Seven months after he was suspended from practicing law in Pennsylvania, controversial Harrisburg-area lawyer Don Bailey has been disbarred from practicing law by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The disbarment ruling was issued Tuesday by the nation’s highest court. It follows that court’s December ruling to suspend Bailey, 68, from practicing law before it while disbarment was weighed.
Bailey, a former congressman, ex-state auditor general and one-time candidate for governor who bills himself as a civil rights attorney, said Wednesday that the high court’s decision trampled his rights and marked a bid by powerful interests to shut him up.
It also reinforced his opinion that “we have a corrupt court system,” he said. Bailey said he was never given an adequate opportunity to defend himself.
“I’m very disappointed because all I ever wanted was a fair hearing. And I was denied that,” he said.
Yet he vowed that any attempt to muzzle him will fail.
“If they’re foolish enough to think that this is over, that is their first big mistake,” Bailey said. “I certainly have a lot more freedom of speech now.”
The decision was not unexpected given the Pennsylvania suspension decision and Bailey’s well-known comments accusing the court system of corruption.
One reason the state Supreme Court suspended his law license for five years was because it found he had displayed unprofessional conduct by falsely accusing judges in U.S. Middle District Court of malfeasance.
The state Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board found his claims to be unfounded, yet Bailey, of Susquehanna Township, repeated them in an interview with PennLive immediately after his state suspension was issued in October. Bailey also claimed the entire process that led to his state suspension had violated his civil rights and was part of a plot by powerful interests to discredit him.
Bailey served Pennsylvania as a U.S. congressman from 1979 to 1983. He was state auditor general from 1985 to 1989 and subsequently made unsuccessful bids for governor and the U.S. Senate.