Faculty Notes

Prof. Ellen Yaroshefsky Quoted in NACDL Comprehensive Statement on President Trump’s Relentless Attacks

Official photo of Hofstra Law faculty member Ellen Yaroshefsky, the Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics and Executive Director of the Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics

Comprehensive NACDL Statement on President Trump’s Relentless Attacks on the Judiciary and the Judicial Process
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Feb. 26, 2020

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the nation’s criminal defense bar, and its members are duty-bound to the U.S. Constitution which established a separation of powers, with three co-equal branches of government, a system of checks and balances, and the defense function itself. NACDL decries government abuse and any attempt to corrupt the very rule of law enshrined in that foundational document, which is protected by the integrity and independence of the American judiciary.

Professor Ellen Yaroshefsky, who serves as the NACDL Ethics Advisory Committee Co-Chair said:

“The Constitution with which our nation is blessed provides the very structure of our legal and political order. And underlying our judicial system is a fundamental and bedrock respect for the rule of law. These norms were established hundreds of years ago, including as reflected in the Marbury v. Madison decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court wisely held that it had the power to pronounce the law. Improper executive encroachment upon the independence of the judiciary, in individual cases or otherwise, as embodied in the multi-year pattern of judicial assault and abuse by President Trump, is patently anathema to ordered liberty and utterly corrosive to democracy and the rule of law. Indeed, it is the framework of the separation of powers itself, set forth in the Constitution, that is our leading safeguard against tyranny and dictatorship. Federalist Paper No. 47, authored by James Madison, was clear that ‘The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.’ There are many roads to such a tyrannical consolidation of power, and a necessary and sufficient condition to achieve that end is the destruction of the rule of law achieved by undermining the judiciary, its independence, and the judicial process itself. We must never allow that to happen. Ever.”

Read the full statement on the NACDL website.

About the author

Melissa Kessler

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