In an infuriating twist to the story of an impressive legal victory, the two attorneys who successfully argued a landmark Second Amendment case in the U.S. Supreme Court’s current term have been effectively forced out of their prestigious law firm by its overly woke leadership, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the outlet, lawyers Paul Clement and Erin Murphy, fresh off of their blockbuster Supreme Court win in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, were told by the powers that be within their law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, that they would either need to cease representation of their existing pro-Second Amendment clients, or take their practices elsewhere.
Bruen breeds ultimatum
Last week, the nation’s high court ruled that the restrictions placed on the ability of New York residents to obtain concealed carry gun permits constituted violations of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, with Clement and Murphy having delivered the arguments that ultimately won the day.
While such a conclusive, high-profile victory would presumably be a boon to the career of any lawyer as well as his or her law firm, Kirkland & Ellis viewed the outcome quite differently, declaring soon after the Bruen ruling came down that it would have no further involvement gun rights cases and that the partners who prevailed on behalf of their clients in that case were leaving the firm.
“Kirkland & Ellis announced today its decision to no longer represent clients with respect to matters involving the interpretation of the Second Amendment,” the firm said in a press release, adding that Clement & Murphy would be moving on “to continue their full range of existing representations.”
In an op-ed for the WSJ, the two attorneys offered additional insight into the firm’s baffling decision, writing, “We are blessed to have represented before the Supreme Court a wide variety of clients, from large corporations and religious orders to criminal defendants and Native American groups. After we prevail before the high court, we generally receive a round of congratulatory messages from law-firm colleagues for a job well done… .”
“This time around, we received a very different message from our law firm. Having just secured a landmark decision vindicating our clients’ constitutional Second Amendment rights…, we were presented with a stark choice – withdraw from representing them or withdraw from the firm,” added Clement and Murphy. “There was only one choice: We couldn’t abandon our clients simply because their positions are unpopular in some circles.”
The firm’s critics weigh in
Members of the WSJ editorial board were among those to swiftly condemn Kirkland & Ellis for its stance in the wake of the Bruen ruling, noting that it stemmed solely from the fact that “gun-rights advocates are unpopular in the tony precincts of Los Angeles and New York where Kirkland represents business clients. When it comes to core constitutional rights versus corporate retainers that finance summer homes in the Hamptons, the Constitution is a second-class citizen.”
Such an approach, they continue, “is the opposite of ethical legal representation,” further noting that “[l]awyers drop clients who lie or don’t pay their bills. But Mr. Clement’s gun clients are individuals and state gun groups…Kirkland is dumping clients who have done nothing wrong and have cases currently in litigation.”
“Kirkland’s invertebrate abdication illustrates how progressive ideology dominates the commanding heights of American law, business and culture,” the board opined, adding, “[i]f you want to know why a groundswell of opposition against this work conformity is building in the provinces, this is it.”
Indeed, as John Hinderaker of Powerline put it, “it must be frustrating to be a leftist: they control just about every institution in our society, the universities, public elementary and secondary education, the entertainment industry, big business and the major law firms, the press, the arts world, the foundations, the federal bureaucracy – the list goes on and on. And yet the American people stubbornly resist leftism.”
Clement and Murphy deserve the gratitude of all Americans for their successful vindication of the Second Amendment rights of their clients in Bruen, but also for their unwavering fidelity to the ethical tenets of their chosen profession.