Urgent Need for U.S. to Oppose Threat Against Judiciary in Poland

"In this July 1, 2018 photo, Poles protest against new legislation on the Supreme Court that will force the retirement of more than a third of the judges to the top court, in Warsaw, Poland. The European Union opened a rule-of-law procedure Monday against Poland over what it sees as flaws in Poland's Supreme Court law, intensifying a standoff that is threatening Poland's EU voting rights and funding." (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Writing in Inside Sources, ABA President Hillarie Bass makes the case for the United States to oppose the urgent threat against the judiciary in Poland. In the article, Bass reported that "the Law and Justice Party, which returned to office in 2015, has worked systematically to amass and consolidate power by dismantling the courts." Currently, the Law and Justice Party's most recent ploy for power has manifested in a controversial new court law that allows them to control the court system. Citizens have protested the move with street demonstrations under the slogan "no to political judges." Poland is one of several countries where the rule of law is currently under threat and democracy is in retreat.

As a result of the new legislation, about 40 percent of the Polish Supreme Court must retire on July 3 unless the president decides, at his sole discretion, to extend their service. Additionally, over half of the National Judicial Council, charged with nominating qualified Supreme Court judges for appointment by the president, has been purged, replaced by new members with strong and reliable ties to the ruling party.

Read more about the threat to the judiciary and what the U.S. can do to oppose it.