We were asked if Barack and Michelle Obama surrendered their law licenses to avoid ethics charges? This is a very old internet rumor that goes back to at least 2012. It has been debunked by Factcheck.org, Snopes and Truth or Fiction.
This is the chain email that was spread:
Chain email: I knew they had both lost their law license, but didn’t know why until I read this.
This is legit. I check it out at https://www.iardc.org Stands for Illinois Attorney Registration And Disciplinary Committee. It’s the official arm of lawyer discipline in Illinois; and they are very strict and mean as hell. (Talk about irony.) Even I, at the advanced age of almost 65, maintain (at the cost of approximately $600/year) my law license that I worked so hard and long to earn. Big surprise.
Former Constitutional Law Lecturer and U.S. President Makes Up Constitutional Quotes During State Of The Union (SOTU) Address.
1. President Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a “lawyer”. He surrendered his license back in 2008 in order to escape charges he lied on his bar application. A “Voluntary Surrender” is not something where you decide “Gee, a license is not really something I need anymore, is it?” and forget to renew your license. No, a “Voluntary Surrender” is something you do when you’ve been accused of something, and you ‘voluntarily surrender” your license five seconds before the state suspends you.
This is Fact Check’s response:
No. A court official confirms that no public disciplinary proceeding has ever been brought against either of them, contrary to a false Internet rumor. By voluntarily inactivating their licenses, they avoid a requirement to take continuing education classes and pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees. Both could practice law again if they chose to do so.
Based on many credible fact checkers debunking this, we rate this claim a BLANTANT LIE.