May 1, 2013
"… with liberty and justice for all."
-Pledge of Allegiance
Over the last few weeks, America was once again forced to face terrorism at home. The bombings in Boston were horrific, and our hearts go out to those who perished or were injured.
Those who were involved in perpetrating such a heinous act will now be brought to justice. America’s rule of law will always triumph over those who would seek to destroy us. As an attorney, as a judge, and, indeed, as a citizen of our great nation, I am proud that we live in a nation with a justice system in which we can all have trust and confidence—even in the face of such tragedy.
This week, we celebrate Law Day’s 55th anniversary, an annual event that was established by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958 to commemorate our American heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under the law. This day provides all of us with an opportunity to reflect on these important democratic ideals, to celebrate the rule of law, and to re-commit ourselves to upholding our principles of democracy.
We should remember the role of the justice system as a defender—a defender of society against those who commit crimes, a defender of the free enterprise system, and as a defender of individual liberties and civil rights. Our American justice system resolves 100 million cases each year—simple, complex, routine, extraordinary. The greatest American institution for peaceably resolving even the most contentious disputes is the American legal system. And it is a system, despite a few imperfections, that is emulated and honored around the world because it works for all.
Lawyers, too, are an important part of our legal system. They tackle tough issues and resolve them through a constitutional and legal system. Lawyers defend the rights of their clients sometimes even in the face of threats to their own personal safety or the scorn of others. Lawyers also provide countless hours of pro bono legal representation, and service to the civic, social and religious institutions that help make our communities strong.
It was Francis Bacon who said: "If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us." As we celebrate Law Day this year, please join me in reflecting upon the importance of our justice system and how well it has served us for centuries.
To authenticate this statement, please contact Ken Brown, OSBA Director of Public & Media Relations, 800-282-6556 (toll free), 614-487-4426 (office), or 614/746-2457 (mobile).