Joliet Junior College welcomed Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Kay O'Brien to campus Thursday, May 4 to address the public and campus community as part of the American Bar Association's annual Law Day celebration. The speaking engagement was hosted by the JJC business department.
“It is important that JJC, as a place of higher education, introduce the importance of civic engagement to our students,” said business department chairman, Bill O’Connor. “Whether they are pursuing art, agriculture or accounting, they are first members of a democratic society. Justice O’Brien very eloquently explained the significance of civility and democratic participation in a free society and the impact it can have on our lives.”
Law Day is an activity sponsored by the American Bar Association held annually during the first week of May to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day provides an opportunity to appreciate how the Constitution and legal process protects our freedom, achieves justice and contributes to the rights that all Americans share.
Justice O'Brien represents the third district of the Illinois Supreme Court, in which Illinois Community College District 525 is located. Prior to her election to the Court, Justice O'Brien served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Appellate Court. She is a graduate of Joliet Junior College, Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois College of Law.
Each year, the Illinois Supreme Court issues important decisions impacting the Illinois criminal justice, educational, governmental and economic systems as well as interpreting the United States and Illinois Constitutions.
JJC President Dr. Clyne Namuo echoed O’Connor’s thoughts.
“Despite the availability of seemingly endless information, and data of every kind, of everything, there remains a need for thoughtful analysis, spaces for debate, rooms for dissent, places for civil discourse, and there remains a need for the rigorous application of the scientific method to ensure that generations to come will do what is right, what is just, what is fair, for all groups, for all of society,” Namuo said. “That is our role in higher education.”
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