May 1 is Law Day and this year’s theme is The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy. The American Bar Association (ABA) notes that the theme “provides the opportunity to explore the many ways that the Fourteenth Amendment has reshaped American law and society.” Viewed as the “cornerstone” of landmark civil rights legislation, the 14th Amendment was ratified during Reconstruction a century and a half ago, on July 9, 1868. This amendment was part of a trio of Reconstruction amendments (including the 13th and 15th) known as “America’s Second Founding.” For more information, see the ABA’s timeline of the 14th Amendment, which includes landmark cases, and the Library of Congress website.
Equal Protection Clause
According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, the most commonly used and frequently- litigated phrase in the amendment is “equal protection of the laws” Among the landmark cases where The Equal Protection Clause is featured are:
Law Day in Washington State
In Washington, many organizations are planning Law Day 2017 celebrations. Below is a list of some of the events being planned to date. We will continue to update this list as we hear of more events, so we encourage readers to contact us if you have events in your community or bar association. If you are interested in planning a Law Day celebration at your organization that incorporates this year’s theme, visit the “Law Day 2017 Resources” section of the ABA’s Law Day webpage for useful tips on planning successful Law Day activities.
Law Day events
- Classroom Law Project’s Law Day Conference (May 2)
- Washington State Association for Justice Law Day Celebration (May 4)
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Law Day Luncheon (May 5)
- Thurston County Bar Association/West Olympia Rotary Annual Law Day Speech Contest
- Bellingham’s 2017 Law Day Mayoral Proclamation
Kitsap County Bar Association Law Day Celebration (May 5)
Kitsap County will be celebrating Law Day with a ceremony on May 5 at 8:30 AM. The event will be held at the Kitsap County Commissioners Chambers at 614 Division St. in Port Orchard. The Kitsap County Bar Association will award the Merrill Wallace Scholarship to a local student, as well as the Liberty Bell Award to someone in recognition of outstanding community and public service by an individual who has strengthened our system of freedom under the law. The association will also be announcing the winners of its Law Day student essay contest. The association will also announce the winners of its Law Day student essay contest and the Navy will recognize several attorneys serving our country at Naval Base Kitsap.
What will you do to celebrate Law Day 2017? Tell us in the comments!