People For the American Way

People For: Public Defenders Are a Pillar of Our Justice System


Contact: Press Department at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 2024674999

Washington, D.C. – On this National Public Defender Day, on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, People For the American Way President Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“Public defenders are a pillar of our justice system, attorneys who ensure that our Constitutional guarantee of representation to all defendants is met. These individuals are there for people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer and are facing some of the most serious and challenging moments of their lives. Public defenders make us all safer by protecting against abuses in the criminal justice system. On this National Public Defender Day it is especially gratifying to know that a former public defender, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, is nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Jackson will bring to our highest court a unique understanding of how some of our most vulnerable communities experience the justice system, thanks to her public defender experience. This will be an immeasurable benefit to the Court and our democracy.”

About People For the American Way
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: