“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. Cut throat lawyers are nothing new. The almighty dollar, makes all of the rules.

  2. This is why Russia needs to steal wheat from Ukraine, to feed its fat general:

  3. Enough is enough. Russia needs to start having a ton of missiles lobbed into it, the devil may care.

    1. “Enough is enough. Russia needs to start having a ton of missiles lobbed into it, the devil may care.”
      Go right ahead with all of your missiles from a place outside of our country. I’m guessing you’ll go from 98.6 degrees to 10,000 degrees in less than a second. We don’t care to join you in the fantasy. No American (except the deranged) is willing to die for Ukraine; deal with it. It’s real, unlike your delusions.

      1. Mespo,
        Read an article a week or so ago.
        The Ukrainians had all kinds of advanced US weapon systems . . . they just have no idea/training to use them.
        There is a reason why the US Marines spend two weeks at the range. Not a few hours of training.

        1. They might have well as armed them with X-Wing Fighters from Star Wars given the lack of training. Now, I hear they are sending raw recruits to the front. It’s going to be a bloodbath and the Russians aren’t going anywhere.

        2. From what I understand, the object in Ukraine is to keep the Russians busy there as long as possible.

  4. The US is heading to another civil war between urban and rural.

    1. “The US is heading to another civil war between urban and rural.”
      Doubtful. The Urbanites can’t buy a gun, aim a gun or fire a gun. The rest of us are armed, rested, ready and good shots. People aren’t stupid. They see the urbanites wouldn’t even defend their own city from rioters. Rural folks will fight it to the death.

      1. Mespo, rural folks would have a hard time fighting their way into the cities.

          1. Mespo, I think most Americans don’t know what logistics means.

            1. Independent Bob,
              Warfare is a question of economics and logistics.

              This is what I fear: The slow destruction of society as we see it unfolding before us, suddenly implodes on itself. The JIT/BAU system fails. People who do not give a dang about either political issue will die without so much as a shot, due to lack of food, medication. Heaven forbid something happens to our electrical system and municipal water quits working.
              Civil war is something everyone should want to avoid. No good comes of it.

        1. We do everything in our power to avoid cities. Why would we invade a city? Starve them out.

          1. BMan:

            Sure. You could cut rail service and destroy most highway arteries in a month or so. Grocery stores have enough food in reserve for about a week. Most truck drivers are rural-based and would refuse to drive or face a lot of diesel bonfires. You just do the math and then you sit back and watch the siege syndrome (trapped rats eating rats) as the hapless fools realize they’ve lost and didn’t even know it. For all their bluster, urban dwellers are the most vulnerable segment of the population – tightly packed, unarmed, dependent on the government for hygiene, energy, protection and transportation (i.e., food), etc.

            Like HWJr said, “country folks will survive.”

            1. Manhattan is quickly gone since it is an island heavily dependent on a few bridges and tunnels. If all of them were taken out at once while the commuter people were there, NYC would be gone almost immediately, and the population from the surrounding areas significantly depleted of its working population. The last time I looked, commuters doubled the population of Manhattan.

          1. True but where do you go? You can’t grow crops, you can’t live off the land, you go and you die. I’ll never live is a city.

            “I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice.”
            ~Tho. Jefferson

        2. Anonymous,
          Why would rural people want to fight into a city?
          I do not need a frapachino, Big Mac, or a big screen TV to survive.
          Fuel? That gets shipped to any place, urban or rural.
          Hospital or medical facilities? If there is shooting going on, is the hospitals even going to be up and running? Who is manning them?
          What is in the city valuable enough for me to risk fighting to get there?

      2. The ubanites from “Da’ Hood” have guns, but hold them sideways, and never had to deal with a target that shoots back.

  5. Turley says:

    “It is the same movement that has stripped most law schools of conservative or libertarian faculty across the country.”

    Trumpist John Eastman was forced out at Chapman University:

    “After discussions over the course of the last week, Dr. John Eastman and Chapman University have reached an agreement pursuant to which he will retire from Chapman, effective immediately. Dr. Eastman’s departure closes this challenging chapter for Chapman and provides the most immediate and certain path forward for both the Chapman community and Dr. Eastman. Chapman and Dr. Eastman have agreed not to engage in legal actions of any kind, including any claim of defamation that may currently exist, as both parties move forward.”


    What did we hear from Turley, the great defender of conservative lawyers?


    1. Yes, we see another university purging people who think differently than they wish.

      We already know that few yale lawyers are qualified to be lawyers – much less judges given how poor their understanding of the constitution is.

      As has repeatedly been demonstrated – by HISTORY, Eastman argued for an unlikely to be successfully but constitutionally legitimate approach.

      The job of all lawyers is to provide their clients with whatever legal options exist – including that that people like you might not like.

      I would note that not only did Clinton seek to persuade electors to change their votes – but so did other congressmen and numerous media outlets.

      Were they insurrectionists ?

      Of course not, the constitution does not dicate how electors must vote.
      It does however stay they are to be selected by the state legislature – not the Secretary of State.

  6. Professor Turley Writes:

    “The Supreme Court has decided since Heller that the Second Amendment bestows an individual right”.

    Here the professor is being unusually candid. Yes, this court discovered, in 2008, that Second Amendment bestows an individual right. That right had never been absolute before. But ‘this’ court keeps finding clues that the founding fathers were dogmatic on guns.

    1. I’ve corrected you before. It can ONLY be an idividual right. Many reasons. For the simple minded, The militia is all of able bodied Americans. Creating the protection of keeping the federal govt from taking the guns of the very army meant to protect the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

      If it is a right, like a legal defense is a right. Every able bodied person should be given funds to by an AR15, and 1000 rounds of ammo every year.

  7. Censorship Has Become The Liberal Religion

    American liberals are obsessed with finding ways to silence and censor their adversaries. Every week, if not every day, they have new targets they want de-platformed, banned, silenced, and otherwise prevented from speaking or being heard (by “liberals,” I mean the term of self-description used by the dominant wing of the Democratic Party).

    For years, their preferred censorship tactic was to expand and distort the concept of “hate speech” to mean “views that make us uncomfortable,” and then demand that such “hateful” views be prohibited on that basis. For that reason, it is now common to hear Democrats assert, falsely, that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not protect “hate speech.” Their political culture has long inculcated them to believe that they can comfortably silence whatever views they arbitrarily place into this category without being guilty of censorship.

    Constitutional illiteracy to the side, the “hate speech” framework for justifying censorship is now insufficient because liberals are eager to silence a much broader range of voices than those they can credibly accuse of being hateful. That is why the newest, and now most popular, censorship framework is to claim that their targets are guilty of spreading “misinformation” or “disinformation.” These terms, by design, have no clear or concise meaning. Like the term “terrorism,” it is their elasticity that makes them so useful. …

    This “disinformation” term is reserved for those who question liberal pieties, not for those devoted to affirming them. That is the real functional definition of “disinformation” and of its little cousin, “misinformation.” It is not possible to disagree with liberals or see the world differently than they see it. The only two choices are unthinking submission to their dogma or acting as an agent of “disinformation.” Dissent does not exist to them; any deviation from their worldview is inherently dangerous — to the point that it cannot be heard. …”

    The data proving a deeply radical authoritarian strain in Trump-era Democratic Party politics is ample and have been extensively reported here. …”
    It is weird.

    The people who can’t stand to hear any other opinion than their own and who are bent on silencing all dissent from their “mainstream” orthodoxy are the “liberals.” Meanwhile, those who support free speech and who have a more relaxed view toward differences of opinion are “bigots.”

    Glenn Grrenwald

    1. Anonymous:

      I’d say Cultural Marxism as the liberal religion with censorship being one of many sacraments along with identity politics, groupthink and emotionality. The Left has three sacred mascot groups who may not be criticized or even questioned: blacks, LGTB etc and women, in that order. So black rights trump LGBT etc rights which trump women’s rights. (See Lia Thomas for the latter priority proof). But these three in turn trump every other mascot group rights like Latino, Muslims and the disabled. All five mascot groups trump white male rights. Of course, this system tends to coddle the mascot groups which makes them emotionally weak, dependent and thus unable to deal with life’s adversity which inures to the benefit of those who do face life’s adversity who are … drum roll … white, straight males. So like so many secular substitutes for mainline religion, it’s mean-spirited and counterproductive. But best of all Cultural Marxism elevates the very group it despises to the top of the social heriarchy. That’s why the Dims are run by straight, white males.

      So when I say the Left is the New Party of Stupid, you know what I mean. But maybe I’ll call it the Religion of Stupid – better fit.

  8. To anyone that thinks K&E has morals, they’ve represented BP in the gulf oil spill and shafted countless people, they’ve represented Jeffrey Epstein, and even Raytheon in a suit brought by homeowners alleging toxic contamination

    1. “To anyone that thinks K&E has morals, they’ve represented BP in the gulf oil spill and shafted countless people ….”
      K&E recommended paying out $16 Billion Dollars to claimants. If any leaky boat claimant got shafted it was because they couldn’t fill out a claims sheet. The rest of your stuff is exactly what K&E did to its lawyers and thus dumb argument.

  9. Turley, you’ve become SO predictable: “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.” With the radical right-wing majority having taken over our SCOTUS, LITERALLY ANYONE couild have “won one of the most significant constitutional victories in history.” The outcome was predetermined and required very little persuasive skill, given the extreme right-wing bias of the court. And, a law firm does NOT have to keep partners or associates who bring about injustices that offend the majority of Americans in the name of the billable hour. K & E would likely lose clients if it hadn’t canned them. And, where did you get the idea that their firing was the result of “yielding to the mob”? K & E are more than able to stand against “the mob” or anyone else if they felt strongly about the rightness of their lawyers. And no one is “denying representation” to “conservatives”, either. There’s plenty of billable hour liars to choose from out there. And, where do you get off deciding what the “core values” are of the legal profession, anyway? You are a paid pundit for the Hate Network. People are going to die as a result of this decision.

    And, you’ve even picked up the “left” rhetoric. Here’s the thing: MOST AMERICANS oppose free and open carrying of guns, not just “the left”.

      1. and to think he is paid to act like Linda Blair’s Exorcist role for all to behold

    1. Natch, you need to kneel and apologize for your white privilege like your comrade here

      1. This clown, his allies, and his comrades should be drawn and quartered posthaste.

    2. RE: “With the radical right wing majority having taken over our SCOTUS”…………YEP!!!! YOUR SCOTUS!!! “Holy ‘what goes around comes around’, Batman!”

    3. Yer totally out to lunch. Most Americans would rather have all guns allowed to be carried openly, anywhere, than go the route of ny, Illinois, philly, LA, SF, SEattle and Portland…etc.


    “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.'”

    – Professor Turley


    Earl Warren worked tirelessly to set the foundation for the one-party communist state of California, against the American thesis, against the American Constitution which severely restricts government, and for the American Military/Industrial Complex Deep Deep State. Most memorably, Earl Warren diametrically altered physics and wrote the Great Lie of the 20th Century, the Warren Report, and defrauded the American people to their faces, preposterously stating that the “magic bullet” from Lee Harvey Oswald’s 6th floor nest killed President John F. Kennedy from the rear, understanding that the Zapruder film clearly depicted Kennedy grasping the front of his throat where the first bullet impacted him, then showed Kennedy’s head, blood and soft tissue being blown to the rear of his limousine, showering the following motorcycle policeman, followed by Jacqueline Kennedy’s crawling trek to the rear in search of the remnants of Kennedy’s skull, just in case the doctors needed to suture them back into proper position, all proving that the relevant and material bullets came from the front while back-up and decoy bullets were fired from two other locations.

  11. It’s a free country, let the loony left do as they please. My advice would be to start conservative law firms and do the same, keep the loony left lawyers at arm’s length and turn to the business of undoing ALL the bad legislation and judicial decisions foisted on this nation by said loony left lawyers.

  12. I want to be reincarnated as a whale. That way, I can make bubbles every time I fart.

  13. Freedom of the Press.

    Expose the anti-freedom, anti-constitutional, anti-American communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs), perpetrators of the unconstitutional welfare state, wherever they lurk.

    1st Amendment

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  14. Turley is just being disingenuous as usual. He leaves out the fact that the firm is a $7 billion law firm. Clement and Murphy quit because their EMPLOYER didn’t want it’s name associated with the cases they litigated. It’s entirely their prerogative. Clements and Murphy are whining because capitalism reigns supreme in these firms. This was not about what the “mob” wanted as Turley disingenuously implies. Clements and Murphy quit their previous firm over the same thing and whines about it as if they were victims just like they are now.

    “ To be clear, they weren’t fired. They were told to build their practices around literally anything less toxic for the firm. But they looked at their prospective client list and came up empty.”

    This article better explains why Clements and Murphy are just whining.


    1. Svelaz, The article you reference doesn’t explain anything other than the writer’s clearly biased opinion on the second amendment. Since as you say these two lawyers weren’t partners, they had to get clearance/approval from the $7 billion law firm to take the 2A case in the first place, which they obviously and clearly did. Your bias against the 2A also shows in your comments. Your attempt to defend their dismissal failed miserably.

      1. You didn’t read the article. The author wasn’t talking about the 2nd amendment. He was talking about Clements and Murphy whining and claiming victimhood over their EMPLOYER’s desire not to pursue those cases. It’s their right and prerogative to ask them to pick cases that they don’t want THEIR firm associated with.

        Your ignorance was in full display.

        1. Apparently you didn’t read it. The writer shows his bias towards the 2A by ending the very first sentence with “that won’t rest until every Kindergartner is murdered in cold blood.”

    2. The firm just lacks the tools required to address any objections that come their way. Maybe they could hire a law firm that specializes is drafting communication designed to explain and affect opinions. Their in house lawyers lack the skill.

  15. Interesting business model for a law firm. Fire lawyers who win for the firm’s customers.
    A fitting end to this story would be for someone to hire these 2 lawyers in a suit against K & E and wins a judgement that forces K & E into bankruptcy.

    1. Kevin, they were not fired. They quit on their own accord.

      They are perfectly capable of forming their own firm. That way they can choose any case they want. The downside is they won’t have the resources and expertise available that most large firms have. Meaning they will have to do all the hard work themselves.

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