Do y'all remember Judge John White? He was the judge who made it a point to remind us all that our courts function to protect our constitutional rights.
I'll share another memory of Judge White.
It was a beautiful morning, early spring, a misdemeanor criminal court call in a Cook County suburb of Chicago. In the courtroom are 50 or 60 defendants, their companions, some witnesses, cops, 2 or 3 prosecutors, a public defender and several private lawyers.
Court is called to order, and Judge White takes the bench, making his usual remarks. It's showtime, and the call is about to begin. But not on this day. Not just yet.
Judge White holds forth:
Ladies and Gentlmen, today is May 1. For much of history, May Day was a celebration of springtime. In the communist world, particularly behind the Iron Curtain, May Day was chosen to be “International Worker's Day”, a day not in celebration of the season, but a day to recall the Soviet revolution which resulted in the enslavement of millions under a totalitarian regime where law was a weapon to be used at the whim of the government. Here in the United States, May 1 is officially recognized as Law Day, a day to honor the rule of law as the foundation of our society and the freedom and rights we all enjoy. I see that we have several lawyers present in the court this morning, and I'm sure that they have reflected on this Law Day and its significance. I'm also sure that they would like to share their thoughts on the occasion. Mr. Fagan, let's start with you!
Um.....thanks, your honor, Thanks indeed.