The Washington Times – August 17, 2016

 

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Last week the American Bar Association (ABA) changed its model ethics rules for lawyers, prohibiting attorneys from engaging in speech or being a member of any organization — even churches — that holds traditional views on marriage, sexuality and other issues. It now goes to each state’s courts for consideration, which must emphatically reject Model Rule 8.4 as an unprecedented threat to religious liberty, both for attorneys and their clients.

The ABA adopted Model Rule 8.4, which makes it unethical — and thus something for which a lawyer could lose his or her license to practice law — to “discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law.”

The rule’s official comments sweepingly interpret discrimination “related” to practicing law to include “verbal conduct” and “business or social activities.” Anything a lawyer says to another person — whether speaking in church or over dinner — sharing his viewpoints on same-sex marriage, transgenderism, Black Lives Matter or illegal immigration, would enable any hearer to file a complaint with the state bar authority. Continue reading