Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Vigil
SANTA FE — Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Vigil Friday called for a renewed dedication to ensuring equal justice for all New Mexicans, and he commended legal aid groups, attorneys and court staff for efforts to expand access to legal services across the state.
“We salute these efforts, but let us offer greater support to those who work daily to provide legal services to those who most need them,” the Chief Justice stated in a proclamation to celebrate Law Day on Saturday. “Let us dedicate ourselves to improving our courts and our justice system, so that we will truly have ‘justice for all.'”
Law Day, recognized annually May 1, began 63 years ago with a proclamation from President Dwight Eisenhower in honor of our nation’s commitment to the rule of law, which protects our rights in a free society.
“This year’s Law Day has special significance during the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only presents public health and economic challenges but also legal ones,” Chief Justice Vigil said in a statement. “Every day, and especially during times of crisis, the Judiciary is a linchpin of democracy, providing essential services to the public and serving as the guardian of the Constitution and statutes and the arbiter of disputes. This Law Day, we celebrate advancing the rule of law, and how law contributes to the freedoms of which we all benefit.”
Officials from the judicial, executive and legislative branches of state government – the Chief Justice, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and House Speaker Brian Egolf – spoke at a Law Day celebration Thursday hosted online by the State Bar of New Mexico.
“On a day such as this, it is fitting that we stop to reflect and renew our commitment to a timely, accessible and fair justice system in New Mexico,” Chief Justice Vigil said at the State Bar event. “What is at stake during this time is not only our health and well-being, but also our democracy. And this pandemic has taught me that democracy depends on a vibrant state court system, upholding and enforcing the rule of law.”