By President Emilio Varanini and
Chair Chip Wilkins
The death of George Floyd and others shows us how far removed we still are from justice for all in the 21st century. It is critical to safeguarding the rule of law, preventing discrimination, and ensuring fairness in the administration of justice, that all are treated with full respect and with full protection of our constitutional rights. Many in law enforcement live up to this ideal and practice it each and every day in service to the rule of law. But where law enforcement falls short of this ideal, they must be held accountable.
These issues often show up in ways that do not become the subject of national or international news. More needs to be done to address systemic racism before we can truly have justice for all. In the coming days, officers, board members, Section members, and CLA staff will be discussing what we can do as an organization on behalf of our members, the profession, and the public to address structural racism and discrimination in the 21st century and to ensure justice for all. We have an iron-clad commitment to the rule of law and to diversity through the work of our Sections, through our committees dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and through the advocacy work of CLA in multiple forums. But we will do more and welcome your feedback as part of those efforts.
The right to assemble and peacefully protest must be respected as must be the freedom of the press to cover such protests. Where laws are not applied fairly and equitably, the voice of the People must be heard to effectuate change.
We hope you all stay safe and healthy and ask that we all stick together because it is together that we will get through and achieve an even stronger position to serve the public, ensure fairness in the administration of justice, and ensure the rule of law for our diverse state. If there is more that we can do for you, the profession, the courts, or the public, please let us know.
California Lawyers Association
Howard “Chip” Wilkins
Chair, Board Of Representatives, California Lawyers Association