California Lawyers Association

CLA Statement on the Rule of Law and the Judiciary

The mission of the California Lawyers Association (CLA) includes promotion of fairness in the administration of justice and defense of the rule of law.

Current events are an important reminder of core tenets of our Constitutional Democracy and the role of lawyers and judges in it.  As an organization comprised of officers of the court and as a representative of the legal profession, we are called to defend the rule of law, to discourage attacks on the independence of the judiciary, and to support the separation of powers.

The independence and fairness of the justice system is critical to the functioning of society.  It requires a system in which the law is clearly communicated, fairly enforced, and where everybody is accountable to the same laws.   The rule of law restricts the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.

While protected by the First Amendment, if criticism of those who are required to make decisions based on the facts presented, the law, and precedent – whether they be judges, lawyers, jurors, or others involved with the administration of justice is unwarranted, it undercuts the ideals of fair enforcement, impartiality, and the equal application of laws to everyone and denigrates a critical component of our government.  The three co-equal branches of our Constitutional Democracy – Executive, Judicial and Legislative – each play a vital role.  And each must respect the authority of the others.   

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