Shortly before the conclusion of the Supreme Court’s term in June 2023, the Court delivered three blows to President Biden and Democratic party. First, the Court struck down the student debt relief program championed by President Biden. Second, the Court ruled in favor of a Colorado web designer who sought the right to refuse service to a same-sex couple. Lastly, the Court gutted affirmative action by making it unlawful for colleges to consider race as a specific factor in admissions. These high-profile decisions came just over a year after the contentious Dobbs decision, following an extraordinary leak, which overturned abortion rights that had been established under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. These cases are perhaps marred by recent ethics scandals amongst the justices. Consequently, voices from both sides of the political aisle have called for reform of the nation’s highest court.
Arizona and Idaho are the most recent in a long line of states declining to adopt the American Bar Association’s (ABA) new Model Rule 8.4(g), which is being called the “anti-discrimination” rule. This rule was adopted by the ABA to specifically address harassment and discrimination based on race, religion, sex, disability, and LGBTQ status in all conduct related to the practice of law. However, because of the broad construction and application of the rule, many states and attorneys have concerns that compliance with this anti-discrimination rule will infringe on their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion.