- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2019

A conservative watchdog group accused Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of practicing law on an inactive license after he filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last week in a key gun-rights case.

Judicial Watch says the Rhode Island Democrat has inactive status in that state, and is not licensed in another jurisdiction. The group asked Rhode Island’s Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee to investigate, saying the senator not only broke rules on licensing, but also violated ethics rules by attacking and “openly threatening” the high court.

Senator Whitehouse either violated Rhode Island’s or D.C.’s rules, or both. Senator Whitehouse’s filing of a brief on behalf of clients without an active law license anywhere in the country is inexcusable,” the complaint filed Monday read.

A spokesperson for the senator dismissed the complaint.

Senator Whitehouse is a member of the Supreme Court bar and filed nothing in Rhode Island. This attack group has no credibility,” Mr. Whitehouse’s spokesman said.



Last week he filed a brief warning the Supreme Court not to hear a case involving a New York City gun control law, saying the justices, with their GOP-appointed majority, are too tainted to deliver a valid ruling.

The stunning filing argued the court has become too partisan and has produced too many ideologically divided rulings, damaging the public’s trust in the federal judiciary.

Mr. Whitehouse warned of looming changes the political branches could force on the court should it fail to show restraint.

“The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” Mr. Whitehouse argued in his brief. “Perhaps the court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.”

Judicial Watch said that amounted to a threat: “In other words, if the U.S. Supreme Court does not rule the way Senator Whitehouse and his clients prefer, they will use their power as senators to restructure the court.”

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