Ryan Bill Would Conscript Lawyers to Defend Trump

Ryan: We need your service

Calling its passage a national security priority because lawyers are refusing to defend President Trump against mounting accusations against him, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced a bill requiring lawyers to register with the Selective Service and be prepared to serve in a new White House Office of Criminal Defense for an unspecified term.

“It’s unacceptable that our president cannot assemble a team of lawyers to defend him and his office against the growing investigation over his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia and the increasing number of lawsuits against him by women he’s allegedly harassed or had affairs with,” said Ryan.

The United States has not required conscription of any kind since the Selective Service was ended in the mid-1970s, after the Vietnam War, but times have changed, Ryan said. “Drafting Americans to come to our country’s defense is a responsibility we as lawmakers cannot take lightly, but when there’s a clear and present danger, as we are faced with now, we must be resolute and act,” he said.

Lawyers: We object!

Already the bill has provoked a backlash. “Hell no, we won’t go!” said a group of lawyers representing the American Bar Association at a rally in Washington.

John Cooper, a former U.S. Solicitor General, called it unconscionable for the government to think it can pull a lawyer away from his or her billable hours to work, pro bono, for the president. “I have a mortgage—well, three, actually—and country club fees not only here but in Ireland as well,” Cooper said. “I can’t be leaving my practice to work in a cubicle in Washington because the president’s son is a numbskull!”

Peter Lasker of Lasker Beane, one of Boston’s biggest law firms, said he would burn his draft card if the government tried to issue him one. “Don’t think I won’t open an office in Toronto!” Lasker said. “I’m already looking forward to buying a private box to watch the Blue Jays. I’ll especially enjoy watching them crush the Nationals in a five-game series.”

Members of the Trial Lawyers Association are planning to block traffic on Constitution Avenue with their Teslas, Lamborghinis, and classic Ferraris in a show of force. “We are prepared to tolerate significant paint scratches on the Teslas to shut this city down,” said James Knowles, a partner with Knowles Farber, whose clients include many former cabinet secretaries.

As of this morning, 30 Republicans and two Democrats had signed onto Ryan’s bill. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the bill would require significant changes for more Democrats to get behind it. “First, any lawyer who will be needed to work on the president’s impeachment next year needs to be exempted from the draft,” she said. “And second, there must be some mechanism to protect lawyers who do work for Trump to preserve their reputation and integrity after they’ve served their term. Third, there must be significant resources set aside to treat the wave of PTSD we know would be coming. We can’t simply ask these people to go into this house of horrors without offering them real help for when they come out. We owe it to them to help them recover after they’ve made the ultimate professional sacrifice for their country.”

This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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