May 1, 2016: 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 year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of a milestone in legal history, the United States Supreme Court’s landmark 1966 decision Miranda v. Arizona, concluding that statements made by a suspect in police custody are generally inadmissible if the suspect has not been made aware of his or her Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights; and,

WHEREAS, in response to this decision, law enforcement personnel throughout the country provide a Miranda Warning to suspects in custody informing them of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney and their right to appointed counsel in cases where they cannot afford an attorney; and,

WHEREAS, the Miranda Warning has become one of the nation’s most recognizable legal expressions and a symbol of procedural fairness that represents much more than just the words of warning; and,

WHEREAS, the criminal justice system still faces many challenges and we must all rededicate ourselves to the great goal of ensuring that it provides fair and equal treatment for all; 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; and,

WHEREAS, the American Bar Association has identified the 2016 Law Day theme as “Miranda: More than Words”;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2016 as Law Day in Michigan.