Susan Estrich is part of the legal team defending former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who lost his job after some women accused him of sexual harassment there. As the New York Times writes, Estrich’s representation of her former boss is a matter steeped in controversy, particularly because of her general acceptance in the feminist community.
FEMINISTS ATTACK ONE OF THEIR OWN
Some feminists say they do expect more of Ms. Estrich. “She has a higher level of accountability,” said Andi Zeisler, a co-founder of Bitch Magazine. “For someone who was such a pioneering legal scholar to make Ailes an exception to the trenchant line she has drawn is a depressing irony.”
Estrich was the first female campaign manager for a mainstream Presidential candidate when in 1988 she managed the campaign of Michael S. Dukakis.
Estrich has responded to the criticisms by resorting to traditional legal maxims and principles: “What happened to the presumption of innocence? What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Is that not the bedrock of our system? The burden of proof always falls on the one making the charge,” she says in an online commentary.
OUR FREE OPINION
We think Estrich is correct when she says “a lawyer should not be judged by his clients.” We also share her commitment of loyalty to friends and her belief that smear campaigns often need to be addressed early and aggressively. A lawyer’s decision to represent a client, and then to vigorously defend the interests of that client, has nothing to do with political philosophy– it is an honest lawyer’s stock and trade.