NOM BLOG

Soon, for lawyers, "the only opinions allowed will be liberal opinions"

 

Disturbing news this week of some changes underway in the American Bar Associations's (ABA) "Model Rules of Professional Conduct." The first report came on Monday from Judson Phillips in The Washington Times:

In its recent meeting, the ABA changed part of the model rules regarding attorney conduct. That kind of minutia is guaranteed to generate yawns from 99 percent of Americans. But every American should be alarmed by this because the purpose of these rules is to do nothing less than drive conservatives from the legal profession and ultimately deny conservatives their day in court by denying them legal representation.

The new rule states in part, “(Paragraph G) engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law. This paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.”

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The important part is where it says discrimination includes harmful verbal or physical that manifests bias or prejudice toward others. In plain, non-lawyer English, if a lawyer happen to not approve of homosexual behavior, homosexual marriage, transgenderism, Islam or any number of other opinions and comments on them, the lawyer can lose their law license.

This rule is not limited to the courtroom. If a lawyer posts something on social media or offers an opinion that is not an approved opinion, they can and will be disciplined.

The purpose of this model rule is simple. It is to silence conservative lawyers.


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Writing two days later in a joint opinion piece entitled "How the lawyers plan to stifle speech and faith," notable legal experts Edwin Meese and Kelly Shackleford echoed the same concerns:

Frighteningly, the ABA leaders’ statements verify that they understand — and intend — the ramifications of [the new rules]. President Paulette Brown advocates that the ABA must prevent “bias” in ways that go far beyond current law. Committee member Drucilla Ramey insists bar authorities go “to the top of the legal profession” to “incentivize” attorneys to change their views and speech on these issues, views and speech often informed by attorneys’ religion. All this, despite committee testimony that such a rule has “little relation to concerns” arising in most lawyers’ offices, could be “used tactically against someone inappropriately,” and will “have a chilling effect on something that has always been in the best traditions of the bar: representing minority views and unpopular positions or clients.”

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The ABA’s un-American censorship regime is beyond draconian; it coerces conformity regarding religious and political beliefs on a level unprecedented in American history. It borders on fascism, and must be explicitly repudiated [emphases added].

NOM will keep you apprised of this situation as it develops, and we encourage all our members to remain vigilant about these kinds of encroachments on religious freedom in the name of LGBT "equality."