On February 6, 2017 (Monday), Richard Burbidge – President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers –released a statement on behalf of the Academy, condemning attacks on the judiciary branch and the Rule of Law. Judges are ethically unable to comment publicly on cases pending before them and must depend on others to protect them from inappropriate and disrespectful criticism.
Burbidge believes it is the duty of lawyers to protect and defend the Rule of Law and the independence of our judiciary system due to the principles both uphold. The press release was a response to the attacks on United States District Court Judge James Robart, as well as disrespect of the judiciary, the Rule of Law, and a 250-year-old system.
“Judge Robart is not a ‘so-called judge,’” stated Richard Burbidge. “Like the President of the United States, Judge Robart is entitled to the respect afforded a person in his position and the mutual respect upon which our government was founded.”
On February 3, 2017 (Friday), Judge Robart imposed a temporary restraining order against the federal government’s travel ban that restricting thousands of Muslims from entering the United States, suspending it indefinitely. In response, President Donald Trump responded in a series of tweets by questioning the legitimacy of the judiciary branch and blaming the judge for allowing “many very bad and dangerous people” into the country.
“We cannot – and will not – stand silently by as attacks on the independence and integrity of the judicial branch continue,” stated Burbidge. “It is our responsibility as well as our privilege to speak out against threats to these foundational principles of our democracy.”
On February 9, 2017 (Thursday), a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously upheld the restraining order. The federal government was unable to provide evidence that any immigrant from the seven countries affected by the ban has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.
You can read the full statement here: http://www.iatl.net/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=3776