ABA asks Republican Governors Association to retract Sheheen ad

Vincent Sheheen
Vincent Sheheen

CHICAGO (WIS) The president of the American Bar Association is urging the Republican Governors Association and its chair, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, to retract its new video ad that attacks South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen for the criminal defense work he performed earlier in his career.

"A fundamental tenet of America's justice system and Constitution is that anyone who faces loss of liberty has a right to legal counsel," wrote ABA President James R. Silkenat in a letter to Christie, who is a lawyer. "Lawyers have an ethical obligation to uphold that principle and provide zealous representation to people who otherwise would stand alone against the power and resources of the government — even to those accused or convicted of terrible crimes."

The ABA does not endorse political candidates and Silkenat states in his letter does not support or oppose any candidate in the South Carolina race: "However, as leader of the nation's largest lawyers' organization, I am writing to express that the message the ad sends is wrong in the context of the American system of justice, and it must be rejected."

To read the letter sent to the Republican Governors Association: click here.

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