While COVID-19 presents a severe danger to the nation’s health and economy, Attorney General Barr presents a serious danger to our democracy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2019
BOSTON – More than 300 attorneys nationwide, including former judges, state and federal officials, today published an Open Letter calling for U.S. Attorney General William Barr to resign as the nation’s top law enforcement official.
“[Attorney General] Barr’s behavior,” the Letter states, “undermines both the appearance of impartial justice and impartial justice itself.”
Among the major reasons given for calling for Attorney General Barr to resign is his concept of an imperial executive. The Letter calls Barr’s concept “antithetical to the fundamental principles of American constitutional democracy.”
“The Attorney General’s empowering of the President with these radical, anti-democratic ideas makes him unfit to serve as Attorney General of the United States,” states LDAD co-founder Scott Harshbarger.
Among the signatories is Joseph Grodin, former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, Richard Meserve, President Emeritus, Carnegie Institution; former Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, John Macleod, former Chair, Crowell & Moring, and Cheryl Niro, Past President, Illinois State Bar Association.
A congressional hearing investigating Attorney General Barr’s conduct has been postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of COVID-19. While acknowledging the nation’s necessary focus on the virus, Harshbarger urges the public spotlight also be kept on Attorney General Barr.
As John Montgomery, former Managing Partner of Ropes & Gray, observes: “Public confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice is essential to our democracy. Through the actions described in today’s letter, A.G. Barr has so eroded that confidence that he should resign.”
Harshbarger continues, “The Attorney General presents a serious, ongoing danger to the integrity and independence of the U.S. Department of Justice and the rule of law in America. Attorney General Barr needs to be held accountable for threatening our constitutional democracy. He needs to resign now, not be allowed to continue to subject the nation to untold risk and escape accountability.”
The national group of lawyers presenting the Open Letter, Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD), formed in late 2018.
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