This month, J. Lewis & Associates, APLC joins in the celebration of Law Day. Law Day is an event that is celebrated across the state of California as well as across the United States. Law Day reminds us that courts play an integral role in protecting liberty and fundamental rights, which are memorialized in the Constitution.
It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who instituted Law Day in 1958. He did so as a counter to the May Day celebrations on the same day in the Soviet Union. President Eisenhower explained “In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law. Only when law prevails over force in this manner can a nation truly be free.” In 1961, Congress issued a joint resolution designating May 1st as the official date for celebrating Law Day and every president since has issued a Law Day proclamation on May 1st to celebrate the nation’s commitment to the rule of law.
Every year, Law Day is celebrated with a theme. And this year the theme is “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” In the United States, we have a tri-branch system of government. We have the executive branch, the legislative branch, and we have the judicial branch. Each is equally important. But it is our courts that play a pivotal role in our daily lives as citizens.
People use our courts for a whole variety of things. They use the courts to get a divorce or to deal with child custody issues or to get assistance in a domestic violence case. They go to the courts if they have a dispute with someone else and they are seeking damages, like in a contract dispute or a personal injury case. The courts oversee our criminal justice system and ensure that justice is done in criminal cases. If someone dies, often their estates are reviewed by the court in a probate matter. And the courts act as an important check on the other two branches of government.
Times are tough right now in today’s economy. It is no secret that we have a serious budget crisis in the state of California. There just does not seem to be enough money for everything that needs to be paid for. So, our legislators and the governor are forced to make cuts.
The problem is that funding for the courts became an area for cuts in the budget. And this past year, our court system here in California suffered the largest budget cuts in its history. Many other states across the country also made drastic cuts to their court budget. Perhaps the American Bar President Bill Robinson explained it best when he said: “All of us must have and protect our right and our freedom to use courtrooms when we need to. That courtroom must be open to protect families. That courtroom must be open to validate and protect contracts for business. That courtroom must be open to keep the wheels of justice turning. That courtroom must be open to defend our individual rights to prove again and again that we continue to be a free society. All of that takes more money . . . not less and less money for our courts.”
As a result of the budget cuts that our California courts faced last year, many courts were forced to reduce staff, reduce hours of operation, reduce services, or, in some cases, were even forced to close their doors. Given the importance of this issue, that is why the theme of Law Day this year is “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” So that when we celebrate the very importance of the rule of law in our society, we understand that the courts play an indispensable part in administering and protecting that rule of law and if they are not properly funded, it can hurt the system of justice that we all rely on. It is certainly something to think about.
At J. Lewis and Associates, APLC we are committed to protecting our client’s rights. If you or a loved one have been injured, please contact our office. We will make sure that you get the help you need for your injury. We will also work tirelessly to get you the greatest possible compensation for you injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.