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Cancelled: Lawyers Who Won Major Gun Rights Case Forced Out of Firm

Kirkland & Ellis LLP, one of the largest law firms in the country, is dropping all Second Amendment cases after pressure from clients and other lawyers at the firm. This left the two primary attorneys who successfully argued New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen before the Supreme Court with no clients and no jobs.

Former Solicitor General Paul Clement and Erin Murphy, a regular Supreme Court litigator, resigned from Kirkland & Ellis and announced they were opening their own shop in Washington, D.C. Clement has been a high-profile litigator of conservative causes since he left the administration of President George W. Bush. In 2011, he argued the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of Republican lawmakers before the Supreme Court.

That case also caused Clement to resign from the firm King & Spalding following pressure from clients to drop the gay marriage case.

“Paul and Erin have been valued colleagues,” Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee, said in a release. “We wish them the best of luck in the future and look forward to collaborating with them in matters not involving the Second Amendment.”


“We were given a stark choice: either withdraw from ongoing representations or withdraw from the firm,” Clement said in a statement. “Anyone who knows us and our views regarding professional responsibility and client loyalty knows there was only one course open to us: We could not abandon ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.”

Through a firm spokesperson, Kirkland confirmed its decision but did not explain its rationale for dropping gun cases. A key attorney at Kirkland, Jon Ballis, said he hoped the firm could continue to work with Clement and Murphy on matters not related to guns.

It’s mind-boggling. As an editorial in the Wall Street Journal points out, it’s not like Kirkland & Ellis didn’t know that Clement specialized in conservative cases when they hired him in 2016. They were fully aware that Clement represented the NRA. Clement made retention of the NRA as a client a condition of his employment.

But these days gun-rights advocates are unpopular in the tony precincts of Los Angeles and New York where Kirkland represents business clients. When it comes to core constitutional rights versus corporate retainers that finance summer homes in the Hamptons, the Constitution is a second-class citizen.

This is the opposite of ethical legal representation. Clients who are unpopular are the most in need of legal counsel. Lawyers drop clients who lie or don’t pay their bills. But Mr. Clement’s gun clients are individuals and state gun groups, such as the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, which won its case at the High Court on Thursday. Kirkland is dumping clients who have done nothing wrong and have cases currently in litigation. As Mr. Clement and Ms. Murphy put it, “We could not abandon ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.”

The left pressures these law firms to drop clients that they disagree with politically while piously proclaiming that terrorists deserve the best legal representation. It’s sickening — until you realize the injury they are doing to themselves.

The left would rather be politically correct than win important cases. Ultimately, it will be their downfall.

  • Rudog says:

    Screw the courts….worthless

    • James Daniel says:

      This wasn’t about the courts. This story is about a law firm that doesn’t want to uphold the rights guaranteed us in the Constitution and is willing to cave to their woke big business clients and fire attorneys who do their jobs in arguing those cases protecting our God granted, Constitutionally protected rights. In short, the firm’s legal philosophy is not “Liberty and Justice for all,” it’s “Money talks.”

      Read the story before you comment. It keeps you from looking ignorant.

  • DustyDog2 says:

    When Republicans win in November there are many injustices that need to be corrected but I am afraid that my Republican colleagues don’t have the brains or the b***s to tackle returning this country to where it should be!

  • Mary says:

    We have more work for Paul Clement and Erin Murphy: While they were winning this landmark case, 15 senate republican traitors joined democrats to pass an unconstitutional gun-confiscation bill using “red flag laws”. The Supreme Court has already ruled 9-0 in Caniglia v. Strom (2021) that “red flag laws” are unconstitutional. Here are the names of the 15 traitors:

    Roy Blunt (R-MO)*, Richard Burr (R-NC)*, Shelly Moore-Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)**, Rob Portman (R-OH)*, Mitt Romney (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Pat Toomey (R-PA)*, Todd Young (R-IN)

    * Blunt, Burr, Portman, Toomey are retiring.

    ** Murkowski is being primaried RIGHT NOW by Kelly Tshibaka, a really smart lawyer who is MAGA to the max. Tshibaka is ahead in the polls. Give $$$$$ now to close the deal and end Murkowski’s career.

    The rest we will deal with in 2024 and 2026.

    It might not look like it, but MAGA is winning battle after battle! Trump is like Patton rolling across Europe!

  • Patriot1951 says:

    Can anyone say discrimination? Sue the bastards!

  • Fedup says:

    Create your OWN firm and advertise the fact that you adhere to the CONSTITUTION and the 2nd Amendment! I imagine there are quite a few GOOD AND DECENT LAWYERS that would love the freedom not to have to “hide” in the firms they currently work for because they work toward upholding the law as stated in the Constitution!

    People will flock to your new firm to be represented by HONEST LAWYERS fighting against the crap that is being pushed currently. Be on the right side of history!



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