2017 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt, Chief Judge Nick St. Peter to host exhibit on the Magna Carta

Release Date: Aug 25, 2017

WINFIELD – (August 25, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Chief Judge Nick St. Peter 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 Winfield Public Library during the month of September. School classes, youth groups, civic clubs and members of the public are invited to visit the display during regular library hours, which are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

“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. “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.

“Everyone should come and learn more about the formation and contents of the Magna Carta,” St. Peter said. “The basic concepts of protection contained in the Magna Carta include the rights to bring grievance against the government, to trial by jury, due process, arraignment, and the right against cruel and unusual punishment. The most important principle established by the Magna Carta is that government actions should be based on legal authority.”

Schmidt and St. Peter 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 Cowley County organizations. Those interested in requesting a presentation may contact Jessica Falk by phone at 620-221-4470 or by email at jfalk@wpl.org.

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.

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