Press Release

1,000+ Lawyers and Public Officials Sign Statement of Principles in Support of the Rule of Law

July 10, 2024

Statement by the Society for the Rule of Law affirms America’s founding and constitutional principles; endorsed by leading figures and institutions from across the legal community.

WASHINGTONJuly 11, 2024 – More than 1,000 attorneys, law students, judges, concerned citizens, and former public officials signed a new Statement of Principles issued by the Society for the Rule of Law re-affirming the legal community’s commitment to America’s founding principles. The statement calls on citizens to respect the courts and the rule of law, and defend our legal institutions at a time when they are under unprecedented threats from illiberal forces. 

The Society is a nationwide membership organization of legal conservatives and others of all political leanings who are alarmed at the current threats to American democracy. The “Statement of Principles to Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and American Democracy” affirms that all American citizens — especially public officials charged with enacting and enforcing America’s laws — have a constitutional duty to:

  • Accept the legitimacy, respect the authority, and abide by the decisions and judgments of the federal courts interpreting the Constitution and laws of the United States
  • Respect the rule of law by honoring the truth and speaking against untruths that undermine respect for the Constitution, the rule of law, and the courts 
  • Oppose efforts to undermine respect for the federal courts and the individual justices and judges who serve in the judiciary
  • Support and defend the fundamental American principle that no person is above, beneath, or beyond the law
  • Defend the constitutional rights of all Americans, respect the results of elections, and insist upon the peaceful transfer of power

The Statement comes at a time when American democracy and the rule of law are under unprecedented attack. In recent years, courts and individual judges have faced campaigns of intimidation from those, including public officials, who believe the 2020 election was “stolen,” that the Department of Justice and state courts have been “weaponized” against political adversaries, and that the courts and even the Supreme Court itself is “illegitimate.” These baseless attacks have led to threats of violence as well as actual attacks against judges, their families, and others.

In addition, many prominent lawyers played key roles in the subversion of the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election, leading in some cases to their disbarment and criminal charges. The Society’s work in general — and the Statement of Principles in particular — are meant to serve as a counteroffensive against these efforts to undermine our democratic and legal institutions.

The Statement is open for all to sign, and signatories do not have to be attorneys or Society members. Individuals are encouraged to sign in their own capacity, and the Society also welcomes other bar and community organizations to endorse the principles. The Statement will serve as a show of force that there remains an overwhelming number of Americans who stand against authoritarianism and lawlessness, and who are committed to serving as a bulwark in support of America’s democracy and rule of law at this critical moment in our history. 

Signatories of the Statement can be viewed here and include:

  • Dennis Aftergut, Lawyers Defending American Democracy
  • Donald Ayer, Former Deputy Attorney General of the United States
  • Grant Aldonas, Former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade; Former Chief International Trade Counsel, U.S. Senate Finance Committee
  • John Bellinger, Former Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council; Former Legal Adviser to the Department of State  
  • Nathan Bergerbest, Former President, California Republican League; Former Executive Committee, California Republican Party
  • Phillip Brady, Former Assistant and Staff Secretary to the President; Former Deputy Counsel to the President
  • Armeane Choksi, Former Vice President of the World Bank
  • Barbara Comstock, Former Congresswoman
  • George Conway, Board President, Society for the Rule of Law
  • Robert Corn-Revere, Chief Counsel, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression 
  • James Dick, Former Counsel to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board
  • Mickey Edwards, Former Congressman
  • Timothy Forde, Former Senior Counsel, U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • Stuart Gerson, Former Acting Attorney General of the United States
  • Thomas Griffith, Former Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • Joseph Grodin, Former Justice, California Supreme Court
  • Jack Giraudo, Former Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Seth Hurwitz, Former Counsel to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board
  • Peter Keisler, Former Acting Attorney General of the United States
  • Khizr Khan, Gold Star Parent and President, Democracy and Constitution Institute
  • Robert Kruger, Former Associate Counsel to the President Ronald
  • J. Michael Luttig, Former Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Tom Malinowski, Former Congressman 
  • Michael Merz, Former Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • Alberto Mora, Former General Counsel, Department of the Navy; Former Associate Executive Director for Global Programs, American Bar Association 
  • Christopher Morris, Board Member, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Gregg Nunziata, Executive Director, Society for the Rule of Law; Former Chief Nominations Council, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Trevor Potter, President, Campaign Legal Center
  • John Rader, Former Judge, Circuit Court of Warren County, Indiana
  • Alan Raul, Former Associate Counsel to the President
  • Jonathan C. Rose, Former Special Assistant to the President; Former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy
  • Paul Rosenzweig, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Andrew Sagor, Office of the Secretary of State (Ret.)
  • Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Goldwater Institute
  • Robert Shanks, Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
  • Charlie Sykes, Political Commentator and MSNBC Contributor
  • Chris Truax, Legal Advisor, Republicans for the Rule of Law
  • Stanley A. Twardy, Jr., Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut
  • Joseph E. Turner, Former North Carolina Superior Court Judge 
  • Michelle Van Cleave, Former Head of U.S. Counterintelligence
  • Peter Wallison, Former White House Counsel
  • Thomas Wallitsch, Former Judge, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Walter H. White, Jr., Director, Lawyers Defending American Democracy; Former Wisconsin Commissioner of Securities 
  • Keith Whittington, Princeton University
  • Margaret Workman, Former Justice, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Everyone is invited to sign this Statement by clicking here. We also encourage any organizations, including but not limited to bar groups, to make the Statement their own by also signing a version available here.

To be connected with leadership from the Society for the Rule of Law to discuss the Statement of Principles, and the broader issue of threats against the rule of law, please contact Tony Franquiz at [email protected].

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