The Cornerstones of Democracy

The Eleventh Annual Law Day Yosemite was held on Friday, May 5, 2023, at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley. 

President Eisenhower set May 1 as Law Day to celebrate the rule of law and equal rights. Courts and bar associations across the country now participate in the observance, which generally occurs over several weeks in April and May.

The 2023 Law Day Yosemite included a contest for grammar school students. The theme challenged students from participating schools to consider how Elonis v. U.S., 135 S.Ct. 2001 (2015) affects their everyday communications on social media. Students took a deeper dive to analyze if the First Amendment requires proof that a person is serious about following through on a threat posted on social media before a person may be convicted of threatening another person.

After hearing oral arguments by attorneys with the Federal Public Defender's and U.S. Attorney's offices, students acted as "judges" and ruled on this question.


They considered two questions, 1) Does the First Amendment protect all artistic expression on social media, even if the expression is potentially upsetting to another person? And 2) Is it necessary to prove whether the person that posted a "threat" on social media intend it as a threat?

Students from Coarsegold Elementary, El Portal Elementary, Greeley Hill Elementary, Mariposa Elementary, Oak Creek Intermediate, Rivergold Elementary, and Yosemite National Park Valley School participated in the contest. Their submissions were judged on understanding of the subject, originality of thought, argumentation and organization.


The contest winners for Law Day Yosemite 2023 are:

Electronic / Digital Presentation Division:

1st Place Winners - Ava Ritchie & Charlotte Olsen from Coarsegold Elementary

Art Division:

3rd Place Winner - McKenzie Rawls from Greeley Hill

2nd Place Winner - Rylee Barnes from Coarsegold Elementary

1st Place Winner - Emily Kirby from Oak Creek Intermediate

Poetry Division:

3rd Place Winner - Erin Norris from Rivergold

2nd Place Winner - Tallulah Barend from Yosemite Valley School

1st Place Winner - Jenesis Duren from Coarsegold Elementary

Essay Division:

3rd Place Winner - Angela Henderson from Greeley Hill / Coulterville

2nd Place Winner - Kate Vanlandingham from Oak Creek Intermediate

1st Place Winner - Clarisse Beaumont from Rivergold





Law Day Yosemite 2023 was led by Master of Ceremonies, the Honorable Judge Helena Barch-Kuchta. The Clovis West High School Jazz band performed. 
















Law Day Yosemite is sponsored by the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the Federal Bar Association with the generous support of the National Park Service, Yosemite Conservacy, Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce, Mariposa Yosemite Rotary Club #589, Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Fresno State, Bill of Rights Institute, Aramark, Costco Wholesale, Jimmy John's, American Pistachio Growers, Sun-Maid, Seng-ADR, The Law Offices of Kevin G. Little, McCormick Barstow, LLP, Fear Waddell, PC, Chandler Law, Miles, Sears & Eanni, PC, Karen Lynch Attorney at Law, Carol Moses Attorney at Law, and Riley & Kristine Walter.

For more information, please contact Carol Moses, or call (559) 449-9069.