Categorized | Opinion


I get Ann Coulter’s column in my email.  I find her funny but sometimes she’s too brash to her opponents for my taste as well as to eager to poke fun in a mean way.  Coulter really went out of her way to go at it  last week about Kenneth Starr’s comment that I wrote approvingly about several days ago Right here at VaRight.

Let me just make a few observations. 

A group of “leading conservative lawyers,”  — a term not be confused with “U.S. Marines”…

Would Ann Coulter prefer we had no conservative lawyers?  That’s part of the problem today in the law:  Not enough conservative lawyers and judges.  We in Virginia ought to be thankful (to the Lord, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson) and proud of the two fine conservative law schools right here in our state:  Regent and Liberty schools of law.  Our new Governor is a Regent law grad!  There are other conservative schools throughout the nation.

Furthermore, the attack on the Justice Department lawyers implies they have or had pro-terrorist sympathies.  That was out of line.  If the point is who they are – make the point.  Don’t imply they are working for the enemy.  Starr is right about both representing unpopular causes and Atticus Finch.  (I remember a lady at church asking me, in my private practice days, why I defended drunk drivers.  She was genuinely upset.  I said that all were entitled to the fullest extent of the law in a defense.)

  Coulter’s title is offensive and makes the same implication:

“What’s Arabic for ‘You’re no Atticus Finch?'”

Was Kenneth Starr not like the mythical lawyer who defended the African-American in the 1930s South falsely accused of rape – a virtual and literal death sentence?  I’d like to sentence Coulter to watch To Kill a Mockingbird with me as I explain how Finch, the respected attorney and father of two children, defended Tom Robinson.  I still cry every time I see the African-Americans (and his children) stand in respect in the balcony as Finch walks out after the guilty verdict.  I am so thankful those days are long gone in this nation.

Starr prosecuted former President Bill Clinton to the end of the law, recommending impeachment and thus destroying any chance to ever be appointed to the Supreme Court.  Did he not act as courageous as Finch? 

This entire issue of detainees and terrorist suspects’ rights has many conservatives wrapped around the axle leading to columns like Coulter’s.  I can assure you if the constitutional train in this nation goes off the tracks, we’ll all need “conservative lawyers” to defend people like Coulter with all the skills they can muster.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. shorething says:

    the terrorist in gitmo deserve execution under the geneva convention, or detainment until the end of the never ending war on terrorism/jihadism if one elevates them to pow status. name one case where pows get lawyers. the only way one could sanely argue that gitmo is a recruiting tool for jihadists is if alqueda is telling them what an island paradise it is, i think we should do a similar deal with russia and build a gitmo replacement in siberia or just do it in anwar


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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