On February 26, in a press release entitled “Constitution Project Applauds DOJ Initiative to Improve Indigent Defense,” the Constitution Project issued the following statement upon the appointment of Professor Laurence Tribe to head its new Access to Justice Office:
“In Justice Denied: America’s Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel, a bipartisan committee of experts sponsored by the Constitution Project recommends urgent federal attention to the crisis in our country’s indigent defense system. The Justice Department’s appointment of Harvard law professor Laurence H. Tribe to lead an effort to improve access to lawyers for those unable to afford one is an important step toward fulfilling the recommendations of the National Right to Counsel Committee.”
In an interview with Federal News Service immediately after Professor Tribe’s appointment, Constitution Project President Virginia Sloan elaborated on the appointment:
“[A]ppointing someone of the stature of Laurence Tribe, Professor Tribe, to lead this office that is going to be trying to figure out solutions to the indigent defense crisis is a terrific thing. The federal government has a responsibility and it needs to show leadership. It also needs to provide resources because the states simply don’t have the resources to provide this representation and the federal government needs to step in.”
The Constitution Project has long advocated for improved access to justice in a variety of areas, including indigent defense, the treatment of terrorism suspects, capital punishment, judicial independence, and other areas where the justice system has failed to provide adequate constitutional safeguards and protections for all who come before its courts. We welcome a partnership with Professor Tribe and have no doubt that his expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment to expanding access to justice will play a major role in achieving our mutual goals.
Click here for full press release.