For Immediate Release - November 12, 2015

Supreme Judicial Court to Host Magna Carta Exhibit on 800th Anniversary

BOSTON, MA -- In recognition of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will host “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215 – 2015” in the Great Hall of the John Adams Courthouse from November through January.

The traveling exhibit was developed by the American Bar Association, the Library of Congress, and the Law Library of Congress. The exhibit features thirteen banners reflecting images of Magna Carta and other manuscripts and objects that illustrate Magna Carta's influence throughout the centuries. The exhibit will be displayed in the Great Hall of the John Adams Courthouse, and will open November 19, where it will be viewable to the public Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until January 7, 2016.

"The principles found in Magna Carta played a fundamental role in establishing the supremacy of the law in our constitutional, democratic society, including concepts embraced by the Founding Fathers in the Bill of Rights," said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants. "The rule of law had its birth in the meadow of Runnymede."  

The Supreme Judicial Court, originally called the Superior Court of Judicature, was established in 1692 and is the oldest appellate court in continuous existence in the Western Hemisphere.

The Massachusetts Constitution is the oldest, still functioning written constitution in the world.

"Magna Carta has a special connection to the Supreme Judicial Court," said Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy.  "The seal of the court, which dates from 1785, is based directly on the Magna Carta and states, in Latin, 'We sell justice to no one; we deny justice to no one.' These promises are the foundation of this nation's commitment to an independent judicial branch of government sworn to uphold the rule of law."

The exhibit has travelled throughout the past year and a half to public buildings such as courthouses, law schools, universities, state houses and public libraries around the United States. For more information about the American Bar Association's “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015” exhibit, visit http://ambar.org/mctravelingexhibit .

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

The Law Library of Congress was established in 1832 with the mission to make its resources available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 5 million items in various formats, the Law Library of Congress contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources from all countries and provides online databases and guides to legal information worldwide through its website at www.loc.gov/law/ .

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats.  The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov .  

Magna Carta Exhibit logos