American Association for Justice
Elected officials must ensure that equality is not just an idea, but a reality
Washington, DC— The following is a statement from American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Mary Alice McLarty in honor of National Law Day:
"The theme for Law Day 2013 is 'Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.' A cornerstone of equality and civil rights in America is the Constitutional right of individuals to have their claims heard by an impartial judge and jury through the civil justice system. This gives all Americans the power and ability to ensure their rights are upheld. As President John Adams said, 'Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty.'
"The fight to protect equal rights for all is still ongoing in this country. Increasingly, employers strip workers' rights away in the fine print of employment contracts by requiring workers to agree to forced arbitration as a condition of employment. In fact, by being forced into arbitration, an estimated 30 million non-union workers have lost essential protections established by our nation's civil rights laws.
"On this Law Day, we call on our federal and local elected officials to ensure that equality under the law is not just an idea, but a reality. This is not a partisan issue. This is not a controversial issue. This is about justice. Without access to justice through the courts, rights that we take for granted could be invalidated and inequality commonplace.”