the United States and a preponderance of governors has declared May 1 as Law Day; and

WHEREAS, the General Assembly designated May 1 as Law Day in Virginia in 2009;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize May 1, 2016, as LAW DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.