Breaking News: Jack Roberts draws a challenge to his Bar application

Last week, former Labor Commissioner and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Roberts announced his candidacy for the Oregon Supreme Court. He joins a race that already includes attorney Gene Hallman and Judge Virginia Linder. (Previous coverage on BlueOregon, including comments from Jack himself - here, here, and here.)

According to the Eugene Register-Guard, Roberts is not currently a member of the Oregon State Bar - a necessary precondition for running for Oregon Supreme Court.

Roberts must regain active status with the Oregon State Bar before Election Day, as required by Oregon law. He applied for reinstatement last fall and said in a telephone interview Thursday that the bar's board of governors will act on his application next month. "We anticipate I will have the active title back well before the (May) election," he said. Roberts' bar status became inactive in 1996, two years after he was elected to the state Bureau of Labor and Industries. He does not currently practice law.

Yesterday, attorney Jeff Merrick filed a letter with the Oregon State Bar - arguing against the reinstatement of Jack Roberts to the Bar. Download the letter and attachments (PDF).

Merrick alleges that Jack Roberts may have been engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

In his application, Mr. Roberts asserts, “I have not practiced law while [serving as executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership].” However, he also discloses, “I have assisted businesses in complying with state and local laws regulating their activities and have assisted local governments regarding ordinances and policies affecting economic development.” ...

Mr. Roberts admits to doing even more than those who engaged in the unlawful practice of law in the above instances. ... It appears, then, that Mr. Roberts has engaged in the practice of law during his inactive status, making him ineligible for reinstatement.

Even if Roberts is eligible for reinstatement, Merrick argues that since he hasn't actively practiced since 1989 (going inactive in 1996), he should pass the bar exam again - or have some other educational requirement:

Mr. Roberts has not practiced law since 1989. Consider this question: would you refer a loved one to a lawyer who has not practiced law since the 1980s? ...

The Board of Governors has a duty to protect the public. Mr. Roberts might try to argue that the BOG need not prescribe a significant educational condition precedent based upon an assurance that he does not intend to practice law for hire. Instead, his application notes that he may run for the Oregon Supreme Court.

In my opinion, Mr. Roberts’ motivation should encourage the BOG to require a higher standard for education, not a lower one. I hope for Supreme Court justices and candidates who are brilliant and who have been struggling actively with legal conundrums for decades, rather than a legal dabbler who is a perennial political candidate. ...

One wonders if there were ever a more appropriate case for imposing the bar exam requirement than this case, in which the applicant has not practiced law for 17 years and has demonstrated a lack of understanding of basic legal concepts.


  • Ron Ledbury (unverified)

    Oh what fun.

    The deadline for staff to deliver materials to the Board of Governors is Jan 23rd for the Feb 3rd gathering.

    At a minimum I would argue that he needs to retake the bar exam. But my dry argument would be based on harmonizing the treatment of persons who first seek to gain membership with those that have been inactive.

    Then again, the requirement of membership in an organization might cause problems were I to run for City Auditor and seek voter owned publicity money. Were I in that position I too would find it tempting to not pretend to not know things learned in law school and then apply the judgment and skill of a lawyer, zealously on behalf of the general public rather than for private clients.

    And Neil G. is just a non-lawyer consultant, too, and thus within the reach of the bar and their statutory right to seek an injunction against the unlawful practice of law.

  • geno (unverified)

    An important distinction between license suspension and a voluntary change to inactive status, lies in the authority of the bar to require passage of the bar exam as a prerequisite to reinstatement. Fitness to practice is the standard, and with voluntary reinstatement, input is solicited from members of the bar to advise of knowledge which would bear on the applicant’s fitness to practice law. Perhaps the state bar should consider an examination requirement when reinstatement follows a lengthy inactive status. This is not currently required except following suspension. Certainly Mr. Roberts efforts at following current developments in the law is fertile ground for inquiry, and I would want to know whether he stays current with advance sheets, attends conferences and CLE classes sponsored by the state bar, teaches, studies precedent, e.g., whether and how he stays up-to-date. Lets give him the courtesy of a response before we conclude he is unfit to serve without first passing a bar exam.

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    Geno... Jack is, as always, very welcome to respond right here. He's been an active commenter here at BlueOregon in the past.

    Of course, "we" won't be making any conclusions. That's for the State Bar to do.

  • Andy (unverified)

    Although I would certainly like to see him bounced, I think the case Merrick lays out for unauthorized practice of law is weak at best. Additionally, I think the correct arena for this is during campaigns. I personally can just imagine the ads, (lets assume a generic candidate):

    Narrator: Jack Roberts wants you to think that he is qualified to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court, but would you trust someone who has not practiced law since 1989 and has not even been an active member of the bar for ten years.

    (Bright picture of candidate x):

    Candidate x: Hello my name is x and I have over twenty years of experience fighting for you in our state's highest courts. I am a decorated trial lawyer who wants to run for the Supreme Court to bring forth a more just Oregon. So vote for me, the candidate who has the experience to do what it takes.

    Disclaimer: I have no connection to any candidate in this race.

  • Alice (unverified)

    Why would an ambulance chaser (excuse my oversight, "personal injury lawyer") try and derail anyone's candidacy for the Oregon Supreme Court? Does he have a personal beef with Jack, or simply too much time on his hands. Perhaps Esquire Merrick is considering a run?

    It's not like Jack Roberts was appointed to a vacant seat; he simply wants to run for office? Why would Jeff Merrick want to keep anybody off the ballot?

  • Alice (unverified)

    Google comes through here for the link or read the text below. Looks like Jeff Merrick was the Chair of the Multnomah County Democratic Party Executive Committee. Whatever happened to full disclosure?

    What's up with Oregon Supreme Court Election?

    Submitted by Jeff Merrick on Thu, 10/13/2005 - 3:41pm. Outline of Merrick’s comments for 10/13/2005 Central Committee Meeting

    I’ve got 10 minutes to tell you:

    1. What’s going on?

    2. Why you should care.

    3. What we can do about it.

    First -- What’s going on.

    Oregon Supreme Court Justice, Wallace Carson, Jr. resigned. There will be a statewide election for a seat on the Oregon Supreme court.

    Even before his resignation, the right wing had their eyes on the Oregon Supreme court. They have an initiative to change the election from a statewide race to seats by district, in an effort to move the court to the right.

    Second -- Why you should care.

    There are many reasons why you should care.

    First, you can trust George W. Bush to tilt the U.S. Supreme court even farther to the right with the next nomination -- whether or not it is Harriet Miers.

    At the Supreme Court level, the notion of a neutral umpire is a fiction. For example, our founding fathers never considered whether the First Amendment gives Pfizer the right to advertise Viagra® on television. There are good arguments on both sides, and a judge’s own public policy views make all the difference. When Justice Roberts says, “Trust me, I’m just going to apply the law,” that’s a bogus argument.

    Even without another right-wing, evangelical on the Court, the Rehnquist Court was the most activist Supreme Court in our nation’s history. It overturned or severely limited more democratically-enacted laws than all of the other courts combined in the previous 200 years. It has not been shy about substituting its own judgment for that of Congress, state lawmakers, and state judges. Two examples out of hundreds: it invalidated the federal Violence Against Women Act, and the Court held that states could not regulate outdoor billboards advertising cigarettes. As one respected scholar concluded, “the Court is hiding its value choices to limit civil rights and to protect business from regulation in decisions that seem to be about . . . doctrines of constitutional law, such as the scope of commerce power and the circumstances of [federal] preemption [of state law].”

    But thank goodness that Oregon has its own constitution; we do not have to rely entirely on a right to privacy in the United States Constitution. When the Roberts Court overturns Roe v. Wade, we will turn to Oregon’s constitution to protect our right to privacy.

    Since the early 1980s, Oregon’s Supreme Court has been out front in encouraging lawyers to look FIRST to Oregon’s constitution to protect our rights. In fact, former Oregon Justice Hans Linde once wrote in an opinion that any lawyer who “fails to raise an Oregon constitution violation and relies solely on parallel provisions under the federal constitution . . . should be guilty of legal malpractice.”

    Bottom line, we need people on Oregon’s Supreme Court who share our Democratic values, not only to protect our privacy rights, but all of our rights: Our rights to justice under civil and criminal law. Our right to improve our society through legislation. And, very important, we want Supreme Court justices who can carefully scrutinize all of the ballot titles that get thrown at them.

    So it matters who gets elected to fill Wallace Carson’s seat. That’s why you should care.

    Part 3: what we can do.

    Get involved in the campaign.

    The right wing will, undoubtedly, draft a candidate and support him or her through the same grassroots network that fights against abortion rights and gay rights.

    So: • We must, right now, start talking up the campaign to anyone who will listen. • We must get to know the candidates. • We must write letters to editors for our candidate and against the right-wing candidate. • We must use our campaigning expertise to help the best candidate.

    Right now, we have one declared candidate and one shadow candidate. The declared candidate is Eugene Hallman, a Democrat from Pendleton. How do you like that, a Democrat from Pendleton? You know he must have courage.

    The shadow candidate is Jack Roberts, former commissioner of BOLI, former Gubernatorial candidate. David Rheinhard, - you know David Rheinhard, the Oregonian’s right wing attack dog -- wrote a glowing column supporting Roberts. However, at this time Jack Roberts is not even qualified. One has to be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court to be eligible to serve. Roberts is an inactive member of the Bar. As such, he could not legally appear as a lawyer before the Oregon Supreme Court. We’ll see if he gets himself reactivated.

    Democrat Gene Hallman is a highly qualified candidate. He has handled over 130 appeals, including 30 in the Oregon Supreme Court. He has tried over 300 cases in state in federal courts, which is unheard of these days. People who know Gene better than I do believe he will be a voice for “ordinary people.”

    If any of you want to get involved, E-mail me at [email protected] , subject Oregon Supreme court. I’d like to hear from you if:

    • You merely want more info on the candidates. • Want to work on a letters to the editor team or, otherwise, help.

    In the meantime, every time you hear people complaining abut Bush’s appointments to the US Supreme court, remind them that

    • THEY / WE will be electing the next Oregon Supreme Court Justice, and • It is more critical than ever to elect a person who shares our Democratic values.

    In conclusion:

    What’s going on: Oregon Supreme Court Election.

    Why you should care: Because we need a state court bulwark to protect our civil rights.

    What you can do: Tell people about it, and let me know you want to get involved.

    [email protected]

  • (Show?)

    Jeff was the chair of the Multnomah County Democratic Party. He stopped being the chair many months ago-- it was about June or so when the Vice Chair took over and about September when the new chair was elected.

    By the time he wrote that he was no longer chair of the organization. He was a Democrat and lawyer who was speaking to the County Party about the Oregon Supreme Court election. He's been following the election fairly closely for some time now.

    And just because someone is a personal injury lawyer does not make them an "ambulance chaser." There are plenty of people out there who are hurt each year and need help from lawyers such as him. People who lose the ability to walk, use limbs, etc. and/or will be in pain for the rest of their lives.

    Yes, there are lawyers out there who would fit into the "ambulance chaser" category, but I don't think Jeff is one of them.

    And since you're so interested in what people did in the past, I served as Communications Secretary for the Multnomah County Democratic Party. Jeff was the Chair of the Party at that time. And since I don't know how far you think should be disclosed, I'll also say I was the Recording Secretary for the West Galveston County Democratic Club as well.

  • Jeffwhogivesa? (unverified)


    Who cares who jeff is? I don't care if he is really Howard Dean. Point is people who don't practice law should not serve on the Supreme Court.

    If the argument that Jeff is (God forbid) politizing (sp?) this debate, it would only be because Roberts made it political. At least the other two in the race are actually lawyers, one of whom is actually judge. But let's not quibble about what they have actually done for a living.

    This seems like a natural path of W logic, as per Harriet Miers. Didn't Bush say something like..."Somebody said to me, why not appoint someone who wasn't a judge." Let's keep following that down the path. Why not support someone who's not a lawyer! Hell why not support someone who has not been to law school, or any school!

    Oh I know, I am being an elitist intellectual only wanting those people on the court who have some academic training.

    Given our state's posture of showing its backside to education, maybe we should expect people with out an education to serve.

    But I digress.

    Roberts shouldn't run out of respect for the office. It is the Supreme Court, it should have our best and brightest attorneys. Not shoulda, woulda, coulda, been attorneys.


  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    I have little interest in who Jeffwhogivesa would choose as the "best and brightest attorneys..." I believe experience on the bench is far more important than party affiliation or wins/losses as a trial attorney. When considering candidates for the Oregon Supreme Court, having served on a lower court ought to be the cost of admission (if it isn't a requirement, so be it). Having been elected to a previous statewide office has nothing to do with serving on the Supreme Court, niether does party affiliation. It is a non-partisan race, after all.

    By contrast, judicial appointments (Federal or State) are always a partisan affair: the partisan executive makes the nomination, and the loyal opposition does their best to shoot them down. The obvious advantage of an elected judiciary is the avoidance of partisan influence or indebtedness. Translation: the Oregon Supreme Court should not be bought and paid for with 30 second television ads or direct mail sponsored by the party faithful.

    The other advantage of an elected judiciary is accountability: if we ever get a Vermont style suspended sentence for a child rapist, even the most progressive among you should grit your teeth in disgust. Bill O'Reilly has displayed the same righteous indignation (on that Vermont case) as I would expect to hear from the bluest of Blue Oregonians.

    If we have two candidates with no experience on the bench (even pro-tempore?), then I would hope another candidate will be forthcoming.

    I believe it is pretentious and nasty for a former chair of the Multnomah County Democratic Party to undertake a partisan effort to keep Jack Roberts off the ballot (by interceding with the Bar). If Mr. Merrick wants to wage a partisan campaign in favor of another candidate, so be it. Oregon doesn't need Jeff Merrick to define the qualifications necessary for readmission to the bar or to determine minimum qualifications for the Supreme Court. It is an election, after all. May the best candidate win.

  • (Show?)

    Seems to me the ploy to keep Jack Roberts off the ballot by challenging his bar reinstatement is a godsend to Jack.

    Consider: this is a hard position to mount a decent campaign for. The rules hardly allow the candidate to express an opinion. How do you generate recognition?

    Here's an idea: create a huge controversy over whether Jack Roberts should be reinstated to the bar! Yes, THAT Jack Roberts. The one who is smarter than almost all the other lawyers in Oregon combined.

    Make this eminently qualified person a victim by subjecting him to attack by a party operative, which, if it proceeds much further, will inform everybody who pays attention that the former Lane Co. Commissioner and statewide elected BOLI chief is being targeted by party hacks in a way that any reasonable person will judge to be unfair and hyperpolitical.

    Alternate theory - Jack Roberts is so stinking smart that he put Merrick up to it!

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    Did Kulongoscopy serve on the bench before he joined the Supremes?

    If not, then any criticism of Jack Roberts would seem to be politically motivated. Or maybe one of you legal eagles could trot out the "no experience on the bench" letters to the editor you mailed in opposition to Governor Ted's Supreme Court bid?

  • (Show?)

    Kari, thanks for the invitation to answer Mr. Merrick's allegations but I will be responding directly to the Board of Governors of the Oregon State Bar. While the election of a supreme court justice is a political matter, the question of my status with the bar is a professional one and I have pursued it as such from the inception. I am confident in the fairness and professionalism of both the Oregon State Bar and the Oregon Supreme Court (who will have the final say on the status of my license).

    Suffice it to say, the allegation that I have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law while heading an economic development agency is false. I have not done anything that dozens of other economic development professionals--the vast majority of whom are not and never have been attorneys--do not do every day. I am not concerned that the Board of Governors or the Oregon Supreme Court will be influenced by this allegation.

  • Pawkedmahcaw (unverified)

    BREAKING NEWS ALERT...Multnomah County Democrats declare they are united in opposition to Jack Roberts, a "bar hopping Republican career politician who hasn't quit beating his wife (yet)"

    C'mon, Jack...MultCo Democrats simply want to know if you've quit beating your wife yet? Is that too much to ask a guy? I mean, if you want to serve on the Supreme Court, we have a right to know whether you're a wife beater or not. And a member of the Bar? That's not a mens only bar, is it Senator Kennedy?

    Nothing wrong with a guy standing up for what he believes in, right?

    On a separate topic, I just read Governor Ted's biography. Now I realize what they mean by "Unitary Executive"...Ted has held a job (or three) in every branch of government: AFL-CIO, U.S.M.C., Insurance Commissioner, Attorney General, Legislator (House and Senate), Supreme Court Justice, kitchen cabinent, and all around nice guy. I would love to see what his PERS check looks like!

  • Andy (unverified)

    According to the Oregon State Bar, Kulongoski was admitted to the bar in 1970 and although I don't believe he served on the bench prior to being on the Court but he had been AG.

  • (Show?)

    Like paying their dues regularly and drawing up wills makes a person a good candidate for the Supreme Court? I don't doubt that there are many lawyers who are in good standing with the Oregon State Bar who are less qualified to be on the Supreme Court than they were when they passed their exams. Maybe we should make every lawyer who wants to run for the SC take the exams again?

    I don't think this even rises to the level of a tempest in a teapot. A tempest in a teaspoon maybe.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    Has Gene Hallman ever served on the bench? Wouldn't it make sense to run for a circuit court seat first?

    Here's a sports analogy: just because you can throw a fast ball down the middle of the plate, it doesn't mean you a good umpire.

  • (Show?)

    "Maybe we should make every lawyer who wants to run for the SC take the exams again?"

    Hmmm, Doretta, now there's a thought....

    A proposal: We'll invite Jack Bogdanksi, blogger extraordinaire and L&C law professor, to offer a sample bar exam to all three candidates - Hallman, Linder, and Roberts. Jack and two law professor pals (selected by Jack) can grade 'em. All three candidates agree in advance to have their scores released. Why not?

    (My prediction - the judge and the guy who has argued dozens of cases before the bar do better than the guy who hasn't practiced law since 1989. But that's just a guess. I could be wrong.)

  • (Show?)

    All three of the candidates for the position look good to me. Oregon is blessed to have such competition for the seat. Don't knock Jack Roberts -- he's a bright guy who would have no problem passing the bar again. The challenge ploy described in this post is despicable. The folks at the bar will laugh it off, as well they should. I hope it helps Roberts.

    Meanwhile, there's a certain U.S. senator that you may know who flunked the bar exam -- twice, I hear, before he gave up. I'll give you a hint: He especially didn't understand the part of Constitutional Law about not suspending habeas corpus.

  • (Show?)

    It's always amusing to me when someone blames politicians for ... gasp! ... engaging in politics! That a Democrat should try to hamstring a popular, moderate Republican doesn't strike me as remarkable news.

  • (Show?)

    Jack... Sounds to me like you're talking about Senator Ron Wyden. He passed the bar on his third try. Of course, he's not a practicing attorney or a candidate for the Supreme Court. Instead, he's the first Democratic US Senator in decades...

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    The first Democractic US Senator in fail his bar exam? I think you have an incomplete sentence above, Kari.

    The first Democratic U.S. Senator in decades TO WHAT?

  • LT (unverified)

    The first Democratic U.S. Senator in decades TO WHAT?

    Isn't Ron the first Oregon Democrat elected US Senator since Wayne Morse?

  • Alice (unverified)

    The first Democratic U.S. Senator FROM OREGON.

  • (Show?)

    Yawn. "John Roberts will vote with us on assisted suicide." There's a keen legal mind.

    Gotta go -- gotta call him and thank him for voting against Alito.

    You guys kill me some nights.

  • (Show?)

    BTW, he's not listed as a member of the Oregon State Bar, active or inactive. Are you sure he passed? Maybe in some other state? WW has him flunking three times:

  • (Show?)

    Yeah, from Oregon. Thought that was OK left unsaid, here at BlueOregon.

    Jack -- yeah, I'm pretty sure. Heard him say it to Jeff Mapes once, and confirmed it today with a damn good source. Doesn't surprise me that he's not an active member of the Oregon Bar. After all, he's not working as a lawyer.

  • Alice (unverified)

    Serving in the U.S. Senate is about as close you can get to practicing law without actually requiring a J.D. (making law, to be precise). Plus you have the whole "advise and consent" function on executive branch staff, ambassadors, and Supreme Court nominees. If he flunked his Oregon driver's exam three times, would you mind if Washington D.C. let him drive himself to work?

    Sure, he's a dumb son-of-a-bitch; but he's our dumb son-of-a-bitch.

  • (Show?)

    I'm pretty sure. Heard him say it to Jeff Mapes once, and confirmed it today with a damn good source. Doesn't surprise me that he's not an active member of the Oregon Bar. After all, he's not working as a lawyer.

    Read what I wrote. He's not a member, active or inactive. Which means either he was never admitted in Oregon, or he resigned. It's possible he passed the exam and was never sworn in, but I'd give that about a 1 in 10,000 chance of being the case. Next time you see damn good source, you might want to ask a few more questions. 'Til then, I think 'll go with Willamette Week.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    You don't think a U.S. Senator (and law school graduate) would lie to a reporter, do you?

    I mean, it's not like he's running for the Oregon Supreme Court, he would need to be readmitted to the bar for that. But lying about his professional or academic achievement on a Voter's Pamphlet would be illegal, right?

    What was the name of the vitamin/supplements Congressman from southern Oregon. The one who was (then wasn't) a decorated Korean War veteran?

  • (Show?)

    Wes Cooley. Another of the illustrious former members of the Oregon GOP leadership.

  • (Show?)

    Jack... I'm pretty sure he passed the bar in another state, but I'll check on that.

    Why are we talking about Ron Wyden? He's not running for Supreme Court, and you don't need a law license to serve in the US Senate (thank god).

    I'm pretty sure this post was about Jack Roberts, who is running for the Oregon Supreme Court -- which requires that you be an active member of the Oregon Bar. Which he is not.

    [Oh, and I've been remiss on the usual disclaimer. I built Ron Wyden's campaign website, and was an intern in his office way back in '93. But I speak only for myself.]

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    Ron Wyden is voting against Judge Alito because, in Ron Wyden's opinion, Judge Alito is not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

    Mr. Merrick (former Chair of the MultCo Democratic Party and personal injury lawyer) is lobbying against Jack Roberts because, in Mr. Merrick's opinion, Jack Roberts is not qualified to be readmitted to the Oregon Bar. I see several parallels, though not a perfect analogy.

    Ironically, Ron Wyden may never have gained admission to the Oregon Bar, based on his (allegedly) unsuccessful attempts to pass the Oregon Bar Exam. Nevertheless, he looks unfavorably upon the ABA's "Highest" ranked judicial nominee. No politics at play here, nosireee!

    Mr. Merrick suggests that Jack Roberts may have practiced law without active membership in the bar (while employed by an Economic Development Agency); and alternately suggested Jack Roberts may not qualify for readmission to the bar in advance of the qualification deadline. Again, a purely non-partisan objection to the man's qualifications, or "let's throw it all up and see what sticks?"

    Ironically, Ron Wyden has always claimed he was "Director of the Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly", but was never admitted to the Oregon Bar. Yet Mr. Merrick feels Jack Roberts should have maintained his law degree while working in economic development?

    How can that be?

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    Why are we talking about Ron Wyden? He's not running for Supreme Court, and you don't need a law license to serve in the US Senate (thank god).

    Well, you're the one who brought my name into it with a wisecrack about Jack Roberts taking the bar exam again. I thought that while we were on the subject, I'd go with the freewheeling flow.

  • Ron Ledbury (unverified)

    The Oregon State Bar won't voluntarily take my 15 bucks to gain access to the casemaker because I am not a member.

    Geno . . . anyone . . . can you find any rational nexus between that restriction and the statutory role of the bar in restricting membership in the public interest?

    Never mind that the statutes give the Oregon Supreme Court the sole control of the publication of their precedents and that there are no Oregon Supreme Court rules delegating or directing that publication function to the Oregon State Bar. I requested that the bar, not the Oregon Supreme Court, give me access to casemaker. I then treated the certain denial as an administrative action by an agency, and rather than go to a trial court for assistance I made a letter appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court. The necessary implication is that the bar had taken it upon themselves to do something that they did not have authority to do, and that it had absolutely zero relation to the function of the bar to screen applicants or discipline members, in the public interest.

    I had made that carefully-crafted request to illuminate the sheer force of form over substance by the bar. If someone is not a member of the bar they cannot pay the 15 dollar annual fee to obtain access to the court cases in electronic form in like manner to that of members of the bar.

    The request was designed to set aside in total all discussion of education requirements and all discussion of the opportunity to take the bar and all discussion of whether someone passes the bar and all discussion of whether the lay public needs to be protected, in the public interest, from those folks that hold themselves out as lawyers and all discussion of whether members are active or inactive.

    A voluntary association could choose to enter into a five year contract to provide members such a service. But the bar is not a voluntary association . . . it is a public body with a very specific function.

    The Equal Privileges and Immunities clause applies to the bar, and particularly its membership, precisely because it is a public body rather than a private voluntary association. Thus it cannot act arbitrarily and it must judge Jack Roberts, and others, based on objective measurements that are pegged to protect the public interest. It is not Jack Roberts that is the subject to scrutiny but rather the process of self-regulation that is the subject to scrutiny given the set of facts that pertain to Jack Roberts. It is even more important here where Jack Roberts wants to avail himself of that potentially flawed process so as to attain a position to set those rules and to sit in a chair that allows him to judge the worthiness of others to practice law for profit and on behalf of other's interests. Will Jack find it acceptable to avoid the objective measurements, such as the bar exam, so that he may gain a privilege that is not accorded on equal terms to others. Would Jack also deny me a chance to pay fifteen bucks to get access to casemaker?

    Would it be despicable for an army of progressives to each send the bar 15 bucks and demand equal access to casemaker? Would the bar laugh it off, just because they can? I don't know about you, but I know arbitrary when I see it.

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