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YourABA March 2019


Ethics in View & Technology Translators


ABA advocacy: Turn your interest into action

“Laws keep changing, but you can’t legislate change in people’s hearts and minds,” said Ainka Jackson, executive director of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation and member of the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. Jackson was referring to her journey on the commission and pursuing its mission in underserved communities during her presentation as part of “10 Ways to Change the World,” sponsored by the newly formed ABA Center for Public Interest Law, held Jan. 25 at the Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas.


The wall between church and judiciary

On Feb. 14, 2019, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Ethics Opinion 485 that states that a judge who is performing marriages may not refuse to perform the marriage of a “same-sex” couple. In essence, the opinion states that at civil law, “marriage is a marriage is a marriage is a marriage.” While one might think this would fall into the “so-damned-obvious” category (behavior that is so damned obvious that one would consider an ethics opinion unnecessary), in these days of a “weaponized” First Amendment, including the “sincerely held religious belief,” there was uncertainty.