Statement on the Passing of Charles Fried

January 24, 2024

Charter Member and beloved friend, 1935 – 2024.

The following statement was issued by the leadership of the Society for the Rule of Law in response to the passing of Charles Fried:

Those of us who had the privilege of calling Charles a friend over the years mourn his loss and cherish the rich legacy he leaves behind. Throughout his life, he distinguished himself as a sterling legal mind and first-rate teacher, scholar, practitioner, and friend. He demonstrated a generosity of spirit, a public-mindedness, and a dedication to serving others that is rare and getting rarer.

Charles served as a Charter Member of the Society for the Rule of Law, and helped stand up the organization years ago when it was still known as Checks & Balances. He was one of the first to recognize the acute threats facing the legal community in particular and America’s Constitutional system in general, and he set about doing something about it.

For those who were close to him, this came as no surprise. Charles was a man of principle, and acting on those principles was a throughline of his life. He helped connect similarly concerned lawyers, jurists, and legal scholars and saw to it that these bonds went beyond the professional. He helped create a community behind a worthy cause. We take seriously our responsibility to carry this community forward in his memory.

Charles embodied the best in what a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a leader can be. He will be sorely missed, but his memory will not be forgotten. Charles’ guiding spirit and wisdom will live on in the hearts and actions of those of us who are fortunate enough to have known him — and will continue to steer his fellow members of the Society for the Rule of Law, which we are grateful he helped create.