Our system of government is crumbling.
As citizens and as lawyers, we have a choice: hunker down and hope to ride out the storm, or take action and fight for our democracy.
We choose to fight.
For three years, President Trump has demonstrated a complete disregard for the Constitution and rule of law. The majority faction of the U.S. Senate has abandoned its oversight role and abdicated its authority to the President. The President and his appointees are using government agencies to benefit the President personally, politically and financially. The Department of Justice, which must be an independent enforcer of the law, is being corrupted by the President and his Attorney General. In the rush to fill federal judgeships, judicial nominees who are demonstrably unqualified are being rammed through Senate confirmation. And the media are under constant attack from the President and others in power.
That leaves us, we the people. As lawyers, we have a particular obligation to protect and defend the Constitution, the rule of law, and our governmental institutions. We must step up according to our own abilities and inclinations – any action, large or small, contributes to the greater cause. What is most important is to do something.
Immediate Action Item
In solidarity with the New York City Bar Association, call for Congress and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General to begin immediate investigations into the President’s public comments critical of the prosecution of his associates; and the Department of Justice’s contradiction of the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendations in the Roger Stone case that appears to have been made on behalf of the President for his personal benefit.
Resources and Useful Links
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Contact the Washington D.C. Field Office Online >>
Find and Contact Your Representative >>
Find and Contact Your State Senator >>
Other Suggested Actions
- Support candidates who are committed to protecting and defending the Constitution, restoring a healthy system of checks and balances, and who respect the rule of law.
- Volunteer for or donate to campaigns whether at the local, state or national level.
- Educate others about the threat to our way of life and encourage them to vote.
- Volunteer with or donate to groups dedicated to protecting the right to vote and promoting democracy such as Lawyers for Good Government.
- Call on the American Bar Association leadership to take a strong and decisive stand against the President’s assault on the rule of law and his corruption of our justice system.
- Speak out yourself and urge your local bar association to call for Attorney General Barr to fulfill his ethical and legal obligations as the nation’s top law enforcement officer to maintain an independent Justice Department free of political interference; and that his duty is to serve the nation as a whole, not the President as an individual.
- Write opinion pieces for your state or local newspaper and educate your friends and neighbors about the President and his enablers’ efforts to undermine our system of government, their disregard for equal enforcement of the law, and their attempts to bully into silence public servants who are dedicated to serving the public interest and not their ignoble acts.
- Support those in Congress who are striving to hold the President accountable for his actions that violate the Constitution and the law; and remind the others that their loyalty belongs to the people, not one man.
- Write or call your Senators to ask that they stop the rush on judicial confirmations and call for the nomination of qualified judges who will bring a fair and balanced view to the judiciary.
- Support local and national media outlets.
- Run for office.
- Attend rallies that support public interest causes.
- Offer free legal services or donate to organizations serving threatened or underserved populations such as immigrants and those in need.
"Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom, decency and justice." ~ Robert F. Kennedy
Stand Up and Be Counted
Though we may take actions separately, there is power in numbers. You can help us show the nation and the world that America’s lawyers are taking a stand for democracy by signing the statement below.
"I stand for America’s democracy and will take what actions I can to protect and defend the Constitution, the rule of law, and our system of government."