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Liberty University School of Law professor delivers Law Day speech

July 02, 2018

Liberty University School of Law professor, Tory L. Lucas, delivered the keynote address at the Danville Bar Association’s celebration of Law Day 2018 on May 1, 2018. With Judge Joseph W. Milam Jr. presiding in the Danville Circuit Court, Professor Lucas discussed the enduring concept of separation of powers that protects individual liberty by limiting government.

Lucas explained, “Six decades ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed that Americans should celebrate Law Day, U.S.A., each year on May 1. His goal was to ensure that Americans would take a day to appreciate their liberties, reaffirm their loyalty to the United States, and rededicate themselves to equality and justice.”

In addressing the theme of separation of powers, Lucas also said, “To secure liberty and the rule of law, we created a system that diffuses and disperses power so that at all times it is checked and unconcentrated. Fully expecting each branch to expand its power, we ensured that each branch’s representative voice would run up against the voices and authority of the other branches of government. This forms the separation of powers, which provides the checks and balances on the concentration and abuse of power allowing us to elevate the rule of law over the rule of man. This protects liberty. This ensures that government serves us, and that we do not serve the government. So, we built a system that creates tension intentionally.”

Lucas expressed that he was honored to take part in Danville’s long tradition of celebrating Law Day along with Judge Milam.

Milam explained that “Circuit Judge James F. Ingram, for whom Danville’s courthouse is named, initiated a formal Law Day ceremony many years ago.” The Danville ceremony is currently “the only Law Day event in the Commonwealth of Virginia which is conducted annually in a formal courtroom setting.” Milam further explained, “Law Day leads us back to overarching principles which are so critical in our society and serves as a welcome reminder of our ongoing commitment to justice and the rule of law.”

Eric Cronin, the President of the Danville Bar Association, declared Law Day 2018 a success; he remarked, “Professor Lucas gave an entertaining and insightful presentation explaining how We the People, with all of our diverse aspects, achieve a common goal through the separation of powers and a balance is created in our society by the constant pull of the different branches of our government.”

Lucas joined the faculty of Liberty University School of Law in 2011. He has served in all three branches of the federal government during his legal career, giving him a unique perspective on the separation of powers.

If you are interested in inviting a member of the Liberty Law faculty to speak on a legal topic, please see the Liberty Law Media Guide.