A fascinating thing is occurring within the hallowed halls of FACDL. But to understand the dimensions, you first have to understand the contretemps surrounding it.
As self-absorbed lawyers, few blog readers know that due to a software snafu the Florida Bar exam was recently canceled. What to do...what to do? Three thousand or so erstwhile lawyers were denied the opportunity to join the brotherhood and sisterhood of the shark. There is a rumor that the exam will be rescheduled in October, but nothing is for sure yet.
Enter FACDL and the question of whether new lawyers should even take a Bar exam. And you thought police departments were the only thing millennials want to defund. DEFUND THE BAR! DEFUND THE BAR ...if you chant it long enough, it is catchy.
What position should FACDL take? Here is the juicy part of the story. However, because FACDL listserv emails require code word secrecy clearance, here is the only part of the myriad of email exchanges we can print:
It is, as we all know, a violation of biblical proportions for us to reprint an FACDL email. (Memo to FCADL: if you don't want your emails on the blog, tell your damn members to stop sending them to us, willya?).
The substance of the issue is as follows: Be it resolved, FACDL is for or against admitting as CLIs on a continuing basis the law students who covidly cannot take the Bar. Some members voted "ay", others "nay", and some "present". At least one FACDL board member told the peons to pound salt and that if they didn't like the Board's position to run for the board next year (the legal lingo was "we will do what we want. Kindly act accordingly").
Some members howled in response that the Board was elected to do what the members wanted, not what the board wanted. Suddenly in this yawn inducing mess we sat up and took notice. Unknowingly, FACDL stumbled upon an age old question of democracy: whether elected representatives should vote as they think best, or merely as their constituents want them to vote.
While FACDL members were busy fighting, we retired inspired to our library and pulled out Madison's Federalist #10:
Among the numerous advantages proposed by a well constructed union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction... Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens ... that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided not according to the rules of justice and the rights of minor parties but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.
So as the emails fly through the bits and bytes of the digital age, and FACDL members fight over whether their Board votes the will of the members or the best singular judgment of individual board members, take solace you weekend warriors of the listserv that you are debating nothing less than a problem addressed by the Founding Fathers (is that a politically incorrect term? Can we still use "founding fathers" or will the blog be defunded and the statute being erected to Rumpole in parking lot 26 that no one uses any more be tumbled like a cheap Saddam Hussein knockoff?).
Defund the Bar? Go for it. Admit law students without scrutiny? Why not? As long as they wear masks on Zoom hearings. We care not.
But resolving the classic question of representative government; this will keep us up until the early hours of the morning, perusing the emails being sent to us as we search for our next James or Jane Madison.
PS. We neglected to mention that Attorney Brian Tannebaum is representing the law students here gratis. As an avowed anti-altruist, that offends us of course. But he means well. There are many Bar applicants who are facing severe financial hardships. One is on the verge of homelessness. Others, having devoted years in school, were counting on jobs that are now as far away as ever.