Much ado about not much, Part Two

It occurs to me that my discussion of lobbying Fred Thompson may have performed in 1991 on behalf of an abortion rights group is somewhat superficial. It’s true that traditionally in this country lawyers are not identified with the positions of their clients. But this tradition arises in the context of litigation (e.g., John Adams defending British soldiers who participated in the Boston Massacre). Arguably, congressional lobbying is different because here the lawyer may not be arguing the merits of an individual case but rather for a change in national policy. (The line isn’t quite that bright, though, because litigation can affect national policy — the one time I declined to participate in a representation was such a case — and lobbying can be about an individualized matter).
It seems unlikely that someone firmly in the pro-life camp would agree to engage in serious lobbying to promote the right to have an abortion (something casual like a phone call to facilitate a meeting between pro-abortion groups and a Senator might be a different matter). If Thompson did serious lobbying on behalf of a pro-abortion group in 1991, one could easily suspect that he was not firmly in the pro-life camp at that time. But even if that were the case, Thompson’s Senate record places him squarely in the pro-life camp well before Romney arrived there. Giuliani, of course, still isn’t at that place.


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