DALLAS (March 5, 2020) — Ongoing attacks on the judicial branch and the jury system, made by both the executive and legislative branches of government, diminish the integrity of our American jurisprudence and cannot be countenanced.
Whether the criticism is directed toward justices of the United States Supreme Court, appellate or trial judges, the jury system, or individual jurors as they fulfill their respective roles in our justice system, such statements erode the rule of law and the fundamental guiding principles of our constitutional system of separation of powers.
The text of the Declaration of Independence specifically seeks to disavow a government that makes judges dependent on a singular party’s will for the tenure of their office and that deprives the people of the right to trial by jury. While civil discussion of legal decisions is fair and proper, servants of our judicial branch and jury trials who safeguard the fair administration of justice should never be mocked, belittled or threatened for carrying out their professional or civic duties.
The judicial branch and our citizen jurors are deserving of and entitled to be free of harassment and intimidation.
Where elected officials or others attempt to exert undue influence upon the courts, it is just, right, and necessary to denounce those who seek to denigrate a co-equal branch of government, who fail to uphold the doctrine of the separation of powers, or who act in self-interest rather than in the interest of the people. The American Board of Trial Advocates calls upon members of all branches of government to cease any further attacks on members of the judicial branch or citizens who serve in jury trials.
— Luther J. Battiste, III National President, American Board of Trial Advocates