Douglas N. Letter is the Chief Legal Officer at Brady, leading the organization's legal efforts. In this position, he builds upon his decades of litigation experience, most recently serving as the General Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives under Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
For 40 years, Douglas worked as a public servant at the U.S. Department of Justice, most recently as Director of the Civil Division Appellate Staff. He also served in the White House as Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton, and Senior Counselor to Attorney General Eric Holder. Douglas was in addition a visiting professor and senior litigator at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Throughout his career, Douglas has focused on advancing the rule of law in the U.S. and upholding our democracy. While with the House of Representatives, he led litigation teams that protected the constitutional powers of that body against abuses by the Trump Administration and former President Trump’s disregard of the law in various areas. Among other significant matters, his team helped convince the Supreme Court not to strike down the Affordable Care Act, despite the Trump Administration’s refusal to defend that statute. And he was one of the leaders in the successful effort to urge the Supreme Court to invalidate the Trump Administration’s unlawful effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census, which would have severely undermined the accuracy of that count.
At the Justice Department, among many other accomplishments, Douglas was part of the team recognized for an award by the Attorney General for its work in convincing the Supreme Court to protect the right of Americans to enter into same-sex marriages. He also served a central role in various cases in court involving the protection of the national security interests of the United States. And at ICAP, he was part of the legal team that upheld the ability of the City of Charlottesville to bar armed militias from causing further harm on the first anniversary of the Charlottesville domestic terrorist attack.
Like many others, Douglas, a grandfather, felt compelled to join the gun violence prevention movement due to the increase in school-related and other mass shooting events. Core to his work is the belief that one of the basic freedoms critical to Americans is quite simply the right to exist, which is under attack because of an extremist view of gun rights in America that is unsupported by the history, tradition, or context of the founding and development of our nation.
Douglas received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley Law School in 1978, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Columbia University in 1975. He served two elected terms on the D.C. Bar Board of Governors, and has won various awards for his work on behalf of the interests of the American people.