Giuliani’s suspension from practicing law is a ‘welcome development’
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was once a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York; now, he is unable to practice law in New York States — at least for the time being. Washington Post opinion writer Ruth Marcus weighs in on this development in her June 24 column, arguing that that Giuliani is getting exactly what he deserved in light of all the unethical things he did on behalf of former President Donald Trump.
Marcus writes, "Attorneys are supposed to — they are ethically bound to — zealously represent their clients, however unpopular. As a general matter, we should salute this zealousness, not punish it, for fear of chilling representation of those who need it most. The quintessential example of this principle is John Adams, who as a young lawyer famously defended British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre…. But advocacy has its limits, and Rudy Giuliani, it is safe to say, is no John Adams. One man defended the defenseless in the greater service of the rule of law; the other asserted the indefensible in the service of overturning the results of an election. And so, on Thursday, New York State Bar authorities took the extraordinary step of ordering Giuliani, once the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, immediately suspended from the practice of law as he faces the prospect of being permanently disbarred."
The Post columnist's response to this suspension is "bravo."
"This is a welcome and entirely justified development," Marcus writes. "In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Giuliani wasn't the only Trump lawyer to make unsupportable claims about voter fraud, but he was the most prominent. Both in and out of court, Giuliani made repeated false statements: That Pennsylvania received more absentee ballots than it had sent out before the election. That Trump was pursuing a claim of voter fraud in the Pennsylvania courts when in fact he was not. That dead people — sometimes 8021, at another point as many as 30,000 — voted in Philadelphia, including heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier.
Giuliani is arguing that the suspension violates his 1st Amendment rights. Marcus strongly disagrees.
"In his defense, Giuliani argues that the disciplinary proceeding itself somehow violates his First Amendment rights," Marcus writes. "Nonsense. As the panel concluded, 'this disciplinary proceeding concerns the professional restrictions imposed on respondent as an attorney to not knowingly misrepresent facts and make false statements in connection with his representation of a client.' The First Amendment doesn't protect that."