The Contagion of Government Lying
By Andrew P. Napolitano
May 26, 2016
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I would have barred all lawyers who lied to me from ever appearing in my courtroom, and I would have removed them from the case. I would also have referred what I knew about them to ethics prosecutors in the states and federal districts where they are admitted.
Lawyers have an obligation of candor to the judges before whom they appear. That duty is no less serious when the lawyers work for the government than when they work for private clients.
Because the government prosecutes people who lie to it and its liars almost never can be prosecuted, government lying is grave. It is equivalent to government lawbreaking because when people to whom the government lies — judges or litigants or members of Congress or the public — rely on those lies, they often do so to their detriment. They lose a right or an opportunity that often cannot be recaptured.
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Can’t private citizens ask the appropriate bar associations to disbar these lawyers?
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