Here at LDAD, we think incessantly about the ongoing threats to our democracy. We ask ourselves why the infrastructure of the legal profession – bar associations, law school deans, law firms, and corporate counsel – remain largely silent, as too many states attack the rule of law by implementing unconstitutional statutes and suppressing the right to vote.
We also worry about why the media has continued to fall prey to those who understand that mere repetition of a lie provides the light needed for that lie to grow. Frequently, a newsperson will report a known lie, and even ask the other side to respond, thereby allowing the lie to become an oversized narrative that grips large segments of the country.
Silence has become the default because of the weaponization of a word - the fear of being called “partisan.”
Legal organizations are afraid that speaking out will appear partisan, resulting in member resignations, client anger, or law school trustee disapproval. Similarly, the media is too often unsettled by the threat that they, too, will be accused of being one-sided.
Sadly, these false accusations of partisanship have worked to mute the two professions best equipped to save our democracy: journalism and the legal profession. Of course, there are laudable examples in both of comprehensive reporting, incisive questioning, and important writing. But these are not the norm.
Our democracy is facing threats unlike anything we have seen since the Civil War.
The so-called Big Lie is fast becoming a Big Truth among more than 30% of Americans. States are using the false narrative of voter fraud to push through unconstitutional and dangerous laws on a variety of topics, including laws that will suppress the right to vote and allow for partisan lawmakers to determine that an election is “disputed,” and then step in to “resolve” the dispute.
The time to act is now. The time for lawyers to step up and adhere to the oath they took to protect our Constitution is now. And the time for journalists to doggedly pursue facts and resist the bait of those trying to deflect them is now.
We hope you will join us.
If you have not already signed, please join our call-to-action against the unconstitutional Texas abortion statute.
We also hope you will donate to LDAD to support us in our work. We all are on this journey together as we seek to preserve our democracy for future generations. This is not a drill.
Lauren Stiller Rikleen
Interim Executive Director