“The First Thing We Do”: Liberals Push Two Leading Lawyers Out of Major Firm After Winning Second Amendment Case

As previously discussed, there has been a campaign from the left to pressure firms to force out Republican lawyers or to drop conservative clients (with the support of lawyers and legal commentators). Now, after former Solicitor General Paul Clement and his colleague Erin Murphy won one of the most significant constitutional victories in history, Kirkland & Ellis has yielded to the mob and forced them out of the firm. It seems that, if you want to take a Second Amendment case, you should have the decency of losing. In a column in the Wall Street Journal, the lawyers recount how they were shown the door after objections from lawyers in the firm and clients. The left appears to be channeling the views of Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare’s Henry VI that “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

With no sense of shame or self-awareness, Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee, said “We wish them the best of luck in the future and look forward to collaborating with them in matters not involving the Second Amendment.”Imagine if the firm said that about defending other individuals rights like equal protection or privacy. It is not hard because that was the position at one time where lawyers were told not to represent women, civil rights groups, or other causes.

Now, it is the left that is pressuring firms not to represent those asserting rights contained in the Bill of Rights. Ballis is saying that you are welcome to return as long as you do not represent those people who want to submit claims to the federal courts on constitutional rights.

The Supreme Court has decided since Heller that the Second Amendment bestows an individual right. Many disagree with that view, but these are issues that need to be fully and well argued before the courts on both sides. I would be writing the same column if conservatives sought to prevent lawyers from representing pro-choice or gun control clients. What is astonishing is that this effort sounds like it was pushed by other lawyers, including former colleagues at the firm.

In the past, the effort to deny representation to conservative groups was led by the scandal-plagued Lincoln Project. What was shocking was the list of donors supporting this and other campaigns by the project.  One notable name is Randall Eliason who writes for the Washington Post. Eliason wrote a column that I previously criticized that supported the campaign against other lawyers. While Eliason notes briefly that the Lincoln Project was suspended on Twitter for doxing Trump lawyers and says such abuses are “never appropriate,” he did not mention that he is one of the donors of the group that carried out such abuses.

Having other lawyers calling for such severance of lawyers and clients does not change its character as a form of mob justice. These campaigns have been successful in intimidating firms, including one of the largest firms in the world. Rather than risk the loss of clients, Kirkland & Ellis turned its back on the core legal values that define our profession. This is a huge victory for the voices of intolerance and orthodoxy in our profession. With a major firm like Kirkland surrendering to such pressure, many smaller firms will doubt their own ability to stand on principle against the mob. It is the same movement that has stripped most law schools of conservative or libertarian faculty across the country.

If it is any solace for these lawyers, Chief Justice Earl Warren, a liberal icon, once said “Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.”


120 thoughts on ““The First Thing We Do”: Liberals Push Two Leading Lawyers Out of Major Firm After Winning Second Amendment Case”

  1. Not a surprise that a Law Firm would do that. Has happened at times in Medical groups also. Depends on the manner in which partnership is decided and if there is a binding contract that they would be allowed to pursue 2nd amendment cases. I’m sure the attorneys here could argue all of that. Seems to me that conservative law firms might have some growth potential. Sometimes you have to stand on your principal but it may cost you. That is kind of understood in professional work be it medicine or law. I’m sorry that it came to that for these attorneys but maybe it will make some others in the same group wonder if that is a group that they wish to stay with, so maybe there will other departures.
    What happens when there are no more conservatives to force out. Will these firms start to eat that own in a desire be the purest leftest.?

    1. People need to read some history, especially about the Roman empire. Once we loose America, there is no getting her back. Each day brings us closer and closer to that point.

  2. Not too long ago lawyers that represented Gitmo defenders were attacked by SOME on the right and the left not only defended them but they gave them awards for their bravery and commitment to justice. Those on the right were wrong back then, but those on the left today are more prevalent, more honored, more admired and speak with the voice of the media, academia and Hollywood, and much more dangerous to our legal system.

    PS. Where oh where is the ACLU?

  3. It has always been a tacit of American law that open debate and varied opinion should be respected. These ideas have been a part of the ethics of the law profession for centuries. In nations such as Russia and China opposing positions are not allowed. In these nations intimidation is employed to silence any opposition. We now are seeing this same use of intimidation in universities and in law firms. The totalitarian mind will always be with us. No matter how unpleasant it may be to stand in the breach we must non the less stand. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” These words penned by Patric Henry should not be forgotten. This law firm would do very well in China.

  4. Awful reflection on K&E and all there who are part of this. Not the first example of those who know better violating core professional values and oaths and sadly feeding the hypocritical woke contagion which has infected so many important institutions. Not the kind of law firm I want on my side either personally or for business.

  5. The left is intimidating the legal profession. These people do not believe in legal justice or the law. They act like the lawyers working in the despotic nations of the 20th century expediting imprisonment and death on behalf of the state.

    Today, we see this en masse for Jan6 defendants who cannot get adequate legal protection. Therefore, they are imprisoned or convicted for lack of adequate legal representation.

    1. “ Therefore, they are imprisoned or convicted for lack of adequate legal representation.”

      No they are not. You’re just being an ignorant fool.

      Nobody is being imprisoned or convicted for lack of adequate legal representation. They ARE being represented by lawyers. They are being imprisoned or convicted because they BROKE THE LAW. They are either already convicted criminals or are awaiting trial in jail. It’s what our justice system does every day anywhere.

      “ The left is intimidating the legal profession. These people do not believe in legal justice or the law.”

      No, they act like an employer does when it’s not satisfied with their employees which is what Clements and Murphy are, employees. They are NOT partners in that law firm. They have every right to ask that they choose other cases that they don’t want THEIR firm to be associated with.

      Clements and Murphy can form their own firm instead of whining about “unfair” treatment.

      1. You again. I don’t even respond to most of your posts because they are so stupid and ignorant., but here you are ias gnorant as ever and don’t even know it. The public defenders (lawyers) depend on the good will of their bosses for advancement, something they will not get if they press too hard to have their clients treated the way they should.

        Compare the offenses of Jan 6 offenders with those let out of jail all over the nation by leftist prosecutors. Many of the latter were put back on the streets to loot, be violent and murder again.

        Californians are getting smart and recalling prosecutors, but you are too stupid to notice.

        1. S. Meyer, you’re an idiot.

          “ The public defenders (lawyers) depend on the good will of their bosses for advancement, something they will not get if they press too hard to have their clients treated the way they should.”

          Public defenders AND private lawyers ARE defending the Jan 6 criminals. Their clients are being treated just like any other criminals or defendants in the justice system. It has nothing to do with advancement at all.

          Jan 6 rioters were violent protesters assaulting law enforcement, breaking and entering, stealing, vandalizing, and using weapons against law enforcement. The are also facing charges of sedition.

          The protesters during the George Floyd unrest were mostly destroying private property, violating curfews, and being arrested for simply being near violent protesters. The majority of arrests were for misdemeanor offenses and curfew violations. There’s a stark difference and why their treatment is different.

          1. You keep proving how stupid you are svelaz.

            Advancement as a public defender can be inhibited by one’s political views. Attorneys have expressed fear of representing Jan 6 and others on the right.

            Only a few J6 offenders were violent or vandalized.
            During the rioting we had a number of deaths, destroyed businesses, a federal building was vandalized with an attempt to destroy it, homes were destroyed and part of a city taken over. You are too stupid to take note of those things.

            There is no comparison between what Jan 6 did and the violence from Antifa/BLM, but you are too stupid to note the difference,

            Kamela Harris helped bail violent people out, sue of who reoffended.
            Non threatening many Jan6 individuals that were not a threat were not permitted bail and some spent time in solitary. They have been excessively punished.

            You are an idiot and I don’t know anyone who will defend all your factual errors.

            As an aside you should see the video of how Roseanne Boyland and Babbitt died along with some explanation and video of what likely killed the other two Jan 6 protestors that also died. You are a gruesome fellow so you might enjoy watching the police kill and gas people that were already dying.

            https://rumble.com/v17h6qx-the-truth-of-january-6th.html Start at 10:30 for the gore.

            1. S. Meyer,

              “ Advancement as a public defender can be inhibited by one’s political views. Attorneys have expressed fear of representing Jan 6 and others on the right.”

              LOL!!! No they are not being inhibited by their political views. Nor they have expressed fear of representing Jan 6 protesters. You have provided zero proof of your claims. You’re making stuff up as usual.

              Here’s a complete list of all Jan 6 criminals that have pled guilty so far and there’s more coming.


              1. Svelaz, you are a blithering idiot. Let me copy the prevalent complaint:

                Anthony Mazzio Jr. Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building Agreed to interview with law enforcement agencies and let them review his social media accounts.
                Leticia Ferreira Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building Agreed to interview with law enforcement agencies and let them review her social media accounts.
                Cory Ray Brannan Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building Agreed to let law enforcement agencies review his social media accounts.
                Ryan Ashlock Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds Agreed to interview with law enforcement agencies and let them review his social media accounts.
                James Uptmore Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building Agreed to let law enforcement agencies review his social media accounts.
                Kenneth Rader Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building

                You have no idea of what that means. The defendant pled guilty to what? Walking through doors opened for them by the police? They don’t have the resources to fight the government. One person did, and when his lawyer showed the videos to the court, where the police opened the doors and let the Jan6 protestors in, the judge threw the case out.

                These are settlements because the defendants don’t have the resources to fight a government whose GNP is just below $25 Trillion and spends billions of dollars on nothing.

                Almost all the Jan 6 should be released as they committed no crimes. The government wants to show high conviction numbers, so they settle because dopes like you lack the understanding of what is going on and do not know their A$$ from their elbow.

  6. On the bright side, I suspect the attorneys given the boot knew that might be a consequence of this decision. I’m certain they’ll have no trouble finding employment elsewhere in the legalverse.

    1. It may be true that they expected to be thrown out, but not necessarily. According to the linked WSJ article, when they joined the Firm they did so on condition that they would be able to continue representing their gun-related clients. The Firm now says that they had to give up those clients, some of whom have active matters, if they wished to remain in the Firm. They chose to keep their clients and leave the Firm.

    2. They weren’t given the boot. They quit. Why look for employment when they can form their own firm and choose whatever cases they want. Nothing stops them from doing that.

  7. The depths to which the left will stoop know no bounds. All the more reason we should dig an and continue the fight.

  8. Maybe Prof Turely meant to say it, but I don’t think so. In the first line of the piece, it reads “to force our Republican lawyers . . .” and I think it should read “to fource out Republican lawyers . . . .” I apologize if the collective connotation of “our Republican lawyers” was intended.

      1. Thanks Svelaz. I saw it after posting and, obviously, there’s no way to edit a post once you press the “post comment” button.

      2. But notice that after my post it was corrected in Prof Turley’s essay. So, someone is reading these comments.

  9. Well, these fine K&E lawyers treaded on the sacred and were guilty of blaphemy against Leftist dogma. What did they exepct? Note the religious language. The Left are now martyrs to the cause but unlike in the past tehy are hellbent to take everyone and everything with them. It’s psychosis rarely seen except in religious cults. We really need to fight back.

    And since we’re quoting today, here’s one from a great mind about the enemies of conscience of his day:

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.” ~Voltaire

    (Letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville, May 16, 1767)

  10. Not being a lawyer and having previously been a sole proprietor, I guess I don’t the the Professor’s angst. Aren’t you voted in as a partner? I assume that means you can be voted out

    1. Dennis:

      “Not being a lawyer and having previously been a sole proprietor, I guess I don’t the the Professor’s angst. Aren’t you voted in as a partner? I assume that means you can be voted out.”
      Like you said, you’re not a lawyer. The raison d’etre for our profession is to represent any client without fear or favor. It’s what the ancient Greeks called our Telos – our true purpose. Without it, we’re shopkeepers or worse yet, masks for power.

      1. Mespo727272,
        Your response to Dennis reminds me of the Star Trek: TNG, S2, E9, “The Measure of a Man” where Data is put on trail to determine his right to self-determination.
        Captain Picard represents Data, whereas Commander Riker represents to opposition.
        It is at the ending, where Picard and Data won their case, but Riker laments in participating in their victory as he was arguing against Data’s existence and self-determination. Then Data points out that had Riker not represented the opposition, by default, Data would of lost. Data would not hold Rikers duty to represent the opposition against him.

        Seems to me, K&E could learn something even from pop-culture.

      2. So I guess you are saying you’re a lawyer. I guess that explains why you did not answer my question but switched to a lot of lawyer gobbledeygook.

        It was a pretty simple question: Can you not be voted out of a partnership just the same way you are voted in? (And according to the post I’m commenting on, these two guys will continue to “represent” their clients… just with a different company name on their business cards.

    2. DB, of course, you can, but then you are not enhancing the law and are intolerant. Those who dedicate themselves to the law represent people in the best way possible. They do not concern themselves with politics, race, or religion as they are concerned with the law. The rest are hacks.

      1. Isn’t the subject the quality of your representation, not the address of the law firm or its ranking there in the swamp? Would these clients not be adequately represented if the same filings and same oral arguments were made by a guy who works out of his house in Vienna?

        1. I didn’t say voting other partners out could not be done (based on contract), but that makes them hacks for various reasons and demonstrates they do not live up to the ethos of the community.

          1. What “ethos of the community” are you referring to?

            It’s a private law firm dissatisfied with two of its employees choice of cases. They have every right to ask them to not pick cases that they don’t want their firm associated with. It’s not an ethical issue. It’s a business issue.

            1. What “ethos of the community” are you referring to?”

              You don’t understand these things. Some people have ethical and moral attachments to the work they perform. You have never been troubled by these things so don’t start now.

              1. S. Meyer,

                They were employees of a gigantic law firm. A business. Their ethos is to their shareholders. When your employer asks or tells you to do something different it’s either do what they ask or quit of be fired. The “community” wanted them to focus on other cases.

                1. Svelaz, face it. You are not bright enough to understand the ethics and morality I am discussing. You dig in the dirt. Certain professionals (and other types) base much of what they do on trust because their clients cannot tell whether the product they provide is good or bad.

                  I do not argue against the firm making business decisions, but as a doctor, when a lawyer sits opposite his client, his concerns should be client welfare, not the corporation. Let me put it a different way where you might have more experience. When a doctor is practicing within a corporate environment, there is a conflict between profit and the patient. As part of the corporation, he will vote for certain things so that patients understand what they are getting (This was the debate about HMOs many years ago.), but when at the bedside, his thoughts can only be on the patient. I assume you have been patient at one time or another. Would you like to be short-changed by your physician with a negative impact on your health?

    1. Whether you’re 100% right or only 90% right you’re right.
      Leadership at the top (it won’t come from aging mentally-challenged Joseph Biden) is required to ‘fix’ the FBI.

    2. The judicial branch just fixed the Sussmann case by setting a venue wherein the defendant would obtain a verdict that was biased in his favor.

      The fix is in so comprehensively, that the co-conspirators in a coup d’etat against a sitting President cannot be convicted, ever, by way of venue.

      The DOJ, FBI, judicial branch, and 90% of the government are 100% corrupt.

      The Deep Deep State Swamp is unconstitutional.

      The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional.

      Most people should be restricted from voting (turnout was 11.6% in 1788 by design), and the welfare and favor they vote for are unconstitutional.

      The American thesis was and remains Freedom And Self-Reliance.

      Any and all forms of Central Planning (5-year plans for solar panels/electric cars), Control of the Means of Production (regulation), Redistribution of Wealth, and Social Engineering are unconstitutional communism.

  11. Democrats are Fascists…. When Republicans Win Congress…cut 75% of Federal Government….you will first need to remove McConnell and Graham! Then move the 75% that remains in DC…to the Heartland. Too much power is centered in DC and DC is lost to the Democrats, thanks to their CIVIL WAR 2.0

    1. And, don’t forget, if Maryland won’t take the land they ceded to the District back through rescission, take unilateral action to redraw the District boundaries.

    2. “Democrats are Fascists….”

      Say those who want fascist controls over a woman’s body, health care, future.

      Pot meet kettle.

      1. Your women need to learn HOW to control their urges so they use protection and don’t kill their children as birth control. Abortion is the death of a child, NOT health care. Not many women are dying and need an abortion. The majority of abortions are selfish women who don’t want their life to change after they had unprotected sex Actions have consequences, and it is about time the LEFT learns that.

      2. You are a ——- communist agent fomenting dissent over prevarication.

        You cannot and will not be ashamed because you care not about abortion, your singular goal is the imposition of the absolute “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

        No decent, rational human being would kill their own, defenseless baby, at worst, they would put it up for adoption by caring human beings.

        The SCOTUS decided LAW, distinctly NOT abortion.

        There exists NO right to abortion in the Constitution; the legality of abortion must be legislated.

        Additionally, you know full well that a person who commits homicide against a pregnant woman is charged with TWO homicides – the woman and a very young human being inside her.

        You want to deny homicide based on location.

        Abortion aborts something, and that is undeniable by idiotic deniers such as yourself.

        That little thing that is aborted is a very young human being; it will soon be an older human being who will ultimately live an average of 81.1 years.

        Abortion is homicide.

    3. This is true. The Deep State is real. It will be impossible for Trump, DeSantis or any other Republican president to ever govern without certain sabotage from within the bureacracy. Every Republican POTUS moving forward will be sabotaged by operatives, activists, saboteurs embedded deep into the unelected administrative state. It must be dismantled.

  12. God help us! Equal application of the law seems to be going the way of the dodo in too many law firms and law schools. Academia has already bought into the concept of my way or the highway. If these attitudes and phony academics keep growing then Franklin’s warning that we will have a republic as long as we can keep it…..is going to prove correct, i.e. we are going to lose our country.

  13. Turley’s grievances ignore the simple fact that this is a private law firm and if they want to push out conservative lawyers because they didn’t like what they did it’s perfectly legal and entirely their prerogative. There’s no law or rule that deems their actions inappropriate or even unethical.

      1. Sergeant major, didn’t say Turley did. But he’s sure implying that it is somehow wrong or unethical that a private firm didn’t want its employees to do something that affects the firm’s reputation.

        He’s making it a case of conservative claims victimhood because their employer is just punishing them because they are simply conservative. It’s a business issue not an ethical one.

    1. because they didn’t like what they did it’s perfectly legal and entirely their prerogative

      Are there any over arching principles at play here? Or have lawyers finally admitted they are no better the crime families.

      1. “ Are there any over arching principles at play here?”

        Yeah there are, they are also a private business. Clements and Murphy were not partners in the firm. They chose to quit instead. They can form their own firm and choose any case they like free from any firm board of directors. Instead they chose to play victim and seem sympathy from conservatives as being victims of some sort of discrimination or something.

    1. So you understand that secession is fully constitutional, and that secession is what the Founding Fathers conducted vs. Great Britain.

      Once you understand that, then you understand that everything Lincoln did, denying secession to southern states and every subsequent act, was and remains unconstitutional, up to and including Karl Marx’s “RECONSTRUCTION Amendments.”

      Karl Marx’s letter of congratulation and commendation to Abraham Lincoln, 1864: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/iwma/documents/1864/lincoln-letter.htm

      “Crazy Abe” was Karl Marx’s “…earnest of the epoch…” who led America through “…the RECONSTRUCTION of a social world.”

      Lincoln espoused Karl Marx’s pejoratives “capitalism” and “fleecing” in 1837.

      Lincoln commenced the incremental implementation of communism in America, none of which is constitutional.

      “These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”

      – Abraham Lincoln, from his first speech as an Illinois state legislator, 1837

      “Everyone now is more or less a Socialist.”

      – Charles Dana, managing editor of the New York Tribune, and Lincoln’s assistant secretary of war, 1848

      “The goal of Socialism is Communism.”

      – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

      “The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.”

      – Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Lincoln, 1864

      1. George, in this case, wouldn’t the more appropriate word be, revolution? Revolution doesn’t require permission or legality. The only thing that makes it legal is if it is permitted (therefore revolution is not necessary) or you win. The South lost. Therefore it was illegal.

        Don’t confuse the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution.

  14. It’s the result of this rogue administration’s coup d’etat in January 2020 that turned our government into a socialist dictatorship.  And while we were only thinking this would happen, it happened.  The entire government of the US is now in their hands, totally & completely.  I’m ready to see the white of their bloodshot eyes.

    1. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

      – Declaration of independence, 1776

  15. This just proves how the left’s attacks against the second amendment have no standing. The left’s typical attack “silence opposition”.

  16. A law firm has every right to pick its associates and partners but taken to its ultimate conclusion, lawyers could be ostracized for representing people accused of rape or any other crime deemed horrific.
    This is the dystopia that the people warning about “fascism”, “dictatorship”, and “authoritarianism”, want to impose on us.
    These people only want predetermined results, not Justice or the Rule of Law.

  17. I would think their clients would want to leave a firm that has such little regard for the Constitution and the law. I wouldn’t want the likes of them arguing my case. They have taken the same road as the now-discredited ACLU.

    1. “I wouldn’t want the likes of them arguing my case.” Nor would I. And I intend to shout this out wherever and to whomever I can. Kirkland & Ellis, is first on a list that apparently will grow longer in a very short time, especially since confiscating our guns is what our now US socialist dictatorship is hellbent on doing.

    2. That’s exactly it, giocon1. When law firms openly make decisions about an attorney’s or client’s politics, it leaves no doubt they will throw you, the client, under the bus if the legal position that’s in your interest to advance—either in court or in administrative matters against the government—is ignored. That could happen when the law firm deems the position contrary to its collective political point of view or the attorney representing you sees that asserting a worthy argument for you could jeopardize his or her continuted employment or standing among other attorneys. It’s so subtle because you can have an array of legal arguments only some of which have political overtones that go unmade on the client’s behalf for these personal fears by your attorney. For example, might the attorney fear a backlash or lack of respect from fellow attorneys by arguing government overreach in the application of an IRS regulation? In that area of law, these arguments are not uncommon and are often worthy legal positions.

  18. Obviously Kirkland & Ellis are ignorant of the Constitution and the law. They don’t understand the 5th or 14th amendments and due process, and don’t respect the spirit of right to counsel.

    Who educated these uneducated oligarchs? They are part of the decline of America.


      highlyeducatedsuburbanwoman is The Blog Stooge, of course, our well-known handler of endless puppet commenters.

      1. Why don’t you dispute the content of their post in a thoughtful manner instead of engaging in a childish and shallow manner? You are the only one who appears to be a stooge from where I stand.

          1. REGARDING ABOVE:

            DT and Iron Granny are also The Blog Stooge. This is how he operates: ‘Swarming with endless puppets’.

      2. Anonymous – don’t embarrass yourself or degrade the conversation with your ad hominem and logical fallacies.

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