Why did Barack Obama surrender his IL law license?

The Background

Illinois Law: “Dishonesty on a prospective attorney’s application to the bar constitutes a fraud upon a tribunal. Once the fraud is discovered, the attorney may face disciplinary sanctions including disbarment.”

Where might Barack Obama have committed fraud on his Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar application?

Item 2A: Have you ever been known by any other first, middle or last name?

Prior to 1991, Barack Hussein Obama was known as Barry Obama and as Barry Soetoro. Did he put this on his application?

Item 51: Do you have any outstanding parking violations?

Between Oct. 5, 1988 and Jan. 12, 1990, Barack Obama was cited 17 times for parking violations in Cambridge, MA. For nearly two decades those parking tickets went unpaid, until a representative of Obama’s settled all his outstanding debts with Cambridge’s Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department on Jan. 26, 2007.

In January 2007, the Obama campaign said the old parking tickets were not important. But the Illinois bar obviously considered them very important. In addition to the above, there is another item in the application that specifically mentions unpaid parking tickets.

Item 55: Do you understand that after your Character and Fitness Registration Application is filed, you will have a continuous reporting obligation and must notify the Board of Admissions of any changes or additions to the information provided in your application? This includes, but is not limited to, address changes, employment changes, criminal charges, disciplinary actions (educational, employment or other), and traffic violations, including any parking tickets that are not paid upon receipt.

It seems highly unlikely he owned up to these parking tickets on his application, since one would have expected the Illinois Board to require he pay them before he could be admitted to the bar, something he clearly did not do.

Item 44: Have you read and do you understand the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct?

Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct  [paraphrased for clarity only.]

RULE 8.1. Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters: An applicant for admission to the bar shall not knowingly make a false statement.

RULE 8.4. A lawyer shall not commit a criminal act or engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Item 53: Is there any additional information with respect to possible misconduct or lack of moral qualification or general fitness on your part that is not otherwise disclosed by your answers to questions in this application?

A page and a half of Barack Obama’s famous autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, covers his use of illegal substances (marijuana and cocaine) while he was enrolled at Occidental College. Did he put this on his application?

The Meat of the Thing

On March 13, 2007, a request was filed with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission asking the application to the bar that Barack Obama had filed in 1991 be examined in light of information that had recently been made public.

Barack Obama suddenly decided to voluntarily surrender his law license.

If the ARDC investigates a licensed lawyer, the proceedings become public record. but the ARDC won’t punish or publicize findings against a lawyer who voluntarily resigns.

Chrissy’s Site Bites @ http://news.webshots.com/photo/2419885590056011884XWatHL

The Obama campaign said his early retirement was due to his political career.

But … he was elected to his first political office (Illinois State Senate) in 1996 and to his second (U.S. Senate) in 2004.

He did not resign his license to practice law until AFTER a complaint had been filed with the ARDC.

In addition, there is abundant proof that many career politicians, including Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, kept their law licenses current throughout their long political careers.

Chrissy’s Site Bites @ http://news.webshots.com/photo/2162180100056011884EUBoeK

Chrissy’s Site Bites @ http://news.webshots.com/photo/2276386060056011884WxKpkt



Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Law

16 responses to “Why did Barack Obama surrender his IL law license?

  1. Ting

    Oh my goodness. I am just now having a chance to read this and I did not know that he had surrendered his license. This is all very peculiar and I think you may be onto the reason(s). I wonder why the person who made the complaint hasn’t been more vocal. Or maybe he or she just cannot get a media outlet to give the platform.


  2. moe

    he had unpaid parking tickets?!?! omg!!!! 😉


  3. Char

    I believe the reason Barack Obama retired his law license was because he learned a lesson from Clinton and Nixon. You are held to a higher standard (as a lawyer) regarding the law. So if you are “governing” in the gray area of what is legally permissible, maybe you can’t face sanctions if you aren’t active.


  4. Warren

    Please people. Do your own research, don’t be a sheep.


    • I’m sorry, I know this comment is a month and a half old, but I find it extremely offensive to Chrissy. No one “does her own research” like Chrissy does, and this post is a good example of going the extra mile. And just what could be more sheep-like than relying on a partisan propaganda site like factcheck.org to tell you what to think?


      • chrissythehyphenated

        Thanks, Grunt. “No one “does her own research” like Chrissy does” … what a wonderful compliment! 🙂


  5. Beverly Lanfear

    The Illinois Statute: A voluntarily surrendered license shall be treated as a revoked license.
    (Source: P.A. 97-607, eff. 8-26-11.) http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=010500050K21B-45


  6. Ol’ Kev says it’s simply that “the two of them would never practice law again and they both knew it so it was easier and so much less work to just surrender the licenses.” But, that would be lazy!


    • Well, I tend to take Kevin with a box of salt, but this time I have a hunch he’s right. He says nothing in that column that would surprise me if it were true.


      • Shaving with Occam’s Razor:

        Theory #1: Both parties involved in scandal and therefore had their licenses threatened, would be entirely in-character and, as Chrissy details, there is substantial known cause, and who-knows-what unknown for them to have been threatened with losing their licenses.

        Theory #2: They were too lazy (incompetent, disinterested, bone-headed) to bother doing the work to keep up the license. Also in-character, needs no other substantiation or cause known or unknown. By his own admission, his biggest fault is laziness.

        Occam favors #2, but there’s no saying it wasn’t a combination of “uh-oh!” and “why bother?”


        • chrissythehyphenated

          I favor uh oh for Michelle, since she was working in Daley’s office at the time and hers was court ordered. Lazy would certainly apply for BHO if the state has in-service requirements. The ones I know of are not very onerous, but we are talking about a man who can’t sit through a 30 minute NATIONAL SECURITY briefing.

          I’ll put $500 Monopoly dollars on six of one, half dozen of the other.


        • All of the above sound plausible — at least none would surprise me. I lean toward the “lazy” theory, just because that describes Obama perfectly. He has got to be the laziest president ever, or at least in my lifetime (I was born during the Eisenhower administration).


  7. Nice work Chrissy. Facts clearly presented, and flawless deductive reasoning.