Monday, December 21, 2009

Speaking Out Under the Spacious Skies

There was a crowd. 250 or 300 or 350 strong. Mostly lawyers.

They carried signs:


They read aloud the oath they took as members of the bar,
I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding that shall appear to me to be without merit or to be unjust.
They heard short speeches.

Tom Ryan, a self-described Republican and lifelong conservative who said he is not a criminal defense lawyer spoke first:
Andrew Thomas is a bully and a coward," Ryan said, to cheers from the phalanx of lawyers, "who, when he does not get his way, abuses the awesome power of the county attorney in a misguided and unethical attempt to get his own way.
Another lawyer, Shawn Aiken, posed the issue that's been driving the blawgers crazy.
All of us have been asking our friends and neighbors, "Where is the outrage?"
Robert J. McWhirter, who is a criminal defense lawyer, said it plainly:
On behalf of the criminal defense lawyers, all I can say is, "It's about time."
Then they sang, all of those lawyers in suits and a smattering of others. It wasn't the 60s. These weren't a bunch of radicals and hippies. No "We Shall Overcome" or "Blowin' in the Wind" for them. They sang "America the Beautiful."

And it must have been.

The question, the serious one, is what happens next.

According to KPHO,
The attorneys who organized Monday's rally say they intend to campaign statewide against Thomas if he runs for Attorney General and work with the State Bar of Arizona if any action is brought against the prosecutor.
But are they filing complaints with the bar? Will there be real follow-up?

Today's was a big step. But you have to keep going to bring down the giant.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
: Most of this was drawn from the report by Sarah Fenske & Paul Rubin at New Times. New Times also has a slide show that's worth a look.

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