- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

The high cost of being an anti-abortion attorney

A longtime prolife activist who is a licensed lawyer in Kansas and has been admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court is arguing before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that those who influence court-related decisions should be held accountable for their statements.

The issue being raised by Bryan J. Brown, now of ArchAngel Institute, follows his rejection by the Indiana Board of Law Examiners for permission to practice law in that state. The decision followed reports from a state organization called the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program that included comments from outside evaluators who were critical of his Roman Catholic beliefs.

Brown is not challenging his rejection by the IBLE, but he is calling for a court decision that those outside evaluators be held accountable for their statements, especially regarding his faith.

His concern is that his case is becoming a test for a strategy that could be used to remove a prolife perspective from the legal profession – and ultimately the judiciary since judges almost invariably spring from that field.

“JLAP is set up to break down conservative attorneys in the name of advancing their mission – diversity. I am no anomaly, I am just the first to feel their blades,” he told WND.

On his website, he wrote, “What is the difference between the Indiana Supreme Court on one hand and the Supreme Court of Kansas, Supreme Court of Montana, Supreme Court of Missouri, many federal district courts, half the federal appellate courts, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and the United States Supreme Court as to me?

“I can only conclude that the Indiana’s Supreme Court, as it shows itself in agencies like JLAP, has embraced, in the name of diversity, a frankly post-Christian worldview. Indiana had the New Age boldness to demand that I keep my ‘beliefs to [myself] and do not presume to intrude [my] religious idiosyncrasies on the workings of government, the economy, or culture,'” he wrote.

“Never mind that I had been a deputy attorney general in Kansas for four years, and constitutional law attorney working for the American Family Association for six years – all without any arrests for civil disobedience or even discipline issued against me. (Or arrests for any reason for that matter!)” he said. “Never mind a clean record as an attorney since 1996. I was a former pro-life activist who had given himself to the Christian Right for all of his career, and for that I was to pay dearly.

“I have so paid. I am yet so paying. And, yes, I do still believe that man’s law is inferior to God’s law, and thus still hold to the traditional American view of jurisprudence. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld that as adequate reason to ban me from licensure – at least until I show up with a religion more pleasing to the state.”

He said there was not even an attempt to conceal the fact that the focus of the Indiana board was his faith.

“The Indiana Board of Law Examiners … remanded me the Indiana’s Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program with some secret (to me) directives. The Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program then sent me out for an interview. I was shocked when the interview was scheduled, by the government, with a psychologist. But knowing myself to be sane, I was not worried. (I should have been, for this was a classic Soviet-style operation.)

“When the psychologist focused upon my religion I grew concerned. Was my evangelical, Catholic faith at issue? I determined that it certainly was. I informed the psychologist and JLAP that my faith certainly should not be the issue or even at issue.”

In his dispute, the district court ruled that the outside evaluators had immunity for their statements because they were considered witnesses in the court system. However, Brown notes that none of his critics ever submitted a statement, affirmation or oath, as “witnesses” in court systems are required.

“Appellant urges this honorable court to not so open the floodgates to counting any and all professional writings as testimonial, evidentiary and absolutely immune from liability. In the present social milieu, what used to be called ‘filthy lucre’ entices myriad professional experts to ‘pimp’ their specialties and promise the very end result that those paying the fee (or holding social power) desire,” he wrote in the brief filed recently.

“Immunizing the reports of such ‘hired guns’ – reports not subject to cross examination and the pains of perjury – could set the search for truth and justice back centuries, even back to the dark days of Star Chamber,” he wrote.

“Such blanket immunity would empower the rich and governmental to ‘buy up’ or ‘order up’ a stable of never-liable ‘experts.’ Such a system of, in essence, conspiratorial … trials could quickly render the concept of equal justice under the law a quaint artifact of days gone by,” he wrote.

A response from the defendants is scheduled to be submitted soon, but a decision in the case is not expected for months.

The case brought by Brown names Elizabeth Bowman, an outside evaluator for the JLAP program; Terry Herrell, executive director of JLAP; Tim Sudrovech, with the JLAP program; Stephen Ross, an outside evaluator for JLAP; and others.

Brown, who has posted commentaries on his website about his dispute, alleges that he first was referred to JLAP by the IBLE as part of his application process because of his arrests nearly 20 years ago protesting against the abortions in the state. He reports that he was subjected to a grilling about his religious beliefs as part of that.

He cites statements from Bowman, a psychologist who interviewed him on orders from JLAP:

Bowman warned the court system, “I find his personality disorder has caused him to lose perspective on the ethics of his behaviors and to be arrested for civil disobedience,” the brief explains.

And Ross, another evaluator, expressed concerns about a “possibility of a sub-clinical bipolar disorder” but that stated, “It is important for me to note … that I am not making these statements purely based upon the fervor of Mr. Brown’s religious beliefs and convictions.”

The resulting conclusion presented to the IBLE was a “Personality Disorder NOS [Not Otherwise Specified]” which contributed to the decision that he cannot even reapply to be a lawyer in Indiana until 2014.

But his complaints about the fact that the evaluations by the JLAP and its subcontractors were biased brought a court response that the statements and those who make them have immunity.

However, he notes that the statements were not “witness” statements, which typically have immunity.

“Defendants Harrell and Sudrovech failed to authenticate defendants Bowman and Ross and/or their reports as expert witness material when the reports were created,” he explained. “None of the defendants at bar have submitted sworn testimony or in any fashion subjected themselves to the pains of perjury.”

In Indiana, the court rules “require that ‘[b]efore testifying, every witness shall swear or affirm to testify to the truth,'” the brief explains.

Brown noted that one of the evaluators, Ross, “demonstrates just the opposite … when he offers, not on oath, to make any change to his report that the government handler requests.” And Brown said Bowman included “hearsay” in her report.

He suggests that either the statements were supposed to be witness statements, and thus violated standard court practices, or they are “nontestimonial,” and, therefore, not qualified for immunity.

“Drs. Ross and Bowman were free to mislead in their ‘expert statements’ without worry,” he contends.

Sudrovech declined to answer questions from WND about the case, referring a reporter to a media relations officer for the state Supreme Court. A request for comment to that office did not get a response.

Brown, whose Institute is dedicated to, “Rebirth of Christian chivalry that advances the culture of life by encouraging, empowering and emboldening Christians to cherish, defend and advance faith, family and freedom,” previously served as a deputy attorney general in the state of Kansas.

He was certified as acceptable by the National Board of Law Examiners and has been successful in litigation in venues from Puerto Rico to Oregon, Arizona and New York. He alleges the Indiana result was because the defendants were “involved in collusion toward the goal of violating plaintiff’s rights under the state and federal constitutions.”

Brown reported that two psychiatrists to whom he was ordered, Bryan Flueckiger and William Alexy, determined he had no issues.

He has a long history of battling for the lives of the unborn.

Several years ago, a federal judge ultimately lifted a 20-year-old injunction that regulated pro-life protests at an abortion business in Indiana and – as part of the order – canceled a demand that the advocates for life pay the abortionists’ legal fees that had ballooned to $350,000 with interest.

The ruling was from U.S. District Judge William C. Lee in the case of the Fort Wayne Women’s Health Organization operated by abortionist Ulrich Klopfer and others at 827 Webster Street in Fort Wayne.

The abortionist and several women who never were identified went to court against Northeast Indiana Rescue, Brown and others seeking an order to keep sidewalk counselors away from women entering the abortion business. At the time, the business also was ordered not to interfere with legal protest activities.

The case also produced an order that the pro-life defendants pay $61,000 in legal fees to the abortion business, a payment that never was made and grew to $350,000 with interest over the years.

But it was canceled after the abortion business closed and the building was sold. It now is occupied by Brown’s ArchAngel Institute.