12:57 PM, Mar 28, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A member of the Virginia State Bar (VSB) passes along this email, sent along last night to the members by VSB president Kevin E. Martingayle:
Dear Fellow Members of the Virginia State Bar,
Certain members of the Virginia State Bar and other individuals have expressed objections to the VSB’s plan to take the Midyear Legal Seminar trip in November to Jerusalem. It was stated that there are some unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices pertaining to border security that affect travelers to the nation. Upon review of U.S. State Department advisories and other research, and after consultation with our leaders, it has been determined that there is enough legitimate concern to warrant cancellation of the Israel trip and exploration of alternative locations.
Undoubtedly, this news will disappoint some VSB members. But we are a state agency that strives for maximum inclusion and equality, and that explains this action. Fortunately, we still anticipate being able to find a suitable location for the November seminar trip, and we will send out further news very soon.
Finally, we are pleased that our members and citizens feel able to express concerns and look to us to protect rights. In the end, we are all part of the same team, and the VSB will continue to stay focused on advancing its primary objectives—public protection, access to justice, and improvement of the profession.
As always, I appreciate having the honor of serving as your president.
Kevin E. Martingayle
President, Virginia State Bar
The Virginia State Bar did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
But George Mason Law School professor David Bernstein comments:
(1) The American Bar Association has recently held meetings in Israel, for example here and here [update: along with hundreds of international conferences that are held in Israel every year, including, for example, a conference on Arabic literature with Muslim attendees from abroad.] Virginia has a state agency called the Virginia Israel Advisory Board “that proactively serves as the bridge and facilitator between Israeli companies and the Commonwealth of Virginia.” The idea that either the state bar as an attorney organization or as a state agency has some obligation to avoid Israel is nonsense. Surely Martingayle and colleagues can’t be so naive and out-of-touch to think that the concerns raised are not part of the broader divestment, sanctions, and boycott movement meant to delegitimize Israel.
(2) If the Virginia State Bar is in effect boycotting Israel, I, and I suspect many others, will henceforth be boycotting the State Bar, in my case beyond what is necessary to assist my students, which is my professional obligation. I would hope that no Virginia attorneys who are supporters of Israel will attend whatever alternative venue the State Bar settles on.
1:01 PM, Mar 3, 2014 • By TERRY EASTLAND
Last month the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The vote broke along party lines, 10-to-8. Over the weekend Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania became the first Democrat to oppose Adegbile. “I will not vote to confirm the nominee,” he said. A cloture vote scheduled for Monday has (because of the snowstorm) been postponed to Wednesday. With Casey’s announcement, Adegbile can no longer be assured that Democratic senators will uniformly support him. Indeed, the question now is whether other Democrats will follow Casey’s lead. It would take six Democrats including Casey to vote against and defeat the nomination.
12:29 PM, Apr 4, 2012 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Last week, President Obama clumsily announced that it would be "unprecedented" for the Supreme Court to strike down "a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." This week, his words are already having an effect in the courts—but not the effect he hoped for.
5:31 PM, Dec 12, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Jen Rubin makes the case today that the anti-piracy bills pending in the House, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Senate, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), are likely unconstitutional.
12:45 PM, May 4, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Via Moe Lane, I think it's best to let the schadenfreude wash over you like a warm breeze on a Caribbean island. Go ahead and savor this one, people:
And breaker.10:04 AM, Mar 25, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
President Obama has nominated Solomon B. Watson IV to be general counsel of the Army. Mr. Watson would be coming to this slot after spending 32 years at the New York Times, including a stint as its senior vice president and chief legal officer.
A federal judge says 9/11 al Qaeda recruiter should be freed.7:22 PM, Mar 22, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
According to the Wall Street Journal, a district judge has ordered Mohamedou Slahi – a known al Qaeda recruiter who worked for Osama bin Laden – freed from Guantanamo. The Journal’s account does not explain the judge’s reasoning and the decision was not immediately available online. But the decision is inexplicable in light of Slahi’s notorious track record. There is no doubt that Mohamedou Slahi is one of the worst terrorists held at Gitmo. (See here for a previous summary of Slahi’s dossier.)
If only Abdulmutallab weren't mirandized. 5:23 PM, Feb 1, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
As Stephen F. Hayes has thoroughly documented, there is much U.S. officials should be asking Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab about. Abdulmutallab was mirandized shortly after his arrest, however, and decided to stop talking. He has provided, at most, limited cooperation since then, prompting administration officials to claim that the FBI got everything that was needed in just 50 minutes. That is implausible for a variety of reasons. But here is one more topic for the interrogation that should have been: What does Abdulmutallab know about the Americans (including ex-convicts) al Qaeda has recruited?
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