Where Are the Lawyers of America?

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Nader, controversial, especially to the “Anybody But Bush” crowd who continue to scapegoat him as the main factor that “lost” the election in 2000, despite a huge amount of evidence that Gore ran a lackluster campaign and finally the election was stolen, is still a powerful reminder of how far this republic has to travel before it begins to live up to its own image.

Who Will Confront the Unprecedented and Unconstitutional Concentration of Executive Power?

BY RALPH NADER

The rogue regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney — so widely condemned for its unconstitutional, criminal Iraq war, its spying on Americans illegally, its repeated illegal torture practices, its arrests and imprisonment of thousands in this country without charges and its
pathological secrecy and corporate corruption — still has not felt the heat of the 800,000 practicing lawyers and their many bar organizations.

Lawyer jokes aside, the first defense outside of government against the rejection of due process, probable cause and habeas corpus should come from the officers of the courts — the attorneys of America. With few exceptions, they have flunked, asleep at the switch or loaded with excuses.

The exceptions are a number of law professors such as David Cole (Georgetown University) and Jonathan Turley (George Washington University) and the magnificent one-year presidency of Michael Greco at the conservative American Bar Association.

Mr. Greco, appalled at the outlaw nature of the Bush White House, now wallowing in the pits of the public opinion polls, organized former counsel to the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI, among others, to produce detailed reports and resolutions assailing the Bush government for repeatedly violating the constitution in numerous ways. (http://www.abanet.org/)

Reports were sent to Mr. Bush personally. He did not even bother to
acknowledge receipt. The ABA has over 400,000 members and is the largest bar association in the world. Not even a courtesy reply from George Bush, the American Caesar.

Unfortunately, the courage of Greco and his colleagues has not been
contagious with hundreds of thousands of lawyers throughout America or the 50 state bar associations who might have taken some action or position to stand after the ABA stood tall in 2005-2006.

Mind you, the climate for lawyers defending the rule of law is quite
enabling. Seventy percent of the American people want out of Iraq and nearly as many would like to see this Presidency end. A poll of soldiers in Iraq back in January 2006 registered 72% of them wanting the U.S. out of Iraq within six to twelve months.

In addition, scores of former Generals and high military officers, retired intelligence officials and diplomats have openly criticized the
intransigence, incompetence and harm to the U.S. national security. These leaders include the national security advisers to Bush’s father, Brent Snowcroft, the anti-terrorism advisor to George W. Bush, Richard Clark, and many others who served in high government office.

With all this in mind, I have been asking lawyers why they do not become directly active in challenging what they themselves believe is a reckless above-the-law Presidency and its enormous concentration of unlawful power. Here are some examples of their replies.

— real estate attorney with a sterling civil liberties background says “I
am just too busy.”

— numerous retired lawyers of considerable accomplishment simply say they are retired.

— mid-career business attorneys say they have too many clients who might object (too much wheeling and dealing to uphold the rule of law in Washington, D.C.).

— public interest lawyers say it is not within their declared mission —
eg. environmental, consumer, poverty or law reform work.

— “Too controversial,” and “I’m not up to it,” announced a prominent trial lawyer.

— “I wouldn’t know where to start and I just need my leisure time,” replied a highly specialized estate and trusts attorney.

And so it goes. Too preoccupied, too many deals in the works, too
controversial, too retired…

The Democratic leadership in the Congress has given Bush/Cheney a giant nod by taking a pass on holding them accountable through impeachment, through conditions in budget bills, through making them answer subpoenas by playing hardball on Bush’s nominees, such as his new choice for Attorney General.

It is up to the lawyers to rally for the Republic. This is deep patriotism, for without upholding our constitution, and the laws of the land, what will become of our country?

What will our children and their grandchildren inherit — a bankrupt
government that contracts out more and more of its core functions to
staggeringly expensive giant corporations seeking limitless profits, while they finance and corrupt politicians to turn their back on the peoples’ needs?

Lawyers are supposed to know how to apply law to raw power. They know how to use the courts, lobby (there are hundreds or thousands of attorneys in each of most Congressional Districts). They can cut through the arcane camouflage of legalese. They know when the laws are being violated and what the remedies are for the violators. They know how to draft legislation. They have contacts and money and are not supposed to be frightened of conflict. The super-lawyers invariably get their calls returned.

Two major terrorist strikes, with a messianic, compulsively-obsessed
President, can do to America what 9 months of nightly bombing by the Nazis could not do to England — move us much closer to a police state.

Where are the stand-up lawyers of America?

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions.

9 comments on “Where Are the Lawyers of America?
  1. Lawyers are the the Wardens of Freedom and Human Rights in Amerika like the Police, Scientists, Experts, Academics, Clergy, Reporters, Politicians, Psychologists…

  2. 9/11 has warmed them out….it is satan’s last…..I AM A HEALER – THE GREAT WHITE BROTHERHOOD- A TEACHER OF PEACE NOT WAR FOR GODS GOLDEN AGE..OUR LORD TAUGHT US TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK – PRAY FOR PEACE – GOD KICKED THEM OUT OF HEAVEN TOO MUCH EGO……..

  3. Any member of a bar association who stands up against the psychotic lawlessness practiced by those in public office will find themselves branded as crazy and disbarred.

    Nothing short of an armed revolt will force the present day criminals out of office and restore the republic and its rule of law.

    All the would-be-king’s police and lawyers have betrayed our republic. There’s no point in asking them to help save the day. They are a huge part of the problem.

    The task has fallen to us. We can’t be the land of the free unless we’re the home of the brave!

  4. Totally agree. However, can I make a suggestion? I want to send this to all the lawyers I know, but the grouping of Granville Cyrano, and especially the intro picture of my historical hero Marx on front page is just not smart. We know the depth and merits of this great man, but many don’t and it allows them an alibi and way out if we present them with a ‘Commie’ tag. That is how ignorant many of them are. They may be smart lawyers but they are still steeped in bourgeois ignorance.How do I email lawyers I know with Marx on page one of Granville. It is simply not intelligent.

  5. they are all sick – we agree god’s plan is peace – so strange to the dark side- Ashtar Command – will take WWIII- GOD’S – order – he still doesn’t recognize god as our father – don’t worry earth is satan is hell – during earth changes they will die – god judged on their nwo already they lost – tricky for them – don’t worry………..SUSAN – A HEALER IN THE GREAT WHITE BROTHERHOOD – AND TEACHER OF PEACE…….

  6. This surprise anyone who knows that lawyers, regardless of their specialized practices, are not going to rock the boat or more directly, bite the hand that feeds them. In order for lawyers to practice ‘law’, they must pass a State exam-the BAR exam. They need state ‘permission’ or licensing to earn a living. So therefore, lawyers, are not accepting the challenge and moreover, many of the States’ legislators were or are LAWYERS…

  7. PEACE FRI – NEW PRESIDENT – NEW MONEY – NO BILLS – ST GERMAIN AND OUR FOUNDING FATHERS PLAN – NESARA – IS WHAT IS WHAT THE DIRTY ROTTEN ROTTEN PEOPLE WOULD NOT SAY – I AM HEALER AND I AM TEACHER OF PEACE AND AD LORD NELSON IN A PAST LIFE – GOD BLESS US ALL – THE GREAT WHITE BROTHERHOOD – SUSAN IN THIS LIFE

  8. HILLARY IS GAY – AL GORE WILL DO A GREAT JOB. DENNS KUINISH IS IMPEACHING DICK CHENNEY NOW………… FOR 9/11 – THE NEOCON WAR IS NOT PART OF OUR BLESSED CONSITUTION…………. SUSAN AGAIN……..THE GREAT WHITE BOTHERHOOD- GLAD TO HELP ONE AND ALL – PEACE BE WITH YOU ..

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