April 21, 2017
Statement of Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Deborah R. Gross on Respecting Judiciary, Rule of Law
In light of the comments made by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding a U.S. District Court judge in Hawaii, Chancellor Deborah R. Gross issued the following statement on behalf of the 12,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association:
“We are deeply concerned that the pejorative nature of the comments made by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions undermines the integrity and independence of our judiciary. It is disheartening that our Attorney General, who serves as our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, would delegitimize our federal court system, which includes all 50 states, whether or not they are contiguous. All of our federal judges are bound to follow the same laws. Our system of democracy compels our attorney general to respect the rule of law.
“We reaffirm our recent statement noting that attempts to delegitimize and threaten the independence of the judiciary are improper and offensive. Therefore we call on our leaders to show respect for the rule of law, which is the cornerstone of our nation’s democracy.”