ABA and Law Library of Congress plan virtual Law Day celebration
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To celebrate Law Day 2020, the ABA and Law Library of Congress plan to host a virtual panel discussion on April 30 that focuses on how the women’s suffrage movement and ratification of the 19th Amendment changed the United States.
The program, “Social Movement Changing America: The Legacies of the 19th Amendment,” will be moderated by Kimberly Atkins, a senior news correspondent with WBUR-Boston and contributor to MSNBC. Martha Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and a history professor at Johns Hopkins University; Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and Julie Suk, dean and sociology professor at City University of New York Graduate Center, will join as panelists.
Law Day, which celebrates the rule of law, is commemorated annually on May 1. This year’s theme is “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100,” which aligns with the Library of Congress exhibition “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote.”
“This year, the Law Day theme calls us to remember the long and sometimes uncertain road the nation has taken in expanding democracy,” says Pamela Roberts, the chair of Law Day 2020. “The 19th Amendment was a milestone in expanding voting rights for women, but it also left other groups behind. Work remained to expand the franchise to most African Americans and other groups, as well. The ongoing effort to achieve equal justice is still necessary.”
Roberts, a former chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and a partner at Bowman and Brooke in Columbia, South Carolina, adds that commemorating Law Day this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic may be even more important than it is during less challenging times.
“It is precisely in these moments—when people experience uncertainty and threatening changes to life as we knew it—that we, as a community, need to rely on our principles and institutions to ensure that our rights and freedoms are not cast aside,” she says.
For more information about Law Day 2020, including its resources and related events, visit LawDay.org.
ABA Journal: “Law Day 2020: Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy”
Updated April 14 at 2:10 p.m. to add comments from Pamela Roberts.