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The legal profession is unique in that admitted attorneys are given special access to represent individuals before state institutions (courts, administrative agencies, etc.). Because of this privilege, and because attorneys are in a sense public citizens, they are often charged with duties not expected of private citizens. If anything, Judge Lippman's proposal represents a return to earlier principles about the public obligations of attorneys, rather than a novel abuse of regulatory power.
I think the historical roots of the courts' supervision of the legal profession are sufficient to distinguish this licensing issue from Professor Epstein's hypotheticals.
People may be more upset about the appearance that Romney has made deceptive comments during the 2012 campaign than they are about the mere fact that money was spent.
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