Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Legislature acts to corral court’s ‘kangaroos’

Imagine all three branches of Montana’s government as ranches in Montana. The Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary all have their own ranches with strict boundaries set up by the people of Montana.
This is the law of the land. But one ranch, the Judiciary, is threatening to raise kangaroos and intentionally let them jump over the boundaries, camp out on the Legislature’s front lawn and leave scat on their porch. Thus, the Legislative ranch has the affirmative duty as duly elected representatives of the people of Montana, to direct the Judiciary (Supreme Court) to respect the boundaries of the Constitution of the great state of Montana.
Senate Joint Resolution 15, passed by both the House and the Senate, politely tells the Judiciary to take their kangaroos and stay within their boundaries. If the Legislature were not to act, we would find ourselves without boundaries and a seven-member oligarchy would violate Montana’s constitutional boundaries.
This cannot happen or Montana’s freedom and system of a Constitutional Republic will be lost.
The American Bar Association, an Illinois based nonprofit political advocacy group is pushing a radical rule nationwide through every state’s supreme court.
The proposed rule states in part: “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: 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 rule, on the surface, may sound like common sense or reasonable, but in fact is disguised as a restriction of free speech and a violation of the separation of powers.
It would make it a legal ethics violation (meaning a lawyer could lose his or her license to practice law) if he or she verbally violated the proposed rule. A lawyer, for example, who belongs to the Catholic Church and openly espouses that marriage, is between one man and one woman could be sanctioned for misconduct. Further, a lawyer serving in the legislature making a political speech decrying an organization that sponsors illegal immigration could be disciplined and debarred for discrimination.
The ABA makes it clear that the rule applies to a lawyer’s personal behavior. There is “verbal conduct” as well as “physical conduct” and can apply anytime a lawyer is speaking to another person outside of a courtroom even in a social environment. Professionally, lawyers would be restricted on who they can represent and what they can say.
Montana’s own Supreme Court