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Montgomery Decries Contempt for Rule of Law

Urges attorneys to join coalition defending democracy.

April 6, 2017 -- Boston College Law School's annual Scholarship Dinner, held at the Four Seasons. Photo by Caitlin Cunningham (  Photograph by Caitlin Cunningham

John T. Montgomery ’75, former First Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and retired managing partner at Ropes & Gray, was among more than 200 attorneys, including several others with ties to BC Law, who stepped forward April 25 to defend American democracy and the rule of law.

The attorneys (who now surpass 500) include former federal and state judges, United States Attorneys, managing partners of large law firms, law deans, and other distinguished lawyers from around the country who banded together under the name Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) to author an open letter demanding that President Donald Trump honor the fundamental principles, norms, and values of our democracy.

“As lawyers, we have the responsibility to defend the underlying constitutional values and norms of political behavior on which our democracy depends,” the lawyers wrote in the letter. “These core values and principles include: the rule of law; institutional checks and balances; separation of powers; press freedom; truthfulness to the public; and the integrity of our system of justice. Accordingly, we, as lawyers, cannot ignore or remain silent about President Donald Trump’s disregard of these core values. We must speak out.”

The attorneys are being led by Scott Harshbarger, former national president of Common Cause and two-term Attorney General of Massachusetts.

Montgomery is a member of LDAD’s steering committee. Fellow BC Law-connected signers include Professors Robert Bloom ’71 and Mark Brodin, Professor Emeritus Charles Baron, and former Adjunct Professor Thomas Mela; alumnus Ronald H. Rappaport ’75; and former Massachusetts Supreme Court Associate Justice and BC Law 2018 Distinguished Rappaport Visiting Professor Robert J. Cordy.

“For me, the most pernicious aspect of the current attacks by the President on the rule of … law is an underlying contempt [for] the truth, and the intentional efforts to suppress and distort our ability to discover the truth about what our government is doing, or not doing, and why,” Montgomery said. “History teaches us that a successful democracy depends on its citizens having access to, and engaging constantly in a search for, the essential facts and other information necessary to inform actions by our government. I joined LDAD to help marshal and amplify the voices of lawyers on a bipartisan basis to speak knowledgeably and forcefully about the danger that our democracy faces from these attacks.”

He encourages others to learn more and sign on at