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February 26, 2020

Philadelphia Bar Association Calls for an End to Unwarranted Attacks on the U.S. Judiciary

Encourages All Americans to Speak Up in Defense of the Constitution and Our Country’s Democratic Principles

In response to recent, unwarranted attacks on the U.S. Judiciary, Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.) of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the nation’s oldest metropolitan Bar Association, issued the following statement:

“As the nation’s oldest metropolitan Bar Association, the Philadelphia Bar Association has always considered certain principles to be imperatives of this Association and of the legal profession. We believe that the rule of law and an independent judiciary are cornerstones of a democracy and of a civilized society.

“Unless these structures and principles are vibrant, and unless we vigorously defend their existence, the dream of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people begins to crumble.

“The rule of law demands that each individual, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown, understands that the law is applied equally to them. We cannot have two systems of justice, one for the rich and connected and one for everyone else.

“Our Constitution provides for a separation of powers through a system of checks and balances which ensures that no single branch of government becomes too powerful.

“An independent judiciary is a necessity if we are to function as a democracy and not as an authoritarian society. Judges need to know that their lawful judgments will be upheld, and that their very legitimacy may not be questioned. Under the rule of law, the way to question or challenge a judicial determination or Order is through an appellate review process.

“Recently, we have seen a course of conduct, including communications meant to exert undue influence on the judiciary, that seems intent on undermining the rule of law and disrupting the system of checks and balances. Such attacks are dangerous in the extreme. We cannot allow them to continue.

“We call for an end to these unwarranted attacks on the judiciary and for all Americans to speak up in defense of the Constitution and our democratic principles.

“A society without laws is not a society; it is chaos. A society without an independent judiciary is not the society that we should value.”

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