Republican National Lawyers Association | (RNLA)
Republican National Lawyers Association | (RNLA)


Message From the President
-Mr. Elliot Berke

Photo - Mr. Elliot Berke
Mr. Elliot Berke
As we enter the second year of the Trump presidency, Republican attorneys have much to celebrate. Read Rich Kisielowski’s article on President Trump’s excellent judicial nominees.

In addition to restoring the rule of law to the federal judiciary through new judges who respect the role of the courts, the text of statutes and regulations, and the separation of powers, President Trump’s appointees are restoring the rule of law across the Executive Branch. This is especially notable at the Department of Justice, where Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been working to undo eight years of politicization under President Obama. As we see from almost daily new revelations, his task is extremely difficult, as the partisan operation of the Justice Department became deeply entrenched under Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

But in less than a year under Jeff Sessions, the DOJ has: enforced criminal laws and restored respect for law enforcement, drastically reducing violent crime rates that had skyrocketedunder President Obama; ended third-party settlement practices that benefited liberal organizations; settled with non-profit organizations that were suing over the IRS’ infringement of their rights; made many decisions to respect Congress’ role in setting policy and follow the laws that Congress has passed; instructed federal agencies to follow existing religious liberties laws; enforced existing civil rights laws; and filed amicus briefs and argued at the Supreme Court and lower courts in support of the law and important constitutional rights, instead of in support of liberal policy goals.

Our annual National Policy Conference will explore the various ways that the Trump Administration is restoring the rule of law. It will be Friday, April 27, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We have already announced one distinguished speaker, the Hon. Alex Acosta, and we have another prominent speaker confirmed whom we will announce publicly in the coming weeks. We anticipate that portions of the conference will sell out this year, so register early to secure your spot.

At the conference, we will present the Hon. Edwin Meese III Award and the Betty Murphy Award. We are pleased to announce that Ashley Carter, At-Large Representative for the DC State Board of Education and the only Republican elected to citywide office in DC, will be given the Betty Murphy Award. Read more about Ashley Carter in Brittany Walker’s article.

In terms of news, after 35 years, the New Jersey consent decree that prohibited the Republican National Committee from engaging in ballot security activities finally ended earlier this month. The judge noted that despite extensive nationwide efforts to discover violations of the decree by the RNC, the Democratic National Committee had not shown any violation “by a preponderance of the evidence.” The RNLA, along with state parties and other Republican organizations, stepped up to be a leader in Election Day operations while the consent decree was in effect, and the RNLA will continue its efforts to ensure that every eligible voter is able to vote and that the votes of ineligible voters are not counted.

Redistricting litigation has been very active in the past few months. In October, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, a partisan gerrymandering case out of Wisconsin. RNLA Chair John Ryder wrote an excellent analysis of the issues in the case for the Wall Street Journal. On March 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Benisek v. Lamone, a partisan gerrymandering case out of Maryland, and it has granted cert in Abbott v. Perez, a Voting Rights Act and racial gerrymandering case out of Texas. There have been many recent, significant decisions from lower courts as well. Read a summary of recent orders here, and an analysis of Monday’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision here.

Follow the RNLA on Twitter, like the RNLA on Facebook, or subscribe to TheRepLawyer blog to receive updates on redistricting, judicial nominations, the Trump Administration’s efforts to restore the rule of law, and other important news.

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