Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ethics Complaints Are Newest Tool In Wars Over Same-Sex Marriage

Legal ethics complaints appear to have become the most recent weapon in the culture wars.  After the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a series of complaints with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (see prior posting), an ally of Moore's has turned the tables.  On July 28, Alabama attorney Trent Garmon and his wife Holly filed a complaint against Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, over Cohen's comments attacking Moore for Moore's actions opposing same-sex marriage.  As reported by, the complaint alleges that Cohen's statements violated Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 8.2 that provides;
A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, 
Cohen's comments included a statement that Alabama "elected [Moore] to be a judge, not a pastor;" Cohen called Moore a demagogue and the "Ayatollah of Alabama," and said he is unfit for office.