LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court will hear arguments Sept. 30 about whether to make membership in the Nebraska State Bar Association optional for attorneys.
The court set a public hearing on a petition for a rules change filed by State Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha, an attorney. Lautenbaugh filed the petition nearly 18 months ago.
In October, he took the further step of filing a federal civil rights lawsuit because he said he was convinced that the bar association would not change otherwise. He also has tried without success to change state law.
Lautenbaugh has said he objects to having part of his $335 annual membership dues used for lobbying activities.
At the hearing, which will be in the Supreme Court chambers, Lautenbaugh and the bar association will each have 30 minutes to present their arguments.
Last fall, the State Supreme Court ordered the association to submit a detailed accounting of its spending on lobbying activities so the court could weigh if any expenses were not permissible.
It also asked the bar to justify the constitutional soundness of a program under which attorneys can opt out of having their dues used for lobbying.