This year’s Law Day theme is “The Rule of Law” and I am lucky to live that daily in my practice at the ACLU of Nebraska. The ACLU has always fought for equal treatment under the law for those who are most denied that promise, including those who express unpopular viewpoints, those who seek the freedom to exercise their religion free of government interference, those who seek equal treatment from the courts and those who seek equal access to our great public schools. That robust body of work has shaped not only our jurisprudence but our society.

The rule of law is anchored in the sacred principle that the law applies to all of us, regardless of someone’s power, popularity or political affiliation. This theme is not only powerful but also timely given the assault this core democratic and legal value recently endured during the organized attempt to overturn a free and fair election. That campaign was waged by some of the most powerful politicians in America and in Nebraska. Fortunately, it was also swiftly decried by countless Americans across the political spectrum and resoundingly defeated in the courts by fair-minded jurists who safeguard the rule of law.

We can never forget that abuse of power.

As we move forward and reflect on this Law Day, I hope each lawyer, judge and elected official in Nebraska draws more upon our proud Nebraska history and traditions. There was a time when, more often than not and when it mattered most, Nebraska’s attorney generals, secretaries of state, governors and state senators put integrity and respect for the rule of law above cynical self-interest, partisan shenanigans or shifting political winds. Instead, they wielded their power and made difficult choices in the public good while respecting the rights of those in the minority. If we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in a thriving democracy, we must each commit and recommit to embodying these proud traditions in our daily practice and daily lives.

Danielle Conrad

Executive Director, ACLU of Nebraska


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