Brace for impact. It is still more than eight months to the 2024 US presidential election (and, strictly speaking, we don’t yet know the candidates), but the world’s largest voluntary association of lawyers is already covering its bases.

The American Bar Association, which last year launched a ‘Task Force for American Democracy’, is now urging lawyers to become involved in the smooth administration of the electoral process. ‘Lawyers are essential stewards of democracy. We need your participation, and we need it now, not just on election day,’ Stephen Cobb, the ABA’s inaugural Democracy fellow, said last week.

More controversially, the ABA is also battling against the ‘anti-woke’ agenda. Its House of Delegates last week approved a policy opposing what it described as a growing number of laws that limit teaching about race or gender in the US. A war on the war on woke, if you like.

Introducing the ABA resolution, Florida’s Darcee Siegel said the organisation would ‘fight back against the dismantling of public education’.

This puts the ABA at odds with Florida’s 2022 Stop WOKE Act, which includes measures prohibiting teachers from discussing matters related to race, colour, national origin or sex.

The controversial legislation was the work of state governor Ron DeSantis, until recently a candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination. Obiter wishes the ABA well – but suspects the coming culture clash will make our own ‘lefty lawyers’ stramarsh appear distinctly bush league.

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