History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner

Case Look-up Courts Directories Educational Resources E-Services Juror Information Online Media Resource Center Opinions Opportunities Self-Help Frequently Asked Questions Home Attorneys Espanol menu







Old State House, Hartford, CTLaw Day 2010

Supreme Court Celebrates Law Day By Hearing Cases at Old State House


HARTFORD, May 26, 2010—Its surroundings have changed but the building remains the same. The Old State House, the one-time center of all things governmental, political and judicial in Connecticut, stands amid traffic islands and high rises, its brick exterior a testament to its historic past. 

Throughout its 214-year history, a state was run from here and laws passed; dignitaries from home and afar spoke here—including the Chief Justice files into Old State House courtroomMarquis de Lafayette, General Philip Henry Sheridan and President Andrew Johnson. And, from 1796 to 1878, the Connecticut Supreme Court heard cases there.

That’s why the Connecticut Supreme Court decided to hear cases in the Old State House courtroom to celebrate Law Day and its 2010 theme, Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges. 

“This building holds a special place not just in the Hartford community but in our state history and certainly the history of the Connecticut Supreme Court,” said Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers. “Thanks to their stewardship, the Court has now been in session in this courtroom at least once for each of the last four centuries. We hope that tradition will continue for centuries to come.” 

Following the morning’s cases, the Justices adjourned for lunch and then returned for a very special program that honored the events of the past and looked forward to those of the future. 

Supreme Court welcomes guests to Old State House“Law Day has become an annual opportunity to enhance public knowledge of our justice system as we honor the freedoms that we, as Americans, enjoy,” said Chief Justice Rogers. “This year’s Law Day theme, Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges presents a perfect opportunity to learn about—and celebrate—some Connecticut traditions.” 

To enumerate the Old State House and its place in American History, Dr. Matthew Warshauer, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, was asked to address the Law Day gathering. 

“Today we are standing on historical ground in an historical city,” said Dr. Warshauer. “Whenever I come into this building—now granted I am an historian and somewhat a history geek—I always Dr. Matthew Warshauerfeel a sense of being in a special place, walking where people have walked before me who have been the center of our State, the center of our political system, the center of our Legislature, the center of our Judicial Branch.

“These are the people—sometimes for good or bad—who have led our state and led our nation into the future,” he added. “I would argue that much of the history of our country comes back to this place that we are sitting in today.” 

Though clearly in awe of the building and its past, Warshauer went on to explain that it also stands as a beacon for upholding the Constitution.  

“Since the founding of this nation, before the ink was dry on The Declaration of Independence, before the ink was dry on our Constitution there were disputes about what the documents meant and where they would lead us and what the roleAtty. Francis j. Brady at podium of government—either Federal or State—was in the lives of our citizens. 

“These are arguments that have been around since the founding of our Republic,” he added, “and one of the things that the Founders constantly reminded us of is to remain vigilant as citizens—to keep our eyes on the government, keep our eyes on the law and abide by the law—this was one of the most important things that separated us from other nations and their systems of government.” 

Following Dr. Warshauer’s speech, Attorney Francis J. Brady, President of the Connecticut Bar Association, spoke to the future of law. 

Following their remarks, Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers and Sally WhippleChief Justice Rogers presented a plaque which read:  In recognition of the Members of the Board of Directors and staff of the Old State House for your efforts to preserve the Old State House and its place in the community, so that future generations may benefit from its legacy. 

She then presented the plaque to Sally Whipple, Director of Education and Community Programming for the Old State House. 

After the presentation, Chief Justice Rogers ordered the ceremony adjourned and the Supreme Court Justices—following in the footsteps of history—filed out of the Old State House.




 Top  |  Law Day Ceremonies at Hartford Superior Court

Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQs | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Policies and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2016, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch