I don’t agree with the villainization of this woman. She’s doing her job and has little say in the matter. Rather, villainize the administration that she is obligated to defend.
This is what happens when you are a lawyer for the Department of Justice anywhere. You must defend the government. You must set aside your morals and convictions (assuming that one has morals and convictions) and argue on behalf of your employer, no matter how corrupt or unethical their decisions may be. That’s what sucks. And depending on the government of the day, it can be a really difficult position in which to find oneself.
Many other lawyers outside of the public service can decide to decline any particular case or client but when all of your cases come from your only client — the government– your hands are tied. And it’s not as simply as “just resign” or “find another job” or “find another client or case.” Being able to do a job that aligns with your principles is a privilege. It is the case for many lawyers that you may be called to argue for something in which you do not actually believe. So to say that Sarah Fabian personally does not believe that children in detention centers should have soap or toothbrushes could be true, but is not necessarily true.
It is concerning to me that she is receiving death threats. Death threats make no sense to me. It makes no sense to debase oneself and terrorize another person – – to lower myself to the level of my enemy.
That said, with the knowledge that what are supposed to be short term stays typically turn into longer stays, it is hard to argue that one does not have the right to a mere toothbrush. Even if the stay is short term, one ought to have access to a toothbrush and soap at the minimum.