Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Chief Judge Van Z. Hampton will host a local display on the history of the Magna Carta — the 13th century document that set the course for democracy in England, and greatly influenced democracy in the United States.
The exhibit will be on display in the lobby of the Ford County Government Center during the month of November. School classes, youth groups, civic clubs and members of the public are invited to visit the display during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
"While the Magna Carta began as a series of grievances from barons in medieval England, the fundamental rights that were laid out in that document were later echoed in our own Declaration of Independence, and have been symbolic of liberty and democracy," Schmidt said in a press release. "I encourage civic clubs, educators and other interested citizens to use this opportunity to discuss our civic history and to engage in learning about the precious system of self-government we have inherited from those who came before."
The Magna Carta has also had great influence on the development of laws.
"This is an opportunity for everyone to be reminded about the origin and effects of the Magna Carta. Its importance and influence in the structure of the government of the United States cannot be overstated," Hampton said in a release. "There are many provisions expressed in the ‘Great Charter’ that recognize and protect the rights of the people.
"The greatest principles derived from the issuance of the Magna Carta are that the power of the sovereign is limited, the people have rights that the government must honor and preserve (including trial by jury), and those that govern are themselves subject to the rule of law. I sincerely hope that everyone who is able will come and observe this display that we are privileged to host."
Schmidt and Hampton encouraged all local residents, and particularly students, to visit the display and learn more about the Magna Carta’s legacy. The attorney general and the judge also said they would help arrange presentations about civics and the rule of law for civic clubs, school groups and other interested organizations. Those interested in requesting a presentation may contact Lucy Cordero by phone at 620-227-4561 or by email at email@example.com.
The exhibit was produced by the American Bar Association in honor of the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary in 2015. Although that anniversary has passed, the exhibit is on traveling display. More information about the display and the Magna Carta is available on the attorney general’s website at www.ag.ks.gov/magna-carta.