AZ State Bar to ban attorneys’ free speech, freedom of association re gay issues

This is outrageous. The Arizona State Bar Association is about to make a change to the attorneys’ oath of admission that will prohibit them from ever saying anything negative relating to gay issues or refusing to associate with persons of alternative sexual preference. The phrase is written so broadly, it could prohibit a Christian attorneys association from excluding gay attorneys from their membership. Here is the proposed revised oath, with the proposed addition in red –

“I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.”

This violates two clauses in the First Amendment, the right to free speech and the right to freedom of association. Such a fringe-left position would never be passed by the people in a democratic election. The bar should not be permitted to bypass our democratic system – as the courts unfortunately frequently do – and make law.

Fringe-left elements have taken over State Bar, this is just one more outrageous maneuver by the far left to force their views upon all attorneys and use their mandatory dues to promote their own pet causes. The State Bar recently passed an ethical rule prohibiting attorneys from criticizing judges. Unfortunately, that clear violation of free speech has not yet been challenged in the courts and struck down. Until then, it is impossible for attorneys to get information out to the public about judges, they’ve had to get it out anonymously using unofficial websites like azjudgesreview.

The State Bar gives thousands of dollars from members’ dues every year to fringe left groups like Chicanos por la Causa that are actively working against the interests of political conservatives and Christians. Thousands more go to promote “diversity” so much it’s silly. There’s not just the Arizona Minority Bar Association, there’s the Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association, the Asian Bar Association, the Black Bar, the Native American Black Association, and the Women Lawyers Association. All of these separate entities regularly give reports at Arizona State Bar board meetings.

The bar has finally gone too far by trying to prohibit new attorneys from having dissimilar views on gay issues. There is no reason why a controversial fringe political view needs to be in the oath to become an attorney – other than to squelch conservative views and prohibit conservatives from becoming attorneys. All that should be in the oath should be swearing loyalty to the U.S. Constitution and Arizona’s Constitution, and upholding the laws of the land.

This is why the bar needs to be a voluntary association. It should not be permitted to dictate the viewpoints and political goals of all attorneys in Arizona, and take several hundred dollars from each attorney every year which then goes to fund the bar’s left wing causes. All attorneys in Arizona do not share the same political views. This is still a red state, and the bar’s fringe left management is not fairly representing the views of its members. Let’s hope the bar does the right thing and does not add the offensive language. Otherwise there are plenty of free speech organizations that are standing by ready to sue the bar.


Comments

  1. The oath: “I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.”

    So it’s okay for an attorney to allow any of the above to influence the level of legal representation they provide to THEIR client?

    “SA: This violates two clauses in the First Amendment, the right to free speech and the right to freedom of association.”

    No, it doesn’t. No one is forcing the attorney to take the case.

  2. Only a drop of the liberal, feel good deluge will see over the next 4 years.

    Doctors have the Hippocratic oath, and yet still have found a way to slaughter 45,000,000 American children, thanks to lawyers, I might add.

    Certainly most lawyers and doctors are good people, but we are often compared to our lowest common denominator of our own professions. We are labeled by what we collectively allow, fairly or not.

  3. The quoted paragraph without the addition Pat objects to is not in the current oath, at least not according to my search of the Az Bar website. This means Pat must be misrepresenting what is going on.

    As silly sa pointed out, something like this would apply to service to their client this has nothing to do with the situations Pat is making up.

    One wonders if keeper would support a doctor or lawyer giving worse care or guidance to someone because they are gay.

  4. Arbitrary observer says

    silly sa, you’re obviously not a lawyer. There have been plenty of cases where gay people have sued others for not accepting their business/membership, and they have sometimes won where there was a liberal activist court or some policy or rule just like the one above.

  5. Arbitrary observer says

    todd, are you for real? that is the worst line of reasoning – since you, todd, can’t find an internal State Bar of Arizona policy on their website, it must not exist and one of SA’s writers must be lying.

  6. “I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence MY DUTY OF CARE.”

    I think you’re misinterpreting this. This text appears to apply after you’ve AGREED to take on a client. If you AGREE to take on a client, then, ideally, you shouldn’t allow possible prejudice based on race, age, etc. to negatively impact the service you provide them. It’s basic fairness.

    Also, if you were a lawyer, CPA, or barber (I don’t know what you do for a living), you wouldn’t want to provide services to a gay person who needed legal advice, tax preparation or a haircut? If you owned a plumbing supply store, you wouldn’t want a gay person to purchase a hammer at your store?

    —————————-

    “This is still a red state, and the bar’s fringe left management is not fairly representing the views of its members.”

    Why not vote out the management?

  7. nightcrawler says

    I agree with the Arizona State Bar on this. Discrimination at any level is not acceptable. As a private citizen you can believe whatever you want. We are not talking about the “thought police” here. What is at issue is that an attorney, as a professional, must not regulate or deny care based on a clients sexual orientation.

  8. Who cares?

  9. “Discrimination at any level is not acceptable.” – Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler, are you serious? You’re ok with pedophiles babysitting your kids? You’re ok with 50 year old men dating your teenage daughter? You’re ok with a 500lb women blocking the exit row of an airplane?

    I suspect, like all of us reasoned people, you discriminate every day for reasons that vary based on need and prudent judgment, as I illustrated above.

    Discrimination by itself is not a bad thing. I like apples more than oranges. Sue me.

    If I’m going to hire an attorney who hates my race, gender, or creed, I’d rather they be honest and not take my case than be forced to take it and do a half-assed job.

  10. nightcrawler says

    Keeper,

    As a private citizen I have my opinions. The answer to your example questions above is a resounding “NO”. You are correct, people on a personal level discriminate through their shopping habits, associations they make and the friends they keep.

    What is at issue here is how professionals who are sometimes licensed and offer services to the public, be they in business or civil service, act.

    Let us flip your example. Is it ok for a store keeper to ban entry to minorities, women, heavy people, the poor, the elderly and/or people of a different religion ? Is it ok for a bus driver to send people he/she doesn’t like to the back of the bus ?

    Professionals of all walks of life need rules to live by in order to protect the freedoms of all citizens. A line in the sand needs to be drawn. The issue is that the line is being moved and that you don’t like it.

  11. Arbitrary observer : no – I can find the oath but the paragraph without the addition Pat is concerned with does not exists in it, nor in the Lawyer’s Creed. I wonder if maybe Pat objects to the inclusion of the whole paragraph.

    “it must not exist and one of SA’s writers must be lying.”

    I do have to question what is actually the truth here since Pat gives us not one iota of backing for the entire story.

  12. Keeper:
    “If I’m going to hire an attorney who hates my race, gender, or creed, I’d rather they be honest and not take my case than be forced to take it and do a half-assed job.”

    Yes, and isn’t this exactly what the potential addition of this paragraph, which I am not even sure is real, is meant to stop?

  13. “You’re ok with pedophiles babysitting your kids? You’re ok with 50 year old men dating your teenage daughter? You’re ok with a 500 lb women blocking the exit row of an airplane?”

    Now you’re getting ridiculous. The first two involve potential for illegal acts being committed. Re the third, the airplane staff can decide that someone does not meet the requirements for sitting in the exit row and move him/her to another seat–

    http://www.risingup.com/fars/info/part121-585-FAR.shtml

  14. Maybe its time for gay employers/managers to start firing straight people, and make it specifically clear that the only cause for termination was the person’s heterosexuality.

    Is that acceptable, Pat?

  15. After all… since sexuality is such a “choice,” maybe those “dirty breeders” should choose to be gay.

  16. Todd,

    You can’t legislate love or hate. Just because the Bar says they can’t discriminate, doesn’t mean they won’t. I’d rather it be overt and avoidable than covert and potentially more damaging.

  17. Keeper – you still aren’t getting it – if an attorney can’t keep this oath than they can help the client get another attorney. This is simply saying if your client is gay you should not give him/her service of lesser quality.

  18. Todd,

    That would make sense if the oath were taken on a per client basis, then you could adjust the oath for the client. It doesn’t work that way however. The assumption of the oath is that it applies in every case, and that lawyers will keep it.

Trackbacks

  1. […] We broke the story here first, and now Arizona’s News Platoon is reporting the Bar is backing off. Thanks to those of you who contacted the State Bar and protested. Other than one newspaper article which came out a few days after the controversy surfaced, this was a protest effort completely organized by the blogs and new media. According to Arizona News Platoon, the AZ Supreme Court instructed the State Bar not to add the language. This was a wise decision. Limiting the free speech rights of Arizona’s attorneys in the name of political correctness would have been challenged and overthrown by the courts – and the cost of such a silly decision would be unfairly borne by Arizona’s attorneys.   […]

Leave a Reply