Lawyer fired for expressing support for Dobbs decision during conference call to discuss the Dobbs decision


Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by attorney Robin Keller describing how she lost her job at a large law firm after daring to speak up in favor of the Dobbs decision. This didn’t happen at a general staff meeting but on a conference call explicitly held to allow staffers to discuss the decision.


After the Supreme Court issued its Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June, global law firm Hogan Lovells organized an online conference call for female employees. As a retired equity partner still actively serving clients, I was invited to participate in what was billed as a “safe space” for women at the firm to discuss the decision. It might have been a safe space for some, but it wasn’t safe for me.

Everyone else who spoke on the call was unanimous in her anger and outrage about Dobbs. I spoke up to offer a different view. I noted that many jurists and commentators believed Roe had been wrongly decided. I said that the court was right to remand the issue to the states. I added that I thought abortion-rights advocates had brought much of the pushback against Roe on themselves by pushing for extreme policies. I referred to numerous reports of disproportionately high rates of abortion in the black community, which some have called a form of genocide. I said I thought this was tragic.

The outrage was immediate. The next speaker called me a racist and demanded that I leave the meeting. Other participants said they “lost their ability to breathe” on hearing my comments. After more of the same, I hung up.


But that wasn’t the end of it. Someone inside the company filed a complaint. Her access to clients was cut off pending an investigation. A statement was released to a progressive site that covers legal matters and her name was also leaked. Three weeks later an outside firm concluded that her comments violated the company’s anti-harassment policy. After a 44-year career, she was not only fired but blackballed by other firms wary of courting controversy. Keller said she wasn’t surprised by the response of some of the people on the call but she was surprised how quickly the firm itself “kowtowed to a woke faction inside its workforce.”

The site Above the Law, which received the statement from the firm, posted a reaction to the opinion piece which reads like a parody of smug progressivism:

Looks like former Hogan Lovells partner Robin Keller isn’t done trying to wring the last juice out of her 15 minutes of infamy.

Keller last made news this summer, when in the wake of the Dobbs decision, she — on a work call with ~400 attendees — spouted her problematic views on abortion and race. (Audience alert: remove any animals from the room as there are dog whistles ahead.)…

…it is dangerous to assert that just because a statement has been repeated within the right-wing echo chamber makes it acceptable — particularly in a workplace. And it certainly doesn’t mean Keller gets to eschew responsibility for imposing her problematic views on her colleagues.


Her views are “problematic” you see and therefore she deserves to be out of work. Scratch a woke white woman and you’ll find a petty tyrant underneath. Jonathan Turley also wrote his reaction to the opinion piece including a shot at Above the Law:

In a column entitled “White Counsel At Biglaw Firm Spreads ‘Inappropriate And Offensive’ Theories About Abortion, Gets Suspended,” Kathryn Rubino celebrated the “welcome consequences” for people who share dissenting or unpopular views on such subjects. Rubino expressed disbelief that “a white partner who attended HoLove’s women’s meeting felt it appropriate to chime in with her support of the Dobbs decision.”

Lawyers at the firm demanded the firing of Keller and said that they were “traumatized” by having to hear someone defend the decision on a call to allow people to discuss the decision.

Let’s repeat that again . . . these are lawyers who were traumatized because a colleague expressed a dissenting view of abortion, a view held by millions of other Americans as well as many judges and justices. It is a view that has been expressed widely in the media, including by African-American and female commentators…

To state opposing views in a forum on the case is now considered harmful and harassing — and a basis for termination.

That is certainly a “consequence” but it is hardly “welcomed” if you have a modicum of concern for free speech values.


There are of course limits to free speech including any kind of incitement to violence but nothing like that happened in this case. This is just cancel culture. Silencing someone for holding a different point of view than the one progressives consider the only acceptable view.

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