Dallas attorney Marc Stanley says he’s recruited thousands of lawyers from across the U.S. to donate time and to volunteer legal services to Joe Biden’s campaign for president of the United States.
“I was asked to chair this by Joe Biden,” Stanley said.
Texas Lawyer talked with Stanley, who was a major contributor and fundraiser to the Democratic presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, about his role and what Lawyers for Biden seeks to accomplish. Here are his answers, edited for brevity and clarity.
No one from the Biden nor the President Donald Trump campaign responded to an email seeking comment.
Texas Lawyer: What is “Lawyers for Biden”?
Marc Stanley: Lawyers for Biden is a finance committee, but it’s also a national network of leaders and advocates who share Joe Biden’s vision for restoring the soul of America and the rule of law, and are committed to mobilizing the resources and ideas of the legal community for Joe Biden’s campaign.
Who are the lawyers in the group?
It’s a huge umbrella: We have big firm lawyers, small firm lawyers, sole practitioners, law professors, in-house counsel, plaintiffs lawyers, defense lawyers. Everybody is welcome.
We’re hearing from a lot of former U.S. attorneys, assistant U.S. attorneys, and former justice department lawyers who are very eager to help us replace Trump and elect Joe Biden.
We have them from every state, I’m proud to say. The response has been incredible.
When you say the group is “mobilizing resources,” do you mean campaign contributions?
Everything from campaign contributions to using legal talent. We’ve had lawyers work on voter protection already in the primaries. We’ve had lawyers perform due diligence for the campaign. We’ve had lawyers even review contracts. We’ve had lawyers—like me—walk the streets canvassing in various states.
I think lawyers have a particular interest in this campaign because of the threats that we’ve seen to the rule of law. President Trump has appointed truly activist, ultra-conservative judges to the federal benches. He’s used the justice department as his own personal law firm. He’s criticized the judiciary when they’ve disagreed with him. I think the lawyers I’ve talked to have had enough of it.
How do the group members get their pro bono legal assignments?
I would imagine the campaign does hire some outside counsel for certain things, but the Lawyers for Biden members who volunteer for the campaign do that without compensation.
They are contacted by the campaign as needed and various arms of the campaign. Whether it’s canvassing or doing due diligence or vetting or legal research, when folks need help, they will contact people. We have a database, and eventually, I hope everyone who wants to be deployed, will be deployed.
I anticipate there will be a lot of challenges in a lot of states, especially with what’s going on with COVID-19, with absentee voting, with vote by mail, with efforts to purge voters and otherwise suppress the vote.
Compared with your past activism for Democratic presidents, is there anything special or unique to you about this time around?
I can’t think of anything more important than electing Joe Biden and replacing President Trump. If Trump gets another appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, and appoints a 40-year-old, we could lose that court for a generation. All the successes that we’ve seen for civil rights and social justice in the last 40 years could literally evaporate. I don’t want to turn back the clock.