Multnomah County Republicans Criticize Partisan Posturing of Oregon State Bar

On April 19, 2018, James Buchal, as Chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, delivered the following letter to the Oregon State Bar, responding to formal statements in the Bar's monthly member magazine (available here) attacking President Trump:

I write as a Republican member of the Oregon State Bar, Chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party, and a strong supporter of putting American interests first in a competitive global economy. We demand that the Bar acknowledge that the two-page spread in the April’s Oregon State Bar Bulletin attacking “white nationalism and the normalization of violence,” was a violation of federal law, apologize for its publication, and assure the membership and the public that such a violation will not occur again.

Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990), established that where attorneys are required to join and pay for bar membership as a matter of law, bar associations may not hijack the funds exacted to pursue ideological and political positions. The Bar may not lawfully tax its members to push policies not directly related to the administration of the Oregon legal system, much less push these policies with ad hominem attacks. To do so violates our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. We feel violated by statements attacking our President as a racist, “white nationalist,” and legitimizer of racist violence.

Republicans, including President Trump, are not neo-Nazis and the Bar’s attempts to tar Republicans with the misdeeds of racist fringe groups is reprehensible. For the Bar to spend its members’ funds implicitly attacking President Trump’s advocacy of conservative policies as “speech that incites [racist] violence” (the first page) is not only illegal, but also an abandonment of core American Constitutional values acknowledging that free speech is how we avoid violence. The second page is even worse, arguing that racist fringe groups constitute the “base” of the President’s support.

One mentally-ill person’s attack on a MAX train does not begin to establish that there is any normalization of violence and racism in Oregon. The normalization of violence we see has been normalization of violence against conservatives, with Portland officials normalizing Antifa violence and taking no action whatsoever against death threats to Oregon Republicans. Indeed, violence against conservatives in Oregon has been normalized to the point where our Party is now barred from the public events it attended for years, such as the 82nd Avenue Avenue of Roses Parade, for fear of such violence.

We even see law students at a leading Oregon law school shouting down a conservative speaker, "acts or conduct which would cause a reasonable person to have substantial doubts about the individual’s honesty, fairness and respect for the rights of others and for the laws of the state and the nation" (ORS 9.220). The Bar has stood silent about all these developments, and these latest statements suggest it is mute with malice.

It is a dark day for Oregon when the Bar stoops to serve as the puppet of Leftist forces who claim that patriotism is bigotry, that the Constitution is an outmoded instrument to uphold white supremacy, and that the First Amendment must be discarded. An America based on these positions would be not be under the rule of law, but suffer the unprincipled exercise of power for plunder for an ever-evolving hierarchy of identity groups. This form of government has brought ruin and enslavement wherever applied.

The Bar’s goal of diversity and inclusion is legitimate where it works toward a legal system that, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., evaluates lawyers and litigants not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character and the truth of the evidence they present. All violence is to be condemned, all human life is to be cherished, and modern legal theories that abandon equal protection against violence are corrosive to this Nation.


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