Image of today's outrage

Are the lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union a group of idealists selflessly working for the advancement of civil liberty and individual freedom? Or are they a bunch of greedy hypocrites seeking to milk every possible dollar out of high-profile cases using the ACLU as a clever cover?

Shannon Faulkner sued The Citadel so that she could attend South Carolina’s formerly all-male state-run military school. The ACLU took on the case, representing Faulkner on a “pro bono” basis. To those of us with a traditional training in the language arts, “pro bono” means for the public good, i.e. “without charge.”

To the lawyers at the ACLU “pro bono” has a very different meaning — different to the tune of $6.7 million dollars. It seems that US civil rights laws — written by lawyers, of course — allow for lawyers to collect fees from the losing side, even in cases which they have taken on as “pro bono” work. In other words, the selfless lawyers working for “the public good” are really working for themselves on a contingency basis.

What is included in the ACLU’s bill for $6.7 million?

The ACLU and its “cooperating” attorneys and paralegals billed over 23,000 hours at rates up to $450 per hour. The bill includes over $28,000 in faxing charges, over $29,000 for couriers, and over $18,000 for taxi rides. $6,836 for lawyer meals, when they weren’t even traveling, was also added to the tab.

South Carolina taxpayers are also being billed $105,000 for 653 hours to prepare the bill. That’s right Outraged readers, the bill for making the bill is over 100 grand.

One of the ACLU’s associated attorneys, Valerie Vojdik, called the battle to gain Miss Faulkner’s admission “a holy war.” But Vojdik must have a very material idea of what constitutes the altar of a holy war, as she is billing over a million dollars for her services alone. By contrast, the entire bill for the firm that represented The Citadel is about $700,000.

After winning the case, Shannon Faulkner attended The Citadel for less than one day before dropping out.

(Source: Washington Times.)



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