Saturday, August 23, 2014

CT: Membership of Bar Revolts on Gun Law

The Latin means "He who transplants, sustains"

In a controversial move, the leadership of the Connecticut Bar Association lobbied to pass the highly restrictive gun law pushed by Governor Malloy.   The move sparked opposition within the body.   From the, a paper that also pushed hard for the controversial gun laws:
"Why is our bar association taking a position on a matter that has nothing to do with the practice of law?" Hartford lawyer and former Democratic state Chairman John Droney asked in an email typical of hundreds of others inspired by a debate that has continued now for two months.
The President of the Bar,  Mark Dubois, replied:
Dubois contends the bar serves the public by permitting experts in its specialty sections to debate and take positions on sharp legal questions. If the association races toward an unpopular, minority position, he said membership can use its referendum right as a restraint.

"As one member said to me, what's next?" Dubois said. "Immigration. Obamacare? And I said, 'Yes. All of those and probably more that we haven't even thought about.' All of which have legal implications and all of which may involve a request by one or more of our constituent sections."
 Anyone who has studied the dynamics of such groups realizes that such a position amounts to a blank check to the leadership of what it can get away with.  As the leadership controls a significant amount of the information that the membership receives, this gives it considerable power to influence events outside of the core issues of the group.

It was clear that the membership did not support the lobbying effort.

Dubois pushed for more.   He pushed for an amicus brief to defended the law against an appeal the the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.   The "house of delegates referenced is the governing body of the Connecticut Bar.
 After listening to entreaties by past association presidents and a lawyer who also is a Newtown selectman, the house of delegates voted 34 to 15 to join with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in defense of the law — in spite of signs that a substantial portion of the membership might be opposed. Among the signs: A straw poll showing opposition was running 4-to-1 in one of the association's biggest sub districts, Hartford.

But the gun culture has developed its own media that act as a check on the ability of others to shape the narrative.   This is well documented in Professor Brian Anse Patrick's book "Rise of the Anti-Media".

The membership of the Connecticut Bar Association took up the referendum challenge by Dubois.    Enough signatures were gathered to force a referendum.    The quote below shows how secure Dubois thought his power was:
On Aug. 5, lawyers opposed to joining the Brady defense had collected sufficient petition signatures to force a referendum. Dubois said he cannot recall that happening during his 40 years as a bar member.
The irony is thick.   This response by the person who said that if the membership does not like what we do, they can "use their referendum right", knowing full well that it was nearly impossible to do so.

The referendum vote result was released on Wednesday.   Dubois said that it was very close.  From NSSF, an email report:
The final vote announced Wednesday afternoon was so close that CBA President Mark Dubois wrote members, "I am ruling that the referendum vote will be called as tied. I do not feel that the best interests of the CBA would be served going forward without a clear and empirically defensible result. Accordingly, I have decided not to sign the brief prepared by the Brady Center in support of the Appellee in the matter of Shew v. Malloy."
I wonder what the actual vote was.  Mr. Dubois must have released it to the membership.     Some might wonder if Mr. Dubois would have given this response if the vote were in his favor.

Update:  The vote was reported in the as 734 in favor of an amicus brief to 729 opposed.   This lends credence to Mr. Dubois' decision, and his character as a leader.  From the

Dubois said Wednesday afternoon that the vote may have been even closer, as issues with a new website format may have hampered some members' efforts to vote late Tuesday night.

 ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This show, once again, how psychopaths are drawn to the leadership of an organization so they can violate the natural rights of those who they see as less significant. In this case, all statistics and facts will be ignored so that the (hidden) agenda of the leadership can be advanced.

Honest, representative leadership is hard to find. Its impossible to find when psychopaths inhabit the top tier of an organization. In this situation its blatantly evident that the leadership is unapologetic and certainly not representative or honest. They're lawyers. Anyone want to speculate on the percentage psychopathy among lawyers?