May 1, 2017: Law Day

WHEREAS, Law Day is an occasion of public acknowledgement of our state and nation’s heritage of justice, liberty and equality under the law; and,

WHEREAS, Law Day has been annually proclaimed by the President of the United States since Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the first Law Day on May 1, 1958; and,

WHEREAS, the United States Congress in 1961 encoded the presidential practice into law, statutorily designating May 1 as Law Day; and,

WHEREAS, the American Bar Association has designated the 2017 Law Day theme to be “The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy” in recognition of the numerous contributions to American law and society of one of the most often cited constitutional enactments; and,

WHEREAS, the fourteenth Amendment in the nearly century and a half that has elapsed since its ratification has greatly expanded the constitutional protections available to all through its clauses guaranteeing due process and equal protection; and,

WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment has served as the vehicle by which many of the protections in the Bill of Rights have been found to be enforceable against state and local government actions that infringe upon fundamental liberties; and,

WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment constitutionally defined national citizenship for the first time and guaranteed that the privileges or immunities of the United States citizenship would not be denied to any individual citizen; and,

WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment has served as the basis of and inspiration for landmark civil rights legislation and court decisions protecting and advancing the rights of Americans; and,

WHEREAS, promoting public understanding of the roots of our freedom is an important component in the civic education of the citizens of the United States and of the state of Michigan;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2017 as Law Day in Michigan.