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Abusive, disruptive, hostile, intemperate, intimidating, irresponsible, threatening, or turbulent behavior is a proper basis for the denial of admission to the bar.
Appellant Paul Raymond Converse applied for permission to sit for the Nebraska bar examination. In its review of appellant's application, appellee, Nebraska State Bar Commission, discovered several altercations in which appellant demonstrated an intemperate, hostile and abusive character, resulting in appellee’s denial of appellant’s application. On appeal, appellant maintained that his conduct was protected by U.S. Const. amend. I and that it did not constitute sufficient cause for denial on the ground of deficient moral character.
Could the Commission consider a conduct arguably protected by the First Amendment during an investigation into an applicant’s moral character and fitness to practice law?
The Court held that regulatory statutes, not intended to control the content of speech but incidentally limiting its unfettered exercise, had not been regarded as the type of law U.S Const. amends. I or XIV forbid when they have been found justified by subordinating valid governmental interests. According to the Court, a state was constitutionally entitled to make such an inquiry of an applicant for admission to the bar and placed its imprimatur upon a state's conducting a preliminary inquiry into the moral character of those seeking admission. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the denial of appellant’s application.