Saturday, September 25, 2010

JuridicsUSA: American Bar Association: Scalded for redicidivism to putatively extreme left

The stolid solid online Politico (Sept25,2k10)  in a report by Josh Gerstein tries to fathom trends and overall direction of American Bar Association which has a long history of trying to arrogate power over the entire profession of jurists, lawyers, judges, juridical scholars (muxh like American Medical Association of yesteryear, now rather constrained.  In recent years ABA had gone thru the refiner's fire, sorted itself into circumspect tendencies, deferring to the ancient canon of suaviter in modo.

The American Bar Association, which was dogged for decades by criticism over a perceived liberal bent, is risking reigniting that debate by taking bold stands on a pair of hot-button social issues.

At its annual meeting last month in San Francisco, the nation’s largest lawyers’ group passed a formal resolution, urging every state in the union to permit same-sex marriages.

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In June, the ABA took what it acknowledged was an “extraordinary action” by filing a brief urging a federal judge in Arizona to block enforcement of that state’s highly controversial law intended to crack down on illegal immigration.
Critics contend that the back-to-back moves on the polarizing issues of gay marriage and immigration show that the ABA is again sliding to the left politically and putting its reputation at risk.
“One of the problems with having a viewpoint on anything and everything is, when the public disagrees with us on something they understand or think they understand thoroughly, that undercuts the willingness to defer to us on something they don’t understand,” said Leslie Jacobs, a former president of the Ohio Bar Association. “It compromises our prestige and our persuasiveness and you only have so many opportunities to influence people.”

In ABA palaver, a key idea comes into focus currently on two issues: "The ABA’s new president, Stephen Zack of Miami, defended the group’s support for same-sex marriage and its opposition to the Arizona immigration law as part of the organization’s broad duty to defend civil rights."
Alberto Gonzales, Federal attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, summed up the matter well:  “I can’t speak for other Republicans or other conservatives, but I can say it bothers me and I’m not a member of the ABA,” said Alberto Gonzales, who served as White House counsel and attorney general under President George W. Bush. “I have a problem with the ABA weighing in on issues like that because they’re telling a lay person they’re lawyers and this is the way it should be, implying to be otherwise is unlawful or unconstitutional. ... They don’t get to decide that. Judges decide that, not the ABA.”  The organization no longer has a monopoly of representation of American lawyers (a population in the zone of 1.2 million active lawyers in the country); the ABA, the largest single lawyer's collectivity, neverthless is a glaring minority of the total number, having some 400,000 members. That makes the ABA short some 800,000 adherents.
The ABA has an inhouse ideology that is far from a reasonably democratic outlook; the organization has become ideolugy-driven, all the while sicklied over with the pale cast of thawt, not the real thing -- at least not if you've studied reformational philosopher of jurisprudence, Herman Dooyweerd.  His Encyclopedia of the Science of Law is slowly appearing and may reach the goal of translating and publishing this monumental 5-volume research in the field, albeit from a decisively Christian perspective. At the same time, HD's general philosophical work has already been Englished and is undergoing textual scholarship to produce an annotated critical edition, A New Critique of Theoretical Thought (3 hefty volumes, 1953-1957, plus a free-standing Index volume [IV]).

While we await the 10-year project ahead, Gershon's full 3-page article is h+ly recommended.

-- Lawt

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