St. John’s University professor also tweeted that lawyers who fail to resist the court are ‘Hitler’s butlers’
A Georgetown University law professor this week joined the chorus of academics denouncing the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision, calling the Supreme Court “lawless actors” for sending the issue of abortion back to the states.
On Sunday, Professor Heidi Li Feldman posted a 15-tweet thread in which she compared those in the legal profession willing to defy the “actively rogue” Supreme Court to the colonial and English lawyers who argued for the American Revolution, Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Mahatma Gandhi.
“Regardless of our areas of legal speciality [sic] any ethical study, teaching, or practice of law in the U.S. must now start from the problem of developing and implementing law when so many of legal institutions are in the grips of lawless actors,” Feldman tweeted.
Regardless of our areas of legal speciality any ethical study, teaching, or practice of law in the U.S. must now start from the problem of developing and implementing law when so many of legal institutions are in the grips of lawless actors. 9/
— Heidi Li Feldman (@HeidiLiFeldman) July 10, 2022
Feldman declined a College Fix request to answer questions for this story.
Feldman suggested the Supreme Court was “lawless” in part because she believes justices had not told the truth during their confirmation hearings.
“During and since Trump’s time in office we saw how, time and again, he and members of his administration completely disregarded basic tenets of rule of law, eg basic due process. We saw his judicial nominees lie under oath in Congressional hearings,” according to the professor.
Feldman argued that teaching law will be more challenging in a post-Roe world.
“In more ordinary times, we can study and teach U.S. law against a background that presidents, governors, state and federal legislators, and judges on all courts have a basic commitment and aspiration to rule of law and to justice,” Feldman wrote.
“With the rise of the Trump-Republican Party, this traction — the ability to argue within a shared expectation of commitment to rule of law and justice — has completely evaporated. Last term’s Supreme Court decisions are just the most recent high-profile evidence for this.”
St. John’s University law Professor John Barrett approvingly replied to the thread, tweeting that lawyers who fail to resist the Supreme Court are “Hitler’s butlers.”
“Lawyers are servants—butlers,” wrote Barrett. “But we get to choose whom and what we will serve. Rules of thumb: serve truth; assist people, not powers that hurt them; don’t do it for the money; don’t become Hitler’s butler.”
This thread from @HeidiLiFeldman is important. Lawyers are servants—butlers. But we get to choose whom and what we will serve. Rules of thumb: serve truth; assist people, not powers that hurt them; don’t do it for the money; don’t become Hitler’s butler. https://t.co/9HtbLBltsC
— John Q. Barrett (@JohnQBarrett) July 11, 2022
The days after the court reversed Roe saw even more over-the-top rhetoric, such as when Loyola University-Maryland’s Bahar Jalali, an expert on Afghanistan, tweeted the decision meant “American Talibanism is here to stay.”
Eli Erlick, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz and co-founder of Trans Student Educational Resources, tweeted out “Supreme Court assassination challenge.”
Feldman, however, is steadfast in her position that the court acted lawlessly.
“Again: people can take whatever tone they like toward me,” she said in a pinned tweet. “I will not be intimidated into accepting theocratic decrees as legitimate legal reasoning in a secular, pluralist democracy.”
IMAGE: Georgetown University