Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Barack Obama Did NOT Surrender His Law License In 2008 To Escape Charges Of Lying On His Bar Application

  • by: Ryan Cooper
  • (Mon, 20 Jan 2020 20:01:24 Z)

Did President Barack Obama surrender his law license in 2008 to escape charges of lying on his bar application? No, that's not true: The meme is a hoax that has been shared for years. Both of the Obamas have not renewed their licenses because they are no longer practicing law.

The claim resurfaced in a post (archived here) published by Angelo Lombardi on December 30, 2019. It opened:

Barack Obama surrendered his law license back in 2008 to escape charges of lying on his bar application. Michelle Obama voluntarily surrendered her law license in 1993 after a Federal Judge gave her a choice between surrendering her license or standing trial for insurance fraud.

Screenshot of https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2464539530451031&set=a.1742196559352002&type=3&theater

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

The claim has been debunked by several fact-checking websites over the years, including FactCheck.org. As the site noted on June 14, 2012, a search of the website for the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) of the Supreme Court of Illinois shows the former president is listed as "retired" (his last registered year was 2008). The former first lady is listed as "voluntary inactive," with her last registered year in 1993. There are no public records of disciplinary proceedings against either one.

The memes offer no evidence to back up the claims being shared. Because the Obamas are not practicing law, they likely have not sought to renew their licenses, allowing them to become inactive. The registration site in Illinois does not indicate either were forced to "surrender" their licenses.

Should the Obamas decide to reactivate their law licenses, it is a fairly straightforward procedure. This site mentioned the attorney would pay a fee and "advise the Administrator of the ARDC in writing that he or she desires to assume 'inactive status' and, thereafter, be registered as an inactive status attorney."

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?


Click this link to copy it to your clipboard
Then click here if you have Facebook or click here if you have Twitter to see who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.

About the author:

Ryan Cooper.jpeg

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Read more about or contact Ryan Cooper

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

Spotted a hoax that you think we should investigate? Have a tip? Want to send us a correction? Contact us!

You can also follow us here:


Most read

Recent

Like or Follow us to get the latest!

NEW! Subscribe to our YouTube channel: