12:04, December 03 35 0 abajournal.com

2018-12-03 12:04:08
Challenge to mandatory bar returns to 8th Circuit after Supreme Court orders reconsideration

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider a First Amendment challenge to mandatory bar membership by a North Dakota lawyer.

The Supreme Court vacated a judgment against lawyer Arnold Fleck and ordered the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis to reconsider the case, the National Law Journal reports.

The Supreme Court ordered the 8th Circuit to take into account the high court’s June decision striking down mandatory union dues for collective bargaining on behalf of government employees. The Supreme Court had ruled the mandatory dues violated the employees’ First Amendment rights.

Fleck contends he should not be compelled to join a bar association, and his First Amendment rights are violated by a rule that requires him to opt out, rather than opt in, to dues supporting activities that aren’t relevant to the practice of law.

Fleck had sued after he learned that the State Bar Association of North Dakota was opposing a state ballot measure establishing a presumption that each parent is entitled to equal parental rights.

The 8th Circuit had ruled against Fleck in August 2017.

Fleck is represented by the Goldwater Institute. The case is Fleck v. Wetch.