As lawyers and citizens, we are deeply disturbed by the recent spate of attacks by elected officials on the role of our courts in determining issues of law, including personal attacks on judges whose rulings they disagree with. Almost as if predicting this potential situation, Alexander Hamilton argued in the 78th paper of “The Federalist” that only an independent judicial branch of government would be able to impartially check an excessive exercise of power by the other branches and thereby preserve the rule of law in a constitutional democracy.
The Los Angeles County Bar Association reaffirms its unwavering support for the bedrock principle of the separation of powers that protects our democracy, for the principle of judicial independence that is indispensable to that separation, and for the respect for the judicial system that safeguards these principles. We urge the bench, bar, political leaders and the community at large to recognize the importance of authentic civil discourse when we engage in challenging discussions. In doing so, we stand together with the judiciary who are the vital check against abuses of power by other branches of government.
LACBA President Margaret P. Stevens