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Proclamation 6429—Law Day, U.S.A., 1992

May 01, 1992

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

More than 200 years after the adoption of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we Americans continue to enjoy a rich heritage of liberty under law. During this year's observance of Law Day, we celebrate that heritage with special pride, as peoples in new democracies around the world look to our Nation's founding documents -- and the laws and institutions duly derived from them -- as the surest guarantees of life, liberty, and property rights the world has ever known.

The American Experience demonstrates clearly how the rule of law ensures respect for the rights of individuals while establishing a solid foundation for responsible self-government. Our Constitution provides for the separation of powers within the Federal Government, including our independent judiciary, and reserves to the States, or to the people, those rights and powers that are not expressly delegated to the United States. The authority of the Federal Government comes entirely from the freely given consent of the people and is exercised only in accordance with public laws and due process. Indeed, the rule of law has endured in the United States because of the active and voluntary participation of our citizens at all levels of government, particularly the local level, and because of the deep respect that Americans have had historically for our legal system.

In recent days, the rule of law has been challenged in the most profound way. A jury verdict has been viewed by a large number of Americans as indefensible. There is, however, a difference between frustration with the law and direct assaults upon it. Those frustrated and angered by this outcome must understand: in order to remain a civilized society, we must pursue peaceful, orderly means of resolving such concerns. The wanton destruction of human life and property is not a legitimate expression of outrage with injustice; it is itself injustice. No rationalization, no matter how heartfelt, can make it otherwise. The rule of law, the belief in freedom under the law, is a precious legacy -- and our only means of preserving fairness and equality and justice.

On this occasion, we rededicate ourselves with strengthened resolve to ensuring that our legal system provides justice and safety for all citizens. Equal justice under law is the unalienable right of every American. With this right comes to each of us a corresponding responsibility to do our part to make the American system of justice work effectively and fairly, so that the ideals of our Nation's Founders will continue to be achieved and the United States will remain a shining example of freedom and justice throughout the world.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, in accordance with Public Law 87-20 of April 7, 1961, do hereby proclaim May 1, 1992, as Law Day, U.S.A. I urge all Americans to observe this day by reflecting on the timeless ideals enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution and on the importance of the rule of law in protecting the rights of each individual. I ask that members of the legal profession, civic associations, and the media, as well as educators, librarians, and public officials, promote the observance of this day through appropriate programs and activities. I also call on all public officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on this day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6429—Law Day, U.S.A., 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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