During a Sunday appearance on New York City WABC 770 AM radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz reacted to the State of New York suspending Rudy Giuliani’s law license over his claims of fraud in the 2020 election.
Dershowitz warned of the “danger” of allowing Giuliani to be disbarred “without a hearing.” He argued that equal justice for all is now “mortally wounded.”
“I taught legal ethics for, I don’t know, 35 years at Harvard Law school. I think of myself as a leading expert on legal ethics. I’ve never ever seen a case where a lawyer was essentially disbarred … without a hearing,” Dershowitz outlined. “I mean, the most basic concept of due process is you don’t deprive somebody of his living, of his freedom, of his ability to work without a hearing. And then the criteria under which they suspended his law license is so vague. It says in the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a third person. In other words, if he goes on your show, or he goes on my podcast, or he goes on Fox or anywhere else, and he makes a statement which turns out to be false, and he had reason to believe it was false, he could be disbarred. Do you know how many lawyers we’d have left if we applied that standard across the board? … We have case after case after case where prosecutors, defense attorneys, lawyers of every kind, have made statements … which turn out to be untrue, and they’re never disbarred. And certainly not without a hearing. And so, this is a first. … The atmosphere is such today that if you defended President Trump in any way, they’re out to get you. And they’re certainly out to get Rudy Giuliani.”
“The idea of holding lawyers to this standard of truth-telling when they’re on television is a whole new ballgame. It will chill free speech. It will chill advocacy,” he added.
Host John Catsimatidis asked if the words “equal justice for all” are dead.
“I think they are mortally wounded,” Dershowitz replied. “I don’t think we’re seeing equal justice for all. I think we’re seeing selective justice. … When a prosecutor runs for office, like the attorney general of New York ran for office on the promise that she will get Donald Trump, is that equal justice? Or is that show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime?”
“Whether you’re a Democrat or a conservative or a liberal or progressive or anybody, you should be concerned about this Giuliani decision because today it’s used against Giuliani. Tomorrow it will be used against radical lawyers on the left. It will be used against other conservative lawyers. It will be used against Democrats. It will be used against Republicans,” he continued.
Dershowitz added, “You know, that’s what happens in banana republics. That’s what happens in tyrannical regimes.”
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