Montana lawmakers warn over ABA rule

Thursday, April 20, 2017
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with U.S. flagMontana lawmakers are asking the state's highest court to honor the First Amendment rather than the liberal voice of the American Bar Association. 

As of April 10, both houses of the Montana legislature have adopted a resolution directed at the state Supreme Court asking them not to approve a change of conduct rule for attorneys that has been promoted by the American Bar Association. 

Sen. David Howard, sponsor of the resolution, explains what change of conduct the bar association is after.

“It makes it discriminatory conduct for an attorney to verbally talk about things like age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socio-economic status,” Howard tells OneNewsNow. 

If an attorney speaks out on those subjects, a complaint can be filed with the Montana Supreme Court, which would consider penalties, including disbarment. That's in spite of the constitutional guarantee of free speech for all. 

“What we have happening here with the Supreme Court of Montana --  and other supreme courts all over the United States that are also pushing this rule -- is essentially legislating from the bench and setting guidelines for stifling the free speech of attorneys,” he says. 

The resolution is not binding on the court but Howard says it sends a message on the importance of protecting members of the legal profession from the liberal American Bar Association.

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