Responding to broad concerns about the possibility for unlawful orders regarding the 2020 election, MLTF is providing new and expanded resources for attorneys, GI rights advocates, and servicemembers.
News Release – October 29, 2020
The Military Law Task Force (MLTF) of the National Lawyers Guild shares the concerns of many in the public and the legal community, that US servicemembers may be given illegal orders or face real conflicts with their moral, political, or religious beliefs in the context of the 2020 Presidential election and its aftermath. In particular, we are concerned that National Guard members and other military personnel may be used in voter suppression or repression of progressive demonstrations.
The Task Force is troubled about the lack of effective legal alternatives for servicemembers dealing with possible illegal orders and believes it is essential that members of the military are fully informed about their rights under the law. We are also concerned that servicemembers are given almost no information about options available to them under military regulations to avoid direct orders that threaten the integrity of our democracy and violate the Constitution of the United States.
For this reason, the Task Force has set up a system for free, confidential telephone consultations with attorneys to discuss possible illegal orders and related issues. Servicemembers can call the MLTF, at 619-463-2369, for referral to a volunteer attorney. In addition, the Task Force has now posted legal resource material for servicemembers, attorneys, legal workers and law students on this website. An audio Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar presented by MLTF attorney James Branum is available on the website. A comprehensive legal memo is included as part of the CLE which discusses the law regarding illegal orders and alternative methods of avoiding compliance with such orders.
The Military Law Task Force wants servicemembers to be fully informed as they make these choices and urges anyone who is activated or deployed, or might be facing a future deployment, to call us for referral to a civilian attorney or counselor to discuss their options.