09 November 2020

New York State Bar Association decries Trump's 'unfounded allegations of fraud'

Revellers in Times Square hold up a Biden Harris 2020 flag to celebrate after Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election

Celebrations in Times Square, New York, on Saturday 7 November

Largest voluntary state US Bar congratulates Biden on election victory as Trump pursues nearly a dozen lawsuits

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) has ‘decried’ President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory in the US elections and called for a lawful transition of power ‘that respects the rule of law’.

In a statement issued on Saturday (7 November), after Biden’s victory was declared by the major US networks, NYSBA president Scott Karson congratulated the former vice president on his victory and heavily criticised Trump’s allegations of widespread electoral fraud.

“Our Constitution and laws lay out a procedure for an orderly and peaceful transition that distinguishes our democracy and makes it unique,” he said.

“This process has been called into question by the current president’s unfounded allegations of fraud. NYSBA decries such tactics and calls for a lawful transition that respects the rule of law.”

He went on to call for “a return to civility in Washington DC and to a time when lawmakers work together in a bipartisan manner for the good of the country”. 

While many world leaders were quick to congratulate Biden, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, many senior Republicans were still refraining from acknowledging defeat on Monday (9 November).

Meanwhile, Law.com noted that lawyers acting for Trump as he launched a series of lawsuits in the key election backgrounds were “litigation boutiques that are already GOP favourites, as well as a handful of small law firms”.

Biden’s legal team, on the other hand, has been instructing Perkins Coie partner Marc Elias – dubbed by the Associated Press as the ‘bête noire of Republicans – to advise on its ‘election protection programme’.

The New York Times reported on Friday (6 November) that nearly a dozen lawsuits had been filed in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, with none, ‘at least not yet’, holding out the prospects of enough ballots being rejected to help Trump’s cause.

Elsewhere, Kamala Harris’s election as vice president has handed her lawyer husband, DLA Piper entrainment and commercial partner Doug Emhoff, an ethics quandary, according to Bloomberg Law, with one commentator arguing it would be “nuts for him to stay at the firm” when she assumes office.

The NYSBA is the largest voluntary bar association in the US with around 75,000 members and an annual budget of $24m.

Last month, The New York City Bar Association expressed reservations about Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s judgement, integrity and temperament ahead of her confirmation.

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