Saturday, July 07, 2007

One Less Dumb Rightwing Lawyer

One of the problems facing this nation is the plethora of dumb rightwing lawyers. Without this supply of dumb rightwing lawyers, our court systems would not need to deal with silly, malicious, and poorly thought-out suits brought by fringe-element organizations like the Alliance Defense Fund, the Institute for Justice, and the United States Attorney's Office.

The problem is not so much the fact that some attorneys are rightwingers. Indeed, I've worked for, with and against a lot of rightwing attorneys, and most of them are credits to their profession.

The problem lies with the dumb rightwing lawyers. They are everywhere. 150+ bottom-tier graduates of bottom-tier Regent University School of Law (founded by Pat Robertson) have found their way into the ranks of the US Attorney's Office, so confounding the works that people like Monica Goodling find themselves "crossing the line" without ever showing evidence that she knew where the line was in the first place.

Thank goodness that Massachusetts has chosen to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Despite getting sued for $9.75 million (why not make it an even $10 million?), the Massachusetts Board of Law Examiners is refusing admission to Stephen Dunne, who came up short on the Bar Exam after refusing to respond to a question involving a gay couple. Answering the question, he argued, would imply that he endorses gay marriage and parenting.

I'm happy that the liberal lawyers among us didn't fall victim to this trap. Where would the rule of law be today if we had refused to answer questions about the death penalty, or about corporate powers? What if we had refused to answer questions about domestic law until gay couples could participate?

The Bar Exam is a test of knowledge demonstrating whether you are intellectually fit to practice law. If you fail it for a lack of knowledge, you are free to study up and give it another try. If you think you failed it because of your political beliefs, though, perhaps you'd do better as a rightwing something else, okay?

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Anonymous travelingal said...

Is there such a thing as a "right wing democrat"?

Dunne, who describes himself as a Christian and a Democrat, is seeking $9.75 million in damages and wants a jury to prohibit the Board of Bar Examiners from considering the question in his passage of the exam and to order it removed from all future exams.

7/07/2007 2:32 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sure there are rightwing democrats. That's why I'm not that fond of Hillary. (But I'll admit I missed that detail, and it surprises the heck out of me!)

7/07/2007 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or could he have registered as a Democrat as a red herring?

7/07/2007 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... is a .pdf of the Petition

7/07/2007 5:28 PM  
Blogger Stephen Bough said...

Dan - if you haven't watched Jon Stewart's in-depth reporting on Regent University (formerly known as the Christian Broadcast Network University School of Law), go check it out.

7/07/2007 9:08 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

His suit should be grounds for immediate failure of the test.

Regardless of what you think about being gay, gay people have legal standing.

So failure to answer the question is grounds.

And if he is arguing that gay people don't have legal standing, then he should fail as well.

What tripe, regardless of your political/moral orientation. The guy should be failed on his low IQ, if anything.

7/07/2007 10:31 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

Just because I was curious, I took a look at the bar exam and thought this was the most interesting question on it:

"A dumb lawyer, an honest lawyer and Santa Clause all leave Las Angeles for New York at the same time. Which one gets to New York first?

ANWER: The dumb lawyer (the other two are fictional characters).

7/08/2007 8:53 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

After reading this story and the particular question on the test, I have to conclude that if I was on the jury, I would rule against Dunne. It is the responsibility of a lawyer to know the laws of the state/people in which he seeks a license. Period.

7/08/2007 9:12 AM  
Blogger reverse_vampyr said...

Dan, you and I disagree about a great many things. This, however, ain't one of 'em. Spot on.

7/09/2007 8:07 AM  
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8/18/2007 4:47 AM  
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