Letter to Congress


During the last year, I’ve been working with other lawyers in a nonpartisan organization called Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD). LDAD’s goal is to mobilize lawyers around the country to speak out against President Trump’s pattern of undermining fundamental principles of American democracy.

On February 21, 2019, LDAD published an Open Letter addressed to the President and the Congress.  It laid out our view as dispassionately as possible. You can find it at www.lawyersdefendingdemocracy.org.

We addressed the letter to the Congress because we believe it has a unique capacity (and responsibility) to remind the people what the country’s fundamental principles are and to hold accountable those who violate them. Hundreds of active or retired lawyers, including law deans and professors, law firm managing partners and partners, and State Assistant Attorneys General, and former judges, State Attorneys General and senior government executives from across the country have lent their names to the Open Letter.

In the intervening months, the assault on our values has not abated; rather, it has accelerated.  We have therefore issued a second statement: https://lawyersdefendingdemocracy.org/stop-attacks

It describes those values and the continued assault on them.  We also issued a press release describing prominent Statement supporters, including Professors Laurence Tribe and Charles Fried:

Because you are a fellow lawyer and Member of Congress, we hope that you will publicly endorse the Statement, share it with other legislators (not only lawyers) on both sides of the aisle, and have it published in the Congressional Record.

Scott Harshbarger
Chair, Lawyers Defending American Democracy
Former Massachusetts Attorney General and President of Common Cause