Q: Did Barack and also Michelle Obama “surrender” their law licenses come avoid ethics charges?

A: No. A court official confirms that no public disciplinary proceeding has ever been brought versus either of them, contrary to a false web rumor.

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by voluntarily inactivating their licenses, they prevent a requirement to take proceeding education classes and pay thousands of dollars in annual fees. Both can practice regulation again if they made decision to carry out so.


Have you watched this one? i couldn’t find a reference to that on your website. Deserve to you debunk any of the adhering to accusations?

This is legit. I check it the end at https://www.iardc.org stands for Illinois lawyer Registration and Disciplinary Committee. It’s the main arm that lawyer technique in Illinois; and also they are very strict and mean together hell. (Talk around irony.) also I, in ~ the progressed age of practically 65, keep (at the cost of approximately $600/year) my regulation license that I worked so hard and also long come earn. Huge surprise.

Former Constitutional legislation Lecturer and U.S. President renders Up constitutional Quotes throughout State of The Union (SOTU) Address.

Consider this:

1. President Barack Obama, previous editor that the Harvard law Review, is no much longer a “lawyer”. That surrendered his license back in 2008 in order to escape charges he lied top top his bar application. A “Voluntary Surrender” is no something where you decision “Gee, a patent is not really something I require anymore, is it?” and forget come renew your license. No, a “Voluntary Surrender” is something friend do when you’ve to be accused the something, and you ‘voluntarily surrender” your license 5 seconds before the state suspends you.

2 Michelle Obama “voluntarily surrendered” her regulation license in 1993. ~ a federal Judge provided her the selection between surrendering her license or stand trial for Insurance fraud!

4. A senior lecturer is one thing, a fully ranked regulation professor is another. Barack Obama was not a Constitutional legislation Professor in ~ the college of Chicago.

5. The college of Chicago exit a explain in march 2008 speak Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) “served together a professor” in the regulation school-but that is a location Obama, who taught courses there part-time, never held, a spokesman for the school confirmed in 2008.

6. “He did not host the location of Professor of Law,” stated Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, one Assistant Dean for Communications and also Lecturer in regulation at the university of Chicago institution of Law.

Source: http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/03/sweet_obama_did_hold_the_title.html;

7. The former Constitutional senior Lecturer (Obama) quote the U.S. Constitution the other night during his State that the Union Address. Unfortunately, the quote the cited to be from the declaration of freedom … not the Constitution.

8. The B-Cast post the video: http://www.breitbart.tv/did-obama-confuse-the-constitution-with-the-declaration-of-independence/

9. Cost-free Republic: In the State of the Union Address, president Obama said: “We discover unity in our tremendous diversity, drawing on the promise anchored in our Constitution: the id that we room all created equal.

10. Um, wrong citing, wrong founding file there Champ, I median Mr. President. By the way, the assures are no a notion, ours founders named them unalienable rights. The paper is ours Declaration the Independence and it reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, the all males are developed equal, the they space endowed by your Creator with specific unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

11. And also this is the same man who lectured the can be fried Court moments later in the same speech?

When you are a phony it’s tough to store facts straight.

Keep this moving — educate others.


We briefly addressed rumors around the standing of the Obamas’ law licenses back in January 2010 in an Ask gendergeek.org title “Clueless ‘Columbo.’ ” yet a secure stream of questions around them has ongoing to flow to ours inbox ever since.

It’s true that neither the president nor the first lady holds an active license to exercise law. A find on the website of the lawyer Registration and Disciplinary board of directors of the can be fried Court that Illinois shows that Barack Obama is listed as “voluntarily retired and also not authorized to exercise law,” and also Michelle Obama is detailed as “voluntarily inactive and not authorized to exercise law.”

But it’s not true the President Obama “surrendered his license earlier in 2008 in order come escape charges the lied on his bar application,” or the Michelle Obama “ ‘voluntarily surrendered’ her law license in 1993 after ~ a commonwealth Judge offered her the an option between surrendering her patent or stand trial for Insurance fraud,” together the chain email claims.

Lawyers that voluntarily adjust their registration standing to inactive or retired “may no practice legislation based upon your Illinois patent or hold themselves out as being for this reason authorized,” follow to the attorney Registration and also Disciplinary board of directors of the supreme Court that Illinois. Yet James Grogan, deputy administrator and chief counsel because that the ARDC, claimed that the Obamas were “never the topic of any kind of public disciplinary proceedings.”

Voluntary Changes

President Obama i graduated from Harvard regulation School in 1991 and was admitted as a lawyer by the supreme Court the Illinois ~ above Dec. 17, 1991. Prior to being chosen to the Illinois state Senate in 1996, he operated as a civil rights lawyer in ~ the firm formerly known together Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. 4 days after Obama announced the he would run for president in February 2007, that voluntarily elected to have his legislation license inserted on “inactive” status, follow to Grogan. Then, after becoming president, he elected to adjust his condition to “retired” in February 2009.

Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard legislation School in 1988, and was admitted as a lawyer by the supreme Court the Illinois on may 12, 1989. Adhering to graduation, she join Sidley Austin, a corporate legislation firm in Chicago. However a few years later, in 1994, while working for the public Allies job in Chicago, Obama voluntarily had actually her license inserted on “inactive” status.

But the claim that the Obamas “surrendered” their licenses come avoid principles charges has no basis in fact. Neither of the Obamas has any kind of public record of technique or pending proceedings against them, follow to the virtual public registration documents of the ARDC. We also confirmed that through Grogan, who said that the Obamas were “never the subject of any type of public disciplinary proceedings.”

The Obamas haven’t said precisely what triggered them to adjust the condition of their licenses. Yet Grogan claimed that that was relatively common because that lawyers that didn’t intend to continue practicing regulation to walk on inactive status. It to be actually among the reasons, he said, the the dominance was changed so that lawyers wanting to move to inactive status no longer had actually to petition the Illinois can be fried Court to execute so. In 2011, much more than 12 percent the the state’s 87,943 registered attorneys were on inactive standing (see graph 2), according to the ARDC’s annual report for the year.

In addition, prior to June 5, 2012, the Obamas would have actually been compelled to pay an annual fee of $289 (now $342), and take classes to satisfy the state’s Minimum proceeding Legal education and learning requirement, in bespeak to store their patent active. Lawyers ~ above retirement status, however, don’t have to pay an yearly fee or take it classes. And also lawyers ~ above inactive status additionally don’t need to take classes, yet they do need to pay an yearly fee of $105.

Perhaps one factor for this false cases is that the digital registration record supplied to perform Michelle Obama as being “on court notified inactive status.” yet that wasn’t because of any kind of wrongdoing. As previously mentioned, before 1999, an Illinois supreme Court preeminence required energetic lawyers that wanted to readjust their registration status to do so by petitioning the court.

Obama’s activity seeking a transfer to inactive standing was filed ~ above June 8, 1994. And the court granted the inquiry the complying with month, Grogan said.

Grogan said claims that Michelle Obama went on inactive condition to prevent disbarment are simply false. “We had to consent come this,” he said, noting that the ARDC would’ve carried up any disciplinary troubles with the court. And he added that simply an altering the registration standing wouldn’t stop the ARDC native bringing a case against a lawyer.

(The virtual registration record no much longer refers come Michelle Obama together being on “court ordered inactive status.” Grogan said that alters were made to the online registration system due to the fact that other inactive lawyers had actually complained that they were also being doubt of wrongdoing.)

And the Obamas might return come practicing legislation if they decide to, Grogan said. Chairman Obama would have to submit a created or online an alert stating the he intended come return to energetic status. And also he would need to pay the registration fee for each year that he to be retired.

The process for Michelle Obama would certainly be different, Grogan said, since she changed her status under old supreme Court dominion 770. She would have to once again record a movement with the Illinois can be fried Court requesting to be transferred back to energetic status. But unlike president Obama, she would only need to pay the registration because that the year that she asked for to return to energetic status.

Other Claims

The email likewise claims the “Barack Obama was no a Constitutional legislation Professor at the university of Chicago.” That’s technically true.

As us wrote ago in 2008, Obama’s formal title was “senior lecturer,” but the college of Chicago legislation School says he “served together a professor” and also was “regarded as” a professor.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama regularly described himself as “a constitutional law professor.” however the university later on clarified his location in an main statement:

UC legislation School statement: The law School has actually received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially around his condition as “Senior Lecturer.” from 1992 until his choice to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the law School. He to be a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a an elderly Lecturer indigenous 1996 to 2004, during which time that taught 3 courses every year. Senior Lecturers are taken into consideration to be members that the regulation School faculty and also are pertained to as professors, although not full time or tenure-track. The title of senior Lecturer is unique from the title of Lecturer, i m sorry signifies adjunct status. Favor Obama, each of the regulation School’s an elderly Lecturers have high-demand careers in national politics or public service, i m sorry prevent permanent teaching. Number of times during his 12 years together a professor in the law School, Obama was invite to sign up with the faculty in a full time tenure-track position, but he declined.

The email additionally faults Obama because that mixing increase the U.S. Constitution and also the declaration of Independence.

“The previous Constitutional senior Lecturer (Obama) quote the U.S. Constitution the various other night throughout his State the the Union Address. Unfortunately, the quote that cited to be from the statements of independence … no the Constitution.”

But even if it is Obama was best or wrong depends on how his words are interpreted.

In his State that the Union deal with on Jan. 27, 2010, Obama made the following statement:

Obama, Jan. 27, 2010: Abroad, America’s greatest source of stamin has constantly been our ideals. The very same is true in ~ home. We uncover unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise anchored in ours Constitution: the notion that we’re all created equal; that no matter who you room or what you look like, if friend abide by the law you have to be safeguarded by it; if girlfriend adhere come our usual values you must be cure no different than everyone else.

However, the exact phrase “created equal” is not uncovered in the U.S. Constitution. The is discovered in the statements of Independence:

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776: We organize these truths to it is in self-evident, the all males are produced equal, the they room endowed by their Creator with particular unalienable Rights, that amongst these are Life, Liberty and also the search of Happiness.

But Eugene Volokh, the Gary T. Schwartz Professor of regulation at UCLA, creating for the Volokh Conspiracy blog, claimed that the chairman was in reality correct.

Volokh, April 5, 2010: however of food President Obama’s statement is rather correct: The structure enshrines the id that we space all produced equal in the Equal defense Clause, in the voting legal rights amendments, chiefly the Fifteenth Amendment and the Nineteenth Amendment, and also in large measure in the Thirteenth Amendment, which denomination slavery. (And don’t quibble that these are Amendments, and not the Constitution. As article V of the structure says, the Amendments “shall be precious to every Intents and also Purposes, as component of this Constitution.”)

— D’Angelo Gore


Grogan, James, deputy administrator and also chief counsel for the attorney Registration and Disciplinary board of directors of the supreme Court of Illinois. Interview v gendergeek.org. 6, 11, 12 Jun 2012.

Attorney Registration and Disciplinary board of directors of the supreme Court of Illinois. Lawyer Search. Accessed 6 Jun 2012.

Attorney Registration and Disciplinary board of directors of the can be fried Court of Illinois. Lawyer Registration. Accessed 6 Jun 2012.

Supreme Court of Illinois. “Illinois can be fried Court increases Registration fees because that Attorneys to aid Fund Legal services for Poor.” press release. 5 Jun 2012.

Attorney Registration and Disciplinary the supervisory board of the can be fried Court the Illinois. Yearly report because that 2011. 24 Apr 2012.

Schilling, Chelsea. “What happened to Michelle Obama’s legislation license?” WorldNetDaily.com. 4 Aug 2009.

Jackson, Brooks. “Clueless ‘Columbo.’ ” gendergeek.org. 18 jan 2010.

Morain, Dan. “Obama’s regulation days effective yet brief.” Los Angeles Times. 6 Apr 2008.

Marek, Lynne. “The ‘other Obama’ honed her an abilities at Sidley Austin.” National law Journal. 25 Jun 2008.

Miller, Joe. “Obama a Constitutional regulation Professor?” gendergeek.org. 28 Mar 2008.

White House. “Remarks by the president in State of the Union Address.” push release. 27 january 2010.

U.S. Constitution.

Declaration of Independence. 4 Jul 1776.

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Volokh, Eugene. “Massive difficulties with Anti-Obama Allegations That have Been do the rounds Recently.” Volokh Conspiracy Blog. 5 Apr 2010.