May 1st is Law Day -- a day that we at Weiner, Spivey & Miller have celebrated since our founding more than two decades ago.
What is Law Day?
Law Day was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 as a celebration of the importance of the “rule of law” in the United States. While the Annual May Day military parades in Russia touted military strength, President Eisenhower stated that America’s strength comes not only from military power, but because of our democracy. Our Democracy is based in laws which protect our liberty, achieve justice and contribute to the freedoms that all of us as Americans share. Law Day celebrates our freedoms and highlights the role that the legal profession place in maintaining them for us all.
What is the “rule of law”?
The American Bar Association defines the “rule of law” as the principle under which all persons and institutions are accountable to laws that are:
- widely and publicly shared,
- equally enforced, and
- independently adjudicated.
Laws are to be shared openly and enforced fairly. The judiciary is independent and the judges are to be fair and impartial. The law applies to everyone and all are to be treated equally under the law. Common expressions used to reference this concept include “no person is above the law,” or “everyone is equal in the eyes of the law”.
Why is the rule of law so important?
Simply put, the rule of law ensures a fair and just society. It guarantees that laws are certain, predictable, and that the same laws apply to everyone. It holds all individuals accountable and maintains the boundary between our own freedom and liberty and our potential impact on others.
The rule of law is experienced in ways big and small throughout each of our daily lives. Without its uniform application, there would be no confidence and order in our society. A simple example of this that, when crossing the street on our walk to work, we can feel confident that, while in a crosswalk, the approaching vehicles will stop until we’ve made it across safely.
Today, as America struggles with some horrendous examples of unequal justice, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves of the foundational premise of the rule and work for equal justice for all.
Celebrating Law Day
Since 2001, Weiner, Spivey & Miller has hosted the Annual Law Day Weiner Roast to raise funds for the Fairfax Law Foundation’s work to provide access to justice in our community. In addition to providing legal services to Fairfax County residents who cannot afford them, the Fairfax Law Foundation has many programs including Wills on Wheels (providing low/no cost services to the elderly); Court Tours (where 8th graders learn about the legal system and sit through a trial); and the Public Law Library (located in the Fairfax County Courthouse and available to the public). These programs support the Foundation’s motto of “Equal Justice For All”.
Unfortunately, due to COVID our community is not able to gather at the Annual Law Day Weiner Roast this year to celebrate the rule of law and enjoy an afternoon of music, food and camaraderie. However, we look forward to celebrating with you next year. In honor of Law Day, we ask that you consider donating online to the Fairfax Law Foundation at https://www.fairfaxlawfoundation.org/.