Some Like It Hot: American Bar Association Delegate Report – Midyear Meeting 2017, 0617 RIBJ, RIBJ, 65 RI Bar J., No. 6, Pg. 23

Some Like It Hot:[*] American Bar Association Delegate Report – Midyear Meeting 2017

Vol. 65 No. 6 Pg. 23

Rhode Island Bar Journal

June, 2017

May, 2017

The ABA Midyear Meeting in Miami in February was hot! Not the weather, but rather the mood was overshadowed by the events of the day– namely the travel ban on immigrants from predominately Muslim countries and the attack on the courts by the Administration. In Rhode Island, we have witnessed bullying and threats on our Jewish and Muslim communities. More on this later in my report.

The meeting itself was ably led by President Linda Klein of Georgia, and a number of resolutions were adopted: juvenile justice reform, immigration action on “Dreamers,” criminal law and procedure reforms, civil Gideon, and sex based violence and discrimination. We were addressed by Chief Justice John Minton, Chief of the National Conference of Chief Justices, who was welcomed warmly with his remarks that had to do with fully funding the courts and defending against baseless attacks. He emphasized approaching treatment options instead of incarceration for nonviolent offenders. As to the adequate funding of the courts he stated, “The courts cannot be treated by politicians as ATM machines.”

President Klein addressed the need to provide more for our veterans and their families. She stated that this is a “defining moment in which to hold power accountable. Constitutional protections are not up for negotiation and there are no so-called judges in America,” an apparent reference to the President’s derisive comments about the federal judges who stayed the travel ban. Fear can never overrule the Rule of Law. It was pointed out that the theme for Law Day this year is the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The protections afforded to citizens and non-citizens alike by the Due Process clause of that Amendment could not be timelier.

Last year President Klein appointed me to a prestigious blue ribbon commission on gun violence made up of law professors, lawyers and advocates of all types. Several draft resolutions have been proposed and I would invite comment from members of the Bar who have an interest in this area. I have found the assignment to be complex as it is worthy of study. On another area, the ABA House of Delegates is tasked with general oversight of...

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