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Guest Thinkers

At The ABA The Spin Doctor Is In

The American Bar Association’s slogan is “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice.” Pursuing justice for the rich and powerful? Must be. From what I’ve read it can’t be for the poor and disenfranchised.

 if the ABA is interested in justice why isn’t it speaking out across the nation against mean spirited prosecutors who resist allowing inmates access to DNA testing that may prove their innocence?

If the ABA is interested in justice why hasn’t it’s members flooded the airways to outline the injustices being done to lower and middle class people during the financial crisis? “As bad as America’s foreclosure crisis is–and it’s very bad, with over 300,000 homes receiving a foreclosure filing every month–it’s being made even more devastating by the lack of legal assistance available to beleaguered homeowners,” wrote Arianna Huffington, owner of the Huffington Post. One thing, according to Huffington, is funding. The other is that restrictions have been deliberately built into the system to prevent adequate legal help. Who is more qualified to campaign for reform than the ABA leadership?

I haven’t heard the ABA leadership chastise it’s members for writing the laws that gave cover to the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street who emptied the nation’s pockets for hundreds of billions of dollars. No justice here.

What is the ABA leadership doing to help the 70 to 80 percent of the poor who don’t have access to legal help unless they have been charged with a crime. It seems not much.

What the ABA is mainly interested in these days, according to one of its policy statements, is helping its members through these difficult economic times and increasing its membership rolls. There is nothing wring with that. After all, the ABA is a professional union.

The ABA’s slogan “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice” is catchy but it shouldn’t be taken literally. But we should recognize the creative effort by the ABA to pull the wool over our eyes. My compliments to the spin doctor. 


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