News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: SCOTUS declines case on mandatory bar; FBI's top lawyer resigns amid pressure

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Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to mandatory bar dues

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a challenge to Wisconsin’s requirement that all lawyers join the state bar association and pay dues as a condition of law practice. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented in an opinion joined by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. Thomas said the court should revisit whether Keller v. State Bar of California is still good law. Keller had upheld mandatory bar membership and dues, as long as members’ funds weren’t used for political or ideological activities that are unrelated to the legal profession or the quality of legal services. Keller was an extension of an opinion that was overruled in 2018 in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Thomas said Janus held that requiring public employees to pay union dues for collective bargaining violates their free speech rights under the First Amendment. (Thomas’ dissent from cert denial,, SCOTUSblog)

FBI’s top lawyer resigns amid pressure stemming from Russia probe

FBI general counsel Dana Boente is resigning following pressure from President Donald Trump and GOP supporters to remove officials associated with the probe of Russian election influence. Two unnamed sources told NBC that high-level Justice Department officials made the decision to ask for Boente’s resignation. (NBC News, the Washington Post, CNN)

Slater and Gordon switches to permanent at-home work in London

Slater and Gordon will close its London office in September and switch people working there to permanent work from home. The law firm will also review the arrangements at its other offices in the United Kingdom. (

Judge requires proof of need to hold immigrants in detention

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake of Baltimore ruled Friday that the federal government can’t hold people in immigration detention in Maryland absent proof that they are a flight risk or a danger to the community. Blake also ruled that immigration judges in Maryland must consider ability to pay when setting bonds. (ACLU press release, Blake’s order)

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