(LifeSiteNews) — A corporate law firm allegedly fired one of its senior partners and accused her of racism for voicing support for the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision that reversed Roe v. Wade and returned the issue of abortion to the states.
Robin Keller detailed her story in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
Keller said she was a “retired equity partner” but still worked with clients. During a “safe space” meeting after the Dobbs decision in June, the major law firm hosted a virtual discussion. Though ostensibly meant to allow employees to share their opinion, the firm made clear that only one specific opinion—in favor of abortion—would be allowed.
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.
She further detailed how the firm targeted her for sharing her support for the Supreme Court decision.
“Someone made a formal complaint to the firm. Later that day, Hogan Lovells suspended my contracts, cut off my contact with clients, removed me from email and document systems, and emailed all U.S. personnel saying that a forum participant had made ‘anti-Black comments’ and was suspended pending an investigation,” Keller wrote.
“The firm also released a statement to the legal website Above the Law bemoaning the devastating impact my views had on participants in the forum—most of whom were lawyers participating in a call convened expressly for the purpose of discussing a controversial legal and political topic,” she said.
Above the Law is a leftist legal website that has praised the decision to cut ties and further ostracize Keller.
Keller wrote in her WSJ opinion piece that some people later said they supported her, but only privately and quietly. “What was shocking, at least to me, was how eagerly Hogan Lovells kowtowed to a woke faction inside its workforce,” she wrote. “Several women on the call—as well as male lawyers at the firm—contacted me later to offer private support for my right to express my views.”
Her story has drawn support from one civil libertarian attorney and law professor, Jonathan Turley at George Washington University. Even though Turley supports abortion, he strongly criticized the actions taken by Hogan Lovells.
“I can understand how such arguments can insult or enrage others. Pro-life lawyers can also be deeply offended on the other side by pro-choice arguments,” Turley wrote on his personal website. “Abortion is an area that has torn apart this country for generations. The addition of race only magnifies the passion and anger in such discussions. However, this is an area that raises difficult constitutional, social, racial, economic, and gender issues.”
Turley said that “rather than engage Keller” on her beliefs, “these lawyers asked her to leave the call and then pushed for her to be fired for expressing her views.”
“As we have seen on college campuses, it has become commonplace to seek to silence others rather than to engage them in such debates,” Turley wrote.