The American Bar Association considering speech codes that would open up lawyers to punishment if they utter innocuous statements that the Leftist-inclined ABA deems to be expressions of thoughtcrime.
“It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:… (g) harass or discriminate 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…
“[Discrimination and harassment] includes harmful verbal or physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice towards others because of their membership or perceived membership in one or more of the groups listed in paragraph (g). Harassment includes sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical conduct towards a person who is, or is perceived to be, a member of one of the groups. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The substantive law of antidiscrimination and anti-harassment statutes and case law may guide application of paragraph (g).
“Conduct related to the practice of law includes representing clients; interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and others while engaged in the practice of law; operating or managing a law firm or law practice; and participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law. Paragraph (g) does not prohibit conduct undertaken to promote diversity.”
What’s worse, is that there is no limitation to the extent of this speech edict:
“Hostile work environment harassment law is also often defended (though in my view that defense is inadequate) on the grounds that it’s limited to speech that is so ‘severe or pervasive’ that it creates an ‘offensive work environment.’ This proposed rule conspicuously omits any such limitation.”
Though state bars, which control whether you are allowed whether one can practice law or not, are not required to adopt the ABA’s edict, many look towards the ABA for guidance.
This would potentially mean that any lawyer who expresses a thoughcrime, such as disagreement with same-sex marriage, transgender bathroom rules, &c., could be disciplined, potentially to the point of not being able to practice anymore, which would bar one from a judgeship in most states.
It is a lot easier for the Left to get what they want via courts when not only are the judges those who have no moral qualm with the pre-determined answer, but then you have no lawyers able to argue against it.
But doesn’t this cut both ways, one might ask?
Of course not! Remember that the edict states that it “does not prohibit conduct undertaken to promote diversity”. “Diversity” being the magic word that allows for one way discrimination. As Eugene Volokh noted:
“If you express [“]pro-equality viewpoints[“], you’re fine; if you express the contrary viewpoints, you’re risking disciplinary action.”
It didn’t apply to bakers, florists, and photographers who were making a living, what makes you think that it won’t apply to lawyers in their professional capacity?