To the Editor:
President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicate ourselves to promote public understanding of its importance to American democracy.
In Florida, Florida Statute §683.22, provides for Law Week to commence the first Sunday preceding the first day of May; therefore, Law Week 2018 will be observed from April 29 through May 5, 2018. The 2018 Law Day/Week theme is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.”
The U.S. Constitution established a system of government with distinct and independent branches—legislative, executive, and judicial—and it gave Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court separate and distinct powers so that these three separate branches share power and serve as checks on the powers of the others. “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” James Madison explained in The Federalist 51, because he believed that the Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve political liberty. By preventing any one branch from becoming too powerful, they provide a framework for freedom.
Yet, this framework is not self-executing. We the people must continually act to ensure that our constitutional democracy endures, preserving our liberties and advancing our rights. This year’s Law Day/Week theme enables us to reflect on the separation of powers as fundamental to our constitutional purpose and to consider how the American system of government works for ourselves and our posterity.
The local Hernando County Bar Association has planned a series of events throughout Law Week to help promote public awareness of the importance of the rule of law. Details may be found at www.hernandocountybar.com. This Law Day let us reflect on the importance of the concept of the separation of powers, and continue to work to ensure that our nation’s constitutional ideals are observed.
Jennifer C. Rey, Esq., Secretary
Hernando County Bar Association