WASHINGTON, DC (October 28) Today a diverse group of more than 100 civic leaders reflecting a broad cross-section of American society — drawing from the legal profession, private sector, higher education, philanthropy, labor, faith-based organizations, think tanks, and retired military and government service—released a joint, nonpartisan appeal for the rule of law to be upheld during the 2020 election process. 

Individual and organizational signatories include: Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Merck; Richard Trumka, President, American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); Darren Walker, President, The Ford Foundation; Madeleine K. Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State; Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America; Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington; John Hamre, Former Deputy Secretary of Defense; Aurora A. Austriaco, President, National Conference of Bar Presidents; William H. Webster, Former Director of the FBI and the CIA; the American Association of University Women (AAUW); the American Political Science Association; and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, among many others. (Note that for individual signatories, organizational affiliations are included for identification purposes only.)

The statement calls on those in positions of public responsibility to “take all necessary measures to safeguard the election process so that all Americans can have confidence in the ultimate outcome.” It also urges all Americans “to exercise patience, civility, and restraint, so that the results of the elections can be determined in accordance with the rule of law and peacefully accepted by the American people.” 

The joint appeal was organized by the World Justice Project, an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law worldwide. The statement and a current list of individual and organizational signatories is included below. The statement may also be found here at Medium.com, where it will be updated with new signatures on a rolling basis. 

. . .  

A Joint Appeal to Protect the Rule of Law in the 2020 U.S. Elections 

As the framers of the Declaration of Independence recognized, governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” That consent is expressed through free and fair elections and their corollary: the orderly and peaceful determination and implementation of the results. These are among the principles that stand at the heart of the rule of law under the U.S. constitutional order. 

In recent weeks, concerns have been raised in various quarters about the security and integrity of the upcoming U.S. elections and the possibility that the results would not be honored. Given such concerns, it is essential that those in positions of public responsibility take all necessary measures to safeguard the election process so that all Americans can have confidence in the ultimate outcome. 

We therefore call on public officials to ensure that: 

  • All who are entitled to vote are able to do so safely and securely, whether in person or through other authorized means, and without interference or intimidation; 
  • All ballots are counted in accordance with a lawful, accountable, efficient, and well-organized process; 
  • Authorized election observers enjoy adequate access to polling places and other election facilities; and 
  • Election disputes are resolved in a fair, open, and orderly way in accordance with the law. 

We call on all citizens to respect the rights of free expression, media freedom, and peaceful assembly before, during, and after the election, and we call on members of the media, including social media, to exercise their important role responsibly and in accordance with professional standards of accuracy, fairness, and truthfulness. 

We also call on all eligible voters to cast their vote in a timely manner, whether in person or by mail. Voters should expect that there may be delays at the polls and that it may take time — especially given the challenges posed by the pandemic — for all ballots to be counted and official results to be confirmed. Some jurisdictions may experience procedural difficulties in voting and vote tabulation. Such circumstances may give rise to litigation and public demonstrations after Election Day. We urge those in leadership positions to encourage peaceful participation in the election process and to condemn any threats or acts of violence. We also urge all Americans to exercise patience, civility, and restraint, so that the results of the elections can be determined in accordance with the rule of law and peacefully accepted by the American people. 
 

Organizational Signatories
(Signatories current as of 10/28/2020; updated list here.)

Alliance for Peacebuilding
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Bar Foundation
American Leadership Initiative
American Political Science Association
Association of American Law Schools
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago
Freedom House
Human Rights First
McCain Institute for International Leadership
NAFSA: Association of International Educators
New York Bar Foundation
Transparency & Accountability Initiative
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
World Justice Project
 

Individual Signatories
(Organizational affiliations are for identification purposes only. Signatories current as of 10/28/2020; updated list here.)

Rahmah A. Abdulaleem
Executive Director, KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights

Mark D. Agrast
Executive Director and Executive Vice President, American Society of International Law

Maryam Ahmad
President, Chicago Bar Association

Madeleine K. Albright
Former U.S. Secretary of State

Benes Z. Aldana
President and CEO, The National Judicial College

Paige Alexander
CEO, The Carter Center

Danielle Allen
Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

Catherine Amirfar
President, American Society of International Law

Elizabeth Andersen
Executive Director, World Justice Project

Dennis W. Archer
Former President, American Bar Association

Aurora A. Austriaco
President, National Conference of Bar Presidents

Hilarie Bass
Former President, American Bar Association

David Beckmann
President Emeritus, Bread for the World

John B. Bellinger, III
Former Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State

Laurel G. Bellows
Former President, American Bar Association

Aileen Bhandari
President, South Asian Bar Association Chicago

Sheila S. Boston
President, New York City Bar Association

Paulette Brown
Former President, American Bar Association

Mariann Edgar Budde
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Bob Carlson
Former President, American Bar Association

Thomas Carothers
Senior Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Maxine Clark
CEO, Clark-Fox Family Foundation

N. Lee Cooper
Former President, American Bar Association

Roberta Cooper Ramo
Former President, American Bar Association

Elizabeth Cousens
President and CEO, United Nations Foundation

Kenneth C. Frazier
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Merck

George T. French, Jr.
President, Clark Atlanta University

Francis Fukuyama
Senior Fellow, Stanford University

Donald Guy Generals
President, Community College of Philadelphia

Tom Ginsburg
Chairman, Comparative Constitutions Project & Professor, University of Chicago Law School

Kristy Gonowon
President, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area

Michael S. Greco
Former President, American Bar Association

Robert Grey, Jr.
Former President, American Bar Association

James Grossman
American Historical Association

Paul G. Haaga, Jr.
Retired

Hon. Lee H. Hamilton
Former Member of Congress (IN)

John Hamre
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense

Tim Hanstad
CEO, Chandler Foundation

Stephen Heintz
President and CEO, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

William C. Hubbard
Chair of the Board of Directors, World Justice Project & Former President, American Bar Association

R. William Ide
Former President, American Bar Association

Rabbi Nancy Kasten
Chief Relationship Officer, Faith Commons

Scott M. Karson
President, New York State Bar Association

Robert O. Keohane
Professor Emeritus of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Nannerl O. Keohane
President Emerita, Wellesley College and Duke University

Stephen King
CEO, Luminate

Linda Klein
Former President, American Bar Association

Larry Kramer
President, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Mike Kubzansky
CEO, Omidyar Network

Carolyn Lamm
Former President, American Bar Association & Former President, The DC Bar

Steven J. Lepper
Major General, USAF (Ret.)

Ed Liebow
Executive Director, American Anthropological Association

Nancy Lindborg
President and CEO, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Eric Liu
CEO, Citizen University

Robert Malley
President and CEO, International Crisis Group

Rev. Dr. George A. Mason
President, Faith Commons

Karen J. Mathis
Former President, American Bar Association

Ajay K. Mehrotra
Executive Director and Research Professor, American Bar Foundation

Sarah E. Mendelson
Former U.S. Ambassador to UN ECOSOC

Alberto Mora
Former General Counsel, U.S. Navy

James A. R. Nafziger
Thomas B. Stoel Professor of Law and Director of International Programs, Willamette University College of Law

William H. Neukom
Founder and CEO, World Justice Project & Former President, American Bar Association

Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

Stewart Patrick
Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Anthony F. Pipa
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Robert D. Putnam
Research Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Rip Rapson
President and CEO, The Kresge Foundation

Susan Reichle
President and CEO, International Youth Foundation

Richard W. Riley
U.S. Secretary of Education 1993–2001 & Honorary Chair, World Justice Project

Melissa Rogers
Former Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Lesley F. Rosenthal
President, New York Bar Foundation

Rabbi David Saperstein
U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom (Ret.)

Kim Lane Scheppele
Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, Princeton University & Past-President, Law and Society Association 2019–2020

Mark Schneider
General Counsel, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, an AFL-CIO chapter

Dr. Rajiv Shah
President, The Rockefeller Foundation

James R. Silkenat
Former President, American Bar Association

Mariko Silver
President and CEO, Henry Luce Foundation

Anne-Marie Slaughter
CEO, New America

Brad Smith
President, Microsoft Corporation

Alan D. Solomont
Dean, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University & Former Ambassador to Spain and Andorra (Ret.)

Rev. Adam Russell Taylor
Acting President and President Elect, Sojourners

Richard Trumka
President, American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

Darren Walker
President, The Ford Foundation

Jim Wallis
Founder, Sojourners

Hon. William H. Webster
Former Director of the FBI and the CIA

H. Thomas Wells, Jr.
Former President, American Bar Association

Ridgway H. White
President, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner
President, Skinner Leadership Institute

Stephen N. Zack
Former President, American Bar Association & Former President, The Florida Bar

 

Read the Statement on Medium.com  

 

About the World Justice Project 

The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law worldwide.Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. It is the foundation for communities of justice, opportunity, and peace—underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights. Learn more: www.worldjusticeproject.org 

 

MEDIA CONTACT & INTERVIEW REQUESTS: 
press@worldjusticeproject.org
(206) 792-7676 

 

 

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

 
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