The Buckeye Institute Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Protect First Amendment Rights of Lawyers

Dec 23, 2021

Columbus, OH – On Wednesday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in Schell v. Darby, which calls on the court to recognize the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association by ending laws that force lawyers to join state-sponsored bar associations that engage in lobbying on inherently political and ideological issues to practice their profession.

“Everyone in the United States has the constitutional right of freedom of speech and freedom of association—even lawyers,” said Jay R. Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute. “By forcing attorneys to join the Oklahoma Bar Association and pay dues that subsidize political and ideological speech, the state of Oklahoma violates the constitutional protections that all Americans hold dear.” 

Schell v. Darby—which was brought by the Goldwater Institute—challenges Oklahoma’s mandatory bar association membership that requires attorneys to become members and pay dues to the Oklahoma Bar Association—which engages in political speech and lobbying—to practice law in Oklahoma. 

# # #

UPDATE: April 4, 2022, cert was denied by the Supreme Court of the United States.