Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised.
This is the main reason that I am no longer a member of the ABA, which has become more political and partisan with each passing year. I have often presented ethics courses for ABA sections in the past, and will probably do so in the future. But the legal profession is one of many that has lost its ethical bearings of late, and the resolution its largest and most prestigious association will consider this week (the ABA’s annual convention begins today) is proof.
Here is the resolution (emphasis mine):
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges legislatures and courts to define consent in sexual assault cases as the assent of a person who is competent to give consent to engage in a specific act of sexual penetration, oral sex, or sexual contact, to provide that consent is expressed by words or action in the context of all the circumstances, and to reject any requirement that sexual assault victims have a legal burden of verbal or physical resistance.
This is essentially the same standard that the Obama administration forced upon colleges and universities with its infamous “Dear Colleague” letter, resulting in many male students being persecuted, punished, suspended, or expelled without due process, based on an institutionalized bias in favor of female accusers.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers effectively expressed how sinister the resolution is in a statement issued on July 25, stating in part,
The criminal defense lawyer association notes elsewhere in its letter that this definition would necessarily undermine the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, since “[t]he resolution will often force the defendant to testify in order to present evidence that consent was expressed.”
The NACDL also points out that the American Law Institute proposed revising its l Model Penal Code to include an affirmative consent standard. The ALI’s membership rejected that proposal, as it should have, and did so decisively.
The ABA membership is more politically diverse—and principled—that the official posturings of the association itself suggests. I suspect, and hope, that this abomination of a resolution, which would be a disgrace for any legal organization to endorse, will fail. The fact that such a resolution would even make it to the voting stage is one more ominous piece of evidence that the progressive forces seeking to weaken the Bill of Rights are infiltrating all of our professions and institutions.
14 thoughts on “Will The “Woke” American Bar Association Endorse Reject “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” In Sexual Assault Cases?”
Insofar as only state bar associations matter (Remember? It’s called the United STATES of America, not America.), why do we even have an American Bar Association? Seems to be populated by the high school kids who didn’t find three or four years of student council sufficient.
Its function is to try to knit together all of those state organizations into something resembling a coherent consensus.
The obscurity of their mission evidences the degree of their success. Maybe it should be a council of bar associations rather than having a separate membership then? It’s membership should just be designees from the state bars? Like the Senate before direct election (which has never made sense to me)? A parallel association just seems to breed abusive grandstanding?
So essentially, the ADA are attempting not only to remove mens rea from the crime of sexual assault, but also shifting the burden of proof from the accuser to the defendant?
And the Faustian bargain regarding the Fifth Amendment is … well, that any organization not actively totalitarian could propose such a thing is effectively impossible, or a rejection of their own principles for the politics of the moment.
From your lips to God’s ears.
Sorry, ABA not ADA. Not sure where that came from.
Damn woke dentists are plotting to take over the world… one root canal at a time.
Jack, please keep us posted on this ominous resolution. I believe this is considerably more important than most people realize.
I am reminded of a comedian who asked all the women in the audience how many times they had asked a man’s consent before they touched his genitals. There was no response from anyone. No woman in the audience had ever asked for consent. So, he declared them all rapists and he was correct under these interpretations. These laws and resolutions are in defiance of the murky and unclear nature of sexual relationships (especially among younger adults and teens). They turn anyone who has had a sexual relationship into a rapist, it is just random luck (or gender-based discrimination) if you get prosecuted.
I feel really sorry for victims of actual rape. These progressives are lumping the victims of brutal crimes in with women who regret a sexual encounter. The two instances are nothing alike, yet carry similar penalties. Maybe we just need to redefine sexual assault as an infraction with a maximum $500 fine. You might think this penalty far out of line for the former crime (because it is), but the current penalty is equally out of line to the latter circumstances.
It is as if dumbing down the definition of rape will only result in more rapes.
I was under the impression that the “woke” were all concerned over race issues.
Did thry not think about how expanding the definition of sexual assault will only magnify racial biases and racial disparities in sexual assault cases?
Remember, they are calling Trump’s efforts on behalf of criminals ‘racist’. The Next Step Act is ‘racist’. Sure, they are concerned about race issues and crime, but they don’t want to solve them, they want them to get worse. The worse it gets, the more they can complain, the more funding they get. It is like all welfare agencies, the more demand their is for their services, the more successful they are considered.
If fewer people apply for food stamps, it can’t be because the economy picked up and people found jobs, the SNAP people sound alarms that someone is discouraging their ‘clients’ for applying and therefore, the SNAP program needs a bigger ad budget to increase awareness of the availability of SNAP. If that doesn’t work, they will demand that the financial requirements be lessened because their is a horrible ‘food insecurity’ crisis in the US. Welfare agencies and civil rights organization need suffering to continually increase, because a they have a vital purpose and that purpose needs to spread.
The ABA has been politically correct for years. I quit when it gave an award for courage or something to Anita Hill. The presenter? Hillary Clinton.
Was her husband being sued by Paula Jones at the time?
Don’t think so. I don’t think Billary had been elected yet.