I get all shivery inside thinking about Big Legal Concepts spelled with capital letters, like Fairness, Equality and Justice. I have a new one that I think deserves regard as (at least) a sisterly adjunct. Let “Collaboration” be that newly-capitalized legal concept.
As part of her 2014 State of the Judiciary speech, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke eloquently about the personal meaning of the Civil Rights Act, this year being the 50th anniversary of its passage.
She said (in part): “We commemorate significant anniversaries like this in our shared history because we cherish fairness…Fairness was recently the topic of a short but inspirational film sponsored by the National Association of Women Judges…The film makes the point that the word “fair” is nowhere found in the Constitution but argues that our Founding Fathers created one branch devoted to fairness, the judicial branch…But, if fairness is to be true and to be accessible, it requires collaboration.”
I was very touched by those words — that nowhere in the Constitution is written the word “fairness” and yet there is an entire branch of government dedicated to pursuing and ensuring it. And how? Through collaboration.
Collaboration is what we have been espousing and working toward with our Legal Futures Summit work. Along with SANDALL and other law library colleagues, we stand with the Chief Justice and her call for collaboration to ensure that fairness is true and accessible.