The Corner

Lawyers or Public-Policy Makers?

This lawyer issue re DOJ appointees has taken an odd turn. No one is saying or has said that lawyers are not free to represent whomever they wish or that anyone should be denied counsel because of their unpopularity. These are straw men, which made the letter signed by some of my friends all the more specious. The fact is that the lawyers who have represented the enemy have been, for the most part, true believers. They were not picked from a list by a judge. They sought out their clients and several of them have spoken in the past about how the ”principles” they were litigating were, in essence, bigger than the individuals they represented. Some of them were part of a strategic group of lawyers who sought out clients for the purpose of fundamentally altering the course of the war. Hence, the identity of the lawyers is certainly relevant not because anyone questions their right to practice law as they choose, but because they are not private-sector attorneys anymore. They are public-policy makers. And as public-policy makers, they are, indeed, answerable to us. The idea that we should not know their identities, their backgrounds, and their agendas is absurd. The lawyers who signed that letter should renounce it as a matter of personal and professional credibility.

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