BY CHRIS SZABLA
Professor Charles Fried, an advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign, has announced that he can no longer support the McCain/Palin ticket. In a letter to the general counsel to the McCain/Palin campaign, he cited McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate as too dangerous “at a time of deep national crisis”, and has asked for his name to be removed from several campaign committees on which he has served. Fried also publicly stated that he had voted for Obama via absentee ballot.
Fried later clarified to The New Republic that he had voted for Obama because he no longer supported the McCain ticket, and did not consider abstention “a proper option”.
Fried has been an influential voice in American conservatism and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Solicitor General in 1985. During his years serving with the Reagan administration, he represented the White House in over 25 cases before the Supreme Court. Fried was later an associate justice on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. In the last decade, he has vocally supported George W. Bush’s appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
With the exception of the above interruptions, Fried has taught at HLS, where he is known as an important theorist of contract law, since 1961. He has published extensively on a wide variety of topics, and is particularly known for his support of Kantian ethics.
He has joined a long line of Republicans, many of whom served in Republican presidential administrations, who have recently endorsed the Democratic candidate. These include former general and Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld ’70, former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, and former George W. Bush press secretary Scott McClellan.