American Lawyers Defending the Constitution Statement

It is my pleasure to provide you with a quick update about the progress of the American Lawyers Defending the Constitution campaign.

When we launched the project in early November, our hope was to bring together more than 1,000 lawyers and law students in a relatively short period of time.  Starting from scratch, it seemed like a lofty goal.  But as of today, more than 1,900 lawyers and law students have signed the statement to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, calling for hearings into the unconstitutional and potentially criminal activities of the Bush administration.  (This statement is included at the end of this email.)  Thank you for adding your name to the statement!

With respect to participating organizations, we are pleased to have the following organizations involved in this project:  Alliance for JusticeAmerican Freedom AgendaCenter for Constitutional RightsEqual Justice Society, and National Lawyers Guild.

Before delivering the statement to Chairmen Conyers and Leahy, we want to have at least 2,000 lawyers and law students signed on.  If you have not yet asked your friends, colleagues, and family members in the law to sign the statement, please forward this message so that they can sign up by following this link:

http://www.americanfreedomcampaign.org/lawyers

Before the holiday break, we held a telephone press conference to introduce the campaign to the media.  We were joined by Marjorie Cohn of the National Lawyers Guild, Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department lawyer who raised awareness about destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice in the Bush administration more than four years ago.  The press conference led to mentions on The Nation online and Huffington Post, and spokespeople appeared on more than half a dozen radio programs across the country, including the nationally-syndicated Thom Hartmann program.

Moving forward, we will continue to press Congress to assert its oversight power and hold the Bush administration responsible for its actions.  This includes passing contempt resolutions against former and current White House officials who have defied congressional subpoenas related to the U.S. Attorneys scandal.  The House leadership has delayed this process for nearly six months and it is time for a vote on the floor to hold White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in contempt.

When we have specific opportunities for action, either online or in person, we will let you know.  When we do, we hope that you will continue to be active in this effort to defend our Constitution.

Best,Steve

Steve FoxCampaign DirectorAmerican Freedom Campaign

==========================

The American Lawyers Defending the Constitution statement:

Message to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy fromAmerican Lawyers Defending the Constitution

We are lawyers and law students in the United States of America.  As such, we have all taken (or will be taking) an oath obligating us to defend the Constitution and the rule of law from those who would violate and subvert them, and to hold wrongdoers accountable.We believe the Bush administration has committed numerous offenses against the Constitution and may have violated federal laws.  Evidence exists that it has illegally spied on Americans, tortured and abused men and women in its direct custody, sent others to be tortured by countries like Syria and Egypt, and kept people in prison indefinitely with no chance to challenge the bases of their detention.  Moreover, the administration has blatantly defied congressional subpoenas, obstructing constitutional oversight of the executive branch.Thus, we call on House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to launch hearings into the possibility that crimes have been committed by this administration in violation of the Constitution, federal statutes, and international treaties.  We call for the investigations to go where they must, including into the offices of the President and the Vice President.  Should these hearings demonstrate that laws have in fact been broken by this administration, we support all such legal and congressional actions necessary to ensure the survival of our Constitution and the nation we love.

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