Attorney Alan Phillips, one of the U.S.’s leading vaccine rights attorneys, who has helped people to legally avoid vaccines, is in trouble. Last week, the North Carolina State Bar filed a lawsuit against him accusing him of “providing legal services in jurisdictions where he’s not licensed to practice law.”
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In response, Phillips said,
“I advise clients and attorneys around the country about federal law. I do not advise any clients outside of North Carolina about state law unless there’s a local attorney with a proper license on the phone call or in the email exchange, whatever it may be.”1
The state bar has asked Phillips to provide documents related to the allegations but according to North Carolina State Bar Deputy Counsel Joshua Walthall, he’s still not done so.
But Phillips says he cannot provide those records,
“I can’t give them my actual full client files because my clients have privacy rights. I’m being required to produce information and documents that I literally can’t or legally can’t produce, leaving me feeling like I’m being set up to be put in jail.”1
While many feel this is harassment for his work within the vaccine-choice community, Phillips thinks the lawsuit has more to do with a dispute.
“One possible interpretation, we could say, is that it’s in retaliation for me having exposed publicly or provided information, publicly available to the public, showing that some attorneys there at the bar themselves have engaged in misconduct.”1
Phillips is next due in court on May 20th and risks being jailed for the third time if he’s found in contempt of court. The North Carolina State Bar declined to comment due to the pending litigation.
Regardless of what’s going on, whether this is harassment or not, we should all be paying attention. While you might not care too much about the vaccine debate or might even choose to vaccinate- you still have the right to choose. The government has begun the process of removing our rights to bodily autonomy and if we say nothing about it, what’s next? Anything. Literally anything. If we stay silent and continue to ignore what’s going on, we will soon find we have even fewer rights over our very own selves:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller “