Bruce Fein, ’72, and Ralph Nader, ’58, spoke Wednesday at noon at this year’s Forum entitled “America’s Lawless Empire: The Constitutional Crimes of Bush and Obama.”
In his address, Nader called for law students to act to protect the Constitution. “You speak with moral authority to working lawyers and faculty and judges,” he said to attending law students, “You may not know that. But when, in the past, law students put up petitions and proclamations, the rest of the profession knew that those were heartfelt expressions of idealism. They knew that the law students did not have a commericial retainer to motivate them. They knew the law students did not have an axe to grind. And that’s why they knew the law students had moral authority. And you can communicate with tens of thousands of law students, free, over the Internet, which we did not have. And you can mount a movement to restore constitutional practices and the greatest idea of Western civilization, which is due process. Go for it.”
Fein and Nader both criticized President Barak Obama for signing the National Defense Authorization Act. “We are living under a national security state,” Fein said, “All of our rights are at the whim of the President.”
Nader echoed that sentiment in his address. “We are two major terrorist strikes away from a police state, the likes of which we will never be able to imagine,” he said.
“It is not an option in a democracy to be a spectator,” Fein said, calling for attendees to act to repeal NDAA, “We have a moral obligation to use our eyes and ears to be a check on the government.”