Upon admission to the California State Bar every attorney must take an oath of office which includes the following duty:
Duties of Attorney
It is the duty of an attorney to do all of the following:
1. To support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state.
State Bar Act, Article 4, §6068. Both the United States Constitution and the California State Constitution gives to its citizens the right to freedom of speech. The case law in this regard protects free speech so that there exists wide open robust debate on issues of public importance.
It is certainly surprising then that Women Lawyers of Sacramento (WLS), a group of lawyers who took an oath upon admission to the State Bar of California to support the Constitution and the laws of both the United States and the State of California, uninvited LLDF’s Executive Director, Dana Cody, to speak at their April 24, 2008 luncheon titled Lawyering From the Heart. According to the President of the organization, who initially approved Ms. Cody’s invitation to speak, the WLS Executive Committee was in an uproar that Ms. Cody was invited because of her pro-life beliefs. Just a few months before, WLS invited a similar panel of speakers and an attorney from Planned Parenthood was invited to speak from the heart about the use of her legal training. As we all know, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion in the United States.
While LLDF acknowledges that WLS is a private organization and consequently they have the freedom to discriminate as they see fit, what happened in this group of Sacramento attorneys? Did they forget about their oath? What kind of role are they modeling for up and coming lady lawyers? Did the women who were in an uproar forget that they are “pro-choice”? Once again abortion advocates have proven they are not about choice at all. Apparently they view their position as so tenuous that someone who is an abortion foe cannot even speak about her career in their presence.
Isn’t it ironic that WLS and Unity Bar of Sacramento nominated the Summer Law Fellowship Program of Sacramento County Bar Association for the 2008 State Bar of California Diversity Award? WLS apparently promotes diversity in other organizations but not their own.
Isn’t it also ironic that women have been fighting for equal rights for years and now that they have finally obtained positions of power in that quest, they are using that power to silence women who disagree with their viewpoint?
[As those two great philosophers, Sonny and Cher sang, “And the beat goes on.”—Ed.]