Lost Law Licenses: Presidents Obama, Clinton,
Tea Party Economist
by Gary North: Anti-Gold
article on the letter I received from a lawyer who insisted
inaccurately that Michelle Obama let her license to
practice law go inactive when her husband surrendered his license
in early 2008, I responded: Did Romney surrender his license?
No. Did either of the Clintons surrender theirs? No. Did Nixon surrender
I was responding
to the argument that it was to be expected that a candidate for
the nomination of President would surrender his right to practice
law. On the contrary, it had never happened before in American history.
Then I listed
people who had not surrendered their licenses: Romney, both Clintons,
and Nixon. I thought this point was obvious: I was talking about
the nomination. Romney is not President. Neither is Mrs. Clinton.
two licenses after he left the White House: California and the Supreme
Court. He tried to surrender his third license in New York State.
The state Bars disciplinary agency disbarred him in July of
1976. It asked him to sign a statement that he was innocent of obstruction
of justice. Not wanting to perjure himself, he
situation was similar. The Wikipedia entry on the legal case of
v. Jones explains.
12, 1999, Wright found Clinton in contempt of court for intentionally
false testimony in Jones v. Clinton, fined him $90,000,
and referred the case to the Arkansas Supreme Courts Committee
on Professional Conduct, as Clinton still possessed a law license
Supreme Court suspended Clintons Arkansas law license in
April 2000. On January 19, 2001, Clinton agreed to a five-year
suspension and a $25,000 fine in order to avoid disbarment and
to end the investigation of Independent Counsel Robert Ray (Starrs
successor). On October 1, 2001, Clintons U.S. Supreme Court
law license was suspended, with 40 days to contest his disbarment.
On November 9, 2001, the last day for Clinton to contest the disbarment,
he opted to resign from the Supreme Court Bar, surrendering his
license, rather than facing penalties related to disbarment.
So, Nixon escaped
disbarment in two instances, but not the third, by surrendering
his license. Clinton resigned his Supreme Court license in order
to avoid disbarment. He was suspended in Arkansas, but not disbarred.
My points in
all this are simple with respect to the Obamas licenses to
practice law: (1) Michelle Obama went inactive in 1994, despite
a Harvard Law School degree, which is very strange, unless she was
doing so to avoid a hearing on something; (2) her husband retired
in January 2008. I am not saying that they were ever formally charged
with misconduct. I am saying that the most plausible reason for
their having abandoned their licenses was to avoid disciplinary
action and the threat of public disbarment. That was what Nixon
and Clinton fully understood. My critics do not, or, being lawyers,
pretend not to.
supporters several of them lawyers have sent me emails
crying foul. I dont much care. This is not a court
of law. This is a court of public opinion.
entry does not deal with the problem, namely, providing a plausible
explanation for two people walking away from the lifetime income
and prestige to be gained by certification by Harvard Law School.
Michelle Obama was 29 when she quit (went inactive). The Bar granted
her this request when she turned 30.
Let me remind
readers of the main point I was making in my
original article, namely, that President Obama is not a Marxist,
because he does not believe in proletarian revolution. Barack
Obama is a Left-wing social climber with a wife who loves to shop.
Second, he is under control by his handlers, because they know why
he and his wife are no longer allowed to practice law. It was voluntary
on their part in the same was that it was voluntary on Nixons
part and Clintons part. If you want to avoid being disbarred,
you can retire or else go inactive.
If you want
to avoid a hearing on whatever issue a critic has raised with the
Bar, the matter will not be raised publicly if you go inactive or
retire. It is all informal. You are allowed to depart gracefully.
No hard feelings. There is still hope. And there surely has been
North [send him mail]
is the author of Mises
on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com.
He is also the author of a free 31-volume series, An
Economic Commentary on the Bible.
2012 Gary North
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