Lawyers Defending American Democracy



Boston, MA

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Nonprofit advocacy organization

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Lawyers Defending American Democracy is a left-of-center political advocacy organization that authored letters, statements, and briefs about issues it deems are threats to democracy and presses the legal community to act on said perceived threats. 1


Lawyers Defending American Democracy has been involved in various court cases, such as United States vs. Flynn in which the organization filed an amicus brief defending U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s handling of the case thus far. Lawyers Defending American Democracy told the U.S Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit that Michael Flynn’s case showed issues of significant constitutional consequence. It claimed that if D.C. Circuit orders Sullivan to grant the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn, it would threaten the American public’s confidence in the federal court system. 2

The legal group filed a bar complaint against Rudy Giuliani claiming that his statements about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election and the rioters at the U.S Capitol were “flagrant and persistent lies” and showed that he is unfit to practice law and ought to be suspended. The organization delivered its 18-page grievance to New York’s First Judicial Department in Manhattan demanding the Ethics Committee investigate Giuliani. 3

In 2021, the legal group filed another bar complaint against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) accusing him of professional misconduct when he sued to overturn 2020 presidential election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan. 4 The group and the States United Democracy Center filed a bar complaint to the District of Columbia Office of Disciplinary Counsel, requesting that it open an investigation into attorney John Eastman’s assistance in Donald Trump’s attempts to discredit and overturn the 2020 election results. 5

Lawyers Defending American Democracy is one of the approximately 250 members of the Declaration for American Democracy, 6  a coalition of left-of-center activist groups that advocates for various electoral administration and governmental policy changes surrounding elections including placing restrictive regulations on speech acts related to political campaigns and enacting automatic voter registrations. 7


Scott Harshbarger is the chairman and co-founder of Lawyers Defending American Democracy. He has had a long career in various positions over the years, such as being a public defender, Middlesex District Attorney, civil rights attorney, and Massachusetts Attorney General. From 1999 to 2002, Harshbarger was the president of Common Cause, 8 a left-of-center advocacy group that focuses on general liberal policy, campaign finance law, and redistricting. 9

While he was Attorney General, he was elected President of the National Association of Attorneys General.  He also served as the head of then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s Commission on Corrections Reform from 2003 to 2005 and was a member of the SJC Court Management Advisory Board (CMAB). He was also on the board for various colleges and organizations. He works as Senior Counsel at the law firm Casner & Edwards and continues to be involved in public policy reform. 10


  1. “Lawyers Defending American Democracy is a coalition of lawyers united in the defense of our democracy.” Lawyers Defending American Democracy. Accessed January 23, 2023.
  2. Lambe, Jerry. “Legal Advocacy Group Defends Judge’s Order in Michael Flynn Case: There’s ‘Substantial Evidence’ DOJ Didn’t Act in Good Faith.” Law & Crime. Last modified May 27, 2020.
  3. [1] Lambe, Jerry. “Legal Group Files Bar Complaint Against Rudy Giuliani for ‘Flagrant and Persistent Lying’ About Election Fraud.” Law & Crime. Last modified January 21, 2021.
  4. Cobb, Timia. “State Bar Complaint Against Attorney General Ken Paxton to Proceed After Key Deadline Passes.” The Texas Tribune. Last modified March 8, 2022.
  5. “States United and Lawyers Defending American Democracy Call on D.C.’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel to Investigate Attorney John Eastman for Assisting in Trump’s Attempts to Overturn 2020 Election.” States United Democracy Center. Last modified August 11, 2022.
  6. “Declaration for American Democracy.” Declaration for American Democracy. Last modified October 20, 2022.
  7. “About.” Declaration for American Democracy. Last modified September 20, 2021.
  8. “Our Board.” Lawyers Defending American Democracy. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  9. “Our History.” Common Cause Delaware. Last modified January 9, 2023.
  10. “Our Board.” Lawyers Defending American Democracy. Accessed January 22, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2022

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Lawyers Defending American Democracy

    Boston, MA 02210-1012