Here’s a really important development in the world of organized atheist activism.
I’d call it the atheist equivalent of the conservative Federalist Society: A way to identify, bring together, and support those in the legal professional who are dedicated to maintaining church/state separation, science-based evidence, civil rights (especially for marginalized people), and ethics in government.
You know… all the things conservatives no longer give a damn about.
“Many lawyers approach the world and the law from a humanist standpoint, but there is a need for them to have a way of organizing professionally as a group,” said the Society’s president, David Codell, a nationally recognized constitutional litigator who has served as counsel in many major cases involving LGBT rights. “The Humanist Legal Society will give humanist lawyers solidarity and resources that will make a difference.”
The HLS will be open to lawyers, judges, and law students who agree with its mission.
To give you an idea of what these legal minds care about, at the official launch, a panel of attorneys discussed the future of LGBTQ and women’s rights following the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Before that discussion begins, the HLS’ Executive Director David Niose gave a brief summary of why this group is so important.
Who knows? Maybe one day when there’s a more sensible person in the White House looking for advice on which judges to appoint to federal benches, he or she will be able to look for guidance from a group like this one.
At least with appointments from the Humanist Legal Society, you wouldn’t have to worry about judges letting the government dictate what a woman can do with her body, or telling business owners that their Christianity gives them the right to discriminate against gay customers.
We’re a long way from that ever happening, but this is the first step. It’s a welcome one. Anyone in the legal profession who wants to join can do so right here.