Statement from SBM President Barnes on Federal Lawsuit

September 9, 2020

On September 8, 2020, the Western District of Michigan granted summary judgment in favor of the State Bar of Michigan in Taylor v Barnes, explaining that the issues raised by Ms. Taylor have been “squarely decided” by the United States Supreme Court. In response to the news, SBM President Dennis M. Barnes issued the following statement: 

“While the result was expected, we are pleased that the Western District of Michigan granted summary judgment in our favor and that Michigan joins the other integrated state bars that have defeated similar challenges. The integrated state bar structure provides distinct advantages to attorneys, to the state’s taxpayers, to the quality of regulation, and to consumers of legal services. As the district court noted, the United States Supreme Court has already ‘squarely decided’ the issues raised by Ms. Taylor in favor of integrated bars.” 

Taylor is part of a string of lawsuits filed across the country arguing that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees signaled the Supreme Court’s interest in reexamining the constitutionality of integrated bars. Like Taylor, those challenges have universally failed.

Related: Timeline of Constitutional Challenges to the State Bar