A Call to Action


Far more eloquently than I have previously argued, Scott Horton called for action from the organized bar associations at No Comment last week:

It’s also time for the organized bar to act decisively. So far bar organizations have denounced the torture memoranda and issued learned reports and articles. But I’m still haunted by a question a student put to me following a presentation I made at Columbia University on Tuesday evening. “If the bar is so serious about this,” the student said, “then explain to me how it’s possible that John Yoo and his confederates haven’t been disbarred.” I started to answer about the complexity of the disbarrment process, but I stopped. The student was right. If the bar were serious about this, it should have used its disciplinary tools to deal with it. This is not a case of an eccentric academic mouthing some cock-eyed theories. It is about a government official using the power of a government office to induce people to commit serious crimes. (Emphasis supplied.)

* * *

Silence will buy us a continuation of this corruption of our nation. But isn’t it worth raising your voice and articulating your anger to get our country back? It should start with insisting that Congress use the tools it has–oversight and the budget–to force changes.

Mr. Horton is correct both in his description of what is at stake and his conclusion that action is required. Like Mr. Horton, I also encourage everyone to lobby Congress.

In addition to lobbying Congress, I would also encourage citizen activists to file grievances with the various bar associations against these attorneys. Note that you, an individual, can only lobby Congress to begin fulfilling its oversight role. However, each of you, can file a grievance against each and every one of these enabling attorneys even if you live in a different state and even if you have nothing to do with the case. You can force the bar associations to begin to take action.

It definitely is time for action.

E.M.

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5 Responses

  1. Good call. I’ll write about this soon. Did you see this piece from Horton a while ago? I missed it, but it says what I’ve been trying to figure out how to say about the rule of law for a while now:

    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/03/0081943

    Always good to see a new post from you.

    :)

  2. This is really a very good idea. The more I consider it, the more I like it. It would be good for me to do a simple post and focus on one attorney who is both a high-profile figure and a slam-dunk case.

    So,

    Any idea what states Yoo is admitted in? And would it be a good idea to pick one state that’s likely to take complaints seriously and focus on the bar association there?

  3. Also, since you already have the factual claims for complaints against these 4 attorneys, I’ll let folks know they can use the info you’ve provided to file grievances.

  4. Let me make sure I understand the process for filing a Grievance:

    1. Print a copy of the factual claims against them that you’ve posted.
    2. Print a copy of a Grievance form from the appropriate state.
    3. Fill out form and attach fact sheet.
    4. Mail to the bar association.
    5. Include the web address so anyone who investigates can find links to the supporting information.

    Is that the process? Just want to make sure. I’m trying to put together a post on this, and want to be sure I get the information correct for anyone who wants to do this.

  5. Let me make sure I understand the process for filing a Grievance:

    1. Print a copy of the factual claims against them that you’ve posted.
    2. Print a copy of a Grievance form from the appropriate state.
    3. Fill out form and attach fact sheet.
    4. Mail to the bar association.
    5. Include the web address so anyone who investigates can find links to the supporting information.

    Is that the process? Just want to make sure. I’m trying to put together a post on this, and want to be sure I get the information correct for anyone who wants to do this.

    Also, just to be sure: It’s true that you can file a grievance in any state, regardless of where you live, right?

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