Trenton - Law Day was celebrated today with events at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton. Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal addressed the audience of approximately 48 new citizens from 27 countries. Judge Grant, Acting Administrator for the New Jersey Courts presided over the naturalization ceremony. The Justice Complex Law Day event is co-hosted by the Judiciary and the Department of Law and Public Safety.
2018 marks the 60th Anniversary of Law Day, a national event established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 as “a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law.”
This year’s Law Day theme, “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom,” recognizes the unique system of government established by our founding fathers. The U.S. Constitution sets out a system of government with distinct and independent branches—Congress, the Presidency, and a Supreme Court. It also defines legislative, executive, and judicial powers and outlines how they interact. These three separate branches share power, and each branch serves as a check on the power of the others. The Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances serve to preserve political liberty.
“The separation of powers that our founding fathers designed allows states to take lead when the federal government does not. States are leading the fight for clean air and a healthy environment, to protect our Dreamers, and to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, including our brave transgender troops,” said Grewal. “The checks and balances that the Founders designed allow us to continually act to preserve the rights and liberties that have been at the fabric of our nation for over two centuries. That is the promise and obligation our constitutional democracy gives us.”
In speaking to the new U.S. citizens, Grewal described the beliefs of his parents who emigrated from India, “They came in pursuit of the American dream. That notion that no matter where you come from, what you believe or don’t, who you love or how you love, that through hard work you can achieve prosperity and success in this country. They taught me that there was no incompatibility between honoring your faith and those traditions and being an American.”
The 48 citizenship candidates originate from the following 27 countries: Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Italy, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam.
The Division of Law, which is led by Michelle Miller, has a very broad scope of work. The Department of Law and Public Safety will highlight the work of the New Jersey Division of Law throughout the week in recognition of National Law Week.
“Some have described the Division as the State’s largest law firm with specialties in every area of the law. Whether it is protecting an abused child, ensuring that a polluter pays fair cleanup costs, or defending the State against a claim, the approximately 500 Deputy Attorneys General that comprise the Division of Law professionally and skillfully represent the interests of the residents of New Jersey,” continued Grewal.
The Division is responsible for approximately 29,000 legal matters pending in federal and State trial and appellate courts and administrative forums. In addition, the Division of Law provides legal advice and counsel to the Governor and 16 state departments, and more than 400 boards, commissions and agencies within State government.
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