Hate and the Law

Neo-Nazi's character sinks law license

It's final: neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator leader Matthew Hale will not be allowed to practice law in Illinois, even though he has a law degree and passing marks on the state's bar exam.

The United States Supreme Court, acting without comment on June 26, rejected Matthew Hale's appeal of the Illinois State Bar Association's decision not to grant him a law license.

Hale petitioned the high court after the Illinois State Supreme Court refused to hear his case in November. He has argued all along that his free speech rights were violated when the Illinois Bar Association's Committee on Character and Fitness declared him "morally unfit" to practice law.

After the Bar Association's decision last year, Hale follower Ben Smith went on a murderous rampage that left two people dead and nine others wounded.

When Hale said matter-of-factly that Smith's actions were a response to the decision, Bar officials felt they had further proof that he lacked the "moral character necessary to satisfy even minimal bar admission."