This year marks the 50th anniversary of what may be the nation’s best-known U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona. The 2016 Law Day theme, “Miranda: More than Words,” will explore the procedural protections afforded to every American by the U.S. Constitution, how these rights are safeguarded by the courts, and why preserving these principles is essential to our liberty.
Here are some fun facts about Law Day’s history and how it’s celebrated in Washington.
- Law Day dates back to 1958. President Dwight Eisenhower established the first Law Day in 1958 to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. In 1961, Congress issued a joint resolution designating May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day, which was subsequently codified (U.S. Code, Title 36, Section 113).
- Every president issues a Law Day proclamation on May 1 to celebrate the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Last year, President Obama’s proclamation honored Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary. See more past Law Day themes.
- It’s a great opportunity for lawyers, judges and teachers to educate students about the law. Are you speaking to a classroom for Law Day? You can download lesson plans, dialogues and activities on the ABA Law Day website.
- The 2016 Law Day theme is “Miranda: More than Words.” Thanks to TV and movies, Miranda rights are part of public consciousness. Yet Miranda is only part of the story when it comes to the procedures for ensuring justice. Watch ABA President Paulette Brown discuss the meaning of this year’s theme.
- Law Day 2016 celebrations are planned around Washington state. Here are just a few:
- Gig Harbor Law Day Poster and Essay Contest, April 25
- Washington State Paralegal Association Free Legal Advice Clinic, April 28
- Skagit County Bar Association Law Day & Liberty Bell Luncheon, April 29
- Thurston County Law Day Speech Contest, May 3
- Washington State Association for Justice Law Day Dinner, May 4
- Classroom Law Project’s Law Day Conference, May 5
- Clallam County Law Day Lunch with Justice Mary Yu, May 6
- Kitsap County Law Day Celebration, May 6
- Bellingham’s 2016 Law Day Mayoral Proclamation
What will you do to celebrate Law Day 2016? Tell us in the comments!