First Amendment trial lawyer Martin Garbus has made it his mission to contest conservative judiciary appointments, which he has described as being part of a “right-wing revisionist agenda.” In his 2002 book Courting Disaster: The Supreme Court and the Unmaking of American Law, Garbus maintains that the Supreme Court has been systemically high-jacked by the political right wing – beginning during the Nixon administration and continuing past the 2000 Bush/Gore election decision, which he describes as “wretched.” Garbus states, “Imagine the effects on our lives if workplace standards for health and safety were cut back; if abortions were totally banned, no exceptions; if minimum hour and wage laws were so reduced as to be meaningless . . . all this and more are the declared goals of the radical right who now dominate the Republican Party on matters related to the judiciary.”
Garbus is currently representing the plaintiffs in a class-action discrimination lawsuit against President Bush’s “faith-based” initiative; the initiative seeks to allow religious institutions and charities, regardless of their faith, to provide Federally-sanctioned social services for their surrounding communities. As Bush explained the initiative, “If a charity is helping the needy, it should not matter if there is a rabbi on the board, or a cross or a crescent on the wall, or a religious commitment in the charter. The days of discriminating against religious groups just because they are religious are coming to an end.”
Past clients of Garbus include such notables as Lenny Bruce, Michael Moore, Nelson Mandela, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Brokaw, Alger Hiss, and Spike Lee.
In addition to the aforementioned Courting Disaster, Garbus is also the author of Ready for the Defense (1971); Traitors and Heroes (1987); and Tough Talk: How I Fought for Comics, Writers, Bigots, and the American Way (1988).