Annual Law Day Essay Scholarship Dinner in Grass Valley

We attended the Annual Law Day Essay Scholarship Dinner of the Nevada County Bar Association last night, where our son was one of the scholarship winners. A crowd filled the room at 151 Union Square in Grass Valley for a sit-down dinner to honor the students and hear Hon. Kathleen Butz, justice of the Third District Appellate Court, speak.

The topic of both the essay and speech was “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy.” Law Day is meant to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country, and local bar associations hold gatherings like this. President Eisenhower declared May 1 to be Law Day, but it is celebrated at different times.

The year 2017 marks the 15oth anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment and the 50th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, 338 US 1 (1967), decided under the Fourteenth Amendment and overturning a law that disallowed individuals of different races to marry.

The essay judges, or “readers,” complimented the students on their essays and summarized their arguments before cash awards and certificates were presented to the three winners. Two other students received honorable mentions.

Most of the students were pursuing careers other than law (ours is interested in medicine), but all agreed upon the importance of cogent communication in their academic endeavors.

Ms. Butz spoke about some landmark Supreme Court cases about “due process” and “equal protection under the law.” She cautioned, however, that it is not a guarantee to protect rights and could face some headwinds in future cases.

She also praised the students, noting that the “question” was a challenging one.  It is here: Nevada County Bar Association Law Day Essay Contest 2017. She also visited with each student.

It was a congenial crowd. We enjoyed visiting with attendees including Superior Court Judges Tom Anderson and Candace Heidelberger, and lawyers Peter Bronson, Steven Munkelt, and Joe Bell, among others. Stephen Baker was the contest coordinator and presenter.

Dana and Michelle Milner — young business owners — are doing a good job at 151 Union Square. The dinner menu choices included steak and salmon with a fresh salad, along with an honor bar. We thanked them for their hard work as well. It takes “a village” to raise our youth, and this was an uplifting affair.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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