Thursday, March 2, 2017
The ABA House of Delegates, convening Feb. 6 in Miami during the association’s Midyear Meeting, adopted new policies on a number of pressing issues of importance to the legal profession.
ABA President Linda A. Klein, addressing the delegates, called this a “defining season” for lawyers and their commitment to the rule of law, due process and access to justice.
“There has been a lot of talk about protecting our borders,” she said. “Let me tell you what the most important border is: It’s our Constitution and the rule of law it embodies. We as lawyers are called upon to protect it.” She emphasized the importance of avoiding sweeping bans based on religion or national origin and that lawyers must insist on the right to due process and legal representation for immigrants.
Klein also highlighted that, for a nation based on the rule of law, nothing is more important than a fair and impartial judiciary. Also on the ABA’s list of important issues are support for the Legal Services Corporation and criminal justice reform, she said.
Policy resolutions adopted by the delegates include opposing an executive order issued in January to restrict entry into the United States from seven specific countries, and urging attention to legal procedures and legal rights in crafting future executive orders regarding border security, immigration enforcement, and terrorism. Other new policies include support for action to improve the civil justice system, prevent sexual and gender-based violence, protect those with disabilities from discrimination, and provide legal assistance to veterans.
Panel discussions focused on a wide variety of topics, including the judicial nomination and confirmation process, the death penalty, public service loan forgiveness programs, the gender pay gap, immigration, environmental issues, and legal innovation.
Details of the Resolutions voted on can be found on the VBA website under the Mid Year Meeting agenda. Please contact me with any questions you may have about the actions of the ABA House of Delegates.
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