Later today, a letter with over 12,000 signatures of attorneys from all over the country will be delivered to key members of Congress.
The letter, originally drafted by University of Denver law professor Nancy Leong, has garnered such a huge number of signatures in just 60 hours of being online. Leong drafted the letter because “Bannon is on a different level. His website has enabled white supremacists and his public comments show he does not respect the democratic institutions that we as lawyers have sworn to uphold.”
The letter has signers from all types of legal work and all different political persuasions. As Leong described it, “It’s not a partisan issue to support our democratic institutions and oppose a white supremacist, and I hope that what this communicates to vulnerable communities is lawyers have your back in opposing this.”
The full text of the letter is below:
We are more than 12,000 attorneys whose political views span the ideological spectrum. We write to ask that you call upon President-Elect Trump to rescind his appointment of Stephen Bannon as White House Chief Strategist.
As attorneys, we swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. We committed to protect the institutions upon which our democracy depends. We committed to provide zealous representation for all our clients, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic.
Mr. Bannon has demonstrated his opposition to the stable, democratic form of government that our profession embraces and strives to maintain. His words could not be more clear: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too . . . I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” This contempt for our longstanding governmental institutions has no place in a crucial leadership position.
Mr. Bannon has also enabled and promoted white supremacy. Under his leadership, Breitbart News has become what Mr. Bannon himself describes as "a platform for the alt-right" -- another term for white nationalism. Through Breitbart, Mr. Bannon has intentionally legitimized racism, anti-Semitism, and other hate-based ideologies. Such bigotry runs counter to the values enshrined in the Constitution we promised to defend. Indeed, it threatens democracy itself by undermining the equality of all citizens.
Of course we do not dispute that Mr. Bannon has the right to voice his opinions. Indeed, some of us have devoted our careers to safeguarding a robust First Amendment that protects individuals, the media, and other organizations. But these extreme and hateful views do not belong in the White House.
This is not a partisan issue. The white supremacy and political insurgency that Mr. Bannon has embraced and amplified contradicts everything we stand for as attorneys and as Americans.
President-Elect Trump has promised to be “a president for all Americans.” The selection of Mr. Bannon as a key advisor communicates exactly the opposite. We call upon you to take all possible measures to ensure that Mr. Trump rescinds his appointment of Mr. Bannon.
If you are a lawyer and interested, you can still sign onto the letter by clicking this link.