Howard Chandler Christy’s “Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States” from 1940, one of the best known images in the U.S. Capitol. Source: Library of Congress.

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Our Commitment to Excellence Helps Keep Our Judiciary Strong and Independent

By Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York

This ingenious “framework for freedom” is not self-executing or self-sustaining. It requires every one of us who has committed our professional lives to the law to be vigilant in defending judicial independence and to work earnestly to promote fair and effective justice institutions that are valued by the public.

Working Together to Achieve Excellence

By Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System

Separation of powers was designed to bind governmental authority by creating tension among the branches, with each limiting the others. Nevertheless, to accomplish important goals and necessary reforms, the three branches of government frequently must collaborate and support one another to be successful.

Separation of Powers: A Tribute to My Father

By Rolando T. Acosta, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department

As we celebrate Law Day and contemplate the doctrine that forms the very foundation of our government, let us commit to doing our best, as lawyers and judges, to restore our fellow citizens’ trust in our core institutions.

CPLR Article 78—Central to the Rule of Law

By Alan Scheinkman, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department

CPLR Article 78 represents a careful balancing of the powers of different branches of our government. Through the litigation and determination of Article 78 proceedings, we all play our part in preserving the Rule of Law.

Separation of Powers: A Judicial Balancing Act

By Elizabeth A. Garry, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department

As the branches occasionally struggle with the scope of their respective powers, and as we in the courts work to uphold our judicial duties without encroaching on our legislative and executive colleagues, it is clear that checks and balances are as fully relevant and important today as they were at our nation’s founding.

Protecting Our Country From Momentary Passions

By Gerald J. Whalen, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department

The bulwark of a strong and independent judiciary is necessary to protect our country against such momentary passions—compelling though they may be—for if we fail in that, we lose our very foundation.

Ensure That All Understand the Importance of an Independent Judiciary

By Sharon Stern Gerstman, President of the New York State Bar Association

As lawyers, we know how important an independent judiciary is. On this Law Day, let’s make sure our fellow citizens understand it, too.