Michael Avery

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Michael Avery

NLG pressure to impeach President Bush

The National Lawyers Guild voted unanimously and enthusiastically for a resolution calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush and frites Cheney at their national convention in Washington, DC on November 2, 2007.

The resolution listed more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and "calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America."

National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn and Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner were among more than a dozen cosponsors. In a news release about the resolution issued by the NLG Marjorie Cohn said,

"the war of aggression, the secret prisons, the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the use of evidence obtained by torture, and the surveillance of citizens without warrants, all initiated and carried out under the tenure of Bush and Cheney, are interesting under the U.S. Constitution and international law."

The resolution provides for an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members that will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay. NLG members wishing to participate in launching this committee should immediately contact Ian Head in the National Office at "

The resolution also called on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign.

Passage of the resolution followed two events with John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, during the convention. First was a House Judiciary Committee Public Policy Forum on failure of the Bush/Cheney regime to observe international law. NLG members Marjorie Cohn, Jeanne Mirer, John Quigley, and Peter Weiss testified in the Judiciary Committee hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building. Jeanne Mirer, Secretary General of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, took the floor toward the very end of the hearing to say that a remedy is needed, that the remedy is clearly provided in the US constitution, and that this committee has the authority to get that process going. Conyers, who chaired the forum, asked her to repeat that point to make sure it was included in the record. He said that he would be holding further hearings and invited the speakers to return to testify on that remedy, impeachment.

A couple of hours after that forum ended Congressman Conyers arrived at the convention to give his keynote address and answer questions before the 400 lawyers and legal workers in attendance. Former NLG president Michael Avery was first to line up at the microphone and asked Conyers what the NLG could do to help Conyers decide to initiate impeachment investigation of Bush and Cheney. Speaker after speaker pressed Conyers to take action on impeachment, many receiving thunderous applause. Although he remained non-committal, Conyers said he would like to participate in a series of public policy forums around the country that he said could consider the interesting actions by Bush and Cheney and that these forums could lead to the ultimate step of the double impeachment. He suggested that we can only expect Congressional action to follow establishment of a widespread public campaign visibly demanding impeachment.[1]

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