Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The debate about Liz Cheney's attacks on DoJ lawyers continues

Over at the Legal Ethics Forum, Prof Andrew Perlman (Suffolk Univ Law School) has posted a short, but very good comment on the issue (available here), in which he argues a similar position to the one I tried to argue in my original post on this whole affair. His argument is as follows: "We should explicitly acknowledge and embrace the idea that lawyers who represent unpopular clients are endorsing a particular set of values. Those values happen to include (among others) safeguarding foundational procedural protections, the need for quality representation in an adversarial system, and ensuring that the government pursues its important work within the bounds of the law. Lawyers who endorse those values should be praised, not criticized. In fact, those lawyers are ideally suited to work in a government department that is supposed to be committed to the cause of justice. Liz Cheney, therefore, is right about one thing: the work of the "al-Qaeda 7" lawyers does reflect their value judgments. By criticizing those lawyers, however, Liz Cheney is really criticizing the values that those lawyers embraced. And by criticizing those values, which are so foundational to America's system of justice, Liz Cheney (ironically) is the one who appears to be endorsing anti-American ideals."

Meanwhile, more and more articles, posts and op-ed pieces are getting published on this same issue. Here is a list of some of the ones I have seen today. Because there are so many coming out every day, rather than posting anew every time I come accross a new article I will just add it to this list, so keep checking this post if you want the latest....

New York Times story

Op-ed from former Attorney General Michael Mukasey

Op-ed piece by Marc Thiessen (supporting Liz Cheney)

Reply to Thiessen's article by Prof. David Luban

Article in the Wall Stree Journal Law Blog

Thanks to John Steele for some of these links.

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