This year’s national Law Day theme, "American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters," recognizes the impending 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In 1957, the American Bar Association instituted Law Day to draw attention to the principles and practices of law and justice. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established May 1 as Law Day with a proclamation in 1958. The Hawaii State Judiciary has several events planned as part of our annual celebration of Law Day to help celebrate the rule of law and its contributions to the freedoms that Americans enjoy.
The King Kamehameha Judiciary History Center is hosting a special Law Day 2014 presentation. Join us as Janet Mason, Legislative Chair of the League of Women Voters, discusses the history of the Voting Rights Act in Hawai`i and the 2013 Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder, which overturned part of the Act. Kris Coffield of the Imua Alliance will discuss the impact of the 2013 ruling on young voters. The event will be held on Thursday, May 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the mock trial courtroom in Ali`iolani Hale, 417 South King Street. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.
During the month of May, students from Lahainaluna High school will be visiting Lahaina District Court on Wednesday, May 14 at 8:30 a.m., and three classes of fifth graders from Wailuku Elementary School will be visiting the courtroom of Second Circuit Court Judge Joseph Cardoza on May 22, 23, and 27 at 8:30 a.m., where they will observe a trial in progress.
As part of the Judiciary's Courts in the Community outreach program and in conjunction with Law Day, the Hawaii Supreme Court will be taking an oral argument to the Big Island on Tuesday, April 29 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Approximately 600 students from area high schools are expected to attend and it is also open to members of the public. This is the fourth time since 2012 the Hawaii Supreme Court has taken an oral argument out into the community. These efforts enhance the understanding of the Judiciary’s role in government and its function in resolving disputes in a democratic society.
On May 1, 2014, there will be free tours of the Lihue, Kauai courthouse once each hour from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Informational displays and brochures about Family Court, District Court, Drug Court, Adult Probation, the HOPE program, and the Legal Documents Branch will be set up in the lobby.
Finally, please visit the Hawaii State Judiciary’s website to see the most recent upgrades. We've added three new sections to the menu bars, which are "Language Access," "ADA," and "Access to Justice." This will help increase access to persons with limited English proficiency, who have a disability, or who do not have an attorney representing him or her in a civil case.
For more information, contact the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Communications & Community Relations Office at 539-4909.