Members of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association took turns Friday morning on the courthouse lawn reading the grievances against British rule American colonists listed in a document that became the foundation of a country of people governed by the rule of law.
Chuck Lanehart, a Lubbock attorney, told the dozens of people in the audience that the reading the association members did was similar to how colonists first heard the Declaration of Independence.
“There was no television, there was no radio, there were no telephones, no Twitter, no Facebook,” Lanehart said. “There were newspapers, but 50 percent of the population could not read. And so broadsides were prepared and brought all across the colonies to places like this, townhalls, courthouses, and the Declaration of Independence was read just as we have done today.”
Justin Kiechler, president of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said Friday’s event was aimed at starting off the Independence Day holiday weekend in Lubbock by reminding residents about the principles that provide them the rights and freedoms to celebrate the holiday.
“It’s a lot of fun. We do a lot of cookouts, obviously, as Americans, as Texans, we have fireworks, all the fun and just hanging out and being around family and friends,” he said. “But at the beginning, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, this was a lot more important among traditions about what gave us those freedoms and rights to do these things that we do every day.”
The association members also read the first 10 amendments in the Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights.
“Both documents target absolute tyranny,” Lanehart said. “Both documents are designed to protect the people from government excesses. Both documents identify people void of class or privilege, yet demanding righteous human treatment. The Bill of Rights contains the rules, the tools that we as lawyers use every day in this courthouse and in courthouses across the country.”
The Lubbock lawyer’s association’s reading was part of an annual effort coordinated with the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, which organized similar readings in Texas counties in the days leading up to the Independence Day holiday, said attorney Rusty Gunter.
“Last year, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association was able to have readings in every Texas county across our state as well as other states and in other countries,” he said.