Lakehead University law faculty member Ryan Alford has filed a challenge to the new Ontario bar rule requiring all lawyers to prepare and submit personal “Statement of Principles” avowing their support for equality, diversity, and inclusion. The rules have drawn fire across Canada as compelled speech, but the bar association turned down a request that individual lawyers be allowed exemptions if they believe the requirement violates their conscience. I’ve got a write-up at Cato at Liberty noting the parallels with Model Rule 8.4 (g), adopted by the ABA in 2016, which makes a vaguely defined category of discriminatory conduct, including speech, the subject of discipline as “professional misconduct,” and which Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warns would be unconstitutional if adopted into state regulation. I write:
The “Test Acts” were a series of enactments of England that excluded from public office and penalized in other ways those who would not swear allegiance to the prevailing religious tenets of the day. There is no good reason to bring back their principles.