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Fischer: Disbar DOJ Attorneys Over DOMA!

Bryan Fischer displays his complete ignorance of legal matters by writing a column demanding that every lawyer who works for the Department of Justice be disbarred for refusing to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Cue the outrage:

Attorneys have a moral, ethical, legal and constitutional obligation to give their clients the best representation they have to offer. Failure to provide competent counsel is grounds for appeal for a client who loses, and even for a new trial in death penalty cases.

Now were an attorney not only to stop representing a client who had retained his services, but suddenly and abruptly to begin working to undermine his client’s case, working openly for his client’s legal adversaries, working actively against his own client, he’d be disbarred so fast it’d give you a nosebleed.

Such a staggering and jaw dropping breach of moral and ethical obligation would literally be unprecedented in the annals of jurisprudence. No attorney could survive if he committed such egregious misconduct. What client could ever trust him again? What reputable law firm would ever hire him again?…

Now when a duly enacted law comes under legal assault, it is the sworn duty of the Department of Justice to defend that law. That’s its job. That’s what we are paying its lawyers to do. They work for us, the American people, to defend our interests in court…

This is freakish at best and scandalously reprehensible at worst. Disbarment of the whole lot is not too much to ask, for betraying every judicial canon known to man and for violating the sacred oath they took to uphold the Constitution and see that the laws of the land be faithfully executed.

Except, of course, that it isn’t unprecedented at all. In fact, President Reagan did it three times. In 1982, Bob Jones University had its tax exempt status stripped by the IRS and BJU filed suit. Not only did the Reagan DOJ refuse to defend the decision, they filed a brief on behalf of the university. ZOMG! Arrest Ed Meese!

DOJ attorneys do not have a lawyer-client relationship with either the American people or Congress, they are an executive agency that represents the occupant of the White House. And while it’s traditional that they defend the constitutionality of the law, it certainly isn’t unprecedented that the president decides not to do so. If Fischer wasn’t a braindead zealot, he would know that.

Comments

  1. Alverant says

    Of course for BJU, they shouldn’t have had their status stripped in the fist place. DOMA is the RIGHT decision that should be offended.

    /snark

  2. says

    … betraying every judicial canon known to man and for violating the sacred oath they took to uphold the Constitution and see that the laws of the land be faithfully executed.

    Yeah? And when the laws of the land violate the Constitution, which gets precedent? Hint: the Constitution is the supreme law of the US. So if a lawyer makes a good faith judgment that a law of Congress violates the Constitution, s/he is duty bound to try and invalidate the congressional law.

    [Stands back while Fischer's head explodes]

  3. says

    John Pieret@3:

    Fischer would no doubt reply that the Babble was the supreme law of the land and that Constitution was based on babblical law, therefore, no gay marriage.

  4. says

    @John Pieret #3 – Ah, but the Holy and Unalterable (except when convenient) Eternal Word of God is the Supreme Law of the Universe. The universe outranks mere nations, so….

  5. says

    Besides, not taking a case is fine. It might get you fired, but there’s nothing unethical about it from a bar standpoint. You are only obligated to argue cases to the best of your ability if you take them. It’s not liek these attorneys learned secret information from their client, then switched sides like he’s implying.

  6. Artor says

    @ John#3
    No need to worry. For Fischer’s head to explode, it would first have to have something in it. Whatever is rattling around in that cavity, it’s obviously inert.

  7. Michael Heath says

    John Pieret writes:

    . . . when the laws of the land violate the Constitution, which gets precedent? Hint: the Constitution is the supreme law of the US. So if a lawyer makes a good faith judgment that a law of Congress violates the Constitution, s/he is duty bound to try and invalidate the congressional law.

    [Stands back while Fischer's head explodes]

    I’d be interested in understanding how to parse a decision if defending one constitutional clause effectively has the government violating another constitutional clause. I assume they defend the clause more specific to the facts of the case, but what if the facts are distributed more equally?

  8. says

    I’d be interested in understanding how to parse a decision if defending one constitutional clause effectively has the government violating another constitutional clause. I assume they defend the clause more specific to the facts of the case, but what if the facts are distributed more equally?

    Those are questions worthy of bar examinations (which, fortunately, I no longer have to worry about). There is a (not very well defined) hierarchy of “rights,” such as “commercial” versus “personal” rights. When two or more rights bump up against each other it is often difficult to sort them out in any rational way other than judges’ rather subjective opinions as to which are more “important.”

    For a fairly well known example: I have a personal right not to associate with other people on whatever grounds I choose, regardless of whether anyone else approves of those reasons. I can, in short, choose not to associate with n***ers. I open a lunchcounter, intended to serve my little community, mostly of like-minded people. I choose not to serve n***ers. I have a right to run my business as I like. The Federal government, however, has the right to control “interstate commerce” and, even though my lunchcounter may serve only one out-of-state person a year or less, it passes a law that says I have to serve people regardless of race. Which takes precedent … my right not to associate; the Federal goverment’s rights under the Commerce Clause; my rights to run my business as I please; or the rights of all people, regardless of race, religion, etc., to move about freely with access to public accommodations?

    Fortunately, such issues keep lawyers fully employed.

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