Tag Archives: law license

Illinois Supreme Court Coverup For Obamas

[Please see my Update at the bottom of this post!]

The Illinois Supreme Court’s Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) website is engaged in a coverup of Michelle and Barack Obama’s surrendering of their respective law license. Here is how I found out their coverup:

Yesterday I conducted the research for a post, “Barack & Michelle Gave Up Law License,” which I published early this morning. Early this afternoon, when I went onto the same ARDC webpages I had accessed a day ago, I discovered that the ARDC had scrubbed the pages clean.

As recent as yesterday, September 15, 2010, when I searched for “Michelle Obama” on the ARDC website, it directed me to this page (https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=847688734) where I found the information on when Michelle was admitted to the Illinois state bar and that she is no longer authorized to practice law because she had become ”voluntarily inactive.” Here’s a screen-shot of that page from yesterday:

Today, however, when I went on the same page (https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=847688734), it is no longer about Michelle Obama. Instead, the page concerns someone (unnamed), whose date of admission as lawyer by the Illinois Supreme Court was December 30, 1899!!!  

I then went on the ARDC’s lawyer search webpage and searched again for “Michelle Obama.” I was directed to a new page (https://www.iardc.org/ardcroll.asp) that is not the same as the page I looked at only a day ago, yesterday. The information on Michelle on the new page is even briefer:

Name Date Admitted City State Authorized to Practice?
Michelle Obama
Former name(s):
Michelle Robinson

[Note: Copying and pasting the above form somehow left out “May 12, 1989″ under “Date Admitted”, and the word “No” under “Authorized to Practice?”]

Left out of the new page is the information that she is “voluntarily inactive.” 

My friend, Mark S. McGrew, wrote an article for Pravda on Michelle Obama’s law license several months ago. In an e-mail to me today, Mark says when he accessed ARDC’s page on Michelle Obama (the same page, https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=847688734, that I had accessed yesterday), it says about Michelle, “No malpractice report required as attorney is on court ordered inactive status.” Here’s a screen shot of the ARDC’s web page on Michelle Obama which Mark saw, which was also what Chelsea Shilling had in her WorldNetDaily article of August 4, 2009:

But when I accessed that page yesterday, the sentence “No malpractice report required as attorney is on court ordered inactive status” had been scrubbed. Today, that page is no longer even about Michelle Obama.

The same scrubbing was also done on Barack Obama.

Yesterday, the URL of the ARDC page on Barack was https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=596550107. Here’s a screen-shot of that page as I saw it yesterday:

Today, that URL is no longer about Barack Obama, but concerns the same unnamed person whose date of admission as lawyer by the Illinois Supreme Court was December 30, 1899.

I then searched for “Barack Obama” and was taken to this page (http://www.iardc.org/ardcroll.asp), with the same minimal information as Michelle’s current page:

Name Date Admitted City State Authorized to Practice?
Barack Hussein Obama December 17, 1991 N/A N/A No

This is not a glitch or malfunction of the ARDC website because, acting upon a suggestion by Mark McGrew, I searched for lawyer “John Q. Fitzpatrick” and was taken to the webpage https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=855203569, which is about John Q. Fitzpatrick instead of some unnamed person who was admitted as lawyer by the Illinois Supreme Court on December 30, 1899.

In other words, only the webpages on Michelle and Barack Obama had been tampered.

All signs point to the Obamas having gotten to the Illinois Supreme Court because this story about their law licenses has gone viral in the last couple of days. So now, the ARDC website has scrubbed away even more information on the Obamas.

It’s a friggin’ conspiracy!

~Eowyn

UPDATE:

Thanks to the patient and gracious commenter “rk”, we now know that the ARDC of the Illinois Supreme Court is not concealing information on Michelle and Barack’s law license status, but the ARDC is, for reasons known only to them, doing their utmost to make finding that information neither simple nor easy.

Upon the recommendation of rk, here’s what I did, which any reader of this can replicate:

Step 1: Go on the ARDC’s “lawyer search” page ( http://www.iardc.org/lawyersearch.asp).

Step 2: Type “Obama” and “Michelle” to search.

Step 3: This brings you to a new page (http://www.iardc.org/ardcroll.asp) with bare-bones info on Michelle O. [Note: Clicking the above URL won't get you there; you must go through Steps 1 and 2 first.]

Step 4: Click the words in blue: “Michelle Obama”

Step 5: One is now brought to the page on Michelle O (http://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=96147597) with all the info that previously appeared to be missing and covered up, including the sentence “No malpractice report required as attorney is on court ordered inactive status.”

The same steps 1-5 can be performed to retrieve the ARDC’s info on Barack.

Why is the ARDC website making the retrieval of the information on Michelle and Barack Obama more circuitous and indirect? Just two days ago, when I searched for the Obamas, I was taken DIRECTLY to the Step 5 page, bypassing the intermediary Step 3 page.

This is NOT the behavior of a president who had promised his administration would be the most transparent ever.

~Eowyn (9/18/01)

Barack & Michelle Gave Up Law License

In the United States, admission to the bar by a particular court system is needed to practice law in that system. Each U.S. state and similar jurisdiction (e.g. territories under federal control) sets its own rules for bar admission (or privilege to practice law).

In general, a prospective lawyer will need to pass a state-administered bar exam after earning a Juris Doctor degree from a law school approved by the state in which he/she wants to practice. Typically, there is also a character and fitness evaluation, which includes a background check. [Source]

In other words, becoming a licensed attorney is an arduous process. The legal education consists of these stages:

  • A Bachelor’s degree, often in the Pre-law major
  • Law school
  • Trial practice
  • Legal clinic
  • Graduation with a Juris Doctor degree

Then there are the exams:

  • The rigorous LSAT (Law School Admission Test)  
  • The even more daunting Bar Examination. (Two former students of mine, both very bright, each took the bar exam 4 to 6 times before they finally passed.)

Given how arduous it is to acquire a law license, like other professionals (such as physicians), most attorneys renew their license even when they are retired from active legal work. License renewal is easy and simple: you pay a fee and, in some states, take a few units of continuing legal education. Letting your license lapse, however, means that you’d have to re-take the bar exam to get re-admitted.

Lawyers let their license lapse for very compelling reasons, often to avoid or escape censure or outright criminal charges. As an example, Bill Clinton kept active his law license even when he became president. In 2000 the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Conduct called for Clinton’s disbarment, saying he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. In January 2001 Clinton reached an agreement under which he was ordered to pay $25,000 in fines to Arkansas state’s bar officials and his Arkansas law license was suspended for five years. The agreement came on the condition that Whitewater prosecutors would not pursue federal perjury charges against him. Clinton was suspended by the Supreme Court in October 2001, and, facing disbarment from that court, Clinton resigned from the Supreme Court bar in November.

So it is most curious that Barack and Michelle Obama both gave up their law licenses.

Michelle Obama attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Sociology and African-American Studies in 1985. She then attended Harvard Law School and earned a J.D. in 1988 before returning to her hometown Chicago to work at the law firm Sidley Austin where she met and was assigned to mentor a summer associate named Barack. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley as his Assistant and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. In 1996, she became, first, the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago; then, Vice President for Community and External Affairs.

The above information on Michelle Obama is from Wikipedia. Conspicuously missing from the Wikipedia entry is the fact that she voluntarily gave up her law license.

The website of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois ((https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=847688734)) says that Michelle Obama was admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association on May 12, 1989, but she is no longer authorized to practice law because she voluntarily surrendered (“voluntarily inactive”) her license on some unspecified date for unspecified reason(s).

Here’s a screen shot of the ARDC page on Michelle Obama:

For his part, Barack Hussein Obama was admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association on December 17, 1991. He too is no longer authorized to practice law because he had “voluntarily retired” on an unspecified date for unspecified reason(s).

Here’s a screen shot of the ARDC page (https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=596550107) on Barack Obama:

According to bloggers Johnny Alamo and James4America, Michelle “voluntarily” gave up her law license in 1993, just five years after she got the license; Barack “voluntarily retired” from law practice in 2007. The left-leaning Snopes.com denies that Michelle had “voluntarily surrendered” her law license, and insists both Michelle and Barack had merely put their law license on “inactive” status. Snopes, however, does not explain what’s the difference between Michelle’s “voluntarily inactive” and Barack’s “voluntarily retired.”

Nor does Snopes inform its readers that Michelle Obama was ordered by the court to put her law license on inactive status. An earlier version of the ARDC webpage on her (https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=847688734) said this about Michelle: “No malpractice report required as attorney is on court ordered inactive status.” Here’s a screen shot of the web page at the time of Chelsea Shilling’s WorldNetDaily article of August 4, 2009:

By the time I accessed the same webpage yesterday, September 15, 2010, the sentence “No malpractice report required as attorney is on court ordered inactive status” had disappeared. A day later, that webpage (https://www.iardc.org/ldetail.asp?id=847688734) is scrubbed of all information on Michelle Obama. See my update, Illinois Supreme Court Coverup For Obamas.”

H/t beloved fellows Joseph FascianiMay, and Richard!

~Eowyn