GW law professors endorse Thompson

Three GW law professors have endorsed Republican candidate Fred Thompson’s campaign for the presidency, joining the Lawyers for Fred coalition.

Professors John Fitzgerald Duffy, Orin Kerr and Michael Abramowicz are members of the Law Professors Committee within the coalition.

“Sen. Thompson is proud of his experience working as a federal prosecutor,” said Darrel Ng, a spokesperson for the Friends of Fred Thompson campaign. “That’s why he decided to form something like that (coalition), because of his background.”

Ng said that having endorsement groups for presidential candidates is an important part of the campaign process.

“In campaigns you try to find different coalitions of like-minded people, whether it’s by ethnic group or by a profession or gender,” Ng said. “Whatever it is, you form these groups that will work to convince others in their group to support a candidate, such is the example with Lawyers for Fred. They understand that he is the best person for the job and that’s why they support him.”

Duffy, a GW law professor, said that the Lawyers for Fred coalition allows lawyers, politicians and professors to support Fred Thompson, although there are no requirements for volunteering or working for the campaign in light of joining the committee.

“It’s a matter of what (members of the coalition) can do,” Ng said. “In this group, there are people helping to develop policy, helping to develop contributors, and some people who only have time to write a check . as a minimum they’ve agreed to have their name listed as an endorser, and that in itself is huge.”

Duffy elected to volunteer for the campaign on his own accord, although he declined to comment on his exact role in the coalition.

“I think the Republican field has a number of strong candidates this year,” Duffy said. “I think Fred Thompson is the best. I think he’d make an excellent president.”

Duffy noted that legal professionals will likely be attracted to Thompson’s policies.

“His viewpoints probably trace back to him on the Watergate Committee,” Duffy said. “The experience probably gave him great appreciation for the need for checks and balances in society. Generally speaking, he’s very conservative in the approach to the legal process. He has stated quite clearly that he believes judges should not be making policy. I think somebody who believes in law values would find Fred Thompson an attractive candidate.”

Thompson served as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973 and documented his work at the hearings in his book, “At That Point in Time: The Inside Story of the Senate Watergate Committee.” He served as a Republican Tennessee U.S. senator from 1994 until 2002.

Kerr said he does not have a job with the Thompson campaign and that, like Duffy, he has elected to volunteer for Thompson’s campaign.

“I think it’s important for citizens to be involved in public affairs and to support candidates that they like,” Kerr wrote in an e-mail.

This is Duffy’s first volunteer job on a campaign as well.

“I don’t recall ever volunteering for a campaign before, but this is a very important election for the future of our country,” Duffy said. “There are very distinct choices. I’m glad to see students are taking an interest in this election. I think many people in the nation are.”

Thompson issued a news release Nov. 16 about the Lawyers for Fred coalition.

“I am honored to have the support of so many distinguished and talented members of the legal profession,” Thompson said. “I’ve had great personal and professional satisfaction in the field of law. I made a decent living, served the rule of law, and I believe I did some good.”

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