The underpinning of justice is truth. Without fidelity to fact, there is no justice. Truth is also the cornerstone of our democracy.
We are witnessing an extremely dangerous phenomenon in our country — the disregard for truth in the public discourse. The president, since taking office, has made more than 6,000 false or misleading claims.
Our U.S. senator, in a debate with an opponent, pledged unequivocally that if re-elected she would serve out her six-year term — and within days of her re-election announced she is considering running for president. A liar like Al Sharpton is given access to the public airways to host a mainstream cable TV show.
Of course, this is not entirely new. We lived through the lies of the Clintons and many others.
When I went to elementary school, I was taught that George Washington said, “I cannot tell a lie,” in answering his father’s question of whether he chopped down the cherry tree.
Today, we hear explanations of “alternative facts.”
In our Jewish tradition, truth is of the highest value. The Talmud says, “Truth is the seal of the Holy One, blessed be He.” In Jeremiah it is said, “The Lord God is truth.” In Psalm 119 it is said, “The Torah is truth.”
Justice is under attack in many forms. I hope we all dedicate ourselves to demanding and fighting for truth and justice here in the U.S., and everywhere in the world.
Editor’s Note: This letter is condensed from recent remarks made by the former New York attorney general on receiving the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists’ 2018 Pursuit of Justice Award. He is responding to stories in the press, including in this newspaper, about President Trump.