1,100 Attorneys Nationwide Express Outrage at Unfounded Lawsuits to Undermine the Presidential Election
Photo credit: Matt Slocum, AP
Washington, D.C. – Thirty retired federal and state court judges, one hundred law school professors, sixteen former Bar Association Presidents, including five Presidents of the American Bar Association, and seven former State Attorneys General were among more than 1,170 attorneys nationwide who have joined together to express their outrage and denounce public officials and lawyers making unfounded claims of electoral fraud. Their concerns are outlined in a new Open Letter published today.
Since election night, the President of the United States has directed the filing of court cases seeking to stop ballots from being counted on the grounds that there has been widespread ballot fraud. However, these claims of fraud are without evidence and false, the Letter affirms.
Stuart Gerson, former Assistant U.S. Attorney General under the George H.W. Bush Administration and Acting U.S. Attorney General in the Clinton Administration, states:
“While an apparently-defeated candidate has the right to pursue challenges that are authorized by law, it is an abuse of the rule of law to file charges that lack an objective evidentiary basis, and it is a violation of attorney ethics to represent a party that files such charges purely for political purposes.”
The group sponsoring the Open Letter is Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD). Its leader and co-founder is former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, who said:
“Attorney General Barr continues to violate his obligation to administer justice in the public interest. To enable the President’s partisan self-interest, Mr. Barr aids and abets an unprincipled assault on the foundational vehicle of the world’s most respected democracy – the right to vote. Every lawyer, let alone every citizen, should be appalled.”
Michael Frisch, Ethics Counsel to Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor and signer of today’s Open Letter, expresses deep concern:
“These frivolous lawsuits without any facts or supporting law should be a permanent stain on the reputations of the lawyers and law firms who have lent their names to this thoroughly dishonorable attack on the integrity of our institutions.”
Other prominent signers include:
- Former US Ambassador to Norway, Barry White
- Former General Counsel to:
- Oracle Corporation, Raymond Ocampo
- Public Broadcasting System, Elizabeth Shriver
- Sheraton Corporation, Ron Silberstein
- Former U.S. Congressmen Michael Barnes and James Shannon
- Former President George W. Bush Ethics Counsel Richard Painter
About Lawyers Defending American Democracy
Founded in 2019, Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) is a 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to fostering adherence to the rule of law. LDAD has issued a variety of Open Letters and statements calling for adherence by public officials to the rule of law and encouraging fellow lawyers, the leaders of bar associations, and the legal academy to join in speaking out against threats to the rule of law.
In late May, the group filed two amicus briefs in the case of Michael Flynn and in July co-authored an ethics complaint against Attorney General William Barr, filed with the DC Bar. All letters, statements and briefs are available at lawyersdefendingdemocracy.org/statements/.